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Anxiety, CBD, and Cannabis

Feelings of anxiousness or even just having a nervous disposition are very common and can make life difficult. So, how exactly do people handle it? Many people choose to include things into their daily routines to help, things like mediation. But that may not be sufficient to overcome anxious feelings. Some medications are available, but not everyone wants to use medication due to unwanted side effects. What other options are there that are more direct and holistic? Cannabidiol (CBD) has been well noted for its calming effects. Because of this, it has come to the first as a forerunner in the world of calming products. However, since CBD comes from cannabis, this does leave some with many questions. Let’s clear some of those up.  

CBD: A definition  

Let’s start by defining CBD because some misconceptions create unnecessary concern.  

CBD is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are a type of chemical compounds found in a few different plants, but especially in cannabis plants (including hemp and marijuana). There are 113 different cannabinoids in cannabis plants, CBD being just one of them. There is another cannabinoid that CBD is often confused with. That cannabinoid would be tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  

THC’s fame mainly comes from the fact that it is psychoactive. That means that it creates the inebriating high that is so commonly associated with cannabis (even though not all cannabis plants have enough THC to create this effect). Because they are both cannabinoids and are found in most forms of cannabis, CBD and THC are thought to be the same. However, CBD is not psychoactive. It does not create any sort of inebriation or high.  

There are two primary forms of cannabis: hemp and marijuana. CBD products are usually made using hemp rather than marijuana. This is for a couple of different reasons. The first is that hemp is high in CBD levels, but low in THC (less than 0.3%, to be exact). Marijuana, meanwhile, has high levels of THC and varying degrees of CBD. As you can guess, it is much easier for CBD manufacturers to use hemp to extract, rather than from marijuana.  

The other reason why CBD companies prefer hemp over marijuana is that hemp is federally legal, whereas marijuana’s legal status varies. In 2018, the United States passed the newest version of the Farm Bill. This is a bill that gets looked at and passed every five years. It affects all things agricultural, including what farmers can and cannot grow. In that year’s version of the bill included a provision that officially legalized hemp (with some restrictions in individual states). Marijuana, however, is still federally illegal throughout the United States. Some states have legalized on one level or another, but only a handful.  

Now that we have a better idea of what CBD is and where it comes from, let’s talk about what it may be able to do for feelings of anxiousness.  

How CBD may be able help you achieve a sense of calm  

Research on the effects of CBD has been rising in the last few years. As the number of studies goes up, so does our understanding of the cannabinoid. One of the most significant areas of study has been CBD’s effect on one’s mental state. Let’s talk about some of those studies.  

For example, this study had people with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) participate in public speaking, which can cause some severe feelings of anxiousness within that disorder. They gave each of the test subjects a supplement before they performed. Some of the test subjects got CBD, while others got a placebo. The researchers concluded that those test subjects that were given CBD did much better in their task than those given a placebo.  

Another study looked at how CBD could affect chronically stressed mice. They gave the mice doses of CBD and studied their brains to see how it changed them. They found that the CBD was significantly able to help calm the stress that the mice were feeling.  

These studies, among the many others, suggest that CBD could do a lot to aid in reducing feelings of anxiousness. This means that the cannabinoid may be able to provide relief for a lot of people.  

How much CBD is enough?  

It is always good to understand how to take a new dietary supplement, so we should probably talk about how to know how much CBD to take. However, this is a little tricky as CBD sits differently with everyone, so there is no set amount. But before we can talk about how to find the right amount of CBD for you, we need to discuss what you should be looking out for.  

CBD, while considered safe overall, does have some side effects. These are not very serious side effects, but they are still not fun. They generally include things like nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. They are typically associated with taking too much of the cannabinoid, which is good news. That means that they are fairly easy to avoid for most people. So, let’s talk about how to do that.  

The best way to start taking CBD to avoid side effects is to start the low amount. Start out with the smallest amount possible and then wait a little while to see how it sits with you. Remember, some CBD products take longer than others to start working. Then, if there are no negative side effects after a while, but you still are not getting your desired result, you can try taking more. Increase the amount in small increments to avoid the side effects. Once you find the smallest amount that gives you positive effects without the negative ones, you know that you have found the right amount of CBD.   

It is important to note that CBD does not mix well with certain medications. Some medications don’t work as well, or stop working entirely, in the presence of CBD. If you are taking medications and would like to try CBD, be sure to talk about it with your healthcare provider first.  

There is a lot to know about CBD. But one of the more potentially beneficial ones is about its calming effect that it may have on people. The research that has been done in this area, as you can see has been incredibly promising.