MEDICAL MONDAYS | PROJECT CBD SPECIAL
CANNABIS, CBD & ANXIETY
Could cannabidiol help us cope during stressful times?
By Mary Biles on May 06, 2020
We are currently living through anxiety provoking times. The coronavirus is the perfect recipe to turn even the most laid back and centered among us into worrying wrecks, imagining the most catastrophic (although unlikely) outcomes for ourselves and our loved ones.
And that, dear friends, is the day-to-day life of someone living with anxiety. I know because for the last fifteen years it’s an inner world I’ve inhabited. Only for me, it’s not a pandemic I’m freaking out about, but lesser evils such as whether I’m going to make a complete idiot of myself in some social gathering or my own favorite anxiety rabbit hole – feeling anxious about feeling anxious.
While there’s no magic bullet to banish anxiety for good, managing anxiety symptoms is a commonly stated reason why people take cannabis – medical or otherwise – with CBD showing particular promise in preliminary studies.
Anxiety disorders are a collection of mental health conditions characterized by disproportionate worrying about future events that brings about physiological responses in the body such as tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, excessive sweating, agitation, restlessness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
Avoidance behavior are common strategies amongst anxiety sufferers. If you’ve had a panic attack crossing a bridge, there’s a fair chance you’ll never make it to the other side of that river again. And for the socially anxious amongst us, myself included, not turning up to that party or after work drinks or a friend’s wedding are tactics regularly employed.
However, the more situations we avoid, the smaller our worlds eventually become, and it’s often at this point when an anxiety disorder is diagnosed. Right now, it’s estimated 264 million people worldwide have some kind of anxiety disorder, with approximately 40 million of them residing in the United States.
An estimated 264 million people worldwide have some kind of anxiety disorder, with approximately 40 million of them residing in the United States.
Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) when anxiety is felt about a wide range of situations or issues; social anxiety disorder (SAD) – the fear of being negatively judged or rejected in social situations; panic disorder – sudden feelings of terror resulting in panic attacks; obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – unwelcomed repetitive thoughts and behavior; phobias – an extreme fear triggered by a situation or object; and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – anxiety including flashbacks that develop after some kind of traumatic event.
Due to their complex and often individualized nature, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treating anxiety disorders. Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), are often combined with anti-anxiety drugs like SSRI antidepressants or benzodiazepines for a more immediate calming effect. Also known as tranquilizers, benzodiazepines include the likes of Xanax and Valium, and while they may lull patients into a state of anxiety-free calm, taken long term they can result in addiction.
It’s clear, therefore, that a new class of anti-anxiety medication, without risk of abuse or dependence and free from side effects, must be developed. And the big ‘green’ hope is that the cannabis plant might hold the key.
For full article and thanks please visit: https://www.projectcbd.org/cannabis-cbd-anxiety