Is depression/anxiety crippling your life? Are you wondering if it is true that CBD helps treat panic attacks, anxiety, and clinical depression? Are you tired of using anti-depression and anti-anxiety medication riddled with side effects without any tangible results?
If your answer is yes, then you have come to the right place.
Anxiety and Depression -- The Killers Within
Stress and anxiety are silent killers. If not addressed in a timely manner, prolonged stress and anxiety can turn into clinical depression. That’s never good news because depression can cause insurmountable damage to your mental, physical and spiritual health.
Did you know that depression is associated with 6 of the most lethal causes of death in the United States? That’s right; unchecked stress and anxiety have been linked to suicide, cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, etc.), liver cirrhosis, obesity, cancer, and lung disease.
No matter how you look at it, depression is bad news for your health and overall well-being. Unfortunately, most people are afraid to seek help because of the stigma around depression. That’s why more and more people are turning to cannabidiol for relief against symptoms of anxiety, depression and other stress-related mental health issues.
If you are reading this, perhaps you are thinking of getting your hands on high-quality CBD oil, vape carts or edibles to stay on top of your anxiety. Like most people, the odds are fairly good that you are wondering if CBD products will actually help with your situation.
Let’s put your mind to rest.
Yes, CBD does work wonders for anxiety and depression sufferers. And, there’s a long list of scientific studies and research findings that show that CBD has the potential to relieve effects of anxiety and depression. This article is out to explain why and how.
The Basics - What is CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol for full, is an increasingly popular natural remedy that’s derived from the cannabis sativa plant (hemp). It’s safe and highly beneficial compound. In fact, it is one of more than 100 active chemical compounds called cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant.
Perhaps the most cousin compound to CBD is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Unlike THC, cannabidiol doesn’t get you “high.” Instead of the psychoactive effects that THC is famous for, CBD causes positive chemistry changes to your brain.
It’s for these reasons that CBD has become something of a holy grail in the recreational and alternative medicine world. As a non-psychoactive compound, CBD is an attractive remedy for people looking for relief from chronic pain.
Of course, CBD comes with a ton of other health and recreational benefits. However, it’s the anti-anxiety and anti-stress property of cannabidiol that we are interested in here.
How CBD is Made?
CBD is widely available and used as oil of varying concentration. The oil itself is extracted from the cannabis plant and often diluted with carrier oils like hemp seed oil, coconut oil or terpenes.
The good news is that CBD is safe, effective and awesome when consumed as an oil, made into edibles or vaped. In fact, a significant percent of CBD oil is sold in the form of vape cartridges. Some CBD vendors even convert the oil into crystals and other consumer products.
On the overall, CBD has gained momentum and traction in the wellness and health space. And guess what? There are myriads of studies that confirm it might do wonders in treating a variety of health conditions and ailments such as depression, anxiety, migraines, insomnia, chronic pains, and arthritis, just to mention a few.
Today, we shall turn our focus on anxiety and depression benefits of CBD.
CBD for Anxiety
Anxiety, or anxiety disorder in medical terms, is a neurological condition that entails excessive worry, apprehension, fear, nervousness and jittery that’s exaggerated when compared to the actual danger/cause.
There are many types of anxiety disorders out there, and they can affect just about anyone. In fact, almost a third of Americans experience this disorder at some point in their lives. Phobias (fear of height, darkness, etc.), panic disorder, trauma disorders, PTSD, and OCD are just but a few common forms of anxiety disorders.
Symptoms of anxiety include but not limited to:
Worrying excessively: although it’s natural for everyone to worry, anxiety sufferers experience it so excessively that it actually interferes with their normal, everyday life. And the worrying itself can persist almost every day for 6 months or more.
Feeling agitated: the parasympathetic nervous system goes into full gear when you feel anxious. When this goes on for several days, you will start to feel agitated and irritable, accompanied by dry mouth, shaking, sweating and rapid heartbeat. You can say that the person has lost control over their arousals.
Nervousness: just like worrying, a person suffering from an anxiety disorder tends to be nervous, panicky and tense yet the reason for it is incomparably small.
Other symptoms of an anxiety disorder include a sense of doom, fatigue, tiredness, excessive sweating, and trouble focusing.
How CBD Helps with Anxiety
CBD Acts a Cannabinoid Receptor
Like all cannabinoids, CBD has a positive affinity for cannabinoid receptors, namely CB2 and CB1. These are receptors that help influence areas of the brain responsible for the state of calmness, including the sympathetic nervous system.
When the two receptors are bound by the CBD, you will no longer feel anxious, nervous, worried and whatnot. You will experience a rush of relaxation, reinvigoration, and sense of peace seeping back into your life.
This phenomenon is the overarching reason why CBD is often considered a therapeutic miracle. And the beauty of it all is that you can gain a remarkable sense of calmness without getting the feeling of high that’s associated with psychoactive compounds like THC.
As if that isn’t fabulous enough, CBD, as a chemical compound, helps regulate, modulate and harmonize an array of other anti-anxiety brain chemicals and mechanism, most notably ion channels and other non-cannabinoid receptors.
More specifically, CBD reduces anxiety by acting on these elements via one of the three pathways (mechanisms of action):
- Acts through a pathway that’s independent of a receptor. A good example is when CBD doesn’t actually bind to a receptor but modulates an ion channel in the brain. It can do so by delaying uptake of certain neurotransmitters like adenosine and anandamide.
- It can bind with a non-cannabinoid receptor in a pathway that will positively influence the parasympathetic nervous system, helping keep anxiety at bay.
- CBD can also act as an inhibitor or enhancers in the binding action of a family of receptors called G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). These receptors that have a direct or indirect impact on anxiety come in three subcategories - gamma, beta, and alpha. They are known to activate certain feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine.
Let’s take a closer look at them.
CBD Activates Serotonin Receptors
Have you ever wondered why you feel good and calm after eating a banana? That’s because bananas are teeming with serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of happiness, sleep, etc.
Don’t get me wrong; CBD isn’t a viable source of serotonin but has been linked to something close: serotonin receptors. They are called so because they are activated by serotonin (the neurotransmitter).
To be exact, researchers at King’s College London in collaboration with a team from the University of San Paulo, Brazil, have discovered that CBD indeed activates one particular serotonin receptor known as hydroxytryptamine (5-HT1A).
Found in the peripheral and central nervous system of the brain, the 5-HT1A is a G-protein receptor (see above) that’s linked to pain tolerance, vomiting, nausea, sleep, appetite, addiction and most importantly anxiety. By activating the 5-HT1A, CBD helps to send an inhibitory chemical message to these zones of the brain to prevent anxiety.
The actual science is far too complicated, but that’s the curtailed version of how CBD reduces anxiety by activating serotonin receptors.
CBD Binds Vanilloid Receptors
Too much anxiety can lead to headaches, migraines, and other chronic pains. That’s where CBD can also come in handy. It helps to bind to certain receptors called TRPV1, which usually can act as ion channels in the brain/central nervous system.
TRPV1 is one of the many receptors that fall under the group called transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V (or, TRPV for short). These are the receptors that respond to a wide array of traditional medicine to mediate body temperature, inflammation, and perception of pain.
Sometimes TRPV1 is referred to as vanilloid receptor, so called after the tasteful vanilla beans. Eugenol that found abundantly in the vanilla bean has the same binding effect on TRPV1, which is why the oil has analgesic and antiseptic tendencies.
With that being said, cannabidiol acts by binding to TRPV1, which helps alleviate pain and confusion created by anxiety.
CBD Acts as Anandamide Breakdown and Reuptake Inhibitor
A team of researchers, academicians, and scientists at the Stony Brook University in New York have found that CBD is a strong and agile inhibitor for certain neurotransmitters, particularly adenosine. It not only inhibits the breakdown of these neurotransmitters, but CBD also prevents their reuptake.
Why is anandamide the bad guy? A high concentration of these two neurotransmitters has a negative effect on the levels of endocannabinoid in the synapses (the intersections where the nerves exchange information).
So what happens here is that CBD plays the role of the good cop. It prevents the breakdown of anandamide into a form in which they can be uploaded to the synapses. This inhibition process means that the two are inactive and therefore cannot affect the levels of endocannabinoid. The endgame here is that CBD will have neuroprotective effects on the synapses, preventing bouts of seizures, anxiety and much more.
There’s also another big health benefit. By inhibiting or causing the delay of the reuptake of anandamide, CBD also spruces up the levels of another positive neurotransmitter in the brain: adenosine. When there’s a high level of adenosine in the brain, the receptors A2A and A1A will help regulate blood flow, oxygen uptake and other cardiovascular function that’ll prevent both inflammation and anxiety.
CBD Acts as An Allosteric Modulator
CBD modulates/harmonizes how receptors send signals by altering their shape. In technical terms, we say CBD acts as an allosteric modulator. In fact, a team of Australian researchers has discovered that cannabidiol is an excellent positive modulator of certain receptors like GABA-A. Specifically, CBD helps dial down the effects of anxiety by modulating the shape of this receptor in a manner that improves the naturally relaxing effects of GABA.
On the flipside, CBD can act as a negative allosteric modulator to certain receptors like CB1 receptor. Canadian researchers have confirmed this CBD therapeutic property, which coincidentally weakens CB1 affinity for cannabinoids like THC.
CBD for Depression
What is Depression?
Depression is a chronic mental health condition that is characterized by loss of energy, inability to maintain attention/focus, loss of emotion, flat mood and retardation of thoughts.
It's one of the biggest risk factors for impaired functionality, substance abuse, suicide, poor health lifestyles, and much more.
Depression can have devastating effects on you, your family, your work and your social ability. WHO says it’s the most contributor to mental health disability in the globe. Anyone can suffer from depression, and it doesn’t discriminate based on race, ethnicity, social and economic status.
Get this: 7.6 percent of teens and adults in the US are thought to suffer from depression, with those aged 40-59 and women among the most vulnerable groups. What’s more, more than 16 million Americans older than 18 a major depressive episode in 2015 alone.
Like anxiety, most cases of depression are traditionally treated with the use of prescription medicine. But, these drugs are known to have grave side effects such as a reduction in sex drive, insomnia, agitation, headaches, drowsiness, and suicide. Besides, depression meds like benzodiazepines can be quite addictive and might lead to opioid dependency and substance abuse.
Thankfully, CBD has shown potential in treating both depressive disorders and other stress-related disorders.
How Does CBD Treat Depression?
As explained above, CBD has properties that help influence serotonin receptors. This is a class of receptors that help modulate social behavior, mood, anxiety and other symptoms of depression. Several studies on how CBD acts on 5-HT1A receptors and neuregulin 1 have been used to demonstrate the antidepressant effects of cannabidiol.
CBD Helps you Sleep Better
If you are suffering from anxiety or depressive episodes, the chances are good that you will have trouble sleeping. In fact, most if not all depressed people suffer from insomnia, while others struggle with sleep apnea and other sleep issues. The opposite is true; if you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep, it will most likely turn into depression.
Good thing, cannabidiol (CBD) can do wonders for your sleep both in terms of quantity and quality. It’s no big secret that you should get 7 or more hours of ZZZs for health and wellbeing. When you get a good night’s rest, you will wake up sharp and rejuvenated, enjoy high productivity, better circulation and stronger immune system.
Using CBD helps you fall asleep quickly and sleep for longer. By improving your sleep pattern, you will stave off anxiety and stress, two risk factors for depression.
Tips for Getting the Most Anxiety/Depression Relief from CBD
Ideally, the more CBD that enters your bloodstream, the more relief you will get against symptoms and effects of depression and anxiety. So, how can you get the most out of your CBD oil, CBD edibles or CBD vape carts?
What is the Ideal Amount of CBD That’ll Help Fight Against Anxiety and Depression?
If anxiety/depression has robbed you of sleep, you need between 40 mg and 160 mg of CBD, preferably taken orally or vaped. For chronic pains and mild anxiety, anything more than 20mg of CBD will do the trick.
Choose a Trustworthy Brands
Not all CBD vendors are created equal. You need to buy a CBD brand that’s free from harmful chemicals and additives like MCT oil, PEG, PG or VG. If you are not sure which is the best brand, just read online reviews. It’s always prudent to hear what other CBD users are saying about the brand.
About Liberty CBD
At Liberty CBD, quality is the name of the game. We carry a wide selection of CBD vape carts, CBD gummies, and CBD tinctures. We stand by all of our CBD products, and you can rest assured they are free from VG/PG/PEG or MCT oil.
References and Citations
Bakas T, e. (2019). The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28249817 [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].
de Mello Schier AR, e. (2019). Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923339 [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].
En.wikipedia.org. (2019). TRPV1. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRPV1 [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].
K, M. (2019). Cannabinoid receptors: where they are and what they do. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18426493 [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].
Laprairie, R., Bagher, A., Kelly, M. and Denovan-Wright, E. (2015). Cannabidiol is a negative allosteric modulator of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(20), pp.4790-4805.