How I Discovered CBD Oil Helps Anxiety
Leaky gut pain is not a medically recognised condition, but believe me, it’s very real. Frequent IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), sudden allergies I’d never experienced before such as hayfever and gluten intolerance, chronic fatigue and the cherry on top – the return of some anxiety, were just some of the symptoms I was experiencing. I began my search for an alternative natural remedy and ploughed through numerous articles about cutting out certain foods, most commonly the recommendation to go on a candida-free diet, which meant avoiding all the best things in life: caffeine, sugar and marmite.
Then, through a search for something to reduce inflammation, I came across CBD (or cannabidiol) oil. Don’t worry, this isn’t a gateway drug although technically it contains many compounds found in cannabis. CBD is actually extracted from hemp and contains no THC (which is the chemical in marijuana that causes users to feel high), this means that CBD oil is non-psychoactive.
I started with 5 drops (5mg) twice a day and felt the difference immediately. Things were working well, so well in fact that I noticed I was feeling exceptionally relaxed and calm. I was working better, thinking better, cooking better. As Bill Murray once said
“The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything”
I resumed my investigation into CBD and found out that not only is it good for reducing inflammation associated with leaky gut and chronic fatigue but is also excellent for mood balancing, stress relieving and calming the nerves.
I also found out that endocannabinoids are made in our own body. The compound is made in the immune system and is the antidote to histamine which is the signalling molecule that’s released to increase inflammation. So as it’s a natural substance that our bodies are already producing it makes sense that a slight boost should have such a beneficial effect.
Medical Properties of CBD
Antiemetic ~ Reduces nausea and vomiting
Anticonvulsant ~ Suppresses seizure activity
Antipsychotic ~ Combats psychosis disorders
Anti-inflammatory ~ Combats inflammatory disorders
Anti-oxidant ~ Combats neurodegenerative disorders
Anti-tumoral/Anti-cancer ~ Combats tumor and cancer cells
Anxiolytic/Anti-depressant ~ Combats anxiety and depression
CBD also has a 5-HT1A serotonin receptor agonist (Source), which relates to CBD’s antidepressant, anxiolytic and neuroprotective effects. The effects of activating this receptor include:
- Relieving anxiety and depression
- Decreased aggression
- Increased sociability
- Decreased impulsivity
- Facilitation of sex drive and arousal
- Diminished food intake
- Prolongation of REM sleep latency
- Improving cognitive functions associated with the prefrontal cortex
- Improving symptoms of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s
It’s been found that in ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome there are 5-HT1A receptor abnormalities which it appears CBD could rectify, which is great news for sufferers.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
Cannabidiol has a half life of around 2 to 5 days (Source), so taking CBD oil daily will gradually build the levels in your body. You should then be able to lower your daily dose, and still get the same results. In fact CBD has been shown to have a bell shaped dose response curve (Source) which means that past a certain point increasing your dose will not increase its effectiveness and may well reduce it. So CBD is fairly economic to take. I started with 5 drops per dose and gradually increased to 15 drops by adding an extra drop every day. For me, more than 15 drops didn’t seem to make much difference so I dropped it back down to 15 drops and settled on that for each dose.
Some articles say that CBD may only be effective when there is a small amount of THC included. There certainly are some serious illnesses where this is true, for example, glaucoma only responds to THC. And in cases where there is extreme pain the addition of THC makes the CBD more effective, though I have found CBD on its own works really well for inflammation and anxiety.
Importance of Finding a Pure Source of CBD Oil
One thing you need to be careful of when choosing a CBD oil is finding a pure source. Hemp acts like a strainer, it can clear the ground of toxins by absorbing them as it grows, and it’s often used for this very purpose, so you need to be sure the oil you use is from a clean source otherwise you are likely to be ingesting pesticides with your remedy. I have tried many brands and found Love CBD to be one of the best. The hemp they use is grown in Europe without pesticides or herbicides and the oil is stringently tested at each stage of production.
What’s the Difference Between CBD and CBDa?
CBDa is the natural raw plant form which when heated becomes CBD. There is some controversy as to which is the best for therapeutic purposes. More studies have been done on CBD than CBDa but CBDa has shown good results in combatting inflammation and reducing tumours. The CBD oil I recommend, and use myself, includes both CBDa and CBD and comes ready to reduce your inflammation and eradicate your anxiety. CBD oil is safe, natural and legal and is now my new favourite alternative product that has proved to be only a gateway to marmite on toast.
Update: And here’s a video with some more information about the benefits of CBD oil. What I found most interesting was that CBD oil is biphasic which means that a small dose will actually make you more alert while a larger dose will have a more sedating effect. Worth bearing that in mind when you start taking it.
“I can relax myself and enjoy what I’m doing and have fun with it, then I can do my job really well.” – Bill Murray