The Companion

Articles and resources to guide, inform and inspire.


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Calming the storm - Anxiety & CBD

275 million people suffer from anxiety disorders in the world – that’s 4% of our global population! It was declared the world’s biggest mental health problem, bringing to light some rather terrifying realities. 1 in 6 South Africans suffers from anxiety, depression or substance-use problems according to the most recent stats released by the South Africa Depression and Anxiety Group. In short: the state of the country’s wellbeing is in severe crisis, but many are turning to holistic methods for respite such as CBD oil for anxiety. Anxiety can be treated with CBD oil without the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals, making it a preferred choice for many. 

The state of anxiety disorders in South Africa

It is disappointing that many have no clue where to turn for help when it comes to an ongoing battle with mental health issues, such as anxiety. Many are misinformed and South Africa’s mental healthcare resources are wholly unequipped to deal with the crisis. This has led to flippant prescriptions of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications as a quick fix to a deep-rooted, nationwide problem.  With the increased awareness of alternative treatments, many are realizing the harmful, long-term effects of pharmaceuticals when it comes to treating anxiety disorders and are turning elsewhere. And what’s like music to our ears is the increased consideration of CBD oil as a natural course of treatment to these conditions. 

How CBD works in your body

There exists in the human body two known cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 primarily exists in the brain and regulates the release of neurotransmitters in a way that prevents “excessive neuronal activity” (basically a flustered, anxious brain). This explains the calming effects of CBD and the decreased levels of anxiety in many that opt for CBD oil in treating the disorder. 

An endogenous ligand – a protein in our bodies that binds to a receptor – called anandamide binds to CB1 receptors. The introduction of CBD to the body has a direct effect on CB1 receptors by preventing the enzymatic breakdown of anandamide, allowing it to stay in the system for longer so that it can deliver the medicinal benefits. Additionally, research has suggested that CBD can activate some serotonin receptors associated with alleviating anxiety.

Phew, that was a lot. Let’s move on. 

How CBD can help your anxiety 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid constituent of cannabis that lacks the psychoactive effects of THC (also found in cannabis). CBD may have broad therapeutic properties across a range of mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, and stress. 

Studies have shown that CBD oil not only calms your nervous system responses but positively interacts with the serotonin receptors in your brain to help you feel calmer.Anxiety can change the make-up of your brain in favour of a calmer environment that will become evident over time. But let’s look at some studies that proved the efficacy of CBD oil in treating anxiety:

According to a paper published in 2015, CBD exhibits a varied range of actions, relevant to multiple symptom domains, including anxiety, the fight/flight sensation, compulsive actions, as well as a prevention of the long-term effects of anxiety-induced stress. 

Although some time ago, a 2010 study found that CBD could reduce symptoms of anxiety where the brain scans of participants showed increase in blood flow in the regions of the brain associated with feelings of anxiety. Even 10 years ago, researchers were proving the benefits of using CBD as treatment for anxiety disorders.

A substantial case study in 2016 tested the effectiveness of CBD oil for paediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a 10-year-old girl. The girl was sexually abused and had absent parents for most of her young life leading to traumatic flashbacks, trouble sleeping, and associated anxiety. Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but these positive effects were not long-lasting and had major side effects. A trial of CBD oil in treating her disorders resulted in a sustained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep. These three studies alone point to the effectiveness of CBD oil in reducing levels of anxiety – for some, these are life-altering. Less anxiety leads to better sleep, and better sleep will result in a clearer mind in the morning. The calming effects of CBD oil will ease one’s response to stressful stimuli and feel better equipped to deal with everyday life, and more empowered to live a healthier and happier life. 

Give your mental health a boost

Support your mental health, reset your body and let CBD oil help you manage your stress. With promising research on the long-term impact on your physical health, confidence, work performance and overall well-being, CBD is becoming an increasingly popular aid to manage anxiety for many consumers.

This all being said, it is important to remember that CBD is not all created equal. When choosing a CBD it is recommended you look for a brand that promises organic CBD which is pesticide and toxin-free, and third-party lab tested (so the purity is certified by an external laboratory). In this way, you can be assured that the amount of CBD indicated in the product is what it says it is, and that it is pure.

Dosage of CBD oil for anxiety 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: everyone is different. The things you need to take into consideration when taking CBD oil for anxiety are:

  • Bodyweight
  • Metabolism
  • The severity of your anxiety 

These aspects all come into play when discovering what dosage is right for you. Each individual’s body chemistry is unique, and this will affect how you respond to the oil. If you have previously metabolized medicine faster than others, which could be due to genes or lifestyle, it may be possible that you benefit from a higher dosage. 

For more information on using CBD oil for anxiety, head over to our ‘benefits’ page or have a look at the range we currently have on offer.