How to Use CBD Hemp Oil for Anxiety Relief
Trying to find a natural and non-pharmaceutical solution to debilitating anxiety disorders can feel daunting. When trying to treat anxiety relief from a natural approach, typically doctors and therapists suggest a hand full of important behavioral changes to address the underlying problems, these include diet, exercise and meditation. While these lifestyle changes are extremely vital to longterm recovery, they often cannot provide immediate relief for high levels of panic and anxiety. When well practiced, and once anxiety is no longer at a boiling point, meditation and other mindful activities are extremely effective, but in an extreme moment of stress it often is simply not enough to overcome these factors. Many people suffering from anxiety related disorders are now turning towards CBD hemp oil as a way to effectively manage their stresses. Treatment of anxiety with CBD hemp oil seems to be able to reduce stress enough to make it much easier to then tackle a better diet, exercise and meditation.
Cannabidiol hemp oil is found within the cannabis plant and is one of many cannabinoids currently under intense research for a variety of causes. One of the more well studied and most promising areas of research is the ability of CBD to mitigate stress.
How does Anxiety Affect the Brain?
What is going on in the brain when you suffer a panic attack or more generally begin to stress out? It turns out stress is an evolutionary trait meant as a precautionary measure during times of danger. Normally, stress and anxiety will trigger what is called a fight or flight response within the body, releasing a host of natural chemicals and hormones which pump energy out, and reduce energy consumption by non-vital processes (think digestion and menstruation). One primary hormone is called cortisol, which increases heart rate, blood flow, and circulation.
Stress can be triggered by a wide variety of environments and situations, not all of which may make sense to the modern human. Once stress reaches a certain level for prolonged periods it begins to drastically affect not only quality of life, but also the health of both mind and body. To make matters more complicated, everyone experiences, processes and manages stress differently and some people are more prone to development of anxiety and panic disorders than others.
Scientists have discovered two areas of the brain that seem to be directly related to anxiety, the amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala in particular is responsible for translating experiences to the other areas of the brain, which means it is responsible for notifying the brain and body which situations warrant an anxiety attack.
Anxiety is caused through a combination of nature and nurture, however as mentioned above, some people no matter how they were raised will simply be prone to anxiousness throughout their life. Whatever is the root cause, the brain can become wired for anxiety and fear, even if the fear is no longer there. This is why it is important to treat anxiety before pathways become thoroughly habituated in the brain. Currently, only about one third of people actually pursue treatment for their stress and many simply suffer in silence. Thankfully, CBD hemp oil is now being better understood, and an extremely viable option for people suffering through periods of intense stress and anxiety.
How does CBD target Anxiety?
Current research is demonstrating time and time again that CBD reduces stress, anxiety and fear, specifically by targeting areas within the brain. While many researchers are continuing to look into the exact ways how CBD hemp oil controls stress responses, some studies have made certain characteristics clear.
When anxiety related to THC consumption is treated with CBD, it directly targets and reduces the effect of THC. Researchers believe this is based on the way THC and CBD interact with the cannabinoid receptors in our brain. When THC cannabinoids lock onto the receptors in our brain, CBD is able to counteract this locking through indirect activation of the receptor. This pushes the receptor to unlock with the THC molecule much more quickly than would normally happen. This means that the effects of THC are felt for a much shorter period of time.
Next, some thorough studies using fMRI and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) have discovered that CBD reduces fear, stress and anxiety by decreasing brain activity within the left amygdala-hippocampus complex, which if you remember is where anxiety seems to originate within the brain. These fMRI and SPECT results have also shown that CBD reduces the ability of the brain to recognize stress related facial expressions, which could also potentially affect the way we can be externally stimulated into an anxiety response.
Finally, in studies examining at the ability of CBD to manage stress when exposed to stressful situations (public speaking is one example), the results came back in favor of CBD as a way to reduce the inhibiting symptoms of anxiety and fear. Public speakers were much more relaxed, and capable when treated with CBD prior to their speech, than those who were not treated.
With such strong preliminary results, as well as extremely limited and low risk side-effects, CBD offers an extremely viable alternative to prescription anti-anxiety medication. It offers a way to conquer anxiety in moments of need, in order to begin to manage the root causes through behaviour therapy and lifestyle changes.
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