Can CBD Really Treat Your Anxiety?

There have been many claims made about the health benefits of CBD creating the impression that it is a cure-all for just about any health condition including those of a psychological nature. There has been just as much debate as to the types of health conditions that CBD can actually treat and how effective the treatment is at relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression due to the lack of scientific evidence that is currently available.

However, a lack of scientific evidence does not necessarily mean that there is no evidence that CBD is beneficial for the treatment of anxiety. Currently, research is being conducted into the effectiveness of CBD for anxiety. This is a slow process as many factors need to be determined over and above the efficacy of the treatment. The dosage, how often the treatment should be used as well as the safety and side effects of the treatment need to be determined before CBD can officially be approved for the treatment of anxiety.

This research is also crucial for another reason. Due to the extensive growth in popularity of CBD over the last decade or so, many producers of CBD have jumped on the band-wagon to make hay while the sun shines. Some of these products are inferior while others may be entirely ineffective leading to the misconception that CBD has little to no benefits for the treatment of anxiety. Once it receives approval, many of these ineffective CBD products will fall by the wayside leaving room for laboratory manufactured pharmaceuticals to take their place and the production of quality CBD products to continue.

But is CBD really effective for treating anxiety and what is the science behind how it works?

CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system in the human body. This system has two main functions - regulating homeostasis and the immune system as well as regulation of brain activity and the central nervous system. There are two types of receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system - CB-1 and CB-2 receptors. These receptors are present on every cell in the human body. Cells in the brain and the CNS contain primarily CB-1 receptors whereas as cells in the rest of the body contain primarily CB-2 receptors with the exception of cells in the immune system that contain both.

CBD or cannabidiol causes these receptors to fire. In the case of the CB-1 receptors, this affects the way that the neurons in the brain fire electro-chemical signals. When these neurons fire, how often they fire and what causes them to fire are all regulated by the endocannabinoid system. Overactive neurons in certain areas of the brain may be responsible for creating an anxious state or acute anxiety. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating neurons and may therefore act to reduce or increase activity where necessary in order to provide balance.

Promising studies have produced results that propose that CBD effectively decreased performance anxiety and improved speech performance in patients suffering with social anxiety. In 2015, supporting literature was released into the benefits of CBD for other types anxiety including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder as well as generalized anxiety disorder.

Perhaps the best evidence produced to date is the use of the StrainPrint App to enable cannabis users to track and monitor the effects on anxiety. 58% of participants reported a noticeable decrease in anxiety and 50% a reduction in anxiety-related depression.

However, it is important to note that these studies and research were conducted into the effects of cannabis on anxiety and its symptoms and not CBD which is a component of cannabis. It has been found that cannabis (or marijuana) has both anxiety inducing and anxiety reducing properties. This means that it can either aggravate anxiety or reduce it. Further studies into this phenomenon revealed that it is the THC in cannabis that has the inducing effects thereby increasing anxiety whereas as CBD reduced anxiety and its related symptoms.

There is also the issue of delivery that needs to be addressed in the effectiveness of CBD in treating anxiety. There are a wide range of different delivery methods each which have their own benefits to treat a specific type of health condition. Inhalants like smoking cannabis, vaping CBD or using prays that have become available on the market provide a delivery system that provides fast and effective results as the CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the lungs.

CBD edibles including capsules or pills are considered to be the least effective delivery method as much of the benefits are lost through the digestive process and passing through the liver. Topical treatments such as creams or oils that are applied directly to the skin where they are absorbed into the bloodstream are also considered to provide fast and effective results.

While the world awaits the scientific evidence required for CBD to become a registered treatment for anxiety, recent research does seem to provide promising results.

3 Min Read

Tempted To Dial Your Ex: 5 Ways To Know Whether Or Not You Should Contact An Old Flame

Thinking of ringing up your ex during these uncertain times? Maybe you want an excuse to contact your ex, or maybe you genuinely feel the need to connect with someone on an emotional level. As a matchmaker and relationship expert, I was surprised at the start of the coronavirus quarantine when friends were telling me that they were contacting their exes! But as social distancing has grown to be more than a short-term situation, we must avoid seeking short-term solutions—and resist the urge to dial an ex.

It stands to reason that you would contact an ex for support. After all, who knows you and your fears better than an ex? This all translates into someone who you think can provide comfort and support. As a matchmaker, I already know that people can spark and ignite relationships virtually that can lead to offline love, but lonely singles didn't necessarily believe this or understand this initially, which drives them straight back to a familiar ex. You only need to tune into Love Is Blind to test this theory or look to Dina Lohan and her virtual boyfriend.

At the start of lockdown, singles were already feeling lonely. There were studies that said as much as 3 out of 4 people were lonely, and that was before lockdown. Singles were worried that dating someone was going to be off limits for a very long time. Now when you factor in a widespread pandemic and the psychological impact that hits when you have to be in isolation and can't see anyone but your takeout delivery person, we end up understanding this urge to contact an ex.

So, what should you do if you are tempted to ring up an old flame? How do you know if it's the wrong thing or the right thing to do in a time like this? Check out a few of my points before deciding on picking up that phone to text, much less call an ex.

Before You Dial The Ex...

First, you need to phone a friend! It's the person that got you through this breakup to begin with. Let them remind you of the good, the bad and the ugly before taking this first step and risk getting sucked back in.

What was the reason for your breakup? As I mentioned before, you could get sucked back in… but that might not be a bad thing. It depends; when you phoned that friend to remind you, did she remind you of good or bad things during the breakup? It's possible that you both just had to take jobs in different cities, and the breakup wasn't due to a problem in the relationship. Have these problems resolved if there were issues?

You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you.

Depending on the reason for the breakup, set your boundaries for how much contact beforehand. If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.

If you know you shouldn't be contacting this ex but feel lonely, set up a support system ahead of time. Set up activities or things to fall back on to resist the urge. Maybe you phone a different friend, join a virtual happy hour for singles, or binge watch Netflix. Anything else is acceptable, but don't phone that ex.

Write down your reasons for wanting to contact the ex. Ask yourself if this is worth the pain. Are you flea-bagging again, or is there a friendship to be had, which will provide you with genuine comfort? If it's the latter, it's okay to go there. If it's an excuse to go back together and make contact, don't.

Decide how far you are willing to take the relationship this time, without it being a rinse and repeat. If you broke up for reasons beyond your control, it's okay. If your ex was a serial cheater, phone a friend instead.

If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.

As life returns to a more normal state and you adjust to the new normal, we will slowly begin to notice more balance in our lives. You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you. Some do's and don'ts for this time would be:

  • Do: exercise ⁠— taking care of you is important during this time. It's self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Do: shower, brush your teeth, and get out of your sweats.
  • Don't: be a couch potato.
  • Don't: drink or eat excessively during this time. Again, remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Do: think positive thoughts everyday and write down the 3 things you are grateful for. Look at the impact of John Krasinksi's SGN. It's uplifting and when you feel good, you won't want to slide backwards.
  • Don't: contact a toxic ex. It's a backward move in a moment of uncertainty that could have a long term impact. Why continue flea bagging yourself?