Public interest in CBD has grown exponentially in recent years, and much of the growing exposure is due to its potential benefits, especially for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder are common behavioral health conditions that impact a large number of individuals globally. As a result, there is a growing demand for alternative and natural treatment options. In this article, we’ll discuss how CBD is emerging as a promising treatment option for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness and fear about something that may happen in the future. When people experience anxiety, they can feel tense and restless or even experience physical symptoms such as tachycardia, a rapid heartbeat, or sweating. While it is a completely normal response to stressful situations, anxiety disorders can cause repeated, persistent, excessive, and intense feelings of fear and panic.
Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health conditions, and it affects over 40 million adults in the United States and it can cause significant disruption to their daily lives. There are many types of anxiety disorders, but the most common are generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
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Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder, usually shortened to GAD, is a behavioral health condition that causes constant worry that is extremely difficult or impossible to control and lasts for a long period of time. Although it is perfectly normal for people to worry about future stressful situations, a generalized anxiety disorder can make everyday routine tasks difficult, such as checking the mail.
People that have generalized anxiety disorder tend to expect the worst outcome in different parts of their lives, including work, social, personal, and financial situations. This can lead to an individual getting caught in an unrelenting cycle of worrying and struggling to control their anxiety. Over time, this can mentally and physically exhaust them, leading to feelings of restlessness, feeling on edge, and difficulty concentrating, which can cause tremendous difficulty during their everyday lives.
People suffering from panic disorder feel like they are on edge and constantly in a state of fear and dread, even when they are not facing any imminent danger. These can lead to sudden and intense periods of fear and terror that are called panic attacks.
Panic attacks are sudden episodes of overwhelming fear and anxiety that can trigger severe physical reactions such as a rapid or pounding heartbeat, shaking, or nausea. These episodes can last from minutes to several hours.
These panic attacks can occur anytime, while you are at work, driving, shopping at the mall, having fun with friends, or even while you are deep asleep. After the panic attack has subsided, it can leave you exhausted and worn out, leaving you feeling out of sorts and putting a huge damper on the rest of your day.
Related Link: CBD for Sleep Versus Other Sleep Aids
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, often shortened to OCD, is a condition that can cause reoccurring and intrusive thoughts, which are called obsessions, along with an overwhelming need to complete repetitive behaviors, which are called compulsions. These obsessive and compulsive behaviors can take up a huge chunk of the day and cause significant issues when trying to complete daily tasks.
Common obsessions include a need for symmetry or a certain order, an inappropriate fear of contamination by germs, or an overwhelming worry that they will somehow harm themselves or others. While it is common and normal for people to experience intrusive thoughts occasionally, those with OCD will experience frequent and unrelenting thoughts that revolve around fear and dread, making it difficult to experience and enjoy life.
How Can CBD Help?
While research into the potential of CBD to ease the symptoms of those struggling with OCD or anxiety conditions is still ongoing, there have been some promising studies so far. A recent study shows that cannabis can significantly reduce anxiety and also reduce obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Researchers also discovered that cannabis with higher cannabidiol, or CBD, content was more effective at reducing these symptoms. However, CBD that was taken without THC and THC taken without CBD did not have significant impacts on reducing OCD or anxiety symptoms.
This means that the best type of CBD products to use to alleviate your anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms are those that are made from full-spectrum CBD. Full spectrum CBD is a type of CBD that contains all the other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, including a low level of THC.
Taking full-spectrum CBD also gives you the benefit of the entourage effect, which means that cannabinoids are more potent together than they are separately. This gives your CBD a little more punch to help with your symptoms.
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While there is a need for more research into the potential benefits of using CBD to combat the symptoms of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, there seems to be a mounting pile of research and anecdotal correlation between CBD and reducing anxiety and OCD symptoms. Make sure you use a full-spectrum CBD product to get the benefit of the entourage effect to help you deal with your daily anxiety or OCD symptoms.