How to Use CBD For Anxiety and Panic Attacks
The world of medical cannabis has exploded, and both cannabis legalization and studies on the plant and all its compounds are abuzz. In particular, it’s cannabidiol (CBD) that has people talking.
This cannabis compound is one of the most abundant in the cannabis plant. But because it does not induce any mind-altering effects in those who consume it, it has become a wildly attractive natural supplement that can provide a host of benefits without any psychoactive effects that cannabis products are often assumed to have.
A myriad of medical issues may be effectively dealt with through the consumption of CBD, and that includes anxiety and panic attacks. Unfortunately, anxiety is all too common in the US.
In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses among Americans, affecting as many as 40 million adults in the US every year.
Anxiety covers an umbrella of subcategories of the condition, including panic disorder which is characterized by periods of anxiety attacks. Panic disorder itself affects 6 million adults in the US every year.
Common anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines like Xanax and Ativan, can be misused and habit-forming, which can eventually lead to addiction.
But CBD is increasingly showing promise as a natural way to calm anxiety without the potential side effects that tend to come with traditional medication.
How Does CBD Work to Relieve Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
Recent studies in cannabis research are linking the consumption of CBD with a decrease in anxiety, and anecdotal evidence from those who claim to take CBD to relieve their anxiety is rather promising.
Since CBD is derived from the hemp plant, it likely comes with no legal issues.
While cannabis products that contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are illegal, hemp products are typically void of THC, or at least have far lower concentrations than 0.3% of THC.
So, how can consuming CBD calm anxiety and panic attacks, and how does this extraordinary cannabinoid even work to have such an effect in the body?
The mechanism by which CBD works on the body to relieve anxiety comes down to the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in maintaining homeostasis – or balance – in the body.
It’s this balance that keeps disease at bay. But when the internal environment is out of balance, any number of ailments can occur, including anxiety. The endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid (CB) receptors, molecules, and enzymes.
These receptors are chemical structures that are attached to the membranes of cells all over the body and receive signals from various stimuli. CBD can interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system and thereby influence their behavior.
When it comes to anxiety, it may be CBD’s potential ability to modify serotonin signals in the brain that is what makes the cannabinoid able to control stressful experiences. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mental health.
Low levels of the neurotransmitter may cause anxiety and depression, and while the cannabinoid may not necessarily elevate these levels, it may impact how the chemical receptors in the brain respond to the serotonin that’s already in the body.
3 Different Ways you Can Consume CBD for Relief
There are various types of CBD products, each offering a different way to consume the cannabinoid.
The mode of consumption can dictate how quickly you will feel the effects of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid on how much of it is actually entering your bloodstream.
Let’s go over some of the more common ways to consume CBD to help combat anxiety, panic attacks, and their related symptoms.
1. CBD Tinctures
One of the original modes of CBD consumption is via tinctures. Using a dropper, CBD oil is placed under your tongue, after which it is absorbed through the mucous membranes and enters your bloodstream to take effect.
With CBD tinctures consumed this way, the cannabinoid doesn’t have to pass through the liver and digestive system to be broken down before it enters your bloodstream.
As such, consuming CBD in his manner is said to make the cannabinoid more bioavailable, which means more of the CBD is absorbed in your system.
In turn, the effects of the CBD are felt more quickly compared to other modes of consumption where the cannabinoid must first be digested before it enters the bloodstream and takes effect.
Check out our CBD tinctures here.
2. CBD Vapes
Another popular way to consume CBD with the specific purpose of calming anxiety and panic attacks is through vaping. Using a vaping pen or other apparatus, the CBD oil is heated to the point where it becomes a vapor, which is then inhaled.
Again, the bioavailability of CBD is high using this method of consumption because the cannabinoid is not passing through the digestive system to be broken down before it enters the bloodstream. As such, you’ll be able to feel the effects more quickly.
Patients typically don’t want to wait at least half an hour to get rid of a panic attack that can cripple them in fear. Instead, what they want – and need – is something that can calm them down quickly, and CBD vaping may be able to do just that.
3. CBD Edibles
Consuming CBD orally with edibles is another way that consumers can take the cannabinoid to relieve their anxiety.
More specifically, edibles such as gummies, candies, mints and more are a popular (and delicious) way to consume the cannabinoid, and because there is a specific amount of CBD in each candy, dosing is easy.
Some people may take CBD only when they start to feel anxiety manifest in their bodies, while others may take CBD edibles on a regular basis in order to keep their anxiety at bay.
Not only are they super-convenient, but they are easy to take and discreet — especially when if you are always on-the-go. However, because the CBD must be metabolized and digested first, it usually takes longer for the CBD’s effects to kick in.
With all the medicinal benefits the plant has to offer, from research it seems that CBD can do the human body a whole lot of good.
More studies are still needed to further solidify the cannabinoid’s place in the world of anxiety – and medicine as a whole – but the human studies that have already been conducted show that the cannabinoid may have a place in the world of health and wellness.
While there are certainly traditional medications available that can be taken to ease the effects of anxiety, many of them only work to temporarily suppress this health condition and related symptoms and do not come without negative side effects.
As CBD possesses zero overdose, withdrawal, or addition potential, the cannabinoid is an effective natural alternative that reigns supreme over pharmaceuticals in providing relief, due to its integration with our bodies natural cannabinoid system.
No two people are the same, thus, you will not have the same experience consuming CBD as another person — that’s the beauty of it.
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, take your life back and speak with your primary healthcare provider about how you can benefit from supplementing with cannabidiol to navigate your journey safely and happily.