CBD is currently an $813 million business. But does it help with stress or anxiety?
In this post, we'll take a critical look at CBD oil for stress and discuss what we know and what we don't thus far.
If you've ever been curious about CBD oil and how it could help manage your stress, read on.
If you're new to the CBD thing, you might be confused as to what CBD oil actually is. Many newbies wonder if it is the same thing as marijuana and whether it will get them high or not. But don't worry, we can break it down.
CBD, or cannabidiol, comes from the same plant family as marijuana, known as cannabis, but they aren't one and the same. Instead, CBD oil comes from a type of cannabis called hemp, while marijuana comes from cannabis marijuana plants.
Marijuana plants naturally have a compound in it known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This is what gives users the "high" effect that some people crave. While this may be present in some medical marijuana, it is absent in most hemp derived CBD products.
In fact, hemp products sold to the general public cannot contain enough THC to give you the "high sensation."
CBD oil is derived from the cannabidiol inside of a hemp plant. Manufacturers create an oil that can be used in a variety of ways to possibly help with a variety of ailments and issues.
CBD oil is very easily administered. You can purchase it in a bottle with a dropper and put drops of CBD under your tongue a couple of times a day. CBD oil is also sold in gummies, edibles, as pills and can be vaped or smoked.
It is up to you how you choose to consume CBD oil, and there is no right or wrong way.
Some anti-anxiety medications are known to create dependency. If your stress becomes so bad that you need to seek a medical professional, you may find yourself leaving with a prescription for a benzodiazepine like Xanax or Valium. If taken over a long-term period, this can create dependency and addiction.
While research on CBD oil is still in its infancy, there is no current research to suggest that CBD oil can create dependency. This is why it is an attractive alternative for some people seeking relief from stress and anxiety symptoms.
In 2010, a study on CBD oil and social anxiety suggested that taking the oil can help reduce symptoms.
This study was done on patients with known social anxiety disorders, not knowing if they were taking a placebo or pills with CBD in them. In what is known as a double-blind experiment, the researchers directly participating and recording data were not aware of who had taken CBD and who had taken placebos either.
In this study, researchers found that CBD oil did have an effect on lowering social anxiety. The study, however, was small and examination as to whether CBD oil can conclusively help social anxiety will need further study.
A similar 2011 study found that individuals who took CBD before public speaking experienced less anxiety than those who took placebos. But, again, research is not yet conclusive.
CBD oil was also found to be possibly effective for a child who suffered from PTSD-induced insomnia in a 2016 study. This child, who was unable to previously fall asleep or stay asleep, was able to maintain a restful period for a longer time. However, as this study only focused on one child, it is not conclusive.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has recently approved a drug with CBD to help with some forms of childhood epilepsy. At the moment, the medication is only for children who suffer from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. The medication, called Epidiolex, is thus far the only medication containing CBD that is FDA approved.
Other medical studies suggest that CBD might be able to help with inflammation from arthritis and other illnesses. Inflammation may be a cause of stress, which could, in turn, help with individuals who are looking for something to help them relax.
CBD may also help with chronic pain, which can, in turn, help relieve some individual's stress. The CBD oil could work to improve chronic pain by reducing inflammation in the body, as mentioned above. According to Harvard University's Medical School, CBD oil may also help with neuropathic pain, which is very difficult for doctors to treat.
Since those who suffer from stress also may deal with insomnia, CBD oil might also help them fall asleep and stay asleep. This can contribute to a more restful sleep, which may make waking hours more bearable during times of stress.
At the moment, CBD oil is not FDA approved to treat stress nor anxiety. But, many studies certainly point to it possibly being a useful tool in managing it.
The FDA relaxed some of the tough laws it had on cannabis in 2015, giving way to allow more scientific research to be done. Currently, we're only just beginning to understand everything it can do for us.