Monday, January 18, 2021

Taking CBD for Anxiety Relief

I have anxiety. I was in denial about that until just a few years ago. As a teenager I was aware I was depressed, but I pushed that aside and deep inside, but when mental health stuff came up again strongly about five years ago, I was sure it was depression. But when I explained what was actually happening to a good friend, they pointed out that some of what I thought was depression was actually anxiety. Oh, and panic attacks? That's anxiety. I guess I was in denial about that because it was embarrassing enough to be depressed, but to admit to having anxiety made me feel like I was calling myself a scaredy cat and not a strong woman. I know that is very judgemental of myself, but it was even harder to admit to myself that I was anxious than admitting I was depressed (and even that was a big challenge and took almost a year of therapy to tease out). 

Anxiety can really suck. 

It can make phone calls feel scary, either making them or answering them. 

It can make social get togethers intimidating.

It can make you afraid that you'll lose your friends and be all alone in the world.

It can make you constantly fearful that you'll lose your job. 

It can make you have panic attacks that make you have a hard time breathing and your chest hurt.

It can make you spiral into all sorts of what-ifs, catastrophizing and assuming the worst will happen, no matter how unlikely.

It can be so bad that it makes your life feel so terrible that you even contemplate ending it.

Anxiety sucks.

But you don't have to live with constant anxiety. There are ways that someone can lessen that anxiety to a more manageable level or even get rid of it completely.

Therapy rocks. I'm a big fan of therapy. But when I started therapy for my anxiety, my anxiety was in such a bad place that the therapy wasn't able to be effective. I needed medication to even be in a headspace to be able to benefit from therapy.

Anxiety medication can be helpful, but most of these medications come with side effects. One of them that I was on seems to have messed up my thyroid. Others make you exhausted. Some can be very addictive.

So what do you do?

Taking CBD from places like Cannabotech is a very good alternative.

While people used to associate marijuana with stoners and getting high, fortunately the world has evolved and people are seeing the medicinal benefits of this plant. There are benefits of both the THC and the CBD components of the cannabis plant, but while THC makes people high, CBD does not.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical found in the cannabis sativa plant. There are many different health effects by using CBD, and the reason it works is as follows. 

We have something in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system  that is a complex cell signaling system that plays a role in regulating and maintaining homeostasis in the body. It affects the brain, endocrine, and immune system among others. There are receptors for this system all over the body. Our bodies make endocannabinoid which are a type of cannabinoid made by our body, even in people that never have anything to do with the cannabis plant. Mental illness is thought to be caused by the endocannabinoid system not working properly. When one takes CBD, the endocannabinoid receptors in the body bind these plant based endocannabinoids which signal the endocannabinoid system that it needs to take action.

One of the ways that this system takes action is by alleviating anxiety. Alleviating pain and reducing inflammation is another way they work, which is why many people take CBD for chronic pain. Right after the endocannabinoids are used, enzymes break them up, so they don't remain in the body, which is how they aren't addictive. 

While researchers are still figuring out exactly how the endocannabinoid system works, enough studies have shown that CBD can help with these, even if we don't know the exact mechanism.

Some people take CBD daily as a preventative, so they can get through their days without anxiety. Other people take it on an as needed basis. Depending what your ailments are, you can vary how often you take it.

Speak to your doctor or psychiatrist about whether CBD would be helpful to you. I know my psychiatrist definitely approves of it and thinks it is much better to take than any benzodiazapenes, which are the commonly given medications for panic attacks.

If you suffer from anxiety, you don't need to live in a constant state of panic. There are solutions. CBD might be right for you.

Have you ever used CBD for anxiety or other issues? What has it been like for you?

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