Is CBD Good for Anx­i­ety?

EatingWell - - FRESH | FIX - —Chris­tine Yu

De­rived from the same plant as mar­i­juana and hemp, cannabid­iol oil (aka CBD oil, sold in drops, sup­ple­ments and added to food) is touted for its

agita-quelling pow­ers, with­out the high. Much of the sup­port­ing ev­i­dence comes from an­i­mal stud­ies, but there’s some promis­ing hu­man re­search too. One small study found that peo­ple with so­cial anx­i­ety ex­pe­ri­enced fewer symp­toms, in­clud­ing cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment and neg­a­tive self-talk, when they took a CBD sup­ple­ment be­fore speak­ing in pub­lic. Re­search sug­gests CBD in­creases anan­damide, a feel-good brain chem­i­cal. It may also in­flu­ence the re­lease of neu­ro­trans­mit­ters that con­trol mood and be­hav­ior, and change blood flow to brain re­gions linked to fear and anx­i­ety.

Should you try it? Ex­perts aren’t ready to rec­om­mend it—yet. “Over-the-counter prod­ucts may not be the right dose, might in­ter­act with other med­i­ca­tions and could con­tain THC, which can make some peo­ple anx­ious,” says Es­ther Bless­ing, M.D., PH.D., an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of psy­chi­a­try at the New York Univer­sity School of Medicine. Still, she and other re­searchers are ex­cited for the fu­ture of CBD. “I’ve never come across a drug as promis­ing as CBD to treat such a range of neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders, in­clud­ing anx­i­ety,” she says. If you want to try it, check your lo­cal laws (it’s not le­gal ev­ery­where) and con­sult your doc­tor.

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