After many years of tight regulation and social taboo, CBD oil has found its way into the health market. While research is still developing, the effects of cannabis are still often misconstrued as producing a ‘high’ effect.
But, there’s a lot more to it.
Recent research has revealed a lot about the potential benefits of CBD oil. The benefits range from pain relief to acting as a ‘waking’ stimulant. And now it may even be proven as an anxiety fighting agent.
To understand how this really works, and why it is so revolutionary, we need to understand the fundamentals about the cannabis plant.
The Difference between THC and CBD
There are two dominating chemicals in the cannabis plant. THC and CBD, you’ve probably heard of them.
That’s because when cannabis is processed, the THC and CBD compounds can be extracted separately. This means you can get medical marajuana that is either THC or CBD. The extraction process is never completely perfect, so there is usually a very low percentage of THC in CBD oil, and there is usually CBD in THC.
You’ve probably heard a lot about these two ‘variants’, and maybe even of their differences. But it’s important to know about the real science behind it.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical which is associated with a ‘high’ feeling. It has psychoactive properties and is sometimes called medical marijuana. Medical marijuana contains both THC, CBD, and the many other chemicals that are present in the cannabis plant. Those are called cannabinoids.
CBD, or cannabidiol, has some of the benefits of THC, but with no psychoactive properties, basically meaning that it won’t get you high. CBD can be used as an alternative to medical marijuana, especially for those who don’t want to experience being high. CBD has been praised for its pain-killing properties and a lot more. Using CBD oil is easy and accessible, and has little to no side effects.
The Benefits of Cannabinoids
Both chemicals provide a host of health benefits. One of its greatest capabilities is its therapeutic properties. Which makes it a lot safer and non-addictive alternative to opioids. The Department of Neurology as the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute confirms that “There is accumulating evidence for various therapeutic benefits of cannabis/cannabinoids, especially in the treatment of pain, which may also apply to the treatment of migraine and headache”. Especially, CBD, which carries only a few known side-effects, could be a great new way to deal with pain management.
For a while CBD has been associated with these benefits, and its lack of psychoactive side-effects. But, there has been recent research that shows CBD may also have health benefits for your brain.
But what are these brain benefits exactly, and how can they have nearly no psychoactive effect?
CBD oil may be able to cross the “brain-blood barrier”
Some new research suggests pretty exciting stuff about CBD being able to breach the “brain-blood barrier”.
The blood-brain barrier is a mechanism that protects the neurological system by not allowing all blood in. If there was no blood-brain barrier, blood carrying harmful agents could interfere with the neurological system. Which would result in some pretty bad complications! Scientists have found that CBD is a compound which can permeate the blood-brain barrier, which means that the neurological system has receptors which accept endocannabinoids. This means that endocannabinoids are an incorporated and healthy element in your neurological system.
But, what’s so great about being able to breach the blood-brain barrier?
Can CBD oil help with anxiety?
Because of CBD’s ability to breach the blood-brain barrier, the chances that CBD affects your neurological system is greater. While CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects, this research means that CBD can have effects on your brain health.
But, what are those effects?
In a study concerning the relationship between anxiety and CBD scientist found that CBD may diminish the symptoms of anxiety:
“at oral doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg, CBD reduces experimentally induced anxiety in healthy controls, without affecting baseline anxiety levels, and reduces anxiety in patients with SAD. Limited results in healthy subjects also support the efficacy of CBD in acutely enhancing fear extinction, suggesting potential for the treatment of PTSD, or for enhancing cognitive behavioral therapy”
Studies publishes in 2020 indicate also that CBD shows potential in reducing anxiety. Currently, the study has been limited to males, and further research is needed regarding both males and females:
"CBD has drawn increased attention as a potential treatment, as the majority of existing data suggest that it is safe, well tolerated, and has few adverse effects.1 The World Health Organization stated that across a number of controlled open-label trials, CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.2 "
According to Consumer Reports, 32 % of millennials in the US use CBD oil to help them cope with stress and anxiety.
CBD’s ability to pass the blood-brain barrier is a great indicator of its effectiveness with dealing with mental health issues.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that “anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the U.S.” with only 36.9% seeking treatment. During the COVID-19 pandemic those numbers have surged, with 41 % of respondents suffering from mental disorder in relation to COVID-19. Anxiety disorders are also quite closely connected with depression and other mental illnesses. Mental illness can be very difficult to cope with, affecting your day to day life.
CBD is certainly not a “cure all” for anxiety and other painful mental illnesses, and is not yet proven to help. Yet, it has been shown to have great potential with managing mental health.
Anxiety disorders shouldn’t be ignored. If the methods of coping with the disorder become more accessible and supported, then a lot of people could be helped. Perhaps CBD can offer some of that support.
How to use CBD oil for anxiety
Are you interested in trying out CBD oil? While it isn’t guaranteed to work for your anxiety, it has helped many users and is worth a try! The great thing is that CBD oil is safe and non-addictive, so you don’t have to worry too much about trying it out. We’ve written a lot of stuff on the benefits of CBD oil for mental health, so make sure you check those out.
There are so many different options to choose from when considering CBD. Make sure that you find a method that you are comfortable with.
Research on CBD is relatively new, but also relatively positive. It’s important to stay up to date with the latest innovations and research in the medical field because it could be changing a lot of lives. CBD is a chemical that might have a lot to offer, and we are really looking forward to seeing what its capabilities are.