CBD for Anxiety
For millions of Americans seeking alternative, natural therapies for their symptoms and ailments, cannabidiol, or CBD, represents a godsend. Often maligned by the mainstream media and other sources, CBD is often erroneously associated with psychoactive botanicals. However, a growing body of research indicates that CBD is just as effective, if not more so than traditional pharmaceuticals.
Typically, though, cannabidiol users seek the botanical platform for addressing common disorders, such as pain. Others utilize CBD for addressing high-level diseases, with alternative cancer treatment being among the top requests. Moreover, scientific reports suggest that the chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant may hold the key for a decisive answer to humanity’s pressing medical concerns.
But what about the arena of mental health and well-being, specifically anxiety? According to a Time report in 2018, almost 40% of Americans were more anxious than they were one year prior. Not only that, approximately 40 million adults have some sort of anxiety disorder. Roughly, we’re talking 18% of the total U.S. population.
Among the concerns that the anxious had, safety, health and finances dominated all others. And that’s problematic for sufferers as these issues will likely only exacerbate in the coming years. Growing conflicts and instability in the world, along with rising income inequality make this era particularly hazardous.
Still, one can’t just pop pills on their way to recovery. As the rapidly-escalating opioid crisis demonstrates, even pharmaceuticals can make huge – albeit unintended – mistakes. More people are now searching for alternative solutions to Big Pharma’s artificial concoctions.
But does cannabidiol really offer a viable solution for the anxious? Promising data suggests that CBD-based therapies could become a reality for patients. Let’s read on to find out more:
Why CBD in the First Place?
Before we get into the granularity, we should address the overriding question: why use CBD for any ailment or symptom?
As briefly discussed above, cannabidiol is a naturally-occurring resource. Unlike a pharmaceutical therapy, CBD isn’t conceived or developed in a laboratory; rather, they are refined. However, the underlying agricultural commodity is as natural the coolness of the morning dew.
Moreover, CBD is one of many cannabinoids, or chemical compounds found in the sativa plant. A growing body of scientific research indicates that these cannabinoids lever substantial potential for medical breakthroughs. Furthermore, these compounds don’t impose the same side-effects as typical pharmaceutical concoctions.
Where CBD runs into problems with public perception is the erroneous link between CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Like CBD, THC is a cannabinoid – hence, the association. However, that’s where the similarities end.
As you know, THC enacts a psychoactive effect on its users. Additionally, the resultant high certainly provides a mood lift, especially for those suffering from anxiety. Unfortunately, the good times come at a cost of addictiveness. Ultimately, anxiety sufferers desire a holistic, sustainable solution.
In contrast, CBD provides an all-natural pathway to mental health and wellness. As the compound doesn’t have an addictive quality, end-users can consume as much as they like without fear of dependency. Moreover, your typical CBD product contains other compounds and elements that are beneficial for your overall wellbeing available in a variety of formats such as tinctures, gummies, vape juices and capsules.
Full Spectrum Solution for Anxiety
Like anything involving the sativa plant, the specific road to an anxiety-free life isn’t quite so straightforward. Yes, cannabidiol holds the key to a viable channel toward mental and emotional wellness. That said, CBD has its own peculiar intricacies.
As you dive deeper into CBD-based products and therapies, you’ll inevitably arrive at a choice: full spectrum or isolate CBD. Reading further into the details initially makes the decision-making process all the more confusing.
On one hand, you’ll gravitate toward full spectrum CBD for its wide range of cannabinoids. Through this variation, you’ll likely experience what researchers and botanical advocates term the “entourage effect.” This references a wellness phenomenon that results from the combination of beneficial effects that each cannabinoid imparts.
However, a flag that pops up in the full-spectrum methodology is THC. Products labeled full spectrum typically contain 0.3% THC or less, meaning that this controversial cannabinoid does have some effect – however limited – on the end-user.
Immediately, this is where the curious turn to isolate CBD. Contrasting with the full-spectrum variety, isolate CBD appears to make a compelling case for itself by emphasizing cannabidiol purity. Here, enthusiasts and the botanically curious can experience CBD’s benefits with absolutely zero THC content.
Isn’t that the most ideal choice?
Not so fast! While isolate CBD has substantial benefits from a practical and even legal standpoint, full spectrum CBD will likely produce the most benefits for those suffering from anxiety. The reason? Ironically, it comes back to THC and the entourage effect.
Misunderstood THC and its Benefits for the Anxious
When hearing about THC and CBD, most people have the same reaction – I thought the whole point about CBD was that it didn’t have any THC at all!
But as we explained, full spectrum CBD contains a legal and trace amount of THC, which is defined as 0.3% or less. And contrary to popular assertions and beliefs, the THC in full spectrum CBD does have a limited, but noticeable impact on the human body.
It’s at this point we need to step back and clarify: by no means does the THC in hemp or CBD have a negative psychoactive impact. Full spectrum products are not addictive, nor do they cause volatile mood or behavioral shifts.
But what THC does in the limited amounts found in cannabidiol or hemp-based products is act as a mood enhancer. However – and this is a critical point – it is not psychoactive. In other words, THC is the equivalent of caffeine in your favorite cup of joe. Coffee is a mood elevator, as any worker-bee can attest. But no one would classify coffee as mentally or psychologically impairing.
Thus, we arrive at a core misconception of THC. Yes, THC does affect one’s mood or behavior, but this impact is governed by the dosage. An incremental, limited dosage of THC enhances or elevates mood, not impairs it.
In addition, THC is itself a very beneficial cannabinoid. With the 0.3% exposure or less, end-users can enjoy the mood elevation, as well as the range of personal boosts that this cannabinoid imparts. It’s all part of the entourage effect that gives full spectrum a true advantage over other sativa-based categories.
A Final Word on CBD for Anxiety
Although CBD, and in particular full spectrum CBD provides a natural, holistic pathway toward an anxiety-free life, you should always consult with a licensed medical professional for your specific situation. Like any therapy – natural or pharmaceutical – there’s no one-size-fits-all option.
An important cautionary note regarding full spectrum CBD is the potential for THC to show up in drug tests. In accommodative jurisdictions, or for specific categories of employment, this may be a non-issue. However, in more conservative jurisdictions or offices that hold stringent views on sativa exposure, using full spectrum CBD has risks.
As with any endeavor involving personal benefits, always consult a licensed professional.