Can CBD Capsules Help Anxiety?

Can CBD Capsules Help Anxiety?

The medical world, once and again, comes up with certain breakthrough compounds that provide numerous health benefits. One such compound is CBD. However, this article delimits the numerous proposed benefits of CBD capsules to only anxiety suppression.

So, in this post, you will learn about the possibility of using CBD capsules to relieve anxiety, how CBD can do that, various meta-analysis that supports the claim, and how to use CBD for anxiety.

What is CDB?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid from the Cannabis sativa plant. This compound along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most prevalent and most-researched cannabinol in the cannabis plant and they both bind to a special cannabinoid receptor in the brain.

THC is responsible for the psychoactive (“high’) feeling related to marijuana. Whereas, CBD provides the many health benefits associated with cannabis, even its anxiety suppression claims. 

Does CDB Really Help Anxiety?

Well, this isn’t a simple question to answer. There are shreds of evidence that CBD could be a useful treatment for many health conditions like epilepsy but the studies for treating anxiety are less-advanced.

In other words, some of these research presents only pre-clinical evidence while others provide a combination of pre-clinical and limited clinical evidence. Still, it doesn’t eradicate the idea that CBD capsules can help suppress anxiety.

What then is the bottom line? Yes, there are proofs that CBD can help anxiety but there isn’t somewhat of a standard medical dosing recommendationfor using CBD as a treatment for anxiety.

How Does CBD Help Anxiety?

Cannabidiol takes its effects in different regions of the body but many studies attribute its therapeutic abilities to its interaction with receptors. Receptors are protein-based chemical structures mostly found in the central and peripheral nervous system and are attached to cells for receiving signals from various stimuli.

Yet, there are three proposed ways CBD capsules helps to allay anxiety.

  • Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that significantly affects human overall mental health. Low serotonin is mostly linked to persons with depression. However, contrary to the popular belief, high serotonin does not guarantee freedom from anxiety. A dysfunction can come from either low or high levels of serotonin or malfunctioning of their receptors. CBD binds to the 5-HT1A receptor- the strongest of all 14 receptors of serotonin and responsible for anxiety disorders. This binding effect is common to many popular and effective anti-anxiety drugs like sertraline, fluoxetine, and buspirone.
  • Endocannabinoids: The human body has an endocannabinoid system that naturally produces cannabinoids and spread them throughout the body for use. But, this system, via overstimulation of CB1 receptors caused by chronic stress can lead to a reduction in endocannabinoid production and thus, anxiety.

Intake of CBD can restore the entire system by influencing some molecules to deactivate the CB1 receptor; hence, increasing endocannabinoid generation.

  • Neural Regeneration: Depression and chronic stress shrink the brain and damages neurons. Likewise, stimulation of the growth of new neurons can counterbalance these effects and reduce anxiety. CBD promotes the regeneration of damaged neurons, making new connections and growth of the brain. Hence, suppress anxiety.

Researches and Evidence that Supports CBD for Anxiety

  • A review investigated the use of cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety from the literature on PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and Web of Science Scopus published until the 1st of January 2015. Its finding reveals that CBD regulates fear and anxiety behaviours by binding to the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor.
  • Another review on the inhibitory effects on cannabidiol on marble-burying behavior indicates that CBD modulates Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiousness. It does so by acting on the endocannabinoid system, significantly involved in the process of forgetting fears. Thus, aiding extinction learning and a decrease in anxiety.
  • A study on the role of cannabinoids in adult neurogenesis identified that endocannabinoids play a vital role in some phases of neurogenesis. Thus reducing cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and other risks associated with impaired neurogenesis.
  • A recent, 2020 study provides an audit of cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice on the first 40 patients in New Zealand. Here, the participants received CBD prescriptions for various health issues including mental health problems, neurological symptoms, cancer-related symptoms, and non-cancer pain.

After three full weeks of CBD treatment, all groups showed significant improvements. Participants who were treated CBD for anxiety also reported a decrease in anxiety symptoms as well as improvements in performing daily functions.

Still, 9.9 per cent (25 of 253) of the entire participants experienced adverse effects such as vivid dreams and sedation. While 2 of the 253 patients had a worsening of pre-existing conditions.

How to Use CBD Capsules for Anxiety

There isn’t a standardized prescription for CBD therapy.  More so, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD for treating anxiety.  So, it is best to talk to your doctor to find your suitable starting dosage.

Yet, in a study, 57 healthy males received oral doses of either 150mg, 300mg, 600mg of CBD, or placebo before a simulated public speaking test. The result shows that, compared to placebo, 300mg treatment of CBD showed fewer symptoms of anxiety during the speech. There was, however, no significant difference in VMAS scores between groups that received 150mg, 600mg, and placebo.

CBD capsules kick in 90 minutes after intake. So, to help your anxiety, you should take your doctor’s prescription 90minutes before you want the effects.

Side Effects of CBD Capsules

There are common side effects associated with the use of CBD and this majorly differs for individuals according to their body tolerance. Studies show that they include

  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness/fatigue
  • Weight loss

Final Words

CBD links to many health benefits and recent studies now associate its use for helping anxiety. Although, there are various clinical and preclinical evidence shows that CBD can be used for treating anxiety, there isn’t a standardized dosage recommendation or a regulation from the FDA on how to use CBD for therapeutic cases.

You should consult your doctor for dosing recommendations but be careful to stop its use if your body rejects it. Symptoms of withdrawal include fogginess, irritability, nausea, or dizziness. However, you can choose to continue if the symptoms are the common side effects listed in the previous section of this article.

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