In recent years, Cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil, has garnered significant attention and discussion due to its potential benefits. Specifically, the role of CBD oil in alleviating symptoms of anxiety has come into sharp focus, particularly within the United Kingdom. This article delves into the world of CBD, its use for anxiety, and the science behind its effects.
CBD OIL AND ANXIETY: THE CONNECTION
Studies suggest that CBD oil could help people manage their anxiety symptoms. The compound’s potential anxiety-relieving properties are largely attributed to its interaction with the body’s Endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system, integral to maintaining homeostasis, plays a key role in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and stress.
Several studies have highlighted the potential of CBD oil in treating anxiety disorders. For instance, a 2015 review published in the journal Neurotherapeutics suggested that CBD could be a promising treatment for multiple forms of anxiety, including generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Moreover, a 2019 retrospective case study in The Permanente Journal reported that 79.2% of patients experienced an improvement in their anxiety levels within the first month of CBD treatment.
HOW CANNABIDIOL WORKS IN THE HUMAN BODY
CBD oil interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS. While CB1 receptors are predominantly located in the brain and central nervous system, CB2 receptors are found in peripheral organs and cells associated with the immune system. Through these interactions, CBD can influence serotonin levels – a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in mood regulation.
THE SEROTONIN SYSTEM
Serotonin is often dubbed the “feel-good” hormone due to its significant role in mood regulation. Low levels of this neurotransmitter have been associated with conditions like depression and anxiety. CBD oil potentially increases serotonin signalling by inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin in the brain. This means more serotonin is available in the synaptic space, promoting feelings of calm and well-being.
THE LEGAL STATUS OF CBD OIL IN THE UK
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, CBD oil is legal in the UK, provided it contains less than 0.2% THC. This legal threshold ensures that users cannot experience a “high”. However, readers should stay updated with the most recent regulations.
ANXIETY IN THE UK: A GROWING ISSUE
Anxiety is a common mental health issue in the UK, affecting millions each year. Stressful lifestyles, work pressure, and socio-economic factors contribute to this growing problem. Traditional pharmacological treatments often come with side effects, leading many to seek out alternative methods of treatment. This is where CBD oil enters the picture.
CBD oil can be ingested in several ways, including sublingually (under the tongue), orally (via capsules or edibles), or by inhaling (through vaporisers).
THE RISE OF HOLISTIC, NATURAL METHODS FOR ANXIETY RELIEF IN THE UK
Increasingly, individuals in the UK are turning to holistic and natural methods to manage their anxiety. The reasons for this shift are multifaceted. Traditional anti-anxiety medications, while effective for some, can have unwanted side effects and the risk of dependency. This has prompted people to explore safer alternatives, including meditation, yoga, and herbal supplements, like CBD oil.
CBD oil, in particular, has gained popularity due to its potential anxiolytic properties and minimal side effects. The natural and non-psychoactive nature of CBD appeals to those looking for relief without the “high” associated with THC.
NOT JUST FOR HUMANS
The potential benefits of CBD oil are not limited to humans; it is also being explored for use in pets, particularly dogs. Just like humans, dogs have an Endocannabinoid system that can be influenced by CBD. Preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD oil could help manage anxiety and stress in dogs, although more studies are needed to confirm its safety and efficacy.
Determining the optimal CBD dosage for anxiety can be tricky, as it varies based on individual factors like body weight, metabolism, the severity of symptoms, and the CBD product’s concentration. Therefore, it’s crucial to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
THE ROAD AHEAD
CBD oil is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike its infamous cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not induce psychoactive effects or a “high”. Instead, its potential medicinal benefits, such as anxiety relief, are the source of its growing popularity.
While the potential of CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety looks promising, further research is needed to fully understand its efficacy and safety profile. As the dialogue around mental health continues to evolve, the role of CBD oil in anxiety management will undoubtedly remain a topic of keen interest.
- Grinspoon, P. (2018). Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t. Harvard Health Blog. Link
- Alger, B. E. (2013). Getting High on the Endocannabinoid System. Cerebrum, 14. Link
- Sales, A. J., Crestani, C. C., Guimarães, F. S., & Joca, S. R. L. (2018). Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 86, 255–261. Link
- Linge, R., Jiménez-Sánchez, L., Campa, L., Pilar-Cuéllar, F., Vidal, R., Pazos, A., … & Díaz, Á. (2016). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology, 103, 16-26. Link
- Home Office. (2020). Factsheet – Cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids. Gov.UK. Link
- Mental Health Foundation. (2021). Stress: Are we coping? Link