What Is Anxiety?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), anxiety is “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes” (apa.org). Those who experience anxiety may sweat, feel restless, tense, and experience increased blood pressure or a rapid heartbeat. While it is normal to feel anxiety, it can become an issue when it interferes with your daily life. If this is the case, you may suffer from an anxiety disorder. We encourage you to see your doctor to see if this may be a possible case.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that affects how we feel and act. It often leads to persistent feelings of sadness or loss of interest in activities one used to enjoy. Other symptoms include:
- Changes in appetite- weight loss or gain that is unrelated to dieting
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or hopelessness
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Difficulty in thinking or concentrating
- Increases crankiness or irritability
- Digestive issues that persist
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts
These symptoms should last more than 2 weeks to receive a diagnosis of depression from your doctor. If you suspect that you or a loved one are suffering from depression, we highly encourage you to reach out. Other family members, friends, and physicians can help you get back on track with your life.
What Is CBD? How Is It Different from Marijuana and Hemp?
Cannabidiol (aka CBD) is a naturally-occurring chemical found in the cannabis and hemp plant and is gathered directly from them. It is one of the almost 200 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD doesn’t cause you to feel high and can instead make you feel relaxed or help with chronic pain (keep in mind more research needs to be done). Meanwhile, marijuana and hemp are plants that belong to the same species. The difference is that hemp contains less THC (the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis) than marijuana.
Is CBD Safe to Use?
Like many things, CBD is safe to use- but you still want to take caution. CBD affects every individual differently, so be careful if taking other medications (or have other pre-existing conditions). According to a Harvard Health article, CBD may cause adverse side effects such as nausea, fatigue, and irritability. CBD and medications use the same enzymes to be absorbed into the body- which may increase the pace of how the body metabolizes specific medications. This process can also lead to a higher concentration of medication than intended.
It is also important that you do your own research on many of these products. You may have noticed all these products that have recently come out containing CBD. Some products are higher quality while others may be of lower quality. As noted by the Harvard heath article, CBD is often marked as a supplement- and the FDA currently does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. In fact, the FDA has even released warning letters throughout the years warning the public of new unapproved drugs continuing CBD. Many of these products contained levels that were inaccurate to what the company initially claimed. Before buying any products, we recommend you do some intense research and make sure that you take these products in moderation and responsibly. Keep in mind that there is currently limited research on the benefits and side effects of CBD. More studies will lead to a better understanding of CBD as time passes. However, for now, it is best not to believe all the claims found in the media and market. We highly recommend you talk with your doctor beforehand if you plan on taking CBD.
How Can I Use CBD?
CBD comes in the form of oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vapes, and topicals. You could use a lotion or cream to help relieve joint/muscle pain and inflammation. Some of the ways CBD oil can be studied include:
- Sublingually: Also known as a tincture, you put CBD oil under your tongue for a minute before swallowing.
- Orally: You can take capsules/pills- or add CBD oil to your food and drink (such as smoothies or salads).
- Topically: There are many creams, balms, lotions, shampoos, body washes, and bath bombs you can place directly on your skin.
- Transdermally: You could buy CBD patches and place them on the area you wish to treat.
- Inhaled: There are vapes that allow you to inhale CBD.
Of course, make sure to consult with your doctor first before buying or using any products. They could also possibly recommend you products that will best suit your needs. And make sure you do your research (from credible sources) and understand the limits of the information available on the benefits of CBD.
How Does CBD Work?
Some people have noted that it has a calming effect. Others have found that it helps with joint/muscle inflammation and pain. While it is generally understood that CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), studies have yet to find out how CBD interacts with our ECS.
Does CBD Help with Anxiety?
As stated above, CBD is still in the early processes of research. However, many people claim that CBD has a calming effect. Of course, one must keep in mind that every individual can have a different experience. According to this study from the NIH, they reviewed CBD oil as a possible alternative for anxiety, depression, and psychotic disorders. In the report’s conclusion, they state that CBD plays a significant role in the regulation of anxiety disorders, PTSD, and depression. However, there still needs to be more studies with human volunteers to know the role CBD can play in helping manage systems (as well as possible side effects).
Does CBD Help with Depression?
Just like with anxiety, there are still not enough controlled studies out there to definitively know how CBD can help with depression. There have been a couple throughout the years that show some promising results that CBD may be able to help some individuals. For example, some studies list the positive benefits CBD can have on our serotonin receptors in the brain. Although, many studies have mainly been performed on animals (such as rodents). There still needs to be more controlled studies with human volunteers.
Can CBD Make Anxiety Worse? Can in Make Depression Worse?
While many media sources and companies always discuss the benefit of CBD, they also fail to mention the possible unfavorable effects some individuals may experience. Like with any other substance or medication, some people may benefit more when taking specific medications. However, others may experience more adverse effects- or find that CBD does not have much of a significant impact on them. That is okay, and it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong. Many people have shared their personal experiences on how CBD was not helpful. The effect CBD has on each person’s system will vary from individual to individual. Also, remember that many of these positive claims have yet to undergo more rigorous and controlled clinical trials to test how factual they are. Many preclinical studies show promising results, but their data is too inconsistent in providing any concrete evidence of the benefits of CBD. We encourage you to talk with your doctor about any potential adverse effects you may face if taking CBD. We also encourage you to reach out immediately to your doctor if you feel like you are experiencing more negative effects while taking CBD.
Is CBD Safe to Use with Other Medications?
Many studies, the FDA, and trustworthy articles warn that one should proceed with caution if you plan on taking CBD alongside other medications. CBD is known to cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and damage to the liver. If you are taking other medications with similar side effects, they can increase your chances of experiencing unwanted symptoms.
Various studies also show that CBD and specific drugs are broken down by the same enzymes within the liver. This process can affect how the medication is absorbed into the body and lead to higher (or lower) concentrations- and can lead to more side effects of having the medication not work well. Another Harvard Health article also brings up a study where researchers from Penn State College of Medicine identified 139 medications that may be affected by CBD. This list was then narrowed to 57 medications and can be found here.
We must also mention that because CBD is often categorized as a supplement, many products are unregulated by the FDA. Therefore, many products may not have the dosage listed on the advertisement or packaging. Or they may contain other compounds not listed. If you decide you want to use CBD as part of your health journey, we advise you do your research. Make sure you are buying from a reliable source.
How Much CBD Is Safe to Use for Stress and Anxiety?
The amount each individual needs will vary due to the many factors that come into play (such as body weight or severity of symptoms). Right now, it is complex since there are no official dosing guidelines from the FDA, which can lead to confusion (especially with new CBD users). It is best that you start small and slowly. Start with the small dosage listed on the package and slowly increase the dose to best suit your needs. Similar to taking other medications, it may also be a couple of days or weeks before you notice any results. Your dosage will also depend on the form you are taking the CBD. Some forms of CBD may take longer to take into effect, while others will affect your system quickly. You can also ask your doctor for guidance on what dosage best suits you and your condition.
Here at FEBO we know that new products, technologies, and drugs are constantly emerging. However, in this case, we urge you to do the proper research and consult with your doctor before adding CBD to your health journey. Many pre-clinical studies show promising results of the positive effect CBD can have on anxiety and depression. However, there still needs to be more controlled, extensive studies conducted on human volunteers to understand the benefits and consequences. Until more evidence emerges- stay cautious of what/where you buy. Don’t believe everything you hear, and make sure you don’t fall into the trap of believing that CBD is this “miracle” drug. Take extra caution since many CBD products in the market are not regulated by the FDA. Always make sure you do your research on the product, company, seller, and location/site you are purchasing. At the end of the day, CBD may or may not be the best treatment for your anxiety and depression. Work closely with your doctor and discuss any of your questions or concerns.