While the FDA hasn’t yet officially cleared any medical CBD products for use with anxiety disorders, there are clinical trials under way. In the meantime, there are several direct-to-consumer CBD products that you can take to help self-manage symptoms of anxiety.
Disclaimer: CBD is not a proven cure for anxiety (yet). But initial research and testimonials show that it has promise for people who are living with anxiety. This cannabinoid has the potential to subdue feelings of worry and make this condition more manageable. Here’s how CBD may be able to help—and how to use it effectively.
Over 18% of all American adults have some type of anxiety disorder. Struggling with chronic anxiety can be debilitating—especially in times of heightened concern. While anxious feelings affect people differently, no one likes feeling on edge or out of control. If you struggle with general anxiety disorder, you know that medications and treatment methods are constantly evolving. One of the newer, natural ingredients that has come to light is cannabidiol, or CBD, a derivative of the cannabis (or hemp) plant.
While scientists were studying CBD and THC, they also discovered something called the endocannabinoid system, a regulatory system comprised of native receptors for cannabinoids. Basically, these plant compounds were a perfect fit for the built-in networks the human body has. The endocannabinoid system regulates your emotions, metabolic system, digestion, and more.
To understand how CBD works, you need to understand the plant it comes from. CBD comes from the cannabis plant, which many associate with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
The benefits of CBD in battling anxiety
CBD was found to work with the endocannabinoid system to send calming signals to the brain and reduce excessive activity pertaining to fear and the nervous system. In studies with human subjects, scientists have used patient self-reporting to validate that CBD does have these properties in people with a range of anxiety disorders, like social anxiety, and associated conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
When I was working as an actor a few years ago, I booked the lead in a commercial for a CBD gum company. Picture this: a woman and her “husband” on the track at a local high school, chatting happily while taking laps. All of a sudden, the woman — me — has to stop jogging because of debilitating knee pain. Her happy, helpful husband pulls from his pocket a pack of CBD gum.
What sets CBD gum apart from something like a CBD tincture or edible is the positive role it could play in oral health overall. Ross points to some research showing that the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could be the next ingredient in toothpaste or mouthwash to help people combat gum diseases like periodontitis or gingivitis. “Some people, unfortunately, have a lot of oral health problems, for those consumers, I would definitely suggest CBD gum.”
What does CBD gum do??
Dr. Michele Ross is a former neuroscientist turned plant medicine expert, whose books include CBD Oil for Health: 100 Benefits and Vitamin Weed: a 4-Step Plan. Ross said that on a practical level, CBD gum could freshen breath, enhance oral health, and may help reduce appetite and burn more calories than non-gum chewers.
This environmentally friendly company is differentiating itself from other companies in the space by avoiding the non-biodegradable polymers contained in other products. Endoca CBD Chewing Gum is 100 percent biodegradable and has no artificial colors or preservatives. It’s organic, gluten-free, vegan and GMO-free, and flavored with essential oils from mint and peppermint.
However, the lack of federal oversight for the CBD industry leaves an opening for confusion about dosing and ingredients, and some companies seem to conflate hemp oil and CBD oil. Hemp oil — which is highly nutritious and beneficial for overall health — is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis plant. CBD, lauded for its anti-inflammatory, antianxiety, and ameliorative effects, is extracted from the flower, stalk and stem of the plant.