Do you experience anxiety?
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can affect you both physically and mentally. Are you suffering?
How severe the symptoms are varies from person to person. Some people have only 1 or 2 symptoms, while others have many more.
You should see a GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.
Psychological symptoms of GAD
GAD can cause a change in your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things, resulting in symptoms such as:
- a sense of dread
- feeling constantly "on edge"
- difficulty concentrating
Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact (seeing your family and friends) to avoid feelings of worry and dread.
You may also find going to work difficult and stressful, and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.
Physical symptoms of GAD
GAD can also have a number of physical symptoms, including:
For example, if you have claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces), you know that being confined in a small space will trigger your anxiety.
But it may not always be clear what you're feeling anxious about. Not knowing what triggers your anxiety can intensify it and you may start to worry that there's no solution.
However help is at hand. The new kid on the block is here, and scientific research is backing up it's claims with multiple studies finding it highly effective.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found naturally in cannabis (marijuana and hemp) plants. Early research is promising regarding the ability of CBD oil to help relieve anxiety.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t cause any feelings of intoxication or the “high” you may associate with cannabis.
Learn more about the potential benefits of CBD oil for anxiety, and whether it could be a treatment option for you.
The human body has many different receptors. Receptors are protein-based chemical structures that are attached to your cells. They receive signals from different stimuli.
CBD is thought to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, respectively.
The exact way CBD affects CB1 receptors in the brain isn’t fully understood. However, it may alter serotonin signals.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in your mental health. Low serotonin levels are commonly associated with people who have depression. In some cases, not having enough serotonin may also cause anxiety.
The conventional treatment for low serotonin is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), such as sertraline (Zoloft) or fluoxetine (Prozac). SSRIs are only available by prescription.
Some people with anxiety may be able to manage their condition with CBD instead of an SSRI. However, you should talk to your doctor before making changes to your treatment plan.
For generalized anxietyFor generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as rats.
Study subjects were observed as having lower behavioral signs of anxiety. Their physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, also improved.
More research needs to be done, specifically on humans and GAD.
For other forms of anxiety
CBD may also benefit people with other forms of anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD)and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It may help treat anxiety-induced insomnia as well.