Anxiety is something that we have perhaps all experienced at some point, perhaps when trying to land a new job or making a big life change.
But not everybody can manage their negative thoughts, meaning the mental disorder becomes a serious burden to living a happy and fulfilled life. For somebody with social anxiety, the thought of meeting new people, which should be a great pleasure, can cause an intense irrational fear. A person with generalized anxiety may become overly concerned about their health when slightly ill.
Anxiety patients are often prescribed the same drugs that are used to treat depression, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft. However, these drugs are slow to produce benefits, if they provide any relief at all. Neuroscientists have struggled to pin down the causes of anxiety, and indeed there is confusion as to how SSRIs even work. But this could all be set to change thanks to research on a compound from an unlikely plant: cannabis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid from the famous and controversial herb, but its effects are much different from those we typically associate with cannabis. Those familiar with recreational smoking may know that paranoia and anxiety are common side effects of marijuana, but this is not because of the CBD, but from the plant’s most potent psychoactive constituent, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
In a nutshell, instead of exciting the brain and increasing the intensity and amount of thoughts a person experiences, CBD calms everything down. The compound does this by releasing a slew of gamma Amino-butyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters into the brain, which are able to block nerve impulses. In a less studied connection, CBD also exerts anxiolytic effects as an agonist of the 5-HT1A (serotonin 1A) receptor. Practical studies on patients with anxiety have also demonstrated that CBD treatment is more effective than placebo.
But how can CBD products be used to manage the day-to-day anxiety which is notorious for being psychologically restrictive? Let’s take a look.
Social anxiety affects a person’s ability to get on in life, by making them fearful of interactions with others, especially those they don’t know – this is usually a result of low self-esteem and hyper self-consciousness. Someone with social anxiety is constantly worried that every single move they make is being scrutinized by others, with this causing deep feelings of embarrassment.
Most of these emotions are simply mental clutter that are a manifestation of one’s negative mind, and overthinking. CBD helps to combat this by calming these thoughts down, and keeping the user rooted in the present moment, so they aren’t dwelling on what might and might not happen.
As social anxiety symptoms can be very acute and unpredictable, it’s beneficial to have a CBD product on hand that gets to work as soon as you take it, such as a CBD e-liquid from CBDfx . Then, when there’s an important social engagement coming up, you can medicate beforehand and enjoy an anxiety-free few hours.
Public speaking can be a challenge for all of us – without lots of practice, it’s natural to be somewhat edgy in front of a crowd. But ultimately, this is just another form of anxiety, and one that can be tackled with CBD. In fact, the effects of CBD on public speaking anxiety have previously been studied by a team of Italian researchers, who tested the anxiolytic properties of the cannabinoid against a placebo. The group that were administered CBD performed much better in the simulated test, benefitting from improved cognition and reduced anticipatory alert.
While the researchers gave the participants a CBD capsule, the effects are felt more slowly because the cannabinoids must travel down to the stomach before they are absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, if using capsules or even edibles, medicating around an hour before the speech is recommended.
Travelling and Unfamiliar Environments
Visiting a new country or even a new city can set the mind racing with uncertainties – it’s a natural human response to look for dangers, but it’s important to stop this from getting out of control and spoiling a trip. Travelling is meant to be exciting, so let’s keep it that way.
Worst-case scenario thinking can kick in when in an unfamiliar environment, such as worries of getting lost or stranded. Obviously, it’s best to take precautions, even if the locals have a reputation for being friendly and helpful. But for those predisposed to presuming the worst, it may help to have some CBD too. As not all countries are accepting of vaping, consider being discreet with capsules or even CBD tincture oils.
Think back to your school days – were you the one who always had your hand up, or did you prefer to let others do the talking, even if that meant not knowing what was going on? If you’re more aligned with the latter, then this could follow you through life and into the workplace, where it can be much more of an issue. Anxious people tend to stay quiet, even if their confused, in fear of looking stupid because they don’t understand something.
It’s important to banish these thought processes, as they invariably are just figments of one’s imagination. CBD does the trick once again, eradicating concerns of embarrassment and humiliation. Any product should work handily for this type of anxiety, but maybe try the gummy bears from Empire Wellness CDB.
Awkward silences may only go on for seconds, but that short period can feel like hours for an anxious person. When these moments come out of the blue, anxiety kicks in as we think about what to say next, or whether to wait for somebody else to say something, and all the while the inner tension seems to build – conversely, a non-anxious person will probably not feel any of this! Then we may choose to blurt out something just to break the silence and spend the rest of the day ruminating over it and worrying about whether we’ve embarrassed ourselves. Ah, life with anxiety.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. CBD helps to ease the anxiety, allowing us to forget all about those awkward silences, and focus on the rest of the conversation. Then, we realize that we’ve blown everything out of proportion, magnifying these “incidents” to an irrational extent. They simply aren’t worth worrying over, but without CBD, that can be easier said than done.
Overthinking is something we can all easily get caught up in, as we form elaborate scenarios in our heads that have no factual roots. It goes like this – one thing bothers us, and from that we think of another worry, and then another, taking us down the path of worst-case scenario thinking. While the mind needs a little bit of fear to protect us from dangers, overanalysing a situation tends to make us far more panicky than we need be.
Thinking and thinking is never going to be a substitute for doing, it’s just going to put a massive weight on the shoulders. That’s why it needs to be got rid of completely. CBD calms down nerve impulse firing, stopping an overanxious brain in its tracks. That allows us to just get on and do what needs to be done.
Anxiety can create a sickening feeling in what we presume is the stomach – but the root of these anxious pangs may be in the gut, an organ teeming with serotonin receptors. When we are very stressed due to anxiety, the problems can become physical, adversely affecting the rate of digestion.
At the start of the article, we covered how CBD has an anti-anxiety effect by binding with serotonin receptors. While the science is limited, activating these receptors in the gut may be essential for soothing that nervous energy. An orally-consumed CBD product is what’s needed here.