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How CBD Helped Me Win The Battle Against Panic Attacks and Anxiety

How CBD Helped Me Win The Battle Against Panic Attacks and Anxiety

CBD and Anxiety: Struggling with mental illnessI’ve struggled with anxiety over my entire life. There was always a gentle simmer of stress underneath my calm exterior. Sometimes it was because I was working too hard, other times because I was studying too hard. But I could always get it back under control quite quickly. That was until two years ago when my issues with anxiety took over my entire experience. It forced me to quit my job and radically change many aspects of my life. For the first time in memory, I struggled with a mental illness.

Two years later, I’m happy to report that I am anxiety free. I woke up one day and realized that I felt normal again. But how did I get here? I give thanks in part to daily supplementation with CBD oil.

Perhaps you are wondering why I chose to use cannabidiol (CBD) oil instead of relying on conventional pharmaceuticals like clonazepam and alprazolam. Initially, I was prescribed both of these medications but disliked the results. Although they prevented me from have a full-scale panic attack, they did not make any of my stress and anxiety go away. It was like plugging a dam with your finger; the problem might be fixed for the moment, but I still felt a constant sense of dread. A panic attack could hit at any moment.

Plus, I found that with the anti-anxiety medications I was left sedated. Most of the time I would pass out. I realized that if I actually wanted to fix the problem, I needed to find a longer-term solution.

I began taking CBD oil on a daily basis about one year ago. I found that CBD oil never once left me sedated, or feeling stoned. As the medicinal supplement was allowed to build up in my body over time, I began to notice a real change in my health and well-being.

CBD and Anxiety: Significant changesOne of the significant changes I remember was that I was not constantly living life waiting for a panic attack to strike. I also did not wake up with a constant sense of dread, something I had been living with for a year. Finally, instead of waking up in the middle of the night with thoughts spiraling out of control, I was getting a full night's sleep.

I have found that CBD oil has been able to do what no anti-anxiety medication could match. It helped bring my degree of anxiety back down to a healthy level without simply covering it up. How did a plant-based compound so effectively treat my anxiety when other more harsh medications failed?

Still Don’t Believe CBD Works for Anxiety?

Even if you have read my testimonial, you might still be skeptical or have some questions like: “What makes CBD stand out as an alternative treatment for anxiety? After all, CBD is just one compound out of dozens found in cannabis, and we all know cannabis makes people stoned, right?”

Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. If you, long ago, stopped smoking marijuana due to an increased sense of paranoia, CBD appears to have the exact opposite effect. In fact, I felt a gentle sense of calm. Also, CBD can be sourced from hemp plants, making it increasingly legal to buy, sell and consume in all 50 states and many countries around the world.

The Science Behind CBD and Anxiety

CBD and Anxiety: The scienceBeyond the basic facts of CBD oil, there is significant scientific backing regarding CBD for the treatment of anxiety. If you’ve never explored the science behind CBD before, it works through stimulating various aspects of your endocannabinoid system. This system, among other things, is responsible for regulating mood. If you want to explore the endocannabinoid system more, check out the article on The Endocannabinoids Your Body Produces.

Many anti-anxiety medications were developed to respond to deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system, particularly with the transmission and release of serotonin. If you are familiar at all with any traditional medications, they are actually called SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Recent research has uncovered that CBD has a relationship with serotonin and the serotonin receptors found in our brain. In recent animal studies, researchers found that CBD increases the transmission of serotonin and the signaling of the 5-HT1A receptors. Interestingly, the study concluded that CBD worked much more quickly than pharmaceutical SSRIs did.  

Although much of the research into CBD and anxiety is preliminary, there is a growing selection of exciting findings published on the use of CBD for anxiety in humans. A popular study examined how a dose of CBD could affect people with social anxiety disorder prior to speaking.

The study compared self-reported indications of anxiety as well as physiological indicators in test subjects before a public speaking engagement. The study pitted a control group of healthy individuals against the group of people with social anxiety disorders. When each group was given CBD, the study discovered remarkable changes in their base level of anxiety. Each group reported lower stress levels, and their physical indicators of stress, like heart rate and blood pressure, were also much lower.

Why I Decided to Use CBD for Anxiety

Anti-anxiety medications are not for everyone. While they may help during a crisis, they are not safe for long-term consumption and are prone to abuse. Many people report significant side effects during and after use, like the loss of sex drive, a sense of apathy, and a feeling of being on “autopilot.” These side effects were the main reason why I chose to find an alternative therapy for my own battle with anxiety.

Anxiety is a difficult issue to tackle, no matter what your situation is. While I made many changes in my life that have gotten me to a better place, CBD oil was definitely a major piece of the puzzle. It left me free to continue my journey without feeling overly sedated or like I was on autopilot. Most importantly it killed the overwhelming sense of dread I experienced on an everyday basis. Through lifestyle changes and daily use of CBD, I am in a much healthier space mentally then I was two years ago. 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21307846

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26845556

https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cbd-for-treating-anxiety

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