Anxiety is a common complaint with a multitude of causes. Ideally, we are taking preventative care approaches such as daily mindful breathing, avoiding toxic relationships, stabilizing blood sugar with adequate protein and essential fats that make our “endocannabinoids”, along with getting enough relaxing minerals from green vegetables. For those taking excess caffeine, drugs, medications, or using alcohol to cope with stress, it is wise to supplement nutrients that are depleted to prevent worsening anxiety.
Life is stressful and even when we are taking care of foundational components, it can be helpful to have a nervine botanical such as CBD on hand. CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over 100 cannabinoids in hemp, found to be safe, non-intoxicating, and non-addictive. CBD is a gentle approach for relieving anxiety and a great option before resorting to addictive medications such as benzodiazepines.
Endocannabinoid receptors, such as CB1 and CB2, are present throughout the body. CBD is an indirect agonist to CB1 receptors and found to enhance anandamide signaling (1). Anandamide, known as the “bliss molecule, is an endocannabinoid made in our bodies from essential Omega 3 fats. Our endocannabinoid system is a homeostatic regulator, meaning it is constantly working to bring about a state of balance to the mind and body.
CBD directly activates several receptors in the body, such as the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness (2). Brain scans taken after consumption of CBD note a change in blood flow to areas associated with anxiety along with changes in the way the brain responds to anxiety. CBD research has found benefit for those suffering from generalized anxiety, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress, obsessive compulsion, panic disorders, and depression (3). A review of potential side effects in humans found that CBD was well tolerated even up to 1,500 mg/day with no reported negative mood effects, or vital sign abnormalities. People find that much lower doses help to relieve anxiety.
We have had great results with Happy Buddha Hemp liquid tincture brand for anxiety. Their Spagyric hemp preparation on extracts are stronger and more bioavailable than other CBD products.
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- Leweke FM, et al. Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational Psychiatry volume2, pagee94 (2012)
- Russo, Ethan, et al. Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Receptors. Neurochemical research. August 2005, Volume 30, Issue 8, pp 1037–1043
- Alexandre S, José, et al. “Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Report.” Journal of Psychopharmacology, vol. 25, no. 1, Jan. 2011, pp. 121–130
- Guimarães FS, Chiaretti TM, Graeff FG, Zuardi AW. Antianxiety effect of cannabidiol in the elevated plus-maze. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1990; 100(4):558-9.
- Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, de Oliveira DC, De Martinis BS, Kapczinski F, Quevedo J, Roesler R, Schröder N, Nardi AE, Martín-Santos R, Hallak JE, Zuardi AW, Crippa JA. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 May; 36(6):1219-26.
- Campos AC, Ferreira FR, Guimarães FS J. Cannabidiol blocks long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: possible involvement of 5HT1A receptors. Psychiatr Res. 2012 Nov; 46(11):1501-10.
- Campos AC, Moreira FA, Gomes FV, Del Bel EA, Guimarães FS. Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Dec 5; 367(1607):3364-78.
- Marinho AL, Vila-Verde C, Fogaça MV, Guimarães FS. Effects of intra-infralimbic prefrontal cortex injections of cannabidiol in the modulation of emotional behaviors in rats: contribution of 5HT₁A receptors and stressful experiences. Behav Brain Res. 2015 Jun 1; 286():49-56.
About the author:
Dr Tiffanie Jones is a medically trained Naturopathic doctor, graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. Her mission is to educate about science-based, holistic approaches to improve quality of life. She trains the CBD staff about researched benefits of cannabinoids.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information provided or use of these products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.