Is CBD A potential treatment for anxiety?

We have to get something out of the way first, CBD is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, yes weed/marijuana. It does not contain THC, THC, another component of cannabis is the part that gets you “high”. When you smoke weed, you get both but THC is a more potent component. CBD oil (its most common form) is legal in states that allow recreational or prescription use of marijuana.

DISCLAIMER: I do not advocate the use of illegal substances and in some jurisdictions Marijuana is illegal. I am a believer in liberty and believe that adults should be able to engage in behaviors they see fit as long as it doesn’t harm other non-consenting individuals.

Anxiety is a serious mental illness and while there are degrees of anxiety those of us with it can tell you that regardless of where you are on the curve of anxiety, there are days where it can be extremely challenging. CBD mellows you by encouraging your body to produce more cannabinoids which attach to receptors in your brain called CB1. CB1 receptors work with pain, emotion, mood, memories and appetite (ever smoke weed and have the “munchies”?).

Oscar Wilde
Don’t Bogart ! (A Gen Xer will get it)

The best part about CBD is it encourages your body to produce something it already naturally does and this is essentially your body then calming you. The article here: is a very good summation of the how what and why of CBD. I think as we progress further into organic and natural solutions more and more treatments for mental health issues derived from plant based products is a much better way to go then ingesting more chemicals that suppress receptors.

I found a very interesting testimonial here about how it worked for one person.

“After a few days, I already noticed a major difference. I was more mellowed out overall and didn’t have as many of my typical symptoms of anxiety. A couple weeks in, my intrusive thoughts virtually disappeared. My stomach was more calm, my heart rate got to a normal pace, and I didn’t struggle with worrying about the worst-case scenario in every single situation. I would still have the occasional flare-up of my anxiety symptoms, but it wasn’t nearly as consistent or severe as it was before.”

What a great outcome, it’s certainly worthy of consideration if you have extreme anxiety. Many states now are moving toward a more relaxed position on the consumption of Cannabis products. Make no mistake though, Marijuana in most states and at the federal level is considered a controlled substance and usage without a prescription in those states can result in criminal prosecution. That said the next time you see your Dr. ask about CBD and start the conversation, if you don’t ask you don’t give the opportunity for someone to say yes.

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Surviving 2020 & covid

Chronic Stress = Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

So we aren’t going out on a limb with the title here. I think as individuals with anxiety we can logically conclude that anxiety leads to chronic stress and all sorts of negative outcomes. I’ve done many (hundreds I believe) posts on the outcomes of anxiety. I came across an article here that is referencing studies that are working to CONFIRM the title. It’s one thing to make the logical leap associating chronic stress to Alzheimer’s, it’s another to clinically confirm it.

From the article: “What we know is that chronic stress does affect many biological pathways within our body. There is an intimate interplay between exposure to chronic stress and pathways influencing the body’s reaction to such stress,” said David Groth, PhD, a senior author of the study and an associate professor at Curtin University in Perth, Australia.”

Stress leads to all sorts of negative outcomes.

The article goes on to discuss cortisol levels and the biological impact. Cortisol is a bi product of stress and its management is paramount for anyone with anxiety. We now have research tying cortisol production into Alzheimer’s via chronic stress, which in many cases is a bi product of anxiety. Again I realize none of these concepts are going out on a limb…. We can all logically come to these conclusions.

What happens though is when studies are done and papers are published it helps build a dossier of reference material that can then be used on a broader scale to invoke change at the government policy level. We’ve seen this happen with Marijuana in the U.S. to a large extent. Where studies of the benefits of marijuana where complied to help counter argue the negatives. The result was a society shift in perceptions of marijuana use from the “war on drugs” era.

Will chronic stress go the same route? We can only hope. As more and more research is done into illnesses of age and they correlate back to conditions from one’s youth, the higher likelihood of those conditions being addressed in a meaningful way by society. Simply put, if we know that stress and anxiety increases the chances of Alzheimer’s later in life, wont we do our best to combat it in the present?

Again, one can hope.

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How weed can calm your anxiety

As we stroll into a new decade one of the industries that is growing is cannabis. BACK IN THE DAY…. This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs… If you survived the 80’s like me, you remember that quote. The social stigma of marijuana is gone and that’s a good thing. Full disclaimer, BACK IN THE DAY I followed the Grateful Dead around, I smoked a lot of weed. In my late 20’s I settled down got married had kids started a career.

Fast forward to today. The “weed” today is super potent. What we had in the 80’s simply pales in comparison to what is out there now. I live in the U.S. in a state that has legalized pot sales. Literally 10 miles from my house there are 2 stores that sell pot products it great. So, with the new acceptance of weed, comes some very good news, it can calm your anxiety.

I’m not advocating for you to roll a joint and light up, or pack a bowl etc., you do you. That said science is happening surrounding the benefits of cannabis consumption. I found a great article here about some of the research

From the article: “The study was done on mice, and the researchers focused on a neurological “circuit” in the brain that links the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. They showed that when the mice were under stress, the circuit between the two regions is activated. That link is associated with “anxiety-related behaviors,” the press release states, and as stress builds, the link between the two regions becomes stronger.

 “As people or animals are exposed to stress and get more anxious, these two brain areas glue together,” said Sachin Patel, the paper’s corresponding author, “and their activity grows stronger together.”

To further understand how this neurological mechanism works, the researchers assessed a molecule called 2-AG. It’s an endocannabinoid, a class of neurotransmitters that assists in a wide range of bodily functionsOpens in a new Window.. The 2-AG molecule blocks the circuit between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex by binding to receptors, which in turn reduces stress. The researchers posit that a breakdown in 2-AG signaling could be a root cause of chronic anxiety. If the molecule isn’t produced by the brain to interrupt the amygdala-prefrontal cortex circuit, the connection becomes stronger and anxiety symptoms may not dissipate like they’re supposed to.”

Now the article in of itself is short but it does link to the study cited if you desire to read it. The net bottom line here is a side effect of relaxing laws around cannabis has inspired companies to do research on its effects. We’ve all known for some time that weed can relax you, but studies like this prove it.

This can translate into better treatment options for patients. There is a slew of medications on the market now for anxiety and depression, some with serious side effects. For those of us who are functioning with Anxiety, perhaps cannabis is an alternative to a daily pill? Again, its about what works for you but having options is a positive thing.