We all worry now and then, but anxiety has risen sharply as the world copes with the effects and uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how CBD can help you manage anxiety during these trying times, especially when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
Like it or not, anxiety is a part of life. We worry about our loved ones and friends, paying the bills, making mistakes, or saying the wrong thing. That’s even more true today due to the mental, physical, and financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet, much like stress, anxiety can have a positive effect as well. For example, being anxious about doing a presentation at work can motivate you to prepare for it. Point being, we shouldn’t try to eliminate anxiety and stress entirely, but to keep them at manageable levels.
There are many ways to cope with anxiety, such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, staying in touch with friends, and getting enough sleep. But sometimes we need the extra boost. That’s where cannabidiol (CBD) can help.
Here’s what science tells us about CBD’s anxiety benefits and how to incorporate it into a comprehensive self-care routine.
CBD is a non-intoxicating, hemp-derived compound with potent anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties.
Researchers believe that CBD can lessen anxiety by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which includes cannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2), endocannabinoids produced by our bodies, and specific enzymes.
This system regulates key processes, including cognitive function, mood, immunity, metabolism, pain, sleep, stress, and anxiety. In simple terms, the ECS acts like a scale that tips ever so slightly to keep our bodies balanced at the cellular level.
However, studies suggest that chronic stress can suppress CB1 receptor signaling and reduce the levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, effects that are associated with increased anxiety.
There’s even evidence that anandamide levels are negatively correlated with anxiety, meaning that the lower your anandamide, the more anxiety you’ll have.
This may explain why people with a genetic variation that increases anandamide tend to experience less anxiety in their lives.
It stands to reason that raising this endocannabinoid can help with anxiety and support the overall balancing effects of the ECS. Researchers have already found evidence of this in animal studies.
As it happens, CBD is known to increase anandamide levels by suppressing the enzyme that breaks it down.
But that’s not the only way CBD can help with anxiety. It’s well established that the brain’s serotonin receptors play an important role in regulating anxiety, stress, mood, and other cognitive processes.
There’s growing evidence that some of CBD’s anxiolytic effects are mediated through interacting with a specific subtype of the serotonin receptor.
CBD may help our body manage anxiety, but what’s the best way to use it? A great place to start is to pair CBD with other dependable, evidence-based relaxation techniques.
You could take CBD oil alongside a dedicated wind-down routine, which can include reading, meditating, yoga, and other calming activities.
Talking about your anxieties with your friends and loved ones can also be an effective strategy, especially now because so many of us share similar worries about the coronavirus pandemic.
Another popular way to relieve anxiety and stress is massage therapy. You could enhance this practice by using a topical CBD balm, especially in areas prone to tension, like the neck and shoulders.
These are just some ideas, as there are many ways to cultivate your personal resilience in these trying times.
Scientific evidence makes it clear that CBD can have a positive impact on anxiety by supporting our body’s innate anxiety and stress regulation systems.
Many animal and human studies have highlighted CBD’s ability to relieve anxiety, as well as thousands of anecdotal accounts of people who’ve had great results from this natural remedy.
Having said that, CBD is not a magic bullet that will solve your anxiety on its own. Rather, it should be thought of as one component of a multi-pronged approach based on healthy lifestyle choices.
Besides, the worrisome reality of today’s world makes it more important than ever to have a comprehensive plan of self-care.
That’s why the best solution to anxiety and many other issues is a healthy lifestyle highlighted by regular exercise, healthy foods, good sleep hygiene, and avoidance of smoking, excessive coffee consumption, and other detrimental habits.
Incorporating CBD into this kind of healthy routine will build a strong foundation for managing anxiety and stress, especially in these uncertain times.