Although we do not normally believe that anxiety is desirable, it is in fact an essential adaptation response that can help us manage threats to the safety and well-being of ourselves. These answers help us recognize and avoid possible threats. They can also motivate us to take measures to improve our situation (work more, pay bills, improve relationships, etc.). However, when we do not manage these natural responses effectively, they can become inadequate and impact our work and relationships. This can lead to clinically diagnosable disorders related to anxiety. We have all heard the saying “stress kills” and it is true.
The CBD has several actions in the brain that explain why it could be effective with anxiety. Before diving in, it is important to keep in mind that most of the research describing the operation of the CBD is preclinical and based on animal studies. As the saying goes, “mice are not men,” and the results of animal studies are not always perfectly transposed to human therapies. However, preclinical studies provide information that points us in the right direction.
5-HT1A Receptor Agonist
5-HT1A is a sub-type of the serotonin receptor which is important because, sometimes, anxiety and depression can be treated with medications targeting the serotonin system. This is the reason why pharmaceutical companies have developed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac and Zoloft. SSRIs work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in the brain which increases the availability of serotonin in the synaptic space. This helps brain cells transmit more serotonin signals which, in some cases, can reduce anxiety and improve mood. However, the full biological basis for this action is more complicated and poorly understood.
Neurogenesis of the Hippocampus
The hippocampus is an important brain region and plays a vital role in various brain functions. He is best known for his role in the formation of memory and cognition. Brain scans of patients with depression or anxiety often show a smaller hippocampus and effective treatment of depression is associated with the appearance of new neurons (neurogenesis) in the hippocampus. A study in animals with mice revealed that repeated administration of CBD could help the hippocampus regenerate neurons which could be useful for anxiety or depression. Research shows that SSRIs and CBD can promote neurogenesis. This is significant because the evidence suggests that severe impairment of neuronal plasticity can affect suicidal behavior. Future research comparing the effects of CBD and SSRIs on neurogenesis could open up new and promising ways to understand and effectively treat depression.
Evidence from animal studies has begun to characterize the details of CBD’s response in the brain. Studies of human patients with and without anxiety disorders are beginning to validate its effectiveness as an anti-anxiety treatment. Given the enormous social and financial costs of anxiety disorders in the United States, CBD may play an important role in the treatment of a wide variety of anxiety disorders. We do not claim that our product is a cure for any anxiety or depression disorder but provide food for thought regarding the uses and studies of CBD at this time.
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