Everyone has fear at some point in their life, because it is a very natural companion. Our ancestors would not have survived if fear had not warned and protected them from danger. Anxiety disorders, however, are a completely different issue, occurring in an estimated one in three people and having a massive impact on how they feel about life. Whether it’s generalized anxiety disorder or panic attacks, it’s emerging that CBD oil can help with anxiety. Why this is so and how you notice anxiety in the first place, you will now learn.
What are panic attacks and how do they occur?
Panic attacks are a subjectively perceived anxiety sensation that goes far beyond healthy and natural fear. They occur in phases and can last up to an hour. During such an attack, affected persons feel panic, often even mortal fear, which manifests itself with mental and physical symptoms. Classically, for example, it comes to:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Suffocation fear
- Dizziness and headaches
- Anxiety and shortness of
- Feeling of going crazy or
- freaking out
- Racing heart
If the panic attack subsides, the fear often remains. The moment of panic is perceived as so intense and bad that the fear of it dominates the whole day’s events.
What other forms of anxiety disorders are there?
Panic is ultimately just a condition that can occur in isolation or as part of a classic anxiety disorder. Here is a brief overview of what different types of anxiety disorders there are:
Generalized Anxiety: In this disorder, anxiety occurs permanently and affects affected people in their way of life. Panic attacks are possible, but not always present.
- Anxiety and depression: Often, an anxiety disorder occurs in the context of depression or vice versa. For those affected, the burden is doubled, as they have to fight against the symptoms of both illnesses.
- Phobias: A specific phobia refers to a concrete trigger. In this anxiety disorder, for example, panic attacks occur when a flight is about to take place (fear of flying) or when a spider is in the house (spider phobia).
- Social phobia: This particular form of anxiety inhibits the affected person in dealing with other people. There is great panic of situations among people, often even a rigorous social isolation occurs.
What is the usual treatment for anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are almost always treated with medication in conventional medicine. It is assumed that a shift in the neurobiological system is responsible for triggering anxiety to an unhealthy degree. The use of appropriate medications can dampen the anxiety, but not treat the cause.
We have long known that anxiety disorders can also arise due to environmental influences or childhood memories that have not been processed. Here, dampening with medication is not enough; therapeutic intervention against the anxiety is needed.
Classical anxiety relievers are used, which have a high dependency potential and may be used for a maximum of six weeks. It is also common to treat anxiety disorders with SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Originally, this was an antidepressant, but serotonin deficiency also seems to be associated with the increased occurrence of anxiety.
CBD and the influence on the central nervous system
There are several studies that suggest CBD is effective for anxiety disorders. The reason for this seems to be the ability of cannabidiol to interact with the endocannabinoid system. This provides the so-called CB1 and CB2 receptors, which in turn are responsible for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and co. If we now assume that a lack of dopamine and serotonin can lead to anxiety disorders and panic attacks, the effect of CBD on anxiety disorders can be explained logically and rationally.
Another approach is the influence of CBD on the 5-HT1A receptor, which is responsible for serotonin. As with CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD can apparently dock here and thus prevent the brain from breaking down serotonin too quickly. A lack of serotonin is not only a frequent trigger of depression, but can also lead to anxiety reactions.
The hemp plant has been in the focus of science for quite some time. CBD, together with THC, is probably the best known cannabinoid and is thoroughly researched. Experiences of numerous users show that anxiety and panic can be reduced by CBD. However, there are other factors why CBD is so sought after for panic disorders. Even though definitive research results are still awaited, initial results clearly indicate positive effects of CBD for anxiety.
Anxiety and panic attacks are not infrequently accompanied by sleep disturbances, general social withdrawal, decreased drive and other symptoms. Due to the constantly elevated blood pressure caused by anxiety, physical symptoms such as headaches are also possible. In a larger study, CBD was shown to be effective for sleep disorders, so that not only anxiety can be alleviated, but also secondary symptoms can be reduced.
Can CBD combat anxiety permanently?
Naturally, anxiety occurs in dangerous situations and warns in this way. An anxiety attack, on the other hand, puts the body on alert, but usually does not result from a specific reason (except in the case of a specific phobia). The fear can hardly be controlled and determines large parts of life.
Because the impairments are so great, the most important step is to actively seek help. According to initial studies and numerous testimonials, taking CBD seems to be a help in getting anxiety disorders under control and relieving the psyche. It must be clear, however, that the natural active ingredient CBD is not a miracle cure, but only an aid that can make everyday life easier.
If the anxiety is based on certain triggers, these must be treated for a lasting cure. The effect of CBD alone will not be able to completely combat the anxiety. However, parallel to a therapy, CBD can significantly facilitate everyday life, if we believe the experiences of satisfied users.
What does science say about the effect of CBD on anxiety?
Research is intensively engaged in the topic of CBD against anxiety and sees good success especially in the reduction of nervousness and stress. In the case of very acute anxiety, it takes more than just “good tips”; most people cannot break out of the vortex without taking medication (for a short time). If similar effects were achievable with CBD, without the potential for addiction, people with phobias and anxiety could be greatly helped. This is one of the reasons why scientists are focusing so intensely on hemp and its effect on the psyche.
Can I take CBD for anxiety together with antidepressants?
For stress or general anxiety, CBD is sufficient for most people to provide relaxation. However, there are situations in life where a medication is unavoidable. For severe anxiety and panic attacks, CBD is not an alternative, but can at most be a supplement. The question of whether you can combine your current medication with CBD is something you need to discuss with your doctor. As we know, CBD acts on the central nervous system and that is where antidepressants and tranquilizers dock. Theoretically, however, it is possible to use CBD together with medications.
What dosage of CBD for panic attacks and anxiety?
Officially, there are no dosage recommendations for cannabidiol for anxiety, because the effect is individual for each person. CBD should always be taken gradually, so that the body slowly gets used to the cannabidiol. Experienced users start with one to two drops of a high-quality CBD oil and increase the dose until they achieve the desired effect of CBD.
Can CBD increase anxiety disorders?
People with an anxiety disorder often have concerns when taking medications or other alternatives. So far, there is no evidence to suggest that cannabidiol-based CBD oil can cause panic attacks or exacerbate anxiety disorders. The situation is different with the use of classic marijuana, which can trigger anxiety reactions in some individuals.
Conclusion: Panic disorders possibly treatable by CBD
The symptoms of panic disorder are intense and often change the whole way of life. Women are affected more often than men, but basically it can affect anyone. It will be some time before research has produced robust results revolving around the effect of CBD oil against anxiety. Meanwhile, however, even some doctors advise the treatment of mild anxiety and panic disorders using CBD, because the effect of cannabis (without THC) is described as impressive. If you are unsure whether the cannabinoid is suitable for you, talk to your doctor and find out whether CBD oil can be your remedy of choice.