While CBD is most commonly used to treat physiological symptoms, there’s a growing body of research that indicates it can also be used in the therapy of a range of mental health conditions, including anxiety. A study by the University of São Paulo found that CBD significantly reduces subjective anxiety, leading investigators to conclude that “These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in [social anxiety disorder] and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.”
While normally I'd be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I've found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go (instead of ruminating on the situation). In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I've still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I'd be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.
In relation to sleep apnea, a 2002 animal study observed the ability of THC to restore respiratory stability by modulating serotonin signaling and reducing spontaneous sleep-disordered breathing. In 2013 a trial using the pharmaceutical drug dronabinol, a synthetic THC mimic, noted improvements in fifteen out of seventeen study participants following twenty-one days of treatment.
Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD, with a notable lack of anxiogenic effects. CBD’s anxiolytic actions appear to depend upon CB1Rs and 5-HT1ARs in several brain regions; however, investigation of additional receptor actions may reveal further mechanisms. Human experimental findings support preclinical findings, and also suggest a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile. Current preclinical and human findings mostly involve acute CBD dosing in healthy subjects, so further studies are required to establish whether chronic dosing of CBD has similar effects in relevant clinical populations. Overall, this review emphasizes the potential value and need for further study of CBD in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Numerous studies have found results that confirm the ability of marijuana to help anxiety and stress. In 2013 an Israeli study demonstrated that treatment with cannabinoids helped to control emotional responses and prevent stress-related responses for those that had experienced a traumatic experience. In 2015 a group of researchers found that cannabis treatments were effective in reducing anxiety in those suffering from PTSD.
Receptors for cannabinoids are found in the digestive, reproductive, nervous, and immune systems. Because cannabinoids interact with almost every system in our bodies, they’re often touted as a cure-all. While they’re not truly able to heal everything, they do regulate neurotransmitter function, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and metabolism.
Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte's Web website, this is the typical first experience. "Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—'it depends,'" reads the article on what to expect from hemp oil. "For many newcomers, they're not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time."