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Can CBD Help with your Anxiety?

Can CBD Help with your Anxiety?


It’s true that Serotonin, the “feel good” chemical does a lot to stabilize emotions and help you feel calmer and happier… if serotonin is at the right levels. There are strategies you can employ to regulate serotonin, including dietary choices, increasing exercise, or even treating yourself to the occasional spa day. To help amplify the results of such efforts, there are all natural CBD products that you can also use. CBD doesn't necessarily boost serotonin levels, but it may affect how your brain's chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that's already in your system.  CBD also does an excellent job of assisting with bringing homeostasis to the systems within the body. Meaning that CBD inhibits unfavorable reactions and antagonizes advantageous ones, making your body run smoother, which we all know when things are running smoothly, every body is happier. Serotonin also serves several crucial roles within the body, such as helping with thermoregulation, memory, learning, improving appetite, wound healing, and bone health.

Serotonin is naturally produced by the body and has receptors in the endocannabinoid system. In particular, 5-HT1A is associated with anxiety and sleep, 5-HT2A is associated with stress and anxiety, and 5-HT3A is associated with mood changes. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) are well-known prescriptive antidepressants that alter the loss of serotonin within the body.


CBD accesses the endocannabinoid system, mainly influencing the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system, and the mood is mainly regulated by this system, as well as neurotransmitters that communicate with the brain. Since CBD can increase serotonin, it has the potential to work on depression similarly to antidepressants that stop the degradation of serotonin. Additionally, CBD can assist with many symptoms of low serotonin, such as tension and stress, insomnia, and digestive issues.


So, now that you understand CBD and serotonin individually, let’s discuss how the two can work together! CBD can have a positive effect on all of the previously named receptors that are part of the serotonin system, therefore it helps to reduce states like anxiety, stress, mood changes, nausea, and pain. CBD helps to stimulate higher levels of another endocannabinoid called Anandamide, which also has a positive effect on the 5-HT1A and 5-HT3A receptors in the serotonin system, thereby increasing its impact on the production of serotonin. Additionally, CBD suppresses the degradation of tryptophan, a compound from which serotonin is derived. When the bioavailability- the presence within the bloodstream- of tryptophan is increased, you will get higher serotonin levels.


CBD has been shown to be well-tolerated by people with many types of anxiety disorders that include: generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and phobias. Those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and panic disorders may also benefit from taking CBD in addition to their medically prescribed medications.  As a bonus, CBD has little known side effects, and it is proven to be non-addictive and non-psychoactive. Recently, evidence from human studies strongly supports the potential for CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders.


Let’s not forget the abundance of evidence that CBD can assist with decreasing physical pain, whether it be chronic conditions like neuropathy, restless leg syndrome or fibromyalgia.  CBD provides relief allowing you to engage in physical activity which lifts serotonin levels.


Much of what keeps people awake or unable to keep a regular sleep cycle boils down to stress. Even if you don’t have a diagnosed disorder like anxiety or depression, external factors like work, family, relationships, and current events can take a mental toll.

  • What is the best method for taking CBD to help with mood?

Though CBD can be taken in various forms, the most effective method for improving mood is with CBD oil applied under the tongue. The CBD is absorbed into the CB receptors located under the tongue and in the mouth, enabling it to work fairly quickly. It is best to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it, but the amount you take for your issue is highly individualized, so you may need to try several different dosing amounts before finding what works. Gummies and infusions are options as well, especially if digestive issues play a large role in the mood disorder you wish to regulate. This is because of the impact that CBD can have on the digestive system and the fact that gummies, infusions, and other ingestibles must be metabolized. However, this also means that the CBD's potency is reduced, and it takes longer to feel its impact.
  • Is CBD okay to take with anti-depressants?

The best advice is to check in with your psychiatrist, or primary care physician (whoever is prescribing your anti-depressants) first before you start taking CBD or any CBD-based supplements. While there isn’t much information on adverse effects in general, CBD is not recommended to be taken in conjunction with Tegretol, or carbamazepine that is an anti-seizure medication sometimes prescribed to treat bipolar disorder.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.   

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