Do you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks? If you do, take comfort in the fact that you’re far from alone. Though these mood disorders aren’t talked about regularly, they do affect a massive portion of the United States. Still, that information doesn’t mean that your unique symptoms aren’t likely debilitating in some form.
The problem with anxiety and panic attacks is that these conditions can range in severity, making them very difficult to treat with standard medication. Additionally, they can be intermittent, meaning that most sufferers are longing for a long-term solution so that they can once and for all say goodbye to those crippling symptoms.
As you’ll see, loads of studies have been done on CBD’s effects on these conditions. We’re going to help you understand why and how CBD seems to be so good at treating anxiety and panic attacks before helping you figure out how to use it for the best results.
What’s Anxiety, and How is it Different from Stress?
Many people wrongfully use the term “anxiety” when talking about their personal stress. The truth is that anxiety and stress are two different things. Stress is a common human condition that’s inevitable. Throughout our lives, we will experience periods of high stress. When we are stressed out, our bodies produce a chemical called cortisol that increases the nervous system and causes us to go into a “fight or flight” response. But, when those stressful circumstances eventually disappear, we return to normal, so to speak.
Meanwhile, anxiety is a chronic psychological condition that does not require the presence of stressful circumstances to produce symptoms. While both conditions involve the production of cortisol, anxiety is a condition that manifests itself in many different forms. Someone who suffers from anxiety disorder will typically feel threatened by non-threatening circumstances such as interacting with strangers or having physical pain.
What Are Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks occur when a person has panic disorder, a specific type of anxiety. Panic attacks are often confused with anxiety attacks. However, they are two different things. Anxiety attacks occur when a person has an attack that has clearly occurred as a response to an anxiety-inducing experience. For instance, a person may have an anxiety attack when they’re in an unsafe environment.
Panic attacks, on the other hand, seemingly happen out of nowhere. This makes them all the more frightening. During a panic attack, a person may experience a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, intestinal discomfort, sweating, disorientation and a general feeling of doom. This is because the nervous system is responding as if a person were really in danger.
How Does a Person Develop Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
Both anxiety and panic disorder can occur for a variety of reasons. Typically, both of these conditions go back to early childhood. If a child feels unsafe in their environment, they may develop a lifelong anxiety condition. Often, anxiety is the result of some form of trauma.
About 40 million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety, with 2.4 million Americans claiming that they have panic attacks regularly.
How Do Anxiety and Panic Attacks a Person’s Quality of Life?
Both anxiety and panic attacks can seriously reduce a person’s quality of life. Both of these conditions can cause a person to avoid certain circumstances that trigger their symptoms. This means that sufferers may avoid things like work environments, family, events and friends because their condition has made them afraid that something may go wrong.
Besides that, panic attacks can be self-perpetuating. In other words, the panic attack itself is so scary that the sufferer fears having another one, which causes another one to occur.
How Are Anxiety and Panic Attacks Usually Treated?
Anxiety and panic attacks are usually treated with a combination of therapy and medications. A psychologist will offer a wide variety of different types of therapy based on the specifics of the condition. And, a doctor or psychiatrist may recommend taking benzodiazepine drugs such as Xanax or Valium to help a patient control their symptoms.
The problem with this class of drugs is that they’re highly addictive and cause a person to develop a tolerance quickly. Therefore, they are not meant to be taken in the long term or else they can lead to abuse. However, those with chronic anxiety or panic attacks may struggle to avoid taking the medication daily because of the relief that it can provide.
Does CBD Help with Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
There are factors that could make a difference.
Your Body’s Endocannabinoid System
The reason why CBD is linked to anxiety and panic disorder relief has to do with the endocannabinoid system that’s inside the body of every mammal. This fascinating system regulates the processes of the body by producing cannabinoids that bond with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, nervous system and gut. However, many of us are deficient in cannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system is capable of regulating the production of cortisol, the hormone that’s secreted during moments of intense stress, anxiety or panic. Therefore, taking CBD, a natural, plant-derived cannabinoid, may be able to provide relief to anxiety sufferers.
Studies on CBD, Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Many studies have found that CBD potentially has the unique ability to treat a wide range of anxiety disorders because of the way in which it interacts with the brain. It seems to behave as a natural sedative, calming the HPA-axis in the brain that associates present circumstances with past trauma. Plus, as we said, it seems to regulate the production of cortisol while boosting serotonin levels in the brain.
In fact, CBD has been tested as a treatment for a wide range of anxiety disorders. One Study found that it can help with PTSD while another one found that it can help people feel less afraid to speak in public.
Because of its effects on cortisol levels, it can slow down the nervous system in a way that can stop a panic attack from occurring.
Taking CBD for General Anxiety
To take CBD as a way to treat your general anxiety, we recommend using an oral tincture that has a concentration of at least 1000mg. This method of administration allows the CBD to stay in the body for several hours at a time. Take it once or twice daily for best results.
Taking CBD for Panic Attacks
To take CBD to treat a panic attack, try vaping it. When a person vapes CBD, they quickly feel its effects because of how quickly it enters the brain.
Possibly Keeping Anxiety and Stress at Bay
CBD may be able to provide millions of anxiety and panic attack sufferers with amazing relief. With so much research behind it, it’s hard to deny that this cannabinoid is more than just a passing fad. If you want to treat your condition with CBD, make sure that you choose a potent, high-quality product.