Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. Roughly 20% of the population suffers from some form of anxiety.
As people who have the condition know, it can be extremely debilitating, resulting in panic attacks and other physical symptoms. The condition can be caused from a number of stressors in life, such as work, life changes or illnesses.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that people are constantly looking for ways to control their anxiety.
While there are many resources, such as meditation and therapy, another trend has been on the rise in the past several months: CBD.
I decided to test the popular treatment for myself by taking CBD gummies to see how it affected my mental state, emotions and overall happiness.
What I discovered was that it actually does work, and not just for anxiety. But first, a little background on what exactly CBD is and how you can take it.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol oil. It is a natural plant-based substance that contains plant chemicals call cannabinoids, which are also released in the human body during exercise and sleep. They are the “happy” molecules that are produced by the body when we are feeling secure and comforted (such as a hug or doing a fun activity.)
Cannabinoids help keep our body regular. It helps with digestion, inflammation and aids with pain. The more we have of this in our bodies, the more happy and relaxed we will feel.
The relation to marijuana
One of the biggest concerns people have with using CBD is that they are fearful of feeling high (which can actually cause more anxiety in certain people.) People often believe that CBD is extracted from the marijuana plant, but it’s actually not – CBD is taken from the hemp plant, which is related to the marijuana plant people use to get high. CBD has very few tetra-hydro-cannabinoids (THC) which is what makes people feel high.
How can you take it?
CBD is available in a few different ways. For edible options, you can take gummies, beverages and capsules. You can also put the pure oil under your tongue to be absorbed into your system.
For those that don’t want to take the oil orally, CBD oil can be applied to your skin and is absorbed into your body that way. Some examples of this are lotions and body wash.
How can it help mental health?
Research has shown that taking the oil can help with many mental health issues. According to Psychology Today, the World Health Organization’s expert committee on drug dependence has said that CBD can help with PTSD, autism symptoms and social anxiety. When compared to antipsychotic medications, those who took CBD had less of the symptoms associated with the medications, such as weight gain and hormonal dysregulation.
What you’ve all been waiting for….my personal conclusion
After taking CBD gummies for a few weeks, I can say that yes, it does help with anxiety. However, it can make you feel drowsy.
It’s a similar feeling to just feeling very relaxed or not wanting to move from bed. I later learned that CBD is also used for pain treatment, hence why the drowsy feeling may be popular for people suffering with physical pain.
I also spoke with friends who use CBD for their anxiety, and they agree that it does help. This being said, everyone is different and not everything has the same effect for each person. Overall, though, I had a positive experience with CBD.
While CBD may help improve your anxiety symptoms, it’s always best to take it in the correct dosage.
Talk to someone knowledgeable, like a doctor, about how much you should take. While there are many CBD-infused products out there, doctors may be able to write you a prescription with the correct dosage for you.
It’s also important to keep in mind that this is not a cure-all for anxiety. There are ways to help manage and reduce stress. Exercising, meditating, journaling and other practices will help manage the inner battle known as anxiety inside your head.