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In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, anxiety figures throughout the world have increased massively. Not only from the fear of the virus, but also caused by things like loss of work/income, isolation from loved ones and just the general changes to everyday normality: Things like socializing, sports, weddings……even funerals. This pandemic also brought misery to people already suffering from things like debilitating depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The last 12-18 months have been the hardest times many of us will ever face in our lifetime.
According to the World Mental Health Organization, worldwide, around one in four people will suffer from a mental health problem during their lifetime, yet roughly 60 percent will not seek help.
One of the most popular/frequent questions we get asked at CBD UK is, “can CBD help with anxiety” or “can CBD help me with stress”. Hopefully this article will bring some clarity to anyone wanting to try CBD for these conditions.
Probably one of the most amazing things about CBD (full name “Cannabidiol), is that the human body actually has its own “Cannabinoid Receptors”. These receptors are called “CB1” and “CB2” receptors. Without getting too technical, the Central Nervous System CB1 receptor controls and affects things like movement, memory, mood, pain and appetite (plus a few other functions), and CB2 works on the Peripheral Nervous System which influence things like pain, inflammation and immunity.
Let’s go back to the start of this statement: “The human body has its own CBD receptors”. To us at CBD UK, this is probably the most important fact regarding CBD that ever existed. Your body has a built-in CBD receptor? If this isn’t a sign from nature about the importance of CBD to humans, what is?
Discovered in 1992 by medical experts Dr Lumir Hanus and Dr William Devane, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a complexed biological system within the human body that (as we stated earlier regarding CB1 and CB2 Receptors), impacts all the bodies major processes (appetite, mood, sleep etc).
30 years later and very little is still understood about the ECS apart from it is made up of 3 main components: Receptors, Enzymes and Endocannabinoids.
What we do know is that CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol (more about that later)) can affect the ECS in such a way that appetite, mood, sleep, pain, inflammation etc can all be improved for the better. Knowing this, surely that makes CBD a “medicine”? Now it gets interesting.
Firstly, let’s explain a few key points about CBD:
So, is CBD a medicine? Well in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), will only allow CBD to be classed as a “Food Supplement”. Sellers are not allowed to refer to it in any medical way at all or say it will “cure” or “relieve” anything. They cannot sell it as anything more than a food supplement that can help with “overall wellbeing”? Remember though, we did say this is “in the UK”.
In America (along with plenty of other countries), CBD has been credited as “medicinal” and as such, requires a prescription from a local GP to purchase it? This also applies to selling CBD for pets. In the UK it’s a big no-no and in most other countries, that rule doesn’t apply?
So back to the initial question “is CBD a Medicine”, you’ll just have to decide for yourself. Even if we think it is, we have to say that it isn’t?
According to a PubMed Clinical review in 2015, “CBD interacts with the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, and other receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors”.
The authors of this review also found preclinical and clinical evidence that established CBD as an effective treatment for numerous types of anxiety disorders, including the following:
In a more recent 2020 study, researchers evaluated CBD’s effects in 397 adults living in New Zealand. The study participants received medical CBD prescriptions for a variety of ailments, including non-cancer pain, cancer-related symptoms, neurological symptoms, and mental health symptoms.
All groups reported improvements in their overall quality of life after 3 weeks of CBD treatment. The individuals who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily functions and reduce pain and anxiety or depression symptoms.
70% of study participants reported some level of satisfaction with CBD treatment.
This too is a very important statement…”70% of study participants reported some level of satisfaction with CBD treatment”. This is one of the big mysteries regarding CBD. It just doesn’t seem to work for everyone? For some, it really is life-changing and for others, they do sometimes feel little effect? No one yet understands why this is. 70% is still fantastic and at CBD UK, we have stories from customers where CBD has completely changed their lives? At CBD UK, we would put this figure a lot higher than 70% and we think we know the reason for this. All the people in the New Zealand were given the same product. We have found that some products do seem to work better than others on some people. That is why, with anyone trying CBD to try and help them with things like anxiety, sleep, mood, stress etc, we do spend time explaining to them the best product to try, the best way and best time to take the CBD product, how much CBD to take and also how to try and naturally reduce some of this stress and anxiety. We also always ask for feedback on their experience with our CBD. If they do ever feel as if CBD isn’t helping, we can sometimes send them other samples to try. Sometimes, it’s all about how much CBD helps. Often with good quality CBD, less is more.
Now in our 5th year selling CBD, we do feel that hopefully we can share some useful knowledge and experiences when it comes to trying to help others. This was the sole reason we started selling CBD and now the main reason we are so passionate about CBD.
As we offer various types of CBD (oil drops, capsules, sweets etc), we will always advise how much to take and when etc. Some products react faster in the body also. Droppers under the tongue will normally start to work quite fast. CBD capsules are superb but can take slightly longer to be absorbed (this is good for night-time as the CBD is released slower throughout the night).
All our products come with full instructions but like with all CBD, this is often very generalized. That would be like telling everyone how much alcohol they can drink before they feel drunk. We are not all the same. The key point is to start small and work your way up slowly.
One thing we do tell customers when we talk to them about taking CBD to try and help them relax, is that it is good to try and find a nice quiet place, away from any distractions (especially with CBD oil as the results can often be quite quick).
We ask that they try and sit comfortably and then take a few drops under their tongue and try not to swallow. Try to keep the CBD under the tongue for at least 30 seconds and then swallow it. Then just close their eyes and try and relax. Try and see if they feel as if a weight is being lifted. Customers often say that they felt as if they started to feel relaxed very quickly. This is why we ask them to sit quietly because if you feel this experience, you will soon feel confident that the product is doing “something” at least. They then start to associate that taking CBD, does bring a sense of calm. That is the first step on their journey. It only gets easier from here on.
CBD isn’t a miracle cure and we do not ever try to push it as one. All we can say is that it can help (and often will). I personally have suffered with Anxiety so I can talk from experience, nothing to do with CBD. Once you find that it can be controlled (whether that be with CBD or something like meditation or Yoga, you can stop it ever coming back. Just remember like all things in life, it is temporary.