Guest Contributor: Joe Powers
Does CBD have the potential to help relieve common symptoms associated with anxiety and mood disorders?
Anxiety and mood disorders are increasingly problematic and more people have been turning towards alternative, natural remedies – such as hemp CBD (cannabidiol). Alternative remedies are growing in popularity due to the limitations of traditional approaches. What do you do when the traditional approaches for finding relief aren’t as effective as you might have hoped for or come with side effects that are less than desirable?
CBD is recognized as providing all sorts of relief when taken as a “food supplement.” In the attempt to find relief, CBD as a food supplement could provide much needed relief from common symptoms associated with anxiety and mood disorders.
What are Anxiety and Mood Disorders?
Anxiety and mood disorders may be related but are not considered the same or similar disorders. This is due to the fact that anxiety doesn’t necessarily have a “direct” influence on mood.
What is anxiety disorder?
According to research, anxiety can be a normal part of daily life. What this means is your anxiety is a type of COMMANDING signal – to the nervous system – saying STOP and rethink your very next action or decision.
Fear and anxiety come from the perception that you’re in immediate (real or perceived) danger and you MUST do something NOW to avoid potential permanent damage – to you or a loved one.
When looked at objectively, anxiety could provide a sort of benefit – to the end of having a few extra moments before making a potentially irreversible decision.
Anxiety – as a disorder – becomes problematic when the anxiety sticks around and doesn’t go away. Anxiety becomes a “disorder” when the feeling of worry, helplessness, and/or fear are strong enough to interfere with normal daily routine activities.
- Those suffering from an anxiety disorder may feel uncertain or nervous about outcomes, events or even about something that hasn’t happened yet. If anxiety gets intense enough, it can produce what’s known as an anxiety attack.
- Anxiety attacks are a combination of physical and mental symptoms that are intense and overwhelming. The mental fear is so strong that it could affects the body severely. Mood disorders are a little bit different.
What is mood disorder?
Research shows mood disorders are a type of mental health condition – utilized by health professionals – to broadly describe all types of depressions, bipolar disorders and seasonal affective disorders.
- Any type of mood disorder primarily involves an individual’s “persistent” mood – emotional state.
Types of anxiety and mood disorders?
As with most broadly labeled conditions, each disorder breaks down into more specific subcategories to help professionals determine best course of potential treatment.
Types of anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
- Social Phobia (social interaction cause anxiety).
- Panic Disorder (anxiety without any reasonable cause).
- Agoraphobia (fear of places and situations).
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Common mood disorders include:
- Major Depression.
- Dysthymia (irritable mood that lasts for at least 2 years).
- Bipolar Disorder.
- Mood disorder related to some other medical condition.
- Substance-induced mood disorder.
What are common symptoms of anxiety and mood disorder?
Common anxiety symptoms:
Anxiety isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing and its basic job is to alert you to potential danger. What’s labeled as anxiety, is a triggered response to a dangerous situation. Dangerous situations quickly impel us towards instant action. This instant action is either the unconscious decision to stay or instantly RUN away from real or perceived danger (the fight or flight response of the Parasympathetic Nervous System)
Anxiety and mood disorders become an issue when becoming stuck in a sustained cycle of feeling as though you’re constantly in a dangerous situation – thus triggering longer term anxiety responses. This becomes problematic when anxiety is triggered in inappropriate situations. Inappropriate situations are when you’re consistently not in any “real” [life-threatening] danger.
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling on edge or wound-up.
- Problems concentrating.
- Having mind go blank.
- Tension in muscles.
- Challenge in controlling worry.
- Problems falling asleep.
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Below satisfactory sleep.
Common symptoms of mood disorders vary towards specific disorder.
Signs and symptoms of common depressions include persistent sad, anxious or empty mood and much more. Common symptoms of bipolar disorder include; mood swinging from very UP and towards feeling very sad with various ranges in between. Major depression symptoms involve; having low energy, feeling hopeless or worthless and potentially feeling it all day and more.
Best ways to cope with anxiety and mood disorders?
Several methods are available to help you cope with anxiety and mood disorders. Coping mechanisms and strategies can begin working right away and other times could require a bit of persistence. Warning signs you shouldn’t ignore are poor self care, sudden mood change, substance abuse, appearing confused, talking about suicide, etc.
If warning signs appear TOO intense to treat yourself, it could be best to begin care with a professional who has experience in guiding you towards re-establishing healthy coping habits.
Coping strategies for anxiety and mood disorders include:
- Eat a clean and balanced diet.
- Avoid synthetic sugar and processed foods.
- Avoid (limit) caffeine and alcohol.
- Physical activity, yoga, tai chi, outdoor activities, etc.
- Get enough rest.
- Reach out for support.
What natural remedies help anxiety and mood disorders?
Before deciding on the proper course of treatment, wise decision making could involve choosing the option that has the least potential for harmful and unwanted side effects. If your anxiety or mood disorder symptoms are causing daily interferences, making a few adjustments to daily habits might prove beneficial.
Trusted natural remedies to help smooth disorders – could be as simple as – making small changes to your diet, adding a daily supplement, utilizing essential oils or changing your lifestyle.
A few natural remedies include:
- Hemp CBD oil (available at tonicvibes.com)
- Vitamin B complex.
- Calming herbs (like those found in Chill TONIC)
- Essential oils (Lavender and roman chamomile)
- Physical activity.
- Finding a support system.
For safety purposes, before attempting to try anything, it’s best to first consult with your healthcare provider. A little guidance can go a long way in finding the quickest path towards finding proper relief.
How can CBD help with anxiety and mood disorders?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a primary chemical compound located in the cannabis (hemp) plant.
- CBD is non-psychoactive
- Studies show its a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
- These properties allow CBD to provide relief from the physical symptoms anxiety can produce.
Anxiety and mood disorders are more than a disorder that exists in the mind. Studies show anxiety and mood disorders can produce a wide range of physical symptoms that can dampen quality of life.
CBD can help anxiety and mood disorders by relieving muscle tensions, helping you feel relaxed, relieving headaches and uncomfortable tingling sensations and much more.
CBD also increases anandamide levels in the brain.
- Anandamide is one of the few cannabinoids found naturally in the human body.
- Anandamide is responsible for regulating levels of other chemicals found in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine.
- By increasing anandamide levels, CBD ultimately regulates other important neurotransmitters as well.
Researchers used imaging scans to understand which brain regions are involved with CBD’s anti-anxiety effects.
They found that CBD causes a reduction in blood flow to specific regions of the brain linked to anxiety, such as the hypothalamus. These regions typically become super overactive with persistent anxiety disorders, but CBD was shown to decrease activity/blood flow to those overactive regions. CBD was also effective at reducing the overall anxiety scores of participants in the study!
This has opened the door for clinicians and patients alike seeking alternative ways of treating depression. Unlike CBD, current antidepressant medications have significant side effects and may take several weeks to begin working.
Mental health is a subject that we, as a society, need to become more comfortable discussing. Everybody is impacted by mental health issues in one way or another. Being able to provide natural solutions to address anxiety and depression is what we at TONIC are most proud of. We want to elevate the conversation around mental health & cannabis in order to inform more people that they are not alone and pharmaceuticals with harsh side effects are not the only choice.