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Can CBD Help Anxiety? What the research shows so far



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CBD is extracted from hemp plants and the oil is found in a variety of products.

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Anxiety is the leading mental disorder in the United States, affecting at least 40 million Americans each year. Anxiety is a treatable condition and a recently popular supplement touted to potentially aid in stress reduction and relaxation CBD (cannabidiol, extracted from hemp plants). Marketing agency Bigeye surveyed about 750 people using CBD products in 2020, and 38% said they use them specifically for anxiety.

CBD products are marketed and sold in a plethora of different types of products from gummies, chocolates and oils to creams and much more. But since the products are still a relatively new field, they don’t have that much solid science behind them (even though claims and anecdotal evidence are readily available).

CBD research is ever-growing and promising, but its use for the treatment of mental illness seems dubious at best and dangerous at worst. It’s important to understand that stress and anxiety aren’t the same thing – everyone experiences stress. But anxiety is a response to stress and a diagnosable mental illness that must be addressed by appropriate mental health professionals.

Many claims about CBD and anxiety are purely anecdotal (word of mouth, customer reviews or social media testimonials). So what if you want to try CBD to help with anxiety? Does it really work? I consulted psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Ditzell, who specializes in medicinal marijuana treatment for mental disorders.

Disclaimer: CBD is still considered an unproven supplement or treatment. If you have any mental health issues, you should always seek the help of a professional before trying supplements like CBD.

How CBD Can Help With Anxiety

“CBD is the over-the-counter, homeopathic equivalent of medical marijuana and is touted by many to help with sleep, anxiety and depression,” says Ditzell, who compares the use of CBD to using melatonin in place of a prescription sleep aid such as Ambien. .

“I’ve had many patients report that they use CBD products and have generally experienced help with sleep, anxiety, and in assisting with overall recovery (such as through physical training),” says Ditzell, who is again only anecdotally. based assertions. .

With the sheer number of CBD products on the market and the lack of regulation in general, there is no way to make an honest blanket statement about all CBD products as they differ so widely in dosage, potency and form . Overall, some research, such as this case series, shows the potential of CBD to help with anxiety, but it also points to the lack of clinical studies on CBD in the psychiatric scientific literature and the need for more clinical research on this topic.

Research has shown that CBD can interact with receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety, explaining its possible anti-anxiety effects.

How CBD Works for Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are several types of diagnosable anxiety, including generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and anxiety related to PTSD. Current research shows that CBD has the potential to help with different types of anxiety disorders. For this reason, it is best to consult a qualified medical professional to determine if CBD might be right for you.

Warning of some types of mental disorders

It is important to note that CBD can worsen some conditions. “Marijuana Derivatives [like CBD] can also worsen mental health problems, such as schizophrenia. Again, the best bet is to consult with a trusted mental health professional, ”Ditzell says.

The bottom line is that CBD research has a long way to go before we really know how it works and how safe it really is. The CBD industry is still highly unregulated, so you’re essentially taking a gamble when buying products containing this substance. (CBD is not classified as a dietary supplement by the FDA, so it is not screened for the same things as other dietary supplements.) Again, mental disorders such as anxiety should be treated by medical professionals, and you should not substitute appropriate treatment with a supplement such as CBD.


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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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