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CBD is one of the most critical therapeutic cannabinoids extracted from Cannabis Sativa or Industrial hemp. It is being used worldwide for numerous health issues, including stress, anxiety, and depression. These mental health problems affect people of every age, ethnicity, and gender. Research has shown that CBD can effectively reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Anxiety and fear are responses that are essential for the human ability to adapt and cope with threats and survive during an unpleasant situation. However, when anxiety and stress become excessive, they can negatively impact a person's life. One extremely disabling condition where this happens is a social anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety is a common condition that has detrimental and disabling impacts on a person's social life. Social anxiety is characterized by excessive anxiety during social gatherings or fear of being judged in front of a large number of people, for example, speaking at a meeting and other social situations. It is believed that social anxiety has a severe impact on the patients, particularly on the teenagers who may withdraw from communication or may altogether stop going to university or college. They may also show less sense of well-being and may experience relationship breakdowns, increased suicide risk, and unemployment. This means that a substantial social and economic burden is associated with social anxiety.
Although it is a common problem among people, there is very little good quality research on diagnosing and managing this debilitating condition. Currently, the treatment of social anxiety is done through consultations and medications. The use of medications is not as fruitful because only 30% of patients show recovery in their on-going symptoms. Moreover, the current medications have limitations due to adverse side effects.
Can CBD Help With Social Anxiety?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the significant and most famous constituents of the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD has shown therapeutic potential in treating inflammation, epilepsy, chronic pain, and psychosis. Research has shown that CBD can mingle with our body in 65 different areas. CBD can interact with the human endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating mood. CBD also boosts the production and uptake of the serotonin hormone, whose deficiency can cause different types of anxiety disorders. Additionally, different research studies also indicate that CBD has demonstrated anti-anxiety properties in animals and humans. Medicinal and recreational uses of illegal Cannabis reported panic and anxiety as a few side effects.
Apart from CBD, Cannabis also contains high concentrations of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. This compound of Cannabis is highly sedating, and studies prove that it can significantly increase anxiety in Cannabis consumers. In contrast, if a person uses pure CBD, he will not experience any psychoactive effects as CBD acts differently with the receptors in the human body. Moreover, unlike THC, studies support the anti-anxiety effects of CBD.
In relation to social anxiety, the potential benefit of CBD over other medications is that it is fast-acting and does not have side effects usually shown by medications to treat this condition. According to different research studies, 1500 mg of CBD per day is very well tolerated by patients suffering from anxiety, and there are no reports of changes in mood, slow responses, or any other detrimental effects on breathing and heart rates. For example, one of the medications currently used for social anxiety is benzodiazepines. Unlike CBD, benzodiazepines may cause dependence impairment of function and withdrawal symptoms.
What Does Existing Research Say About CBD And Anxiety?
The research paper published in 2015 reviewed different existing research on the use of CBD for anxiety disorders. This review analysed a broad range of studies such as human experimental studies, preclinical evidence, and epidemiological studies. It was found that many animal studies support the positive impacts of CBD to treat anxiety disorders. It was also found that the anti-anxiety properties of CBD are also beneficial for humans, but further research is required to use and support CBD as a treatment alternative for anxiety conditions. The team also emphasized the need to conduct more research studies on humans and determine the optimal CBD dosage for different situations.
A small trial investigated the anti-anxiety effects of CBD on patients with social anxiety who were public speaking. The trial found that patients treated with CBD reported fewer anxiety symptoms and they were more comfortable while speaking. It was concluded that large trials are required to clearly analyse and understand the link between CBD and its anti-anxiety properties.
Recently in 2019, a Japanese professor and his colleagues published the findings of a clinical trial that investigated the effects of CBD on social anxiety among teenagers. The trial showed very positive results regarding the treatment of social anxiety with CBD. A total of 37 teenagers suffering from social anxiety were recruited, and they were randomly allocated to either receive CBD or a placebo (olive oil). Before and after the treatment, anxiety was measured using the Fear of Negative Evaluation Questionnaire and the Liebowitz social anxiety scale. After the brief treatment, the participants were followed up for 6 months for health checks. The results of this trial are the first clinical pieces of evidence that support the potential of CBD to manage social anxiety disorder. The teenagers who received CBD as a treatment showed a significant reduction in social anxiety as compared with teenagers who only received a placebo.
Moreover, none of the participants experience any significant health problems after the trial. Additionally, 53% of the teenagers who received CBD oil decided to receive further treatment in the form of cognitive-behavioural therapy and medication. In contrast, none of the teenagers in the placebo group decided to go for further treatment.
How to Use CBD for Social Anxiety?
Before we discuss any method of taking CBD, we advise you to consult your physician before trying CBD for social anxiety. No matter how many studies have been conducted so far, we still need more research studies, which is why you must have the consent of your physician before trying CBD.
CBD can be consumed in the form of oil, edible or sublingual. If you plan to use CBD for your anxiety, we recommend you buy good-quality products from well-known brands to experience the benefits you are looking for. The optimal dose of CBD for social anxiety is none. Generally, people start taking low doses of CBD. If they find any improvement, they gradually increase the dose; however, they stop using it immediately if they experience any adverse side effects.
The nature of CBD to interact with our body at the molecular level allows it to produce anti-anxiety and stress-relieving effects. You can use different delivery methods and benefit from its incredible properties.