The modern world is hectic, and can be stressful, even demanding. But for some people anxiety goes beyond occasional worry and starts to interrupt their daily life.
Anxiety is a medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave, and not surprisingly it's on the rise. Organic products like cannabidiol CBD show promising signs of being able to help with anxiety and low mood, but is CBD oil good for reducing panic attacks?
CBD oil and how it works
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is an organic compound found naturally in hemp plants. It's extracted as an oil then added to a carrier agent to make drops, sprays, edibles, vapes, and even bath and skincare products. Unlike its close relation - THC - it does not create the 'high' sensation associated with cannabis.
CBD works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating important functions like sleep, appetite, fertility, memory, and mood.
Clinical trials studying the effect of CBD on anxiety disorders have shown promising results. Experts believe that CBD oil may be able to help with:
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder (repeated panic attacks)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
This is good news for anyone looking for an alternative treatment to conventional medication, but how exactly does CBD oil reduce anxiety?
The effect of CBD oil on anxiety
Organic compounds, like CBD, influence two of the body's endocannabinoid receptors:
- CB1 receptors - found in the central nervous system
- CB2 receptors - found in the peripheral system, such as immune cells
When cannabidiol interacts with CB1 receptors, it affects the hormone serotonin. This chemical is a key player in looking after your mental health, and low levels of serotonin are associated with depression and anxiety.
If you've ever suffered with low mood then you'll be familiar with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). These anti-depressants, better known as Prozac, are often prescribed to treat anxiety but not everyone is suitable to take them.
Unsurprisingly, some people are put off taking SSRIs by the long list of side effects, including headaches, nausea, tiredness, diarrhoea, and even trouble sleeping.
Natural alternatives like CBD oil are growing in popularity to help with anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorder and panic attacks
A third of people will experience a panic attack at some point in their life. It can happen to anyone, but it's more common in people suffering from an anxiety disorder. When it starts to happen regularly, it's referred to as a panic disorder.
A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense fear or anxiety. It is your body's way of reacting to a perceived threat - even though it might not be immediately obvious what that threat is. Other symptoms of a panic attack, include:
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Feeling faint, dizzy, or lightheaded
- Sweating or shaking
- Rapid breathing
- Tingling in the fingertips and lips
- Feeling out of control
Though some people report feeling like they are having a heart attack, panic disorder is not dangerous, and there are no lasting physical effects. Typically, a panic attack lasts between 5 and 30 minutes, but it can leave you feeling distressed long after.
Panic attacks are often caused by significant life events, like bereavement or the breakdown of a relationship. Work and finance are also common causes of anxiety, but in some cases, there is no obvious reason and it can be difficult to explain.
Treating the symptoms of anxiety
Panic attacks, anxiety, and depression can all be treated with counselling and medication. But for those who can't take anti-depressants or just don't want to, then there are plenty of alternative treatments, such as:
- Regular exercise, like yoga, running, or swimming
- Relaxation techniques and breathing exercises
- A healthy, balanced diet with regular meals
- Peer support from people with similar experiences
Your GP will discuss all these options with you, and they may be able to refer you for counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), if they think you need it.
CBD oil is a complementary treatment, that works alongside these other techniques to help manage anxiety and panic attacks. Most people can use cannabidiol safely without suffering any nasty side effects - it's one of the many benefits of CBD.
How to take CBD oil to treat anxiety
CBD products come in a variety of formats but for panic attacks, we recommend vapes, e-liquid, gummies, and drops. How much CBD you take comes down to the type of product you use - you can read more on this in our dosage guide.
1. Vaping / E-liquid
Vaping with an e-liquid that contains CBD is a great way of managing the physical symptoms of anxiety throughout the day, as and when you need it.
2. Gummies / Edibles
Gummies are soft chewy sweets in assorted flavours with added CBD oil. They are a great way of taking cannabidiol discreetly while on-the-go.
We like Mr Moxey’s Calm Mints, infused with CBD and a natural blend of herbs. Each mint contains 5mg of CBD to restore calm and inner peace.
3. Tincture (drops)
Drops that can be used under the tongue (sublingual) are the best way of managing your dosage. If you're new to CBD, you can increase the number of drops you take each day until you find the amount that works for you (known as micro-dosing).
Finding the right fit for your circumstances can be difficult, but there is plenty of help available. At Origin40, our experienced team is on hand to help - we offer impartial consultations online and in store to answer your questions.
The landscape of CBD changes often, as new clinical studies into cannabidiol and reduced anxiety are regularly published. We work with the country's top neurologists and CBD experts to stay at the forefront of international research.
Our staff are trained to advise and guide customers, visitors, and the wider community on CBD's effects, and how it can help with problems like anxiety and panic attacks.
There is no substitute for medical advice, so if you are suffering from low mood, anxiety or you think you have depression, then speak to your GP. They can give you a full diagnosis before you start using CBD products.