Calming the storm - how CBD helps with the management of anxiety

Laura Johnston
Jun 8, 2021

Anxiety is by far the most common reason why people go looking to try CBD. Although cannabis has long been associated with feeling “chilled out”, this is largely due to the effects of THC (which makes you high). Until recently, however, studies have been done on CBD alone, and it has shown great promise in helping to achieve the same outcome, but without the psychoactive effect.

Similar to some anti-anxiety drugs, CBD is understood to activate a type of serotonin (the chemical believed to be linked to happiness and wellbeing) receptor in the brain, which is why one of its best-known benefits is as a mood enhancer and alleviator of anxiety.

Research on CBD for anxiety has been done for many years now. A study going back to 2010 found that CBD affects the brain, by altering blood flow patterns in the parts that are associated with stress. The results indicated that not only did CBD provide relief from anxiety, but it also fundamentally changed the brain’s initial reactivity to anxious feelings.

Another study from Vanderbilt University found that cannabis can actually cut down connections between parts of the brain known to activate anxiety.

In additional studies researchers equated CBD’s natural effects with those of antidepressants and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medication), further recommending it as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Although there is still a lot more to be learned and proven, initial outcomes like these have encouraged many to turn to CBD as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical medication for treating everything from panic attacks to social anxiety, and more acute conditions like depression.

About the Author

Laura Johnston holds a degree in Business Science with Honours in Marketing from the University of Cape Town and is a qualified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Laura has a background in pharmaceuticals, managing a number of portfolios namely, aesthetics, oncology and complementary health supplements. Laura has more than ten year’s experience in the health industry.

In 2019 Laura co-founded Mary’s Muse, a high-quality, proudly African CBD company specializing in the development, sales and distribution of niche, problem-specific CBD products.

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