Looking for a natural way to combat your anxiety? CBD could help – and with legalization coming on October 17, it’s about to become a lot more accessible.

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common types of mental disorders in Canada, with over 3 million people aged 18 years or older suffering from them. If you’re one of the statistics *raises hand* you know it can be absolutely debilitating. The good news? CBD can help – and with legalization coming on October 17, it’s about to become a lot more accessible.

CBD, scientifically known as cannabidiol, has rapidly gained popularity over the past few years. Although it’s been around for decades with its earliest observation recorded by Harvard graduate Roger Adams in 1940, dispensaries and brands across the globe have been offering new CBD products left, right, and center lately. It seems like everybody and their dog (literally – pets can benefit from CBD too!) are either using or talking about CBD, and for good reason: this wonder oil treats a host of medical conditions, with anxiety being one of the front-runners. One of the most common questions people have about CBD, particularly among people who don’t regularly smoke pot is, “Do you get high from it?” The answer is no, CBD has no psychoactive effects because it doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical compound in cannabis that gets you high.

How CBD treats anxiety

CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which handles many of the body’s functions including mood, sleep, and memory, to name a few. CBD also works with serotonin: the neurotransmitter in our brains that promotes feelings of happiness, well-being and calm. According to a study performed by researchers in Spain, CBD can enhance the transmission of 5-HT1A (a subtype of serotonin) in the brain, and can even affect the serotonin system faster than common anti-anxiety/depression medications like Prozac and Celexa. Another study conducted in Brazil observed a group of people with social anxiety. After taking CBD, they reported a significant decrease in their anxious thoughts and feelings in social situations – which was confirmed by their cerebral blood flow patterns shown in a brain scan conducted afterwards.

Further, CBD interacts with another receptor in the brain called GABA-A (gamma-aminobutyric corrosive). GABA-A tells the body when it’s time to wind down: lessening anxiety, quieting the senses, assisting with sleep and relaxing the muscles.

Is CBD safe?

While most evidence of the benefits of CBD out there is preclinical (not yet tested on humans), more and more studies are being conducted to back it up, especially as legalization continues around the world. There are no known negative side effects besides minor things like sleepiness and upset stomach, which are very rarely reported. The World Health Organization even gave CBD a positive assessment in 2017, stating that it could be an effective treatment for a number of conditions, and that it doesn’t cause negative effects or lead to addiction.

How to use CBD

There are a number of ways to use CBD, but if you’re a beginner, the simplest way is to get yourself an oil/tincture, and squeeze a few drops under the tongue and let it sit for a minute or two. Once you’re more experienced with this magical elixir, you can also vape it, grab a CBD infused coffee or cocktail, or even treat yourself with a DIY face mask.

If you deal with anxiety (let’s face it – who doesn’t these days?) give CBD a try. It’s changed our life, and it could change yours too.