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Does CBD Oil Work for Anxiety?

Does CBD Oil Work for Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in Canada, with 3 million Canadians, or approximately 11.6% of the population living with an anxiety disorder, according to the Government of Canada’s 2014 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada. 27% of people living with anxiety disorders report that their anxiety is affecting their life “quite a bit” or “extremely”, indicating that anxiety is affecting people’s ability to work and enjoy everyday activities.

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stressors in one’s life or environment. Anxiety is triggered for different reasons in different people. The feeling of anxiety is often associated with fear or nervousness but is generally short-lived and dissipates quickly.

Anxiety disorders may cause negative feelings that stay with an individual every day. The feelings are often intense and may cause debilitating effects.

While traditional medical approaches have relied on pharmaceuticals to manage the symptoms of anxiety, CBD (cannabidiol) Oil is becoming increasingly valued for its potential to manage the symptoms of anxiety.

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety, or feeling anxious, is a normal part of life due to common stressors, with anxiety disorders being more persistent and affecting everyday life. In extreme cases, anxiety disorders can be debilitating and prevent individuals from doing activities that are necessary like work or even activities they once enjoyed.

Anxiety disorders manifest in different ways for different people, but common manifestations include panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety disorder and in extreme cases post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The feeling of anxiety varies from person to person, but common symptoms of anxiety include a racing heart, difficulty catching your breath, or troubles with sleep and focus.

More and more, as the potential of cannabis, particularly cannabidiol (CBD) gets realized, it’s becoming a viable option for people to help manage the symptoms of anxiety.

What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety manifests due to both genetic and non-genetic factors, such as environment, diet, stress and socialization. According to research, the two areas of the brain that are impacted by anxiety are the amygdala and hippocampus. These areas of the brain control the fear center and long-term memory storage respectively.

One specific study looked at sets of twins and the development of generalized anxiety disorder. It found that certain gene expressions in the RBFOX 1 gene made individuals more prone to developing an anxiety disorder, even when environmental factors remain consistent.

Traditional Pharmaceutical Interventions for Anxiety

Pharmaceutical interventions for anxiety have traditionally included the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These pharmaceuticals work to increase serotonin production in the brain while blocking the reabsorption of serotonin by the brain, making it more available.

SSRIs and serotonin and SNRIs can take a while to take effect and many people will work with their doctor to adjust dosages and medications to get the right one that works for them. However, some people aren’t finding that these traditional medications are properly working to reduce anxiety, or are finding that there are negative and unwanted side effects of these medications.

Thus, CBD Oil is becoming a more viable option for people exploring ways to manage their anxiety.

CBD and Anxiety: What We Know Now

Like all cannabis research at this stage, studies that look purely at the effects of CBD on anxiety are limited, yet the emerging body of research, coupled with the vast accounts that make up empirical research, are supporting CBD’s efficacy for managing anxiety and anxiety disorders.

A 2011 study looking at the benefits of CBD on human subjects who were experiencing anxiety and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) showed promise in the potential for CBD to manage negative symptoms. Using a control group, 400mg of CBD was administered to half the participants, while the control group took a placebo. The study concluded, “relative to placebo, CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety”.

A research study in Current Opinion in Psychology indicates a need for improved treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study showed that CBD regulated fear memories in rodents, and the data is promising for the human population. The study also demonstrated that CBD has acute anxiolytic and anti-depressant effects.

A 2015 review of previous studies concluded that “CBD oil is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder”, yet this specific study cited that more longitudinal (long-term) data is needed to fully assess the way CBD Oil can help manage the effects of long-term anxiety.

In 2015, Nora Volkow, Director of the National Centre on Drug Abuse in the U.S., presented the conclusion that “CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioural and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety”. Volkow cited that the reduction in anxiety in preliminary studies shows serotonin signalling as the key to managing anxiety with CBD.

Dosing and Administering CBD Oil

Working with your patient educator at Apollo Cannabis Clinics will help you understand the dose of CBD Oil that is right for you. Similar to medications, you may need to try a few different doses and products to achieve the desired results.

CBD Oil is administered most commonly orally, under the tongue (also known as sublingually), although it may also be put into capsules, added to food and drink, and be swallowed. It usually takes 1-3 hours for the user to start experiencing the benefits of CBD, with long-term and continual use more suitable for maximum benefit.

Accessing CBD Oil in Canada

In order to purchase CBD Oil, an individual must possess a medical license under Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). A medical license may be obtained by contacting Apollo Cannabis Clinic to determine if you are eligible for medical cannabis products.

During the initial appointment, individuals are asked to disclose their medical history and past cannabis use. The doctor will take this into account when determining an appropriate plan that integrates cannabis.

CBD Oil may be purchased from a Health Canada approved Licensed Producer (LP) once you have your medical cannabis recommendation.

Connect with Apollo today to discuss how CBD Oil may be an effective tool to help manage anxiety and anxiety disorders.

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