Anxiety disorders are among society’s most common mental health conditions, affecting approximately 18.1 percent of U.S. adults. In an age when public trust in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is on the decline, however, many Americans are reluctant to seek treatment for their anxiety. As a result, cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming an attractive option to potentially help nervousness, without the mind-altering effects of various prescription drugs.
Health Effects of Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that fulfills a specific purpose – namely, to alert an individual whenever they are in danger. While anxiety is unpleasant, it can catalyze to deter threats and motivate one to accomplish goals.
Anxiety can become crippling when experienced in excess, however. For many people, anxiety is so frequent and powerful that it inhibits their ability to live a normal life. An anxiety attack may spontaneously afflict them with no known triggers. This creates a vicious circle where sufferers are constantly anxious about when their next anxiety attack may strike.
The repercussions of anxiety extend beyond encumbering people from functioning. The illness can have as much a toll on physical health as mental health. Anxiety has been linked to a host of bodily ailments, including heart disease, chronic respiratory problems, and even gastrointestinal disorders.
What is CBD?
CBD belongs to a family of chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, present in the cannabis plant. It is the second most abundant compound found in cannabis next to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike its sister compound, however, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a euphoria-like high. Rather, it instills a sense of peace and tranquility, thereby improving a person’s overall mood.
With the commercialization of CBD in the past few years and the farm bill, the CBD industry has grown exponentially. The cannabinoid is available in a variety of forms, including capsules, gummies, brownies, vape liquids, and oil. According to market research firm Brightfield Group, the CBD industry is projected to be worth $22 billion by 2022.
CBD’s Effects on the Nervous System
CBD has a soothing and relaxing effect.
CBD produces its effects in the body by latching on to specific receptors on cell membranes called CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). CB1 receptors are primarily in the brain, and play a pivotal role in bodily movement, mood, and appetite. CB2 receptors, by contrast, are primarily in the immune and digestive systems.
Although CBD bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors, the compound does not directly trigger either of them. Instead, CBD “activates” a particular serotonin receptor, the serotonin HT1A receptors. These receptors bind to serotonin, the feel-good chemical of the brain. So it’s suggested CBD may be able to help balance serotonin function, helping individuals to feel happier and calmer.
CBD may also encourage the natural production of our natural endocannabinoids, possibly by lowering FAAH, the enzyme that breaks down your natural endocannabinoids such as anandamide. Anandamide (“Anand” is Sanskrit for “bliss”) is known for providing a blissful effect on the brain.
The FDA has not approved CBD or CBDV products for the treatment for any medical condition. The information in this document is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.