Author: Luke Sholl
Although feeling anxious is a natural human reaction, left unchecked, those feelings of worry can quickly lead to dozens of debilitating symptoms. To find out what you need to know about anxiety, how to deal with it, and what role CBD could play, keep reading.
All of us experience anxiety, whether it's because of work deadlines, difficult situations at home, or simply spending time in public. Occasional anxiety (feeling uneasy, fearful, or worried) is a perfectly natural human reaction. But, it's when feelings of worry refuse to fade that anxiety begins to impact your quality of life.
Sometimes, you know the cause of your anxiety, but, for many, the constant worry persists without a specific trigger or cause. It's in these cases that mild anxiety can quickly lead to an anxiety disorder. Symptoms vary from one person to the next, but it's not unusual to experience a range of mental and physical complaints.
People experience anxiety in lots of different ways, with all disorders varying in intensity. Common anxiety disorders include:
• Social anxiety disorder
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder
• Health anxiety
• Body dysmorphic disorder
• Generalised anxiety disorder
Of all the disorders linked to anxiety, general anxiety disorder (GAD) is probably the most frequently diagnosed. It's also one of the most challenging to treat for the simple reason that many sufferers find the cause hard to pinpoint. The worries associated with GAD are often uncontrollable, and, for people suffering, it becomes incredibly challenging to deal with.
Despite the complexity of anxiety disorders, don't lose hope if you are suffering. There are several ways to treat and manage anxiety symptoms, with the first step being identifying why you're feeling anxious.
Although provisional research suggests genes play a part in developing anxiety disorders, the most common triggers are external. These range from childhood experiences to anxiety brought on by health problems or drugs and medication.
For each potential trigger, there are usually several contributing factors. The examples below highlight situations that may cause instances of anxiety.
Experiencing trauma at a young age can impact thoughts, feelings, and how we deal with future situations. Unfortunately, childhood trauma is a frequent trigger for anxiety disorders, with potential causes including physical or emotional abuse and neglect, loss of a parent, or feelings of exclusion.
Health problems are frequent triggers for anxiety, with many long-term or chronic health conditions taking a debilitating toll on our mental well-being. Anxiety is common in psychological health conditions because it is frequently a symptom of stress and depression.
Anxiety can occur from drug and medication intake. Some psychiatric medications can prompt anxiety, but the condition is most common among recreational drug or alcohol abusers. It's also worth highlighting that some foods (mainly those high in sugar and caffeine) can also contribute to anxiety.
It's entirely possible for the challenges of modern living to trigger anxiety. Whether it's worrying about money, long working hours, feeling lonely, or grief, there are several difficult situations we have to face every day. Most of the time these cases are mild, but symptoms can become more intense if problems persist.
Like many other psychological disorders, anxiety manifests as a variety of physical and mental symptoms. No two instances of anxiety are the same, and both the severity and duration of symptoms will change according to the situation.
Physical symptoms of anxiety can include:
• Muscle tension
• Heart palpitations
• Sweating, trembling, or shaking
• Difficulty breathing (shortness of breath)
• Constant fatigue
Most physical symptoms of anxiety tend to manifest in more severe conditions or as the result of specific triggers (a feared object or situation). Unfortunately, this can lead to people worrying about the symptoms happening again, perpetuating the cycle of anxiety. Avoidance may help control physical symptoms in the short term, but can negatively impact quality of life.
Mental symptoms of anxiety can include:
• Restlessness or constantly feeling on edge
• Trouble concentrating
• Feelings of impending doom
• Spiralling thoughts (constant worry)
• Irrational fears
Mental symptoms can be harder to define and may, initially, be less intense than their physical counterparts. However, it's important to address mental symptoms, no matter how small. Anxiety is very much a condition that becomes harder to deal with the longer it's left untreated. However, the good news is, there are several simple steps you can take to help keep worry at bay.
Anxiety tends to manifest as constant feelings of worry, fear, and restlessness. As a result, management techniques focus on taking back control of your thoughts. While there's no definitive guide to addressing anxiety, the following steps may help.
The first step to dealing with anxiety is to try and stop feelings from spiralling. As soon as you feel symptoms starting, stop what you are doing and focus. Take deep breaths, and concentrate on the present. Doing so can help prevent feelings of worry from getting out of control.
While you take time to stop, think, and focus. Try to pinpoint what is making you feel anxious. If you struggle to find a trigger, consider keeping track of when you feel worried or fearful. Using a journal or notepad to record your anxious feelings can help address the root cause.
Most of the time, we become anxious about situations out of our control or assume the worst when it may never happen in reality. Instead of worrying about uncontrollable situations, focus on the positive “tangibles” and experiences.
For example, if the health of a loved one makes you feel anxious, focus instead on all the joyful experiences you've had together and how you feel when you're with them.
Sometimes there's simply no overcoming a situation that makes you feel anxious. But that doesn't mean allowing symptoms to get out of control. If you have a problematic event approaching, try redirecting your thoughts by focusing on activities you love.
Whether it's being creative, getting organised, or watching a movie, any activity that helps you think about something other than your anxiety can offer great support.
While it often feels like stress and anxiety are the same, there are subtle differences between these two conditions. It's essential you know how they differ because treatment protocols can vary, and you'll want to focus on the best possible therapy or care.
• Stress: A condition that manifests itself as a wide range of physical and mental symptoms and is usually the result of an external trigger.
• Anxiety: A persistent feeling of worry that doesn't always subside, even in the absence of a potential trigger.
Both stress and anxiety can manifest similar psychological symptoms. However, it's important to point out that you can be mostly free of stress and still develop anxiety.
Cannabidiol (most commonly referred to as CBD) is an all-natural compound that comes from industrial hemp. It exists inside the flowers and requires sophisticated preparation before it's ready for consumption.
The reason manufacturers put so much effort into extracting and purifying CBD is the compound's vast influence on well-being. Due to its unique interaction with our body, CBD has the potential to impact our immune, digestive, and central nervous systems, along with the functions they control.
With the ability to positively influence functions such as mood, sleep, pain, and appetite, CBD has excellent potential for people who want a non-toxic, all-natural approach to improved well-being.
The impact of CBD oil on anxiety is a topic of great interest to researchers worldwide. So far, many studies are still in preclinical phases, but the results are encouraging. Several of these studies focus on CBD's influence over major anxiety disorders, but, given the complexity of the condition, and the broad range of symptoms anxiety produces, there's still a lot we need to learn.
Fortunately, CBD oil won't get you high, making it an ideal addition to your regular supplement routine. With the balance-boosting effect of CBD, the compound could prove a valuable ally to how our body manages physical and mental disorders.
If you're interested in taking CBD for anxiety, there are dozens of ways to incorporate the compound into your daily routine. To get the greatest benefit from CBD, you'll want to consume it at times when you need it most.
• For example, if you know a situation or event at work makes you anxious, try consuming a few drops of CBD oil at the beginning of the day. Ingested orally, CBD oil takes up to an hour to circulate the body, which means levels will be at their peak while you're at work.
• Alternatively, if you suddenly feel anxious but can't pinpoint why, try consuming CBD oil under the tongue for a more prominent effect. Taking drops sublingually gives CBD a more direct route to the bloodstream, with effects starting in as little as fifteen minutes.
• There are also other alternatives, such as CBD vape, CBD capsules, and CBD gummies. These all have advantages and disadvantages for anxiety, depending on your lifestyle and needs. Our best advice is to experiment with different CBD products to find what works for you.
Dosing is an essential factor to consider when taking CBD for anxiety. The lower the concentration, the less prominent the effect, although even a few drops of a mildly concentrated CBD product may provide the boost you need.
There isn't a standardised dose of CBD, as every person reacts differently and no two cases of anxiety are the same. Generally speaking, the more severe the symptoms, the greater the dose of CBD required.
If you're new to CBD, the best approach is to start with a low-concentration product and build up slowly. Give yourself plenty of time to establish a routine before increasing either the concentration or the frequency.
Whether you're trying CBD for the first time or looking to fine-tune your wellness experience, Cibdol has a CBD dosage calculator specially designed to give a recommended dose based on several key factors.
These recommendations are a great place to start your wellness journey, but they are just that—recommendations. Should you have any questions or concerns, the best person to discuss CBD with is your doctor.
CBD is an all-natural compound known for its lack of toxicity or intoxicating effects (it won't get you high), but you should be aware of some minor documented side effects. Fortunately, these appear incredibly mild and dissipate quickly.
• CBD intake may cause mild cases of fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and dry mouth. There is also a potential interaction with some prescription medications to consider.
Most symptoms will fade quickly, but, if you become concerned, stop taking CBD for a few days. If you're currently taking any sort of medication, we recommend discussing your needs with your doctor.
If you feel CBD oil could help you deal with anxiety and its symptoms, we have a few handy tips to keep in mind.
• Start low and go slow: Stick with a mild concentration of CBD for at least two weeks to get accustomed to the cannabinoid's impact on anxiety.
• Experiment with CBD: Try different CBD products to find which one best suits your lifestyle and needs.
• Use a dosage calculator: If you are unsure of where to start with CBD, the Cibdol CBD dosage calculator can provide a starting point based on your sex, age, weight, and a few other critical factors.
• Stick to high-quality CBD extract: All Cibdol CBD products undergo strict quality control alongside comprehensive third-party testing to prove they are free of THC and other harmful elements.
• Monitor how you feel: The best way to benefit from CBD is to not only track your intake, but to keep a record of how specific products or doses make you feel. This way, you can tailor your CBD experience to provide the best possible outcome.