Cannabis is growing tremendously popular across the globe. Campaigns to legalize marijuana are taking the world by storm and it’s the latest hot button topic for individuals suffering from chronic or acute health conditions, be it physical or mental.
Cannabis may not be legal in your state but it’s crucial to understand the different types of hemp and their components before writing it off. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is found in specific strains of the hemp plant at variable concentrations. THC is psychoactive and creates a ‘high’ that some enjoy and others want to stay far away from, for legal or personal reasons. That’s where Cannabidiol or CBD joins the discussion.
CBD is a similar compound found in hemp that provides similar medicinal benefits to THC without the high or unwanted side effects. CBD has been found effective in treating physical symptoms ranging from chronic illness and pain to side effects from chemotherapy. CBD is being studied as a positive alternative treatment method for people with anxiety disorders. Anxiety is generally treated with prescription drugs such as SSRIs and benzodiazepines which have strong side effects and can be easily misused and abused.
Recent research has highlighted CBD’s ability to relieve symptoms of anxiety and improve well-being. CBD-derived hemp contains small, insignificant amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) deeming it legal in many, if not all states. Researchers and psychiatrists have applauded the evidence suggesting that CBD may be a solid intervention for anxiety and drug addiction, though many more long-term clinical trials are needed to reaffirm the evidence. Studies so far include research on animals and small-scale human studies which highlight the anti-inflammatory and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD. These are important factors in managing pain, illnesses, and mental health disorders.
CBD is available in many different forms, from pills and oils to sprays, lotions, and soaps. The best way to take CBD is highly specific to the individual using it and the condition being treated. It’s crucial to understand the mechanism of action and what will likely work best for you and your symptoms. Let’s take a look at three popular methods of using CBD.
inhaling is a popular choice among those looking for quick relief. Jessie Gill is an avid cannabis advocate and RN (registered nurse.) Jessie began using cannabis to treat pain from a debilitating spinal injury and found it helpful in managing her day-to-day anxiety. Inhaling vaporized CBD with a vaping device (or pen) is the quickest way to find immediate relief from acute bouts of anxiety. Using a low THC, high CBD formula, Jesse inhaled a small dose in the morning and before bed, with small but frequent top-ups during the day. This method, called micro-dosing, allowed her to treat symptoms frequently without getting high. Combining high-CBD and high-THC oils can counteract the anxiety caused by THC while addressing high levels of pain and more serious medical conditions.
Drawbacks to vaping include the high cost of certain vaporized strains depending on the state. The long-term safety of vaping has been called into question due to concerns about chemicals and additives found in the liquid and the hot coils inside the pen. Additionally, it is unknown whether vaping may cause damage to the lungs, and individuals concerned about these factors may opt for oral CBD instead.
CBD oils and sublingial sprays are becoming a widely popular choice for customers. CBD oil is placed under the tongue using a pre-measured dropper or mixed with a beverage like juice or tea. CBD oil penetrates the membranes in the skin, traveling across millions of tiny capillaries lining the mucosa where it’s quickly and directly absorbed into the bloodstream. CBD oil is best taken once or twice a day but can be used at intervals to alleviate symptoms. A lower dosage may begin at 25 mg for anxiety and climb upwards to 75 or 100 mg for moderate to severe pain. CBD oils are a prime choice for individuals who dislike the taste of capsules or can’t swallow pills. Oils may emit a strong odor or cannabis-like taste, but many oils out there today are infused with natural flavors and aromas to offset unfavorable smells or tastes. Some oils are mixed into an ointment or lotion and can be rubbed into the skin.
CBD pills and capsules are soft gels that are swallowed like any other pill. Capsules are predosed and more precise than oils, and generally tasteless. Capsules are slower to absorb and produce results because of the ‘first-pass effect,’ whereby the outer coating dissolves and the capsule is partially broken down while traveling through the digestive system and liver. Capsules have been used to improve stress, sleep-related problems, depression, anxiety, and pain. Capsules are a better option when seeking full-body, slow but steady effects. If you’re seeking treatment for localized pain or tension, topical cream or ointment may be a better choice.
In conclusion- CBD may be a great treatment option for your anxiety. Keep in mind many products are not approved by the FDA and it’s important to do diligent research to ensure the quality, ingredients, and concentration of the CBD used in each product is appropriate for your needs. Make sure to speak with your healthcare provider before stopping or changing any medications you’re currently on and to clarify how to best incorporate CBD into your medical regimen.