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What Exactly is CBD and How Can It Treat Anxiety?


Over the years, we have seen wellness products of varying shapes, sizes, and efficacies come and go. In recent months, one such product that's creating quite the buzz is CBD.

Do you want to give CBD lattes a try? Chances are, there's a coffee shop in your neighborhood that offers such a beverage. You can also find CBD in lotions and other beauty products. Of course, there's the ever-popular CBD gummies, a much sought-after product by people who are experiencing arthritic pains and insomnia as well.

It seems that everywhere you look, CBD is there. It is the wellness product of the moment, and if anecdotal evidence about how great it is for pain management and treating anxiety is to be believed, CBD is poised to become even more popular over the next few years.

However, before you go ahead and purchase all sorts of CBD oil products online, you need to know what CBD is all about and how it treats anxiety.

CBD Stands For Cannabidiol 

CBD refers to cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in cannabis plants, particularly marijuana and hemp. Most CBD products use cannabidiol extracted from hemp, which typically has high concentrations of the cannabinoid.

Although hemp belongs to the same family of plants as marijuana, it carries very little of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that gives marijuana users that high.

CBD is available in oil or tincture form, although, as mentioned above, some companies have seen fit to infuse their products with CBD and promote them as good for one's health and well-being.

Benefits of CBD 

CBN is touted to be an effective pain reliever because of its ability to link with the cannabinoid receptors in our nervous system.

It is regarded to be a highly effective treatment for certain types of epilepsy as well, as proven by the approval by the USFDA of the prescription use of Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil, to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy.

CBD also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties, which is why there are a lot of CBD-infused lotions, creams, salves, and even exfoliants in the market today.

There have also been several studies that point to the potential of CBD as a treatment for anxiety.

A 2011 study that focused on the effects of CBD on people suffering from social anxiety disorder showed a reduction in the overall anxiety levels of subjects who were given CBD.

New York University School of Medicine researchers also revealed in a study published in 2015 that CBD may provide short-term help for social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

There was also a 2016 case study revealed that cannabidiol helped reduce the anxiety levels in a child with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How CBD Treats Anxiety 

Like cannabis plants, the human body also produces cannabinoids naturally. The ones produced by plants are called phytocannabinoids, while the ones our bodies produce are called endocannabinoids.

While experts have yet to understand the endocannabinoid system fully, it is already known to act like our body's operating system, playing a role in the regulation of sleep, memory, mood, immunity, appetite, and reproduction and fertility. So far, two key endocannabinoids have been identified, namely 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA), with the latter being referred to as the "bliss molecule" due to its antidepressant properties.

CBD, a phytocannabinoid, has a makeup that is similar to endocannabinoids. When ingested, CBD essentially mimics what endocannabinoids like anandamide do in the body to impact the way we feel, move, and react, as well as our mood, pain, sleep, and appetite.

Is CBD Safe? 

It's entirely possible for CBD to cause side effects, but so far, there has been no conclusive evidence of severe side effects in the few clinical trials conducted to date. For now, all we have are reports of the subjects of the said CBD clinical trials saying they experienced tiredness, gastrointestinal issues, and decreased appetite.

Data on CBD's effects or how effective they will be in the long term remains sparse as well. CBD may be earning a reputation as a remedy for a wide variety of health conditions, but more scientific research is still needed to verify the efficacy of CBD in the long run.

Nevertheless, CBD remains a promising treatment for anxiety and various ailments, and you have every right to give it a try. Just remember that while it's generally safe for use, CBD may interact with other medications, so consult with your physician first before using CBD products.

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Tuesday, 26 October 2021

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