In addition to exercise and relaxation techniques, people struggling with anxiety frequently need to turn to pharmaceutical drugs so that they can function normally during their daily activities. Unfortunately, prescription anti-anxiety drugs often come with uncomfortable side-effects and health risks.
Cannabidiol (CBD) tinctures may offer a safer alternative for anxiety relief. Recent studies have shown that CBD can be useful for relieving anxiety and panic attacks.
Types of Anxiety
Anxiety can take many forms such as:
- Generalized anxiety- This type of anxiety is characterized by an almost constant sense of worry that doesn't seem to be provoked by anything in particular.
- Social anxiety disorder- Social phobia causes a person to become anxious when faced with interactions with groups of people under certain circumstances.
- Panic Disorder- People suffering from panic disorder have debilitating attacks of extreme fear accompanied by unpleasant and alarming physical sensations like racing pulse and shortness of breath.
Anxiety contributes a considerable amount to related conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). All forms of anxiety profoundly affect the quality of life for afflicted persons. Anxiety can interfere with relationships, social activities and job performance.
Health Consequences of Anxiety
Due to lingering social taboos regarding mental health, people with anxiety disorders often believe that they need to try to "tough it out" during episodes of anxiety and panic attacks. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chronic anxiety ranks as a major contributing factor in numerous physical ailments, including:
- Digestive issues- Anxiety and stress can provoke nausea and loss of appetite, and they are major contributors to digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- Cardiovascular disorders- Anxiety can cause heart palpitations, chest pain and accelerated heart rate. Over time, chronic anxiety can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Nervous system imbalances- During anxiety and panic attacks, the brain releases excess stress hormones, such as cortisol. Chronic exposure to these hormones in the blood can cause depression, dizziness, confusion and headaches.
As you can see, chronic anxiety should not be ignored. With proper treatment, symptoms of anxiety disorders can be minimized or even eradicated.
Conventional Treatments for Anxiety
Afflicted patients and their physicians usually turn to benzodiazepines for treating anxiety. While these medications surely help with acute anxiety attacks, they can provoke some rather unpleasant side-effects such as:
- Lack of physical coordination
CBD, in contrast, has been shown to have effects that alleviate depression and combat addictions. You can certainly have unpleasant effects if you take too much CBD, however, there have been no recorded cases of death caused by a cannabis product.
Additionally, doctors often prescribe serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for patients who show signs of depression along with anxiety symptoms. SSRIs also come with a host of secondary effects, including:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Blurred vision
- Dangerous drug interactions
- Serotonin syndrome
- Potential for suicide
Consult with your doctor. CBD may be a healthier alternative to risky, prescription anxiety medication. If you are already on a daily regimen of benzodiazepines or anti-depressants, do not attempt to quit taking them without your doctor's supervision. Both anti-anxiety medications and SSRIs have serious side-effects when stopped abruptly. Abrupt cessation of anxiety medications can cause seizures, psychotic episodes, suicidal tendencies or even death.
How Does CBD Work to Combat Anxiety?
A non-psychoactive active ingredient of the Cannabis sativa plant, CBD belongs to a family of compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids react with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help balance regulatory systems of the body that control such functions as immunity, pain responses, emotional stability, memory processing and sleeping patterns.
Recent laboratory studies show how CBD helps calm parts of the brain, including the amygdala. The amygdala controls the body's fear responses. An imbalance in the amygdala can lead to an overactive fight-or-flight response which in turn causes the overproduction of stress hormones like cortisol.
In addition to CBD's ability to lessen anxiety symptoms, CBD tinctures also impart other potential health benefits. Studies have shown that CBD reduces inflammation which could help with numerous other illnesses including chronic pain, digestive disorders and multiple sclerosis. Instead of all of the health risks that accompany pharmaceutical anti-anxiety drugs, CBD may actually have the "side-effect" of minimizing pain and balancing hormones.
Ways to Use CBD Tinctures for Anxiety
While vaping CBD can be a quick and efficient way to combat acute anxiety attacks, vaping can be inconvenient or even prohibited in public situations. Vaping may not be an option for people who also suffer from respiratory conditions like allergies, asthma or chronic bronchitis.
CBD tinctures offer consumers a more convenient method of taking CBD for anxiety. You can take versatile CBD tinctures as needed for acute episodes or take them daily as a supplement. People suffering from anxiety can keep anxious feelings at bay with regular doses throughout the day. Most CBD tinctures can be taken sublingually, offering users a rapid onset time for acute anxiety relief.
It's easy to add CBD tinctures to food and beverages for longer symptom relief. However, edibles take longer to take effect.
Choosing the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety
Manufacturers extract CBD tinctures from Cannabis sativa plants that contain high amounts of CBD with low amounts of THC. Historically called hemp, these varieties of cannabis have over 50,000 industrial uses in addition to being the source of CBD.
Dispensaries sell tinctures in the form of CBD isolates or full-spectrum CBD tinctures. Tinctures made from CBD isolates are extracts of pure CBD without any of the other active ingredients of cannabis. These tinctures will generally have no THC. They won't give you a "high" or show up on a drug test.
Therapeutically, CBD works better when accompanied by other cannabinoids and terpenes. Together these compounds produce an effect called the "entourage effect." For this reason, many CBD isolates contain added terpenes. Other CBD tincture manufacturers extract the complete spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes from hemp flowers. Full-spectrum CBD tinctures may have up to .3 percent THC.
CBD Tincture Dosage
Advice varies on the recommended dosage of CBD tincture for anxiety. New consumers should start with a low dose and adjust upwards. CBD tinctures come in various sizes and strengths. You might try starting with a lower-concentration CBD tincture so that you can precisely measure the amount of CBD that works for your anxiety.
Taking too large of a dose may result in relatively mild side effects such as:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite Changes
Some CBD users have reported panic attacks with higher CBD doses. Each person reacts a bit differently to nutritional supplements, including CBD tinctures. When starting any new nutritional supplement, consult with your physician. CBD interacts with certain prescriptions, making them stronger. CBD helps to balance hormones and could interfere with the action of oral contraceptives.
If you are interested in trying CBD tinctures, contact a reputable dispensary. Your local or online dispensary can tell you more about CBD tinctures and help you find a CBD product that suits your needs.
CBD has not been approved by the FDA to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. All of the articles on this site are written by 3rd party content providers, expert bloggers or Doctors not directly affiliated with Eden's Herbals. Individuals should learn the risks and side effects prior to taking CBD.Make sure to always check with a medical professional before starting any new CBD treatment or medication.