CBD – Anxiety and the Holidays

Let’s face it. Holidays are crazier than ever – it is so easy to get caught up in the frenzy that we don’t enjoy the festive times the way we should.

There are relatives and friends to buy for, food to prepare and cook, baking, rooms to make up for overnight guests and families, stretching the budget to meet all the demands. And even if you aren’t involved in all these activities but are alone during this time, depression can set in.

How does one stay calm and cope?

Who Suffers from Anxiety?

According to Statistics Canada (2014 Survey):

  • 11.6% (roughly 3 million) Canadians 18 or older, reported an anxiety or mood disorder

  • 27% (one quarter) said this affected their day to day activities and ability to work

  • 23% (one quarter) did not seek out professional help

  • 93% are currently taking or have taken prescription medications

  • Engaging in physical activity/exercise, meditative practices or developing a care plan are less common

  • About 8% of Canadians will develop PTSD from a traumatic event according to the Canadian Mental Health Association – 2013.

  • Just over two million Canadians, 15 or older, have experienced Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) at some point in their lives (Canadian Community Health Survey – 2002)

  • According to the Canadian Psychological Association, phobias are quite common and occur in 1 out of 10 Canadians

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA):

  • 40 % (that’s almost half!) of adults over 18 will suffer from anxiety during their lifetime

  • Anxiety orders are highly treatable but only 36.9% will receive treatment

  • Those suffering from anxiety are 3 to 5 times more likely to go to a doctor and 6 times more likely to be hospitalized

  • Genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events can all trigger anxiety disorders

  • Women are twice as likely to be affected as men

  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) affects 6.8% (15 million) adults and begins around age 13

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects 3.5% (7.7 million) adults and women are more likely to meet the criteria than men

  • Specific phobias, affecting more women than men, is at 8.7% (19 million) adults and starts on the average at 7 years old

boy hiding under pillows

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects 1% (2.2 million) adults with an average age of onset 19 years old

  • According to CNBC 2016, 1 in 6 Americans take psychiatric drugs (mostly anti-depressants) to treat anxiety

“Researchers believe that the symptoms of mental illness come from chemical imbalances in a person’s brain. A medication works on these imbalances to reduce your symptoms, or sometimes, to relieve them completely.” ~ Mental Health America (MHA)

Pharmaceutical Companies

Anti-depressant drugs commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia are addictive and have side-effects such as Prozac which is taken by 11% of the population, Librium, Valium, Ativan, and Xanax, described by Chance the Rapper as the new Heroin; he said in 2015 he had been addicted to it.

These drugs work to calm or sedate a person by raising the level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.

Pills

Benzodiazepine (commonly referred to as benzos) addiction is becoming just as serious as the Opioid crisis. The pharmaceutical companies are financially thriving on the benzodiazepine prescriptions that are filled yearly. In fact, projected sales for 2020 are expected to reach $3.8 billion dollars.

According to Dr. Anna Lembke, Chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, withdrawal from benzos can be even more dangerous than opioids which can result in even more anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, irritability, and muscle spasms. In more serious cases, seizures can occur.

In a revised study (2018) by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it was stated that more than 30% of overdoses involving opioids also involved benzodiazepines.

Alternative Method

man, face in hand

There are many people using CBD (cannabidiol) for several conditions including anxiety and sleeplessness.

Studies have shown preclinical and clinical evidence for CBD in epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system.

A study “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series” was published in 2019. The average age of patients with anxiety was 34 years (ages 18-70 years) and for sleep disorders was 36.5 years (ages 18 – 72 years). Most anxiety patients were men and most sleep disorders patients were women. ALL were given CBD for the first monthly assessment.

By the second monthly follow-up, 41 patients remained on CBD and 27 patients remained on CBD at the third-month assessment.

Results showed a more sustained response to anxiety than for sleep; patient records showed a larger decrease in anxiety than in sleep although there was mild improvement in sleep patients.

The results of this clinical study:

  • Support the existing scientific evidence;

  • Safety is not an issue;

  • CBD appears to be better tolerated than traditional psychiatric medications and displays a promise for reducing anxiety;­

  • More controlled and random studies need to be conducted.

Many people who use CBD say that it uplifts their moods, gives a calming effect, and creates feelings of happiness.

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Final Thoughts

There are many current clinical trials being carried out in the U.S. and other countries to evaluate the potential benefits of CBD for many disorders including anxiety.

It is also being studied in combination with THC. In fact, one product called Sativex has been approved to treat cancer pain in Europe and Asia.

More studies are definitely needed but there are many people who won’t go without their CBD.

When it comes to CBD, it’s best to hear what others have to say.

This article does not constitute a legal or medical endorsement. It is up to you to make sure using CBD is legal in your area of residence. It is also advisable to seek the advice of a medical practitioner.

FDA Disclosure

Medical Disclaimer

 

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see full disclosure here.

Have you tried CBD for anxiety or depression? What are your thoughts? We would love to see your comments below.

 

17 thoughts on “CBD – Anxiety and the Holidays”

  1. I am someone who struggles with severe anxiety every single day so I very much appreciate your post. I just began experimenting with different CBD products and I have to be honest and say I haven’t quite found something that has worked for me. I am currently taking prescribed medication and would love to not be on it, so I will continue my search for a CBD product that works for me. This is why I am here today, continuing my research on the best CBD products out there. I haven’t yet tried the brand you are suggesting here so I will be giving it a shot next. 

    Have you tried any brands that you know absolutely do not work?

    Reply
    • Hi Kara,

      Sorry that you have to suffer anxiety every day. You are wise to do your research. Even though there are a lot of reputable companies, unfortunately, you will find some that aren’t. Personally, I have not had any issues with products. Here is a link to a quiz (I hope it works) that might help you to narrow down what products can help you. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  2. I am in complete agreement with everything you said in this article. I unfortunately live in one of the states that will probably be the last to legalize CBD completely, even though in my opinion it is so much better than prescribing opioids for everything from anxiety to not being able to sleep. I hope that the stigma involved with this will soon go away and people will have the option to choose a much healthier option to help them. 

    Reply
    • Opioids are terrible. My husband was hooked on one for awhile because of pain but he switched to CBD and medical marijuana. He doesn’t have the mood swings that he used to have, thank goodness. Hopefully, it will get approved in your state soon.

      Reply
  3. CBD products used to get a bad rap due to their association with cannabis. However, it’s a great thing that awareness has made more people appreciate the essential benefits they offer. The holidays are here and with it comes a lot of stress. I have certain CBD products I use to calm my mind. Although, I’m only a lightweight and all I use are the CBD bath bombs and hemp oils, they really go a long way in achieving the peace and calmness I want. 

    Reply
    • Hi Amanda. Yes, there are so many people who automatically think ‘high’ when they hear the word CBD. Hopefully, with more education some of that stigma is going away. It is getting better.

      I have yet to try the bath bombs. Sounds like you enjoy them.

      Reply
  4. Hi, this is an excellent article. I myself have social anxiety and depression since childhood. PTSD, all that stuff.

    Not to mention just going to work can be traumatic, let alone looking at the corrupt fake news media that posts garbage meant to scare you. Even life itself is traumatizing.

    Yet there is not even a warning label on alcoholic beverages at the liquor store. There are no health warnings. Why is that? Alcohol kills millions of people every year, so do cigarettes, and they have become so normalized that society thinks they are “OK” . 

    The future generations will hopefully be able to do good work with MJ, as they won’t have a vandalized view towards it like my generation did.

    Great article, and nice work. Keep up the great work.

    Reply
    • It is interesting about what you say about warning labels for alcohol. And last night I was watching an FDA approved drug that had more side effects than I could count on one hand! And yet CBD has no harmful side effects. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  5. I read your post with interest.  I have been taking CBD for a year now, to help with arthritic pain.  I have had the “fringe benefit” of stress relief at the same time.  I do feel it is relaxing.  It is not habit-forming.  You don’t have to increase your dose because you develop a tolerance.  It gives you an “even keel” feeling.

    I also use it for my cat, both for arthritis and for stress.  He has become much more relaxed and pain-free to the point where he is running and playing a bit, even though he is 14.  I got him several months ago from a shelter, and the change in him has been quite remarkable.  I know the CBD has helped.

    Reply
    • Hi Fran. Awesome that you are using CBD not only for yourself and your pain but also for your cat. It seems you have found a way for both of you to have pain relief as well as help with stress and anxiety.

      Reply
  6. Hello Mary ann

    I’m curious if CBD can act as a painkiller. I have depression so I’ve been looking into CBD oil to deal with those issues I’m having. There is so much information floating around on the internet that it can be quite confusing at times. Thanks for the  advice you could give me, I do appreciate it.thanks alot Mary Ann for taking time to get this for public it would be very helpful

    Reply
    • Hi David. Many people take CBD as a means of helping with their pain. You are wise to do your research. As you say, there are many companies out there that it is hard to find the correct products. Here is a quiz that might help you to narrow down what you are looking for.

      Reply
  7. CBD is a growing industry  i have taken CBD for almost 1 year and have done much research. CBD does work for me for anxiety and we take about 30mg daily.it really works and I am happy I and that choice to switch to CBD.thanks alot Mary Ann for preparing this article for the public it would really be of great help to people look for a solution to anxiety.

    Reply
    • Hi Nelson. I am glad that you find CBD is of a benefit to you, especially with your anxiety. Since you have been using it for almost a year,  it obviously must work for you.

      Reply

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