Mental health is finally seeing an upsurge in awareness, understanding and treatment options.
In this article, we look at one of the most prevalent mental health disorders and consider the potential of CBD oil for anxiety treatment.
The scale at which the UK suffers from anxiety is striking. A 2019 report by Anxiety UK revealed more than eight million people suffered from a form of anxiety in 2013 – and it’s believed this figure has continued to rise.
Indeed, the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis on the nation’s well-being has been widely reported and researched. This suggests there has never been a more crucial time for the general public and anxiety sufferers to have access to viable treatments to ease their symptoms.
Few will have failed to notice the meteoric rise in the popularity and availability of CBD products since they first entered the market under prescription in 2015.
Now, with almost two million UK users, CBD’s unique qualities and range of uses have caught the attention of mental health sufferers and practitioners alike.
CBD is often touted as an anxiety treatment – but how might it help?
We’ll look at some of the latest research and discuss the potential use of CBD oil for anxiety.
How might CBD oil help with anxiety problems?
Although cannabis products have been used medicinally for millennia, it has only been in the past decade that medical professionals have benefitted from its wider legality to scrutinize its impact on mental health.
There is a school of thought that CBD might help with anxiety problems.
It is worth noting that, as emphasised in The Lancet in 2019, there is no consensus on the impact of CBD on anxiety, and more research is required.
But how might CBD oil help with anxiety problems?
Various studies, such as this 2015 study and another in 2018, have looked to reveal the precise impact of CBD on the brain. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, including receptors in the brain which control anxiety-related behaviours.
The studies suggest there is evidence that CBD could be used to treat a broad range of anxiety disorders – and this is supported elsewhere. Healthline cites studies that support the use of CBD in treating GAD, SAD and PTSD.
However, as stated above, globally we are still only in the early stages of discovering just how big an impact CBD might have on anxiety, as well as on health more broadly.
Take this 2020 study from New Zealand for example; while the study shows a positive link between CBD use and reduced anxiety, questions remain about the precise dosage required for such a treatment to have an impact.
Many users have taken it upon themselves to try CBD products and uncover the benefits for themselves.
One must note that no two users will respond to CBD in precisely the same way, and a conversation with your GP is always a good idea. This is particularly important if you are already undergoing treatment for a mental health issue – and especially so if you are taking medication.
How could you use CBD oil for anxiety – and does it differ from other CBD products?
We have already written about how to use CBD oil, but to summarise, there are three principal methods of taking it. These are:
- Sublingual absorption – i.e placed under the tongue and held for roughly a minute
- Vaporising – using a “vape” to absorb the specialised CBD oil via the lungs
- Capsules – simply taken with water
Generally, the choice of method comes down to personal preference and how much precision you require in terms of dosage.
Note, CBD oil can be used topically, but this would generally be for skincare.
It has been suggested that a dosage of 300mg – 600mg might be effective for treating anxiety. Again, however, this will come down to the individual and you might want to go for the lower end of the range.
While considering dosage, it’s important to be aware that CBD oil is often unregulated and can be mislabelled. Do your research. Buy from a trusted supplier who specialises in CBD products and holds themselves to the highest standards of quality assurance.
In terms of its effect, you shouldn’t notice any difference between CBD oil or other CBD products such as isolates, gummies or tea. What it comes down to is quality and dosage.
Hemp oil vs CBD oil for anxiety – which might help?
This is a question that comes up often and relates to a common misunderstanding about hemp.
Hemp oil contains no cannabinoids. It is simply cold-pressed oil from hemp seeds and has no psychoactive properties whatsoever.
You’ll likely see hemp-based products in cosmetics stores, while hemp oil is increasingly popular for cooking and contains a high level of beneficial fatty acids.
A 2018 study has suggested that anxiety suffers might lack these acids – and therefore hemp oil might be helpful for certain people in treating anxiety.
However, you would need a much greater dosage of hemp oil than CBD oil and there is far less research to suggest it would be beneficial.
For us, and most people, CBD oil wins this one.
CBD oil for anxiety: how might it help?
We’ve touched on some of the science behind how CBD oil might help with anxiety and have shared several studies on the subject.
There’s a case for CBD oil to be used as a possible anxiety treatment – but as of now, more research is required for a firm, medical claim to be made for its precise benefit.
Nevertheless, many people report the positive effects of taking CBD oil on their health and well-being – perhaps you need to try it for yourself.
If you would like to discuss the content of this article further, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our CBD specialists.