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What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. It refers to the feelings of fear or apprehensions about what is to come. While it is normal to feel anxious, prolonged feelings of anxiousness—lasting longer than six months and interfering with your everyday life—can hint toward an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder

Since anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress, everybody feels anxious at one point or another. However, if your feelings of worry or fear are constant and often spiral out of control, then you might consider the possibility of having an anxiety disorder.
There are many types of anxiety disorders but their most common symptoms include:
  • Heavy breathing and increased heart rate
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Growing worries and restlessness
  • Tightening sensations in the chest
  • Obsessing over needless things leads to compulsive behaviour

How does Cannabis medicine help with Anxiety?

CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical compound naturally present in the cannabis plant. Research suggests that CBD has anxiolytic properties that provide symptomatic relief from various anxiety disorders.
Research tells us that CBD interacts with the CB1, serotonin, and other receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviours. Preclinical and clinical pieces of evidence of these studies establish CBD as an effective treatment for different types of anxiety disorders such as GAD, PTSD, OCD, SAD, etc.
So far, the majority of evidence linked to the effects of CBD on anxiety comes from animal studies and laboratory experiments. But these do show some promise.
For instance, a small study published in the Neuropsychopharmacology journal in 2011 revealed that CBD can help reduce social anxiety. In the study, 24 people with SAD were given either 600mg of CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before a public speaking test.
12 other people with SAD performed the same test with no CBD treatment. The results showed that pre-treatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in participants as they gave their speech.
Some research also shows that CBD may help ease anxiety by affecting the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone that plays a vital role in our mood, sleep, digestion, and behaviour.
Scientific studies suggest that increasing serotonin levels can help treat anxiety. This is how anti-depressants work. Further studies tell us that CBD may work similarly to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.

Potential Benefits of Cannabis Medicine for Anxiety

An increasing number of studies have examined the potential of CBD as a treatment for anxiety.
  • 2011 study revealed that CBD was able to reduce anxiety and discomfort during a public speaking event in people with social anxiety disorders. Another study found that cannabidiol can reduce anxiety symptoms in people with SAD.
  • 2015 review of 49 studies found evidence suggesting that CBD could helps with generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorders, PTSD, and OCD.
  • study done in 2019 found that out of a total of 11 patients, 91% experienced a relief in anxiety symptoms after taking CBD.
  • Another 2019 study used CBD as a treatment for people struggling with anxiety and sleep. Almost 80% of people saw an improvement in anxiety and 70% reported better sleep in the first month.