One of the most difficult mental disorders to understand, anxiety can have a crippling impact on quality of life and come back to haunt the sufferer in the most unsuspecting ways. There are many, many forms of anxiety, from generalized anxiety to social anxiety to performance anxiety. Managing anxiety is not easy either, as the brain invariably has a counter-argument to stop the patient from getting over their fears.
Therefore, the lack of effective pharmaceutical solutions for anxiety is no shock, leading patients to seek answers elsewhere. Meditation, mindfulness and other brain exercises are helpful for some, but studies on a cannabis derivative, cannabidiol (CBD), suggests that the answer to anxiety may lie in nature.
Non-psychoactive CBD products are sold and shipped across America, and if the uplifting stories online are anything to go by, people are turning to them in their droves. The overall market for hemp-based CBD by 300 percent from 2014 to 2017.
The new science and anecdotes on CBD as a treatment for anxiety are completely contradictory to society’s long-held negative notions about cannabis, which stem from more than 80 years of prohibition and nationwide hysteria with the much-publicized “war on drugs”, which has gone on since the 1960s. However, these viewpoints are increasingly archaic, with research into isolated cannabinoids changing the game. As opposed to years ago, we now know which compounds cause the psychoactive effects, and understand many of the medical benefits of non-intoxicating cannabinoids, like CBD.
But back to anxiety. Here’s a look at the most notorious types of anxiety, and how effective use of CBD helps to manage these conditions.
“You just have to go out there and meet people,” is one of the scariest things that somebody with social anxiety is likely to hear. Those with this kind of anxiety typically experience low self-esteem and high levels of doubt, and find socializing with others a painstaking task, as they try to micromanage every single interaction to avoid embarrassment – this, understandably, is very stressful.
While psychoactive cannabis may worsen these fretful thoughts, CBD has the opposite impact, relaxing the brain so that it doesn’t think so many of the needless thoughts that are causing paralysis by analysis. CBD promotes anandamide, so it may well boost your mood, but it won’t get you high.
Reducing self-consciousness and shutting the brain off from perceived, but ultimately irrational, threats is very beneficial for a social anxiety patient. To get the most out of CBD for this anxiety, experiment with vaporizing CBD just prior to your next social gathering.
Public speaking anxiety
Public speaking anxiety is not dissimilar to social anxiety, but a high-quality Italian study makes it worthy of a separate mention. All the participants in this study had never tried treating their anxiety before, making them ideal candidates to the assess the effectiveness of CBD. The 24 who took part were separated into two groups: the first group was given strong 600mg doses of CBD via soft gel capsules, while the others took a placebo. They were then all subjected to a simulated public speaking test, with their performances assessed.
The placebo may have offered some mental benefits, but it paled in comparison to the effectiveness of CBD. The group given CBD treatment enjoyed a better cognitive performance, and reduced alertness, which helped in the build-up to the speech.
Overthinking is a common anxiety symptom that puts the brain into a seemingly endless cycle of repetitive thoughts – over time, the brain becomes hardwired to stay in these frustrating patterns. The cycle of overthinking which appears to come from an overexcited brain causes worry after worry, either about an upcoming situation or a past one that is perceived to have gone badly. Constant thinking about something will naturally increase the dominance it has over a person’s thoughts, and with anxiety, this can lead to the smallest problems becoming matters of major distress.
This can ultimately bring about physical problems, such as panic attacks, due to the overbearing stress. But CBD has the power to neutralize panic attacks, by reducing hyperactivity and therefore overthinking in the brain. High-strength intake methods are best for tackling panic attacks, so consider using a high-strength CBD e-liquid, or even vaping CBD concentrates.
Worst-case scenario thinking
Worst-case scenario thinking is very stifling, as the brain goes by default to conjure up the most frightening or embarrassing experience possible. This is what happens when the unchecked mind is allowed to take over and think what it likes. While to those without anxiety, these worst-case scenarios may be laughable, for those enduring them, they are very real.
This type of thinking and anxiety may manifest over a longer period and be persistent, in which case an edible product such as CBD gummy bears, that last for up to eight hours – or half of the average person’s waking day – will work well. However, if the chain of negative thoughts occurs more quickly, faster action is needed and can be found from CBD oil and vape juices.
Fear of flying
Some people are fine with flying, whereas for others it’s their worst nightmare. Those who do get the jitters before going airborne will be pleased to know that CBD is both beneficial and legal, so long as it’s from a hemp-based product. Perhaps consume some CBD oil just before take-off or snack on some CBD gummy bears for a worry-free flight.
In the United States, hemp-based CBD products are legal everywhere, so there’s no issue with having CBD on domestic flights. If traveling further afield, it’s best to check the laws of the country you’re headed to – while most places are accepting CBD, some countries are still playing catch up.
If anxiety is common when flying, it may help to work on mindset, so that the time in the run-up to the flight isn’t spent fretting. It may be more effective to have a dose of CBD an hour or so before departing, just to settle the nerves.
Think back to your school days – were you ever afraid to ask a question unless you looked stupid? Unfortunately, this thought process, which is typified by low self-esteem, affects some people throughout their life. However, as we get older, the consequences can be much more damaging, affecting our personal development. For instance, if you’re too scared to put yourself forward at work and interact without the fear of embarrassment, career progression becomes more difficult.
Others find that the inability to ask questions harms their friendships. For example, somebody with this type of anxiety would rather be left in the dark about something than ask about it and risk appearing silly. Or maybe you don’t understand what your friends are discussing, but instead of being inquisitive to find out more, you go into your shell, only to dwell on insecurities.
While not a common or publicized form of anxiety, the fact that CBD can help with the condition at large suggests it may be of use here too. As CBD promotes neurotransmitters in the brain which reduce the number of thoughts that the organ comes up with, there’s less room for self-consciousness and negativity. As far as asking questions goes, CBD may help you to get rid of any inhibitions and just say what you want. The more the brain is trained to not ruminate, the less of a hold negative thought patterns ultimately have.
Anxiety can quickly balloon if it goes unchecked. One worry can be the trigger for a whole new set of worries, and then another set, and so on – nowhere is truer than with question-asking anxiety. For self-confidence and self-esteem, learning to face the fear of embarrassment is key. While willpower is always necessary, CBD can help to make anxieties less threatening, and controllable.
Anxiety is a mental disorder, but the condition is capable of causing physical symptoms too. Most of us have experienced tightness in the stomach when we’re nervous, perhaps before an exam or a job interview. As we become more stressed and we are taken over by anxiety, the possibility of panic attacks increases, and the body finds it more difficult to digest food. However, CBD is not just an anxiolytic cannabinoid; it has exhibited anti-nausea effects in both animals and humans.
Therefore, in addition to allowing the mind to settle down after a bout of anxiety, CBD provides relief to the body, too. Panic attacks come on very quickly, so a fast-acting form of treatment is the best way of managing them – CBD vape oil and e-liquid or concentrates have you covered.
People who aren’t used to lifestyle changes often become overwhelmed with anxiety when one is forced upon them. We all get used to our routines, and this disruption is unsettling, but it helps to have your mind calm. CBD effectively clears your thoughts and keeps you grounded in the present moment.
Perhaps you’re on holiday and are uncertain about exploring in case you get loss and can’t you’re your way back. Or maybe you have an important meeting in a place you’ve never visited before but become burdened by anxieties about getting to the right place at the right time – many anxiety patients find that they check and re-check things.
In such moments, staying calm and stress-free with CBD can make a big difference. The desire to keep going over and over the same thing diminishes, if only for a short while. Furthermore, CBD can help to treat hypervigilance, a type of anxiety that heightens the senses, causing the mind to constantly seek out possible threats due to the unfamiliar environment. CBD can ease this problem, too.
CBD is the modern-day stress-reliever, yet much, much healthier than the cigarettes and alcoholic beverages that people have traditionally consumed for such purposes.
Dealing with awkward silences
This can be a nightmare even for those who wouldn’t otherwise define themselves as having anxiety. The conversation drying up with an awkward silence is one of the worst fears for someone with social anxiety, and the stress only builds until it’s broken, and someone speaks. However, not everybody easily forgets the mental anguish of an awkward silence, and it’s not unusual for anxiety sufferers to ruminate and replay the cringe-inducing moment long after the event. This is very unhelpful as far as continuing the conversation goes, as it’s important to stay in the moment and listen to what the other person is saying, so you can adequately respond. In that sense, the fears that a social anxiety sufferer gets can be self-fulfilling prophecies.
While there’s no panacea for awkward silences, CBD makes it easier to block them out, so that your attention can remain where it needs to be. Once again for social anxiety patients, the most effective CBD treatment is to take a dose before a conversation or gathering begins.
Learning to not get bogged down by an embarrassing or uncomfortable situation is essential to breaking the shackles of anxiety – so long as the brain is unwittingly trained to think negatively, it will keep on doing so. CBD helps to dissolve these destructive patterns.