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It’s ironic; I’ve relied on CBD to help me navigate the massive stress and anxiety symptoms that have come with selling this plant medicine. CBD has helped me cope with months and months of high-level stress and anxiety.

According to a host of health practitioners, CBD is helping many people due to its healing benefits. I’ve had a handful of women reach out to me personally for a consult after reading how I used CBD to get off many years of swallowing Xanax. And we’ve had tons of customers tell us how Superior hemp oil has helped them heal their angst and get off prescription drugs that don’t really work anyway.

Today anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older, or 18.1 percent of the population every year.

As we know, Western medicine’s idea of a solution is Band-Aid prescription drugs replete with side effects including addiction.

“Where there is a scientific vacuum, drug companies are happy to insert a marketing message and call it science. As a result, psychiatry has become a proving ground for outrageous manipulations of science in the service of profit,” says psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Carlat, who is the author of Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry – A Doctor’s Revelations about a Profession in Crisis.

Stress: A Vicious Circle

The constructs of our modern times come seasoned with stress. Stress can kill. Consider that just small differences in your hormones, gut health, or neurotransmitters can massively impact how you respond to stress. (Gut health, btw, is VITAL to mental health, and if you contend with digestive issues, it may behoove you to look into a high end probiotic or take a deep dive into your biome with a Viome test.)

Stress begins in the brain and affects the noggin as well as the rest of the body. Acute stress responses promote adaptation and survival via responses of neural, cardiovascular, autonomic, immune, and metabolic systems. Chronic stress can promote and exacerbate pathophysiology through the same systems that are dysregulated, writes an article in Science Direct.

Constant state of fight or flight causes a cascade of stress hormones like cortisol to flood our system and wreak havoc. Our bodies weren’t designed to handle a perpetual state of panic. The next thing you know, it’s rewired your brain, and frantic becomes your default norm.

Brain regions such as the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala respond to acute and chronic stress and show changes in morphology and chemistry that are largely reversible if the chronic stress lasts for weeks. However, it is not clear whether prolonged stress for many months or years may have irreversible effects on the brain, according to a study by the National Institute of Health.

Certain regions of the brain become hyperactive, while others atrophy and even shrink, and levels of neurotransmitters (like serotonin, dopamine, and endocannabinoids) and their receptors also change.  

Epigenetics is very real. Environmental and lifestyle factors can essentially regulate genes, which ultimately controls to what extent the genes are expressed. Our environment and thoughts have an impact on our biology, so long-term anxiety symptoms and stress call for a collection of tools such as meditation, yoga, neurofeedback, and gratitude to not only change your habitual mind patterns, but also to invite your nervous system back into parasympathetic mode. Meanwhile, CBD can help your brain and body literally get back into balance.

3 Ways CBD Works To Heal Anxiety Symptoms

Endocannabinoid System: A Key To Balanced Health

Not too long ago, in 1990, scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a group of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors, which are widely distributed in mammalian tissues. Endocannabinoids and the receptors they bind to exist throughout the body in the central nervous system, glands, immune cells, organs, and many different connective tissues. ECS plays a direct role in homeostasis, which means it regulates every metabolic process in the body to keep things running as they should.

anxiety symptoms

However, deficiencies in the ECS exists in approximately 20 to 30 percent of the population — a condition known as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD), which can lead to a number of ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and migraines.

Factors believed to bring on CECD include poor diet, insufficient sleep, lack of exercise, and environmental toxins.

The ECS becomes dysregulated under chronic stress and anxiety. However, CBD helps restore balance by preventing overstimulation of your CB1 receptors (located in the brain and spinal cord), and by boosting endocannabinoid signaling, which has antidepressant actions.

Neural Regeneration

Cannabidiol has more than 65 “discrete molecular targets” throughout the body, which makes it difficult to pinpoint the sources of its many different therapeutic properties. Studies currently suggest that CBD has “considerable potential” as a treatment by stimulating neurotransmitter systems and neural regeneration.

Although chronic stress can damage neurons and even shrink brains, certain areas of the brain are still capable of regeneration. Throughout our lives, we continue to form new neurons, make new connections, and grow our brains — and CBD apparently boosts this process and helps remedy the brain damage chronic stress has caused. CBD has been shown to encourage neural regeneration, particularly in the hippocampus.


At high concentrations, CBD also directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor (thought to have the strongest role in anxiety disorders), thereby conferring an anti-anxiety effect.

A thing about serotonin: while we’ve been told that it’s the “happy chemical,” this is a bit of a misnomer.

Holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan points out that “in six decades of research, the serotonin (or norepinephrine or dopamine) theory of depression and anxiety has not achieved scientific credibility.”

A New England Journal of Medicine review on major depression stated:

“Numerous studies of norepinephrine and serotonin metabolites in plasma, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid as well as post-mortem studies of the brains of patients with depression, have yet to identify the purported deficiency reliably.”

The role of neurotransmitters is complex. For instance, when considering serotonin alone, its effects are dependent upon the receptors in question (there are at least 14), their location, and concentrations in the synapse. More serotonin is not necessarily better either as high levels can cause serotonin syndrome. Meanwhile, mental health issues can also stem from receptor malfunctions.

Corroboration For CBD

CBD helps us better respond to stress by dealing with the root of our imbalance.

While several clinical trials with humans (as opposed to rodents) are currently underway, there is already evidence of CBD’s usefulness for:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

A study conducted on mice in Neuropharmacology in June 2018 concluded that CBD prevents the behavioral effects caused by Chronic Unpredictable Stress (CUS), probably due to a facilitation of endocannabinoid neurotransmission and consequent CB1/CB2 receptors activation, which could recruit intracellular/synaptic proteins involved in neurogenesis and dendritic remodeling.

Mice pre-treated with CBD also showed a significant and robust reduction in explosive escape (flight) and defensive immobility (freezing), responses that are considered panic-like behaviors.

To best optimize your supplementation of CBD, consider reading our collection of well-researched stories, working with a functional medicine coach, and/or adhering to a non-inflammatory regime.

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