People have all kinds of reasons for using CBD. They may be hoping to achieve better sleep, reduce their stress, or simply as a supplement to boost their general wellness. But here in the UK, consumers are overwhelmingly turning to CBD with one thing in mind above all others: Anxiety.
There is a large market for anxiety relief products in the UK, as the prevalence of anxiety disorders continues to rise. But with the growing popularity of CBD, a record number of people are turning to natural products, like CBD, to help. In fact, anxiety has been found to be the most common reason given by consumers for using CBD products.
So, why are people embracing CBD for anxiety? Can it really help to reduce our anxiety – and most importantly, is there any evidence?
CBD FOR ANXIETY
It is estimated that around 8 million people in the UK are experiencing an anxiety disorder at any one time. This can represent a major burden for these individuals and even those of us who only experience anxiety from time to time could often do with a helping hand. It’s no surprise, then, that products like CBD Oils, CBD Gummies, and CBD Drinks have become so popular.
In recent years, the number of studies into the therapeutic potential of CBD has skyrocketed. Researchers are increasingly interested in this cannabis compound for its potential anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, anti-addiction, and – you guessed it – anti-anxiety properties. So, let’s take a look at what the research so far can tell us about CBD for anxiety.
Numerous observational and clinical studies have investigated the anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) potential of CBD, with some yielding impressive results. For example, a recent review analysed data from 49 studies and found strong preclinical evidence supporting CBD as a treatment for generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely. However, there is limited research on the effects of chronic CBD dosing. Human studies included in this review also indicated significant anxiolytic potential for CBD.
Additionally, a 2019 study examining the impact of CBD on sleep and anxiety in a clinical population. Anxiety scores were seen to decrease in 79.2% of patients after one month of CBD use, remaining level throughout the study period.
Moreover, thousands of regular CBD users have shared anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of CBD for anxiety relief. CBD enthusiasts can be found on review sites, forums, and social media, touting the cannabinoid's incredible impact on their everyday health and wellness routine.
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many compounds – called cannabinoids – that are found in the cannabis plant. Along with a number of other cannabinoids, CBD has been found to have a similar chemical structure to compounds produced naturally within our bodies. These compounds are known as “endocannabinoids”.
The effects of CBD are thought to be largely related to its interaction with a receptor system known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This includes receptors (cannabinoid receptor 1 and cannabinoid receptor 2), endocannabinoids, and enzymes that are expressed throughout the body – primarily in the immune system and central nervous system. The ECS has been implicated in a large number of important functions, including temperature, fertility, pain signalling, and mood regulation.
While more research is required before we can fully understand exactly how CBD triggers its apparent anxiety-relieving effects, most researchers appear to agree that it is linked to its interactions with the ECS. Furthermore, CBD has also been found to interact with dopamine (the body’s “feel-good” chemical) system, perhaps providing another hint to this potential benefit.
No matter how CBD can help to regulate our mood and relieve our anxiety, people are continuing to embrace this wonderful cannabinoid for this reason among many. Try it for yourself and discover if CBD could be useful for you, too.