Close to 40 million Americans experience an anxiety disorder in any given year. That’s 18% of the population. CBD is emerging as a promising natural alternative to treat anxiety and related symptoms. While the research is still limited, preliminary studies are highly encouraging and word of the value of CBD for reducing anxiety among users is spreading rapidly.
According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”. A certain amount of anxiety is, of course, normal in everyday life. It’s when the symptoms of anxiety become overwhelming, persistent, and feel out of control that they fall into the category of an anxiety disorder. Common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and panic attacks. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is closely related.
Again from the APA, “People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.” Generalized Anxiety Disorder frequently causes irritability, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance, restlessness, and uncontrollable worry.
For anyone suffering from symptoms of anxiety and looking for alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs, CBD shows true promise as an effective treatment as it seems to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Studies have shown the ability of CBD to offer relief from both behavioral and physiological symptoms of anxiety, in particular, the following disorders:
Generalized Anxiety & Sleep
A 2019 study looked at whether CBD could help improve anxiety and/or sleep among participants. The results speak for themselves. “Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.”
Another study, conducted in 2010, showed that CBD reduced anxiety symptoms, both emotional and physiological, in patients suffering from SAD compared with a control group who received a placebo. The researchers concluded that the reduction in symptoms is “related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas”, the area responsible for emotion, regulation, and arousal or stimulation.
Several studies have shown promising results for CBD’s usage as a treatment for PTSD symptoms. These include nightmares and the replaying of negative memories. A 2018 literature review concluded that “Human and animal studies suggest that CBD may offer therapeutic benefits to disorders related to inappropriate responses to traumatic memories.”
CBD has also been shown to have anti-depressant-like effects in mice, as in this 2010 study which saw improvements in symptoms among the group given CBD that were comparable to the group that received an antidepressant drug.
Finally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (a component of the National Institutes of Health) stated in an address to Congress, “Early preclinical findings also suggest that CBD may have therapeutic value as a treatment of substance use disorders. CBD reduced the rewarding effects of morphine and reduced cue-induced heroin seeking in animal models.”
They went on to point out that “Rigorous clinical studies are still needed to evaluate the clinical potential of CBD for specific conditions. However, pre-clinical research (including both cell culture and animal models) has shown CBD to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful, including anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.”
At New Leaf, we look forward to more research results confirming the benefits many CBD users have already discovered. Rhinodol®, New Leaf’s own brand of nasal spray, is made with broad-spectrum nanotechnology which provides nearly 100% absorption.
*It’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor about CBD products, dosage, and potential drug interactions.