As we learn more about the medicinal and therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD), more practical applications of this miracle compound are discovered. Researchers have found that hemp- and cannabis-derived CBD is viable for the treatment or reduction of symptoms related to a variety of disorders. These include anything from mild insomnia to debilitating conditions such as chronic epilepsy. Most notably, using CBD to treat anxiety is considerably effective at ameliorating symptoms of anxiety disorders, which have become increasingly endemic throughout Western society.
Anxiety in The West, By The Numbers
Recent data shows a concerning trend across Europe and the United States. Hundreds of millions of people – particularly millennials – are suffering from a growing range of anxiety disorders. This includes economic anxiety, social anxiety, neuroexistentialism, political anxiety and environmental anxiety.
According to a 2017 report from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 200 million people living with anxiety disorders in Europe and the US. This number is currently estimated to be growing by over 3 million a year. Naturally, healthcare professionals and medical researchers across the world are scrambling for new methods to alleviate these disorders. For this reason, the introduction of a viable option rooted in natural medicine has been widely welcomed by the public.
How exactly can a single cannabinoid do so much to treat anxiety disorders? In this post, we take a brief look at the origins of CBD’s anti-anxiety usage, as well as some of the scientific literature establishing CBD’s anxiolytic properties.
When Was CBD First Used to Treat Anxiety?
The first recorded use of CBD to treat anxiety was in the 16th century in South Central Asia. Meanwhile, anxiety disorders were treated via various forms of therapy in the West. Until the 20th century, methods like exposure therapy, hypnotherapy and Socratic questioning were used in the West to treat everything from depression to post-traumatic stress.
How Exactly Does CBD Work to Treat Anxiety?
CBD is a cannabinoid, which means its function involves the regulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In its direct interaction with the ECS – specifically the CB1 receptors in the brain – CBD is able to modulate existing serotonin levels, as well as ongoing serotonin production.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which, when unregulated, plays a major role in nearly all mood disorders. Anxiety, depression and stress are all examples of mood disorders caused by unregulated levels of serotonin. Because of CBD’s impact on the endocannabinoid system, it’s now considered a viable form of anxiolytic medication.
Natural Medicine is The Best Medicine
Whether it’s in the form of oils, isolates, concentrates or gummy bears, CBD just might be the breakthrough of the century in the field of natural medicine. Already medical science is moving on to pairing CBD with terpenes to achieve potential Entourage Effects and amplify its health-positive effects.
One thing is for certain: individuals with anxiety disorders can considerably improve their quality of life simply by pairing CBD supplementation with existing methods of therapy.