Curious about CBD therapy for your anxiety?
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the United States? They affect over 40 million adults every year. That’s 18.1% of our population.
Unfortunately, social anxiety is often confused with shyness. This misperception leads outsiders to think that you just need time to come out of your shell. That you need a while to adapt to your surroundings.
Some people even misunderstand the signs in themselves. Those cases often go undiagnosed and untreated. People continue to struggle for decades when simple treatments exist.
Others get treatment, but they’re not optimal. The treatments either don’t work or create side effects worse than the anxiety. If you’re one of these people, we’ve written this article specifically for you.
In the following sections, we discuss CBD oil. The all-natural alternative to traditional anxiety treatments. Read on.
The Problem with Traditional Anxiety Treatments
According to the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Health, anxiety disorders require a multifaceted approach. Traditionally, they’re treated with psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. In other words, medicine and counseling.
Unfortunately, the drugs they use to treat the disorder are mostly antidepressants:
- Serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
The first problem is these drugs were designed to treat other conditions, namely depression. Though depression often accompanies anxiety disorder, that’s not always the case. Furthermore, these drugs treat the depression component, not necessarily the anxiety component.
The second problem is the side effects. The FDS lists common antidepressant side effects as the following:
- Sexual problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Weight Gain
- Nausea and vomiting
The more serious risks include birth defects, high blood pressure, and suicidal thought patterns. What about you? Have you tried these treatments? If so, how did they make you feel?
Although most people don’t suffer from the serious side effects, they do have common complaints.
Phrases like I don’t feel like myself when I take those drugs, or they make me feel off are common. If traditional treatments aren’t working for you, cannabidiol (CBD) may be the alternative.
Understanding Social Anxiety
To understand how CBD affects social anxiety, you first must understand how social anxiety works. As we already discussed, social anxiety isn’t the same as introversion or shyness.
An introvert is simply overstimulated in most social environments. That overstimulation leaves them feeling drained, so they want to spend time away from the stimulus so they can recharge.
Shy people simply feel awkward around new people or in large social settings. They feel like they don’t know how to interact, which makes them standoffish.
Those suffering from social phobia, otherwise known as social anxiety disorder, react differently. They become self-conscious and anxious in everyday social situations. These people fear that others watch and judge their every move.
They also embarrass easily and suffer from panic attacks. Panic attacks are often the worst of it. They often leave a person unresponsive and suffering from the following symptoms:
- Weakness, faintness, or dizziness
- Rapid heart rate
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers
- Sweating or chills
- A sense of terror or impending doom
- Chest pains
- Difficulty Breathing
- A sense of a loss of control
To understand anxiety, you need to understand the amygdala. It’s the part of your brain that controls your fear responses.
In a healthy adult, the amygdala sends out a combination of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin when you’re in danger. Other neurotransmitters, like adrenaline and GABA, are also released by your body. Altogether, they tell your body to shift into overdrive because you’re in a life-or-death situation.
If you’re suffering from social anxiety, your amygdala is sending the same signals to your body whenever you’re in a crowd. This overtaxes your body and creates brain fog. If you suffer from a heart condition, it may also lead to a heart attack.
Is CBD Therapy an Alternative for Me?
You may have heard of using CBD oil for treating seizures. It’s been used quite successfully to treat certain types of rare epilepsy:
- Dravet Syndrome
- Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Because of the legalization of CBD oil in many US states, research has recently exploded. You can find websites claiming CBD cures everything from lymphatic cancer to world hunger. Unfortunately, many of those claims aren’t backed by research.
So, what about CBD for anxiety?
In 2017, doctors performed a neuropharmacology study. It suggests CBD oil is a strong candidate for the treatment of panic-related conditions, including social anxiety.
CBD oil is the primary non-psychomimetic compound in the cannabis plant. In other words, it doesn’t make you feel euphoric, dizzy, or light-headed. People who ingest CBD oil with low levels of THC, like those from hemp, are still sober and can freely operate heavy machinery.
So, if it doesn’t act like a psychoactive compound, what does it do?
Though the mechanism is unclear, CBD compounds appear to change how our bodies respond to stressful situations. It reduces the severity of panic symptoms by affecting the panic circuitry. The Amygdala releases less serotonin while the hippocampus increases its neurogenesis.
The effect? A reduction of panic symptoms.
Another study on the effects of CBD on generalized social anxiety showed hope. And a dramatic decrease in subjective anxiety.
Doctors gave participants either a placebo or 400 mg of CBD oil to ingest. Relative to the placebo, those who took the CBD oil showed a marked decrease of the neurochemical markers related to panic and anxiety.
Unfortunately, no studies have been performed to determine the proper recommended dose. Yet. (However, we do have recommended guidelines found at the top of this page: How Much CBD Should I Take)
Now that you know how CBD therapy affects anxiety, you have some options. You can wait for further testing, or you can go ahead and try it. There are no known side effects from consuming CBD oil, so the risk is quite low. The choice is yours.
If you found this information helpful, please take a few minutes to browse our other CBD articles.
So long and good luck!