Combating Lock-down Anxiety – Can CBD Help?

Combating Lock-down Anxiety – Can CBD Help?

The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought forth a variety of problems. What was originally a health issue has broadened to become a political and economic matter as well. From heightened feeling of isolation, growing financial losses, to uncertainties on what may loom ahead, individuals are confronted with tons of things to think and worry about.

Given these conditions, it isn’t surprising that many are experiencing high levels of emotional distress during this crisis. In fact, the apparent psychological harm generated by the spread of COVID-19 has already pushed various health experts to consider mental health as an emerging shadow pandemic.


CBD and Anxiety: What We Know So Far

Whether you’re a wellness guru or not, there’s a big chance that you’ve heard of CBD, or cannabidiol, before.

Essentially, this refers to a type of chemical compound from the Cannabid sativa plant (more popularly known as marijuana or hemp). It is a naturally occurring substance and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. However, what makes it special is it does not produce the “high” psychoactive effect often associated with marijuana consumption. In other words, people can consume it without the risk of floating straight into the ‘cloud-nine.’

Generally, even before the outbreak of the COVID-19, news about CBD and its potential on relieving anxiety has already been circulating both online and offline. In fact, such claim has helped boost the popularity and demand for the product.

To date, while research on CBD’s relation to anxiety still needs further studies, preliminary research on the matter came out to be extremely promising. In fact, the most recent only happened in 2019, when 37 Japanese teenagers with social anxiety disorder (SAD) participated in a double-blind study to examine the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in threating SAD symptoms.

During the said study, participating teens were divided into two groups: the first group were given 300 mg of CBD oil and the other received a placebo, every day for four weeks. After the given period, researchers observed that the group with CBD demonstrated reduced level of SAD symptoms, as measured by FSE and LSAS.

Such findings were consistent with other previous studies done by other researchers, especially those that were published in 2011, which observed how cannabidiol helped in reducing the anxiety associated with public speaking, and in 2015, which suggested CBD’s potential in treating numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and more.


How Is It Possible?

The role of CBD in relieving anxiety is tied to its relation to the body’s endocannabinoid system. Essentially, when cannabidiol is consumed, it acts upon CB1 and CBD2 receptors. However, unlike in the case of THC which has a strong binding affinity with CB1 and CBD2, cannabidiol only works by indirect actions.

Among these include activating TRPV1 Receptors, which are responsible for regulating pain, body temperature, and inflammation, and constraining Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), which results to the creation of more Anandamide, also called the bliss molecule.


Are There Risks Involve?

To date, studies have only discovered few and no serious side-effects when using CBD to treat anxiety. Among the most common side-effects include having dry mouth, feelings of fatigue, and experiencing sleeping difficulties.

However, overall, available research points to no evidence that CBD does any harm to people.


What to Do?

If you are interested in wanting to give CBD and its anti-anxiety promises a try, going for an informed and careful approach is the best way to do it. It is highly advised to talk to your doctor before adding anything to your healthcare regimen.