CBD is different from its cannabinoid counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This compound is also found in cannabis plants and is largely responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effect. In short, it causes the feeling of being high when consuming cannabis.
How Cannabis Works
The human body has different receptors. These are protein-based structures embedded in cells that receive signals from stimuli.
CBD is believed to interact with two receptors – CB1 and CB2. These receptors are commonly found in the central nervous system as well as the peripheral nervous system. There is still a lot of debate about how CBD interacts with these receptors; further research needs to be undertaken. However, there is proof that the compound has the ability to alter the serotonin levels in the brain.
Serotonin is a type of neurotransmitter used by the nervous system to control both physical and mental functions. Levels of serotonin have significant effects on the body. High levels of it can cause restlessness, rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, muscle rigidity, and more. On the other hand, low levels of serotonin cause low energy, negative thoughts, reduced libido, depression, and anxiety.
People who suffer from low serotonin levels and its associated effects need prescription medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Zoloft and Prozac are examples of this kind of medication.
There have been a lot of studies that point to the effectivity of using CBD in treating anxiety.
When it comes to generalized anxiety disorder, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has stated that CBD can help reduce stress in animal models such as rats.
The animal subjects treated with CBD have exhibited lower behavioral signs of anxiety. Physical symptoms of anxiety such as rapid heart rate also greatly improved.
Other forms of anxiety
People who suffer from other forms of anxiety like social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder may also benefit from using CBD oil. CBD has also been proven effective treatment to treat insomnia related to anxiety.
A study conducted in 2011 investigated the effects of CBD on people who suffer from a social anxiety disorder. Participants were given a dose of CBD or a placebo. Those who were given CBD reported a reduction in their anxiety level.
A lot of studies have also shown that CBD may help people who suffer from PTSD symptoms. Some of these studies have investigated CBD as an effective standalone treatment for PTSD as well as a complementary treatment with other medications as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
As a caveat, all these studies have been done on a small scale or on animal models. Most evidence that points to the effectivity of CBD as a treatment for anxiety is all anecdotal. That’s not to say their accounts should be discounted.
CBD, and cannabis, in general, have been used in ancient times for various methods including religious rituals and as a form of traditional medicine. It is only in the early 20th century that it was deemed a harmful substance.
But that will soon change as society begins to see and understand the full benefit that the plant’s compounds offer human health and wellness.
Eliza Brooks is a passionate outdoor and travel blogger who loves to write about travel, health, and food. She is currently working with TheGreenAce, which offers premium quality marijuana online canada.
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CBD Disclaimer: While some CBD products contain THC, there are many that do not. If you have question about the content of CBD in a product, contact the CBD company for these questions. Reputable companies should have no more than 0.3% or less THC in their product and this should not produce any psychoactive effects.