Why CBD helps anxiety

CBD, or cannabidiol, has become a big trend in recent years, with many speaking about their positive personal experiences with this hemp-derived compound. It’s important to keep in mind that CBD is non-psychoactive, and therefore does not ‘get you high’, but this has left many wondering what the effects of CBD actually feel like. In this blog, we take a look at whether CBD makes you feel relaxed. What is CBD? Before we dive into whether CBD encourages a sense of relaxation, here is a brief guide to what CBD actually is. CBD is a naturally-occurring compound that is present in the Cannabis sativa plant family. It is categorised as a cannabinoid, and is one of many that are present in the plant, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD is not a psychoactive compound, but it is still thought to have certain effects on the human body. CBD is now widely used as an ingredient in supplement and skincare products due to the positive reports surrounding its impact. Does CBD make you feel relaxed? When it comes to personal reports of how CBD has made someone feel, it generally appears that CBD does help at least some people to feel more relaxed. A journalist for Well+Good, for example, found that she benefited from CBD’s calming effects, which helped her to de-stress and sleep better. Most medical research tends to focus on specific conditions, but looking at these can help us understand CBD’s relaxing effects too. A study which looked at the effects of CBD on anxiety and sleep suggested that ‘evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system’ and found that it may have potential to be used for anxiety-related disorders. Why does CBD make you feel relaxed? It is widely acknowledged that CBD does make you feel more relaxed and this is due to the effects it has on your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Scientists discovered the ECS in the 1990s when they were researching cannabis. It is a system within the body that is thought to regulate many of our important bodily functions, providing a sense of stability and balance. It consists of endocannabinoids, substances similar to cannabinoids that are produced naturally by the body, cannabinoid receptors that these endocannabinoids interact with, and enzymes which help to synthesize and break them down. It is thought that when CBD is introduced to the body, it interacts with the ECS in a way that promotes feelings of relaxation. The current theory is that it does this by modifying the activity of the enzymes in your ECS to prolong the availability of the endocannabinoids that your body naturally products. CBD therefore enhances the natural effects of the ECS. These relaxing and calming effects are why it is thought that CBD could be helpful for anxiety-related disorders, such as general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and PTSD.