CBD Oil for Panic Disorder
Is using CBD Oil for Panic Disorder a viable option? Mental health conditions are rapidly growing in the United States. Nearly 47 million Americans struggle with mental illness each year, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), general anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Usually, such conditions are treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Sadly, these medications have been found to be ineffective with unpleasant side effects, and may even lead to long-term dependency. In fact, some people’s conditions have become resistant to these medications.
People are now looking for alternatives to help with their mental health concerns, and they’re exploring CBD – a compound that studies show can potentially offer holistic treatment to a myriad of health conditions. The big question remains, can CBD oil ease panic disorder? Well, this topic is one of the most debatable and has remained a subject of discussion, with researchers doing more studies and clinical trials to confirm the findings.
Here is a sneak peek of what you’ll learn about CBD oil for panic disorder in this article:
What is CBD?
CBD, an acronym of cannabidiol, is an active compound in the cannabis plant (hemp) occurring naturally. When people hear the word hemp, they are hesitant because they associate it with marijuana, which gives a heavy euphoric effect. However, CBD doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating compound that causes a high.
Understanding Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense episodes of severe panic attacks. Having a panic disorder is no walk in the park; they’re horrible at the same time scary. Due to the ongoing fear and worries, the behavioral change may last for at least a month. Many of us may have panicked at different points in our lives. While panicking may seem relatively common when you’re in a traumatizing situation, panic disorders are something else entirely.
Panic attacks can be terrifying. When they occur, you might think you’re losing control. Several people have one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes and often confused with life-threatening conditions like heart attacks. If you’ve had unexpected, recurrent episodes of panic attacks, and spent long periods of constant fear of when another attack would happen, you may have a condition called panic disorder.
The cause of the panic disorder is not known, but it has been found to run between families and inheritance could determine who will get it. Also, psychological factors, environment, major stress, and temperament that is prone to negative emotions, and could alter your body functions are believed to lead to the onset of panic disorders.
Symptoms of panic disorder
Panic attacks strike anytime without warning — when you’re taking a walk, driving, or sound asleep. You may have infrequent or recurrent panic attacks, with many variations, but typically peak in a matter of minutes.
People with panic disorder may experience the following symptoms:
- Heart palpitations
- Hot flashes
- Fear of losing control or death
- A feeling of unreality or detachment
- Trembling and shaking
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- A sensation of numbness or tingling
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Panic Disorder and the Endocannabinoid System
We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) composed of specialized enzymes, neurotransmitters, and two primary cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors. The ECS plays a significant role in regulating the body’s functions, such as response to pain, appetite, sleep patterns, and mood.
CB1 receptors are mostly available in abundance in the brain, while CB2 in the immune system. The ECS maintains our brains, including parts linked to feelings of panic. The central amygdala in the brain manages emotional learning and responses. That is to say, it teaches our brains how to control feelings of anxiety and react to triggers.
How CBD Can Potentially Ease Panic Disorders
CBD’s regulatory effects on ECS is vital to mitigate the most common symptoms of panic disorders. When you ingest CBD, it can regulate the production of crucial neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which play a vital role in stabilizing mood and overall wellbeing. The primary cause of acute sensations is the neurotransmitters and hormones imbalance. CBD has shown positive signs of inhibiting the release of serotonin receptors which act as a natural alternative to SSRIs, to maintaining the body’s balance.
Also, anandamide is known to subdue feelings of nausea and dizziness. However, during the onset of panic disorders, anandamide levels degrade so quickly due to the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) increase. CBD oil can inhibit FAAH production in the body, therefore, increasing anandamide levels, which has shown positive signs of curbing panic disorder symptoms.
CBD can bind with endocannabinoid receptors in the body and be increased further with its interaction with terpenoids, giving the entourage effect. Carefully selected terpenes hold distinctive therapeutic properties, which have shown to produce potent effects when functioning together with CBD. For instance, incorporation of CBD and limonene has shown great signs of lowering hypertension, thus reducing heart palpitations – a symptom of panic disorder.
Either way, more scientific research is needed on how CBD can ease panic disorders. But, with several anecdotal reports, cannabidiol looks promising in alleviating panic disorder symptoms.
What Research Says
A study was conducted by Vanderbilt University to investigate the use of CBD oil for panic disorder, and it’s related anxiety effects. Mice were administered cannabidiol, and researchers found that cannabinoid receptors control anxiety levels and flight-or-fight response in the amygdala region of the brain in mice.
Although there are medications to curb anxiety-like SSRIs, the associated side effects are unpleasant. CBD can possibly provide relief with little to no side effects.
More animal and cell studies published by the National Library of Medicine have shown cannabidiol, a cannabis Sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug. After studies done on animal models and healthy victims, it was concluded that CBD has anxiolytic properties, which lowers anxiety levels.
Another study done on social phobia patients using CBD found that cannabidiol significantly reduced cognitive impairment and anxiety induced by the simulated public speaking.
Research on CBD and how it affects mental health and mood disorders are in its early stages. Also, most studies on CBD for panic disorder have been conducted on animal models and a few on humans.
What to look for when shopping for the best CBD oil for panic disorder?
Since hemp legalization, several CBD companies are snowballing, and if you’re not cautious enough when shopping, you may end up losing your hard-earned money. A decade ago, consumers had a few products to choose from, but they’re now the are countless products on the market. Just like any other industry, there high-quality and low-quality products. Here are some quick pointers to watch out for to avoid buying low-quality CBD oil disguised as top-shelf.
Source of hemp
The quality of hemp significantly affects the end product. That’s why it’s vital to confirm the source of hemp. Usually, organically farmed US hemp is considered to produce high quality CBD oil without any toxic substances such as herbicides and pesticides that could harm your body. Look for CBD oil manufactured using organically farmed hemp from the US whenever possible.
Reputable brands have their products tested by third-parties, and provide their consumers Certificate of Analysis (COA). Alternatively, you can find the lab results on the official product website. When considering using CBD oil for panic disorder, it’s crucial to read the COA. This will give you an insight into whether the ingredients on the label match the lab-tested results. If not, this could raise a red flag.
CBD oils are available in three categories: full-spectrum, CBD isolate, and broad-spectrum.
Full-spectrum contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes present in a cannabis plant, including THC, the psychoactive compound. In other words, with full-spectrum, you’ll get all the benefits a cannabis plant has to offer. It’s the most revered because of the entourage effect it provides.
CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD oil. During the extraction process, all other cannabinoids and compounds of the plant are isolated. CBD isolate is ideal for anyone not interested in ingesting any traces of THC.
Broad-spectrum is simply full spectrum minus THC. Broad-spectrum CBD oils are perfect if you want to take advantage of all the benefits of the cannabis plant but not compromise your drug screening.
Depending on your needs, be sure to make the right choice to get the best results.
Read: What is CBG?
Is CBD oil legal?
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which decriminalized the sale of hemp, the CBD industry has trended like never before. So far, CBD with less than 0.3% of THC is legal at the federal level. However, at the state level, CBD legality varies from state to state. So, if you’re considering CBD oil for panic attacks, be sure to understand the laws in that particular state.
Should I use CBD oil for panic disorder?
If you’re battling with panic disorder, and you’ve tried several medications without positive results, CBD oil could be suitable for you. Using CBD during a quarantine is also a good idea. However, as a general rule of thumb, consult your healthcare provider before incorporating CBD to your daily regimen.