Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis. While it is not psychoactive and doesn’t change the cognitive, perceptive and behavioural functions, it does have strong anxiolytic properties.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a common condition that affects about 1 in 13 people worldwide. It is considered a normal reaction to new or different events in life; however, when it isn’t fleeting it becomes ongoing, excessive and inhibiting. The characteristic restlessness and excessive worry can become debilitating; and unfortunately, current pharmaceutical treatments have a relatively low response rate.
The first study investigating the effect of CBD on generalized social anxiety disorder was published in 2004 by Crippa and his colleagues. While it was a preliminary trial with only 10 patients, the significant decrease in subjective anxiety leads to an increasing amount of interest on this topic. Since then, we have seen a number of well-designed peer-reviewed articles supporting the use of this compound for mental health disorders.
It is believed that CBD acts similarly to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) – a commonly used anti-depressant that helps brain cells transmit more serotonin signals for a happier and calmer mood. However, the exact mechanism of CBD as an anxiolytic is complicated and still not fully understood.
Is CBD better?
You may be wondering – why switch to a new anti-anxiety supplement? There are 4 different medication classes designed specifically for the treatment of anxiety, in addition to natural nutraceutical alternatives and psychotherapy that gets down to the root of the problem.
Therapy is very important; in fact, it must be implemented no matter the treatment, synthetic or otherwise, but therapy takes time, commitment and hard work. This is why help from a little pill is sometimes needed while therapy underway. Most people rely on pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, they are known to have a large number of side effects: from drowsiness to complete emotional numbing. Natural alternatives, such as Kava Kava or GABA, can be a better option if tolerance is a problem. They have great efficacy and proven individual clinical success, however, due to the lack of funding, the research on such nutraceuticals is poor.
CBD is considered to be a natural alternative, but because it is classified as a drug, the interest and funding for research is growing. So far, CBD, unlike its synthetic pharmaceutical competitors, is proving to be well tolerated, with minimal to no side effects. In addition to the lack of adverse effects, there is growing evidence suggesting positive impacts on the immune system, inflammation, and cardiovascular system.
There are a number of treatment options for individuals suffering from anxiety. Finding the right one can be difficult and might take several tries. Working with a qualified health care provider can help you get on the right path to treatment better suited for your specific biochemistry and genetic makeup.
Stay educated, keep healthy, and live Livli.
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