According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US. They are prevalent in 18% of the US population, affecting over 40 million Americans.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – 6.8 million
- Panic Disorder – 6 million
- Social Anxiety Disorder – 15 million
- Specific phobias – 19 million
CBD has been found to be an effective method of helping manage these disorders
5-HT1A and Its Role
Let’s start by talking about our body’s 5-HT1A receptors. The 5-HT1A receptor is a subtype of 5-HT (serotonin) receptors and plays a very important role in serotonin neurotransmission. In other words, your 5-HT1A receptors play a very integral part in how you feel on a regular basis. Because of its integral part in regulating your mood, many medications, like Buspirone (Buspar) and Vliazodone (Viibryd), target the 5-HT1A receptors to help alleviate the anxiety. These medications bind to and activate 5-HT1A receptors, which brings about therapeutic relief to reduce it.
Using CBD for Anxiety
In both animal and human studies, researchers found that CBD has been found to activate and enhance 5-HT1A receptors, which explains why CBD may be an effective anxiolytic.
In one particular study, researchers leveraged a simulation public speaking test to see the effects of CBD on General Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) patients. In the study, 12 SAD patients participated; half (6) of the SAD patients received 600mg of CBD and the other half (6) of the SAD patients received a placebo.
Researchers concluded, “Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels”.