Can CBD Actually Help With My Anxiety & Depression? – 2021 Guide

by Annie Shuler

Do you suffer from anxious feelings and depressive episodes? If so, you are not alone. It’s estimated that one in six people report a mental health problem (such as depression or anxiety) every week in England. This is an incredible amount of people, but one of the best things about living in this day and age is that you don’t need to suffer in silence.

There are many different medications you can take to help combat anxious feelings, but unfortunately, these can cause unwanted side effects that can make your condition even worse. CBD is a viable treatment option for anxiety disorders, and there is a wealth of research to support this. So, if you’re struggling with mental health and desperately searching for a solution, we urge you to consider CBD.

What Is CBD?

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Cannabidiol is a chemical compound derived from Cannabis species. To produce various products, its oil is extracted from the plant and then diluted through a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil, MCT oil or olive oil. CBD is a viable treatment option for a range of ailments, including your physical and mental wellbeing. Studies have shown that it may promote the relief of muscle cramps and pain, in addition to lessening anxiety disorder. Keep reading to discover the ins and outs of how CBD can help to improve your mental health. To find the best CBD products for your individual preferences, please visit Alphagreen.

Anxiety & How It Affects Us

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While it is normal to feel nervous or anxious at some stages in life, such as at job interviews or on a first date, for others, it is a constant battle. According to Anxiety UK, anxiety can persist, whether or not the sufferer knows what is causing it. It can make you think things are worse than they are, or prevent you from confronting your fears in the first place. Many people with anxiety may assume they are ‘going mad’ or are fundamentally psychologically unbalanced.

Common physical symptoms that occur due to anxiety are an increased heart rate and palpitations, feeling sick, dry mouth, dizziness, difficulty in breathing and many more. Common psychological symptoms include: feeling on edge, believing you might die, thinking you have lost control, feeling detached from the people in your environment, and even thinking you are suffering from a heart attack. Not nice, right? Anxiety can have serious stress-related effects on your body and hinder your daily life.

If you find that your anxiety symptoms are negatively affecting your day-to-day life, such as your job performance and your relationships, then it’s time to seek help. We recommend that you consult your doctor rather than self-diagnose and work from there. This is where many sufferers hail CBD oil for anxiety as the hero of the hour!

CBD & Mental Health Research Findings

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There have been numerous drugs developed to treat mental health disorders. The most commonly known are classed as benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); the most commonly known being Zoloft and Prozac.

These drugs can help some sufferers; however, they are not effective for all, as some people either simply feel no improvement, or suffer from unwanted side effects. Today, cannabidiol is becoming a popular alternative treatment for anxiety-related disorders. Studies and experiments range from human trials to animal studies. Evidence suggests that it can help a number of anxiety-related disorders, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and panic disorder.

An animal study published in 2013 entitled ‘The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: involvement of the endocannabinoid system,’ was a key CBD study. ‘Hippocampal neurogenesis’ refers to an area of the brain which is essential to a range of brain functions. It is best known for aiding cognition and memory formation. Interestingly, brain scans of patients suffering from anxiety or depression often display a smaller hippocampus, and successfully treating anxiety and depression is more likely with the birth of new neurons (neurogenesis). Therefore, by promoting neurogenesis, CBD can help anxiety and depression.

A review published in 2014 of the current animal studies demonstrates how CBD can help the symptoms of anxiety. Essentially, this study states that it has exhibited both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects in animal models and studies. A further animal study conducted in 2016 by Spanish researchers discovered that cannabidiol could affect serotonin levels quicker than SSRIs. The researchers found that CBD’s antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties were fast-acting and could potentially impact some of the main limitations currently associated with antidepressant therapies.

Animal studies have created a good foundation of research into the benefits of CBD, and human studies are also beginning to gain traction. A study published in 2011 examines the specific anxiety disorder known as Generalised Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). The study states that SAD ‘is one of the most common anxiety conditions with impairment in social life.’ The study looked to compare the effects of cannabidiol on test subjects while they undertook a public speaking engagement. Half of the patients were given a placebo, and the others were given one dose of CBD.

The results demonstrated that the placebo groups’ levels of anxiety were higher, as they experienced feelings of discomfort and cognitive impairment. At the same time, the CBD group found that they experienced reduced feelings of anxiety, discomfort and cognitive impairment. A similar investigation was undertaken by Brazilian researchers in 2011 in a double-blind study involving ten patients suffering from SAD.

The people consuming CBD reported a significant decrease in their anxiety. The study states that ‘These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.’ Therefore, the researchers were able to validate their patients’ results from their brain scans that demonstrate an anti-anxiety effect from the blood flow patterns in their brains.

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CBD Side-Effects

What would an encouraging list of benefits be without a grim line-up of possible side-effects? Thankfully, most people who are new to CBD begin with mindful doses and can adapt very well. However, among the minority of those who experience unwelcome side-effects, the three most common complaints are:

  • Digestive problems;
  • Tiredness;
  • Changes in eating habits.

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