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CBD for Social Anxiety [Explore How it Works]

July 1, 2018

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cbd for social anxiety

Social Anxiety has been painted as something cutesy or quirky in today’s world – if you’re socially anxious, it just means you’re a bit kooky, right?

In actual fact, social anxiety is a serious disorder wherein people genuinely fear social situations. It comes in a variety of degrees, but every one of them seriously affects a person’s life and causes emotional and psychological distress.

It’s one of the worst types of psychological conditions to have because it alienates you from those that help you to overcome it, leading to continuous social suffering and a feeling of intense loneliness and despair.

Most treatments for social anxiety involve intense cognitive behavioural therapy, but could we be using CBD to help treat those with social anxiety?

What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety is simply characterized as suffering from a feeling of anxiety, intense stress or otherwise discomfort at the prospect of being in social situations. This differs from regular anxiety in the fact that it only focuses around when you are being social.

‘Social’ refers to any kind of interaction with other people. This is the killer, as human society is built around social interaction. So much of what we do in our lives is necessarily social, so there are more difficulties in living with social anxiety than you might realize.

Most people might assume someone with social anxiety is the person who doesn’t want to come out for the night, or refuses invitations to parties. They might laugh with their friends, jokingly saying “Oh, he’s just socially anxious”. However, while that may be true, it affects a person on a day to day basis as well.

Going to the bank, shopping at the supermarket or even just passing people on the street – these are all social situations that can result in a severe attack of social anxiety. Very often, people don’t understand what it’s like to live with it and assume you’re just being antisocial.

Well, a person with social anxiety is antisocial, but they don’t want to be. It is very common for people with social anxiety to desperately want to be social, but they are simply unable to without experiencing severe stress and anxiety.

There are numerous ways to try and treat social anxiety, but it’s evident they don’t work especially effectively, seeing as social anxiety affects 6.8% of people in the US alone!*

Conventional Medications That Treat Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a very tricky thing to try and treat, because the root cause of it isn’t some sort of mental imbalance or an illness, but an altered, malignant way of thinking.
Social anxiety itself is simply the persistence of negative thought patterns that cause you to treat social interactions as an adversity.

Due to this, the treatment options are scarce. The most commonly utilised is simply self help – the concept of retraining the way your brain thinks through meditative thinking.
This is about as effective as you’d expect – for those with milder cases of social anxiety, it can help to simply reframe their mental state, but most people need something more effective and hands on.

For those people, scaling levels of therapy are the most useful, ranging anywhere from frequent therapy sessions aimed at talking through feelings and discussing the reasons you are socially anxious, all the way up to full on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The latter is what people with serious cases must resort to, as CBT aims to entirely rewire how you think and feel about the world around you through intense psychological therapy.

For those that therapy just doesn’t help, there is the potential to use antidepressant medication, the same as those used for people with depression. This has the benefit of rewiring your brain chemically, especially so for antidepressants focused around Serotonin release. These act by regulating the amount of Serotonin released by your brain, allowing you to mitigate feelings of loneliness, sadness or anxiety. The main drawback with antidepressants, as ever, is the fact that they alter your mental state to such a degree that you will rarely feel extreme highs or extreme lows.

There are also the frequently taken Benzodiazepines, or Anti-Anxiety medication. These work by essentially slowing down the nervous system, hopefully allowing you to relax mentally and physically and avoid unwanted feelings of anxiety of panic.

The problem with these types of medications is that they are very addictive and can lead to a whole slew of unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness, slurred speech and even memory problems.
Is it really worth it to trade social anxiety for a lack of control of your emotions or the inability to remember?

What if we could be doing something different? Could CBD Oil help those with social anxiety?

How Does CBD Oil Work for Social Anxiety?

CBD is, slowly but surely, becoming recognised for the medicinal properties it can have on the human body. From treating aches and pains to skin conditions, CBD seems to have a huge number of benefits for people with any number of health concerns.

However, could we also use CBD to treat mental conditions?

CBD is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis which interacts with the Endocannabinoid system within the human body. This system is responsible for a huge variety of chemical and health processes, mostly to do with how cells regrow and how our central nervous system reacts to external stimuli.

So, how could CBD affect social anxiety? Surely it can’t affect the brain as well as the body?

CBD Oil & Social Anxiety

One study* conducted by Zone et al. found that, after the imbibing of CBD, lab animals all experienced similar effects as felt when using anti-anxiety medication. Lab animals, used as a human model, were given either CBD or a placebo and then made to do a variety of cognitive or physical tests, each straining the animal enough to normally create feelings of stress and anxiety. In every animal that was given CBD, the scientists reported anti-olytic effects, but without mood displacement as is commonly felt while under the effects of an antidepressant.

Another study* conducted by Crippa et al., found that people have been self-medicating with cannabis when suffering from social anxiety, but it was the CBD inherent in cannabis that was providing the majority of the benefits. As more and more strains of cannabis teeter towards a higher THC content for the purpose of getting high, it’s likely that just imbibing cannabis isn’t what you need to help deal with social anxiety.

The exact mechanics of how and why CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid system and helps with Social Anxiety is, at present, unclear, but we do know that it acts in a very similar way to normal anti-olytic drugs, serving to inhibit the brain processes that allow you to experience anxious thoughts, but without the physically addicting effects, or any other neurological side effects like slurred speech or drowsiness. This is massively important, as taking one drug only to develop another serious problem is not ideal.

The important thing to remember about social anxiety is that it isn’t some sort of physical medical condition stopping you from not fearing social situations; it’s just an ingrained manner of thinking.

CBD can help inhibit the progression down this avenue of bad thoughts, instead allowing you to break through and face social situations without utter terror. This is significant because CBD seems to not target the nervous system at such a serious degree as Benzos, or the Serotonin release system like with antidepressants; this means that you can enjoy the reduction of anxiety or panic, without having to suffer the possibly serious side effects of either drug.

Patients in a variety of studies have been demonstrated to be able to beat their anxious thoughts thanks to the effects of CBD. That said, it would be nice if we knew why.

Final Thoughts on CBD for Social Anxiety

CBD is widely becoming known as a bit of a miracle drug – it acts effectively in a variety of ways, allowing the body to heal itself faster, or affect your mood in positive ways.

CBD and its interactions with the brain’s mental states is still being studied and understood, thanks to a lack of funding towards CBD research – something that is, ever so slowly, being alleviated. We only know the effects that CBD has on those with social anxiety, but not the exact mechanisms of why it works.

But the important thing is that it has been demonstrated to work. We still may not know the exact processes, but we do know that CBD helps deal with social anxiety, all with little to no side effects.

Thanks to CBD being thankfully legal in many countries to purchase medicinally, consider trying it to help deal with your social anxiety – you might find it’s just what you need.

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Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller, age 53 is an Ex Railyard Engineer who suffers from chronic back pain and anxiety. Jonathan's goal was to create an unbiased site that would provide anyone who seeks help in CBD oil as a treatment, with accurate and helpful information.
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Getting Started with CBD Oil

If you suffer from anxiety (like me), depression or pain and are looking to get started with CBD oil, you need information on how to buy CBD oil, or you’re simply looking to learn more about CBD products, you’ve arrived at the right place.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has significant medical benefits. CBD can be extracted from two different species of the Cannabis Sativa L plant, which include Cannabis and Hemp. Unlike its rival THC, CBD does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.

One of the main advantages of CBD is its non-psychoactive affect making it a great option for people looking for relief from inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, spasms, and other conditions.
 
As I mentioned above the primary distinction between Hemp and CBD oil is the part of the plant they are derived from and what parts of the plant are used to create the oil. Hemp oil is typically made from pressing cannabis seeds to extract the fatty oil from within, while some that have mastered the CBD extraction process also use the flowers as they contain high percentages of CBD. CBD oil, on the other hand, is usually made from the flowers of cannabis plant through various extraction methods.

How Does CBD Affect Your Body?

The way marijuana affects your body varies from person to person as it will often depend on genetics, tolerance to the cannabinoids, medical health, DNA, and more. It also depends on the way you consume the CBD, for example, the effects of vaping CBD are far different to smoking it in the form of high-CBD cannabis strains. 

CBD and the way it affects us is still of somewhat a mystery to researchers they still try to figure out how it effects the EndoCannabinoid system. During the previous century, it was discovered that our bodies have receptors within the brain and central nervous system. Specific cannabinoids such as CBD bind to those receptors and activate the EndoCannabinoid System (ECS). This then provides a wide range of psychological and physical benefits helping the body.

Without going into specifics, cannabinoids signal to the body to create endocannabinoids and build more receptors. This helps the body to limit things associated with pain and inflammation, repairs cells and provides a wide range of other health benefits. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD is thought to be the ultimate anti-inflammatory cannabinoid.

Want to learn more about how CBD works read: How Long Does it Take CBD to Work

Medical Benefits of CBD

There is a misconception as to whether CBD can help treat patients, similar to pharmaceutical medicine, but thanks to the internet and a few different medical studies patients and researchers have been exposing their findings on how CBD oil is helping to cure a wide range of medical conditions.

The most popular story was the one of Charlotte Figi. At the time Charlotte was only 6 years old. As a little girl, she was experiencing over 300 epileptic seizures per week until she was successfully treated by a CBD-rich strain oil, later named Charlotte’s Web.

The high-quality CBD oil, changed her life, helping her to overcome a 6-year battle. Since her story hit the news, CBD and other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are constantly being researched to understand how they can help to treat different medical conditions. As a matter of fact, CBD has been thought to help treat over 170 medical conditions, among them severe conditions such as Anorexia, Cancer, Arthritis, Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and PTSD.

Recent studies have even shown that CBD, may cure life-threatening diseases by altering genes. Other studies have proven that it might even be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and chronic pain.

The way that CBD works is that it interacts with receptors located in different parts of the central nervous system. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2. Both reflect the areas of the brain they interact with such as the limbic system. When taking CBD, this cannabinoid locks in on these receptors and affects the body in different ways. For example, it can help to block the pain caused by specific medical conditions.

While numerous studies have shown promising results, it is important to understand that CBD research is still at premature stages. A 2011 study that researched CBD for fibromyalgia showed extremely promising results. 56 of 112 participants who took CBD in the form of oil saw a great reduction in their symptoms and pain, while those using traditional methods didn’t see hardly any improvement.

Can you Buy CBD if you live in an illegal state?

The process is not cut-&-dry, and but thanks to the Farm Bill of 2014, forms of CBD can now be delivered to your doorstep. Those that live in recreational states can purchase CBD cannabis oil which is high in potency and extremely effective for helping to treat severe medical conditions, while those that live in other states that are not medical or recreational can benefit from CBD hemp oil. CBD Hemp oil is perfect for helping to treat a wide range of conditions including anxiety, depression and acute pain. 

Who is NaturalWellNessCBDOil?

My name is Jonathan, and I’ve created this loving resource that is packed with information about CBD oil. I am growing a community on Facebook and are constantly engaging with different people to help them make more informed decisions. I review products on a daily basis and provide unbiased reviews about some of the top CBD oil manufacturers. All the information on the site is FREE; I only ask that you help to share the information you find on the site with other people that are suffering. 

To your health and happiness.