Anxiety is a very common psychiatric disorder found in many people (1). It is mainly associated with fear build up, nervousness, panic state, and other cardiac, nervous system, respiratory effects. Several studies have revealed that anxiety disorders are the main cause of functional impairment and mental disorders (1).
A person can be anxious for various reasons related to personal life, relationships, work, career etc. It might even land a person in clinically diagnosable anxiety disorders. Anxiety is one of the top-ranked emotional and behavioral troubles being experienced by several people these days. As per a WHO report released in 2017, a huge number of people, quoted nearly 264 million, have been mentioned to struggle with anxiety and its related disorders worldwide (2). These numbers in 2019 might have varied but the fact still remains that this issue is an ongoing one.
Anxiety-related disorders are affecting many people every single day. Several drugs and therapies are still under research and many have already been out to help with anxiety and its related disorders. Some of the known medications which help with anxiety issues include serotonin inhibitors, and tranquilizers, etc. Moreover, there are certain oils as well like Cannabidiol Oil or CBD which is also known to help with anxiety issues effectively.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil, is extracted from the plants of cannabis. CBD oil is a rich source of cannabinoids which can bind up with special receptors in the brain to ease the anxiety causing situation (3).
Till date, effective cannabinoid is mainly tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which is found in marijuana. THC often gives a person a sensation, after binding up with the brain receptors, which can be concluded as feeling high. Cannabinoids are still under study for their extensive effects and benefits but it is known to slow down cancer development and also to improve mental health conditions.
CBD oil can also be used in cooking since it is one of the edible oils. It is also consumed as a medicine in the form of few drops for its health benefits. However, smoking cannabinoid oil has till date provided no beneficial effects. There is no relevant data for the same and hence, it must not be used during smoking.
CBD (Cannabidiol Oil) for Anxiety
Initially many researches were focused on cannabis products mainly and CBD oil effects were overlooked. However, now, after knowing some of the anxiety-relieving effects of CBD oil several types of research are focused on this as a standalone product to help with many more disorders (3).
Some of the studies suggested cannabis product can help with anxiety. However, several other studies justify logically that it can make a person more vulnerable to anxiety due to recreational use of cannabis products. Moreover, cannabidiol present in CBD oil has justified its anti-anxiety effects by blocking specific brain receptors which cause anxiety (4). The initial results are so promising that further elaborated research studies is still ongoing.
Over the past few years, beneficial effects of CBD or Cannabidiol oil has created interest of several people ranging from clinicians, consumers, and even the scientists. Several studies are still ongoing and evidential data is being collected to justify the beneficial effects of CBD. Although, epidemiological studies of CBD suggested it has anti-anxiety properties which can help in combating anxiety-related disorders. CBD oil if given in a recommended dose of few drops is safe and well tolerated by an individual and helps in treating anxiety disorders like (5):
- Panic disorder
- Social phobia which prevents an individual to face people
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
- Mild to moderate cases of depression.
How Does CBD (Cannabidiol Oil) Help in Anxiety Treatment?
CBD oil leaves a positive impact on the brain that it results in effectively managing anxiety. In the preclinical studies of CBD oil, several actions of the brain were observed as an impact of CBD oil which concluded its anti-anxiety properties. Although, preclinical studies are not done on humans initially so such effective results observed were further carried out and evaluated by more research and studies which account this oil as safe for use in humans.
Mechanism of action of CBD oil on the brain involves interaction and regulation of endocannabinoid system of the body which is responsible for maintaining balance in the human body. It further involves critical functions like sleep (6), mood control, immune response, and more. CBD oil helps in balancing and calming various critical functions hence normalizing the anxiety thrush in the body.
5-HT1A antagonist is a specific type of serotonin receptor which is involved in anxiety and depression disorders (4). Blocking such serotonin receptors can gradually balance up critical body functions and eventually anxiety and depression are treated. By making more serotonin available in the brain reduces anxiety and stabilizes mood disorders and other related problems that are linked with it.
As per a French study, CBD helps in quick 5-HT1A transmission and finally relieving anxiety more quickly than the available medications as well.(8)
What are the Risk Factors Involved While Using CBD (Cannabidiol Oil) for Anxiety?
While making a mind to rely on CBD oil usage for the treatment of anxiety disorders, several other risks must be noted down. Although, CBD (cannabidiol oil) is safe to use for anxiety but it only holds true if used in very small quantities. Also, smoking cannabis products can produce some ill effects on health.
Otherwise, no specific negative side effects of CBD oil have been reported till now. CBD oil can even be helpful for people who have experienced any side effects due to the anxiety medications while their treatment.
A point of concern over the usage of CBD oil is its legalization and the connected laws for its usage as its legal approval for specific purposes is not yet granted to all states and countries. Further, doing a bit of research and educating yourself before starting with CBD oil is a must to understand all sorts of potential risks involved in its purchase and use in your region. However, it must be noted that CBD oil is not really referred to as any addictive product like other cannabis products. As per a report issued by the World Health Organization in 2018, no comorbidities, driving influence or other impacts have been pointed out over public health by the usage of CBD oil.
Some of the temporary side effects of CBD oil (5, 7) usage might include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Changes in appetite
- Dizziness which will be temporary or for some duration
- Slight mood alterations
- Nausea and vomiting
Amongst several available recreational drugs or other approved prescription drugs, CBD oil is leading its way towards treating anxiety and its disorders effectively. CBD oil stabilizes the mood disorders along with treating anxiety and depression.
In several studies, positive pharmacological effects of CBD oil have been reported. This has further enhanced the scope and focus of scientists to get to the details of the therapeutically active substance the CBD oil.
In order, to ensure everything remains in a balanced state, one need to consult a physician or a psychiatrist to ensure 100% safety while on CBD oil for treating anxiety disorders. CBD oil must be used in very small quantities to get the benefits. Over-usage can be dangerous and hence must never be done without a consultation.
- Patrick, Martin. (20013, Sep). The epidemiology of anxiety disorders: a review. Dialogues Clin Neurosci, 5(3), 281-298. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181629/
- Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2017. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/254610/WHO-MSD-MER-2017.2-eng.pdf
- Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015, Oct). Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825-836. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26341731
- Crippa, J. A., et al. (2009, August 19). Cannabis and anxiety: A critical review of the evidence. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 24(7), 515-523. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hup.1048/full
- Corroon J, Phillips JA. (2018). A cross-sectional study of cannabidiol users. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res.;3:152–61.Retrieved from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/
- Scott S., et. al. (2019, January). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal. 23: 18-041. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
- Iffland K, Grotenhermen F, (2017, June 1). An Update on Safety and and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2(1):139-154 Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861514/#
- M. M. Bergamaschi, R. H. Costa Queiroz, M. H. Nisihara Chagas, et al. (2011) Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients,” Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 36, p. 1219–1226.