CBD for panic attacks is a natural treatment for people seeking help from anxiety issues. Apart from anxiety, research has shown that CBD is useful for treating chronic pain, depression, and inflammation. CBD has minimal side effects because it is a natural medication. Besides, it does not have the intoxicating effect of THC.
Panic attacks can affect an individual’s experience. This effect is because it interferes with a person’s daily activities. It also impairs performance in daily tasks. So, it is inevitable that people suffering from panic attacks will do all they can to get relief. This guide will explore the feasibility of CBD for panic attacks. It will also discuss the symptoms of panic attacks and how you can get the best CBD products.
CBD For Panic Attacks: Overview
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound present in cannabis (hemp and marijuana) plants. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is also extracted from the same source. Although it has similar medicinal benefits like CBD, it is famous for making people “high.” THC’s intoxicating effect is not legal to cultivate, possess, or consume it in the US. Indeed, CBD products often contain THC. However, it must not be more than 0.03%. Any product that has more than this quantity is illegal in the US.
The human body is full of different receptors. Receptors are chemical structures attached to body cells. These structures receive signals from a plethora of stimuli. Moreover, CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are in the peripheral and central nervous systems. It is not clear how CBD interacts with these receptors. Nonetheless, it may affect serotonin signals. Meanwhile, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in your psychological health.
More so, low serotonin levels cause depression. In some situations, inadequate serotonin may lead to heightened anxiety levels. The most common treatment for low serotonin is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Examples of SSRIs include sertraline (Zoloft) or fluoxetine (Prozac). Note that these medications are only by prescription.
Nonetheless, SSRIs have side effects that make people avoid them. CBD for panic attacks is an option many people have tried. But is it worth a try?
CBD For Panic Attacks: Symptoms
It is vital that you can identify panic attacks to know when to get help as soon as possible. Unfortunately, panic attacks often start suddenly without prior warning. They can come at unexpected periods like when you are driving a call or at a mall. Sometimes, they can begin while you have a sound sleep or in the middle of a group discussion. You may have panic attacks frequently or occasionally. There are different panic attacks. Nonetheless, symptoms often pick within a few minutes. You may feel tired and exhausted at the end of a panic attack.
People suffering panic attacks often have a sense of impending doom or danger. They also often have a fear of losing control or losing their lives. Other common symptoms include pounding heart rate, trembling, and increased heart rate. Shortness of breath, tightness in the throat, nausea, chills, and hot flashes are common signs of panic attacks. Panic attack patients usually report abdominal cramping, headache, chest pain, and numbness or tingling sensation. They also report dizziness and a feeling of detachment. Panic attacks are often accompanied by the intense fear of having another, which is the worst part of it.
The fear of having another panic attack can be terrifying that it makes you avoid some situations. For example, you may start avoiding social interactions. If you notice these symptoms, you need to seek medical attention. These attacks can be complicated to manage and will get worse without treatment. In some cases, panic attacks can have a semblance of heart attacks. So, do something about them as soon as possible. Nevertheless, you should not consider CBD for panic attacks or other treatments without consulting your doctor.
CBD For Panic Attacks: Is It Effective?
Research has established CBD for panic attacks as a plausible treatment. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) evaluated CBD’s effect on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The study involved rats as subjects. The result showed that the behavioral signs of anxiety in the rats reduced after administering CBD to them. The subjects’ psychological anxiety symptoms, such as increased high rate also reduced. Nonetheless, more human studies need to strengthen the link between CBD and panic attacks. Studies involving other anxiety forms such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) have also been promising.
Furthermore, CBD can also help in treating anxiety-induced insomnia. A study in 2011 revealed that CBD has curative effects on SAD. Some participants received an oral dose of 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD, while others were given a placebo. Those that received CBD experienced lower levels of anxiety. Recent studies have also confirmed that CBD affects PTSD symptoms, such as nightmares and negative memories. These studies evaluated CBD separately and supplemented conventional treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
More so, studies have also been conducted to assess the effect of CBD on other psychological disorders. For example, a 2017 literature review revealed that CBD could help people suffering from depression. The authors concluded that there is enough evidence that CBD can help panic attacks patients. Nonetheless, this study did not have a control group. This implies that it did not involve comparison with another group that was given a different treatment. A 2016 study also found out that CBD can help against psychotic effects in schizophrenia patients.
The Dosage Of CBD
It is not advisable to experiment with drugs. So, you must speak to your doctor before taking advantage of CBD for panic attacks. Your doctor will tell you the starting dosage that will be beneficial to you. Nonetheless, you can use the recommendation of clinical trials. However, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) warns that it can be tricky. The nonprofit organization reckons that very few products contain the requisite CBD. Many commercially available products do not have enough CBD that can have therapeutic effects. So, you need to be careful when buying a product.
In 2018, a study investigated the dosage that is sufficient to enjoy CBD benefits for panic attacks. The participants were all males who were given CBD before taking a simulated public speaking test. The result showed that an oral dose of 300 mg was enough to significantly decrease the participants’ anxiety levels. The dose was given to them 90 minutes before the test. The placebo group received 150 mg. Interestingly, this group saw little benefit from the drug.
The study only used 57 subjects, and it has low external validity. Besides, it only involved male participants. Hence, studies involving females and more participants are needed for further confirmation. You may enjoy the medicinal benefits of CBD for panic attacks by starting with a 300 mg dose. However, it is in your best interest to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using the medication.
CBD Side Effects
As a natural medication, CBD for panic attacks is generally considered safe. Nonetheless, you may experience some side effects after taking it. Some people complained of losing appetite, tiredness, loss of weight, and diarrhea after taking CBD. One of the likely reasons for these side effects is CBD’s interaction with other medications. It also interacts with some dietary supplements. You need to be careful when taking drugs like blood thinners, especially when it has a “grapefruit” warning.
Just like grapefruit, CBD’s interaction with body enzymes is critical to drug metabolism. A study on mice revealed that CBD-rich cannabis extract heightened their risk for liver toxicity. These mice were force-fed. Nonetheless, some of them were given substantial doses of the medication. If you are already using a drug, you should not stop it without informing your doctor. CBD for panic attacks will help you improve your condition. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using it.
You can tell if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you notice dizziness, nausea, or irritability. You may also experience fogginess. If you observe any of these signs, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor. Besides, you should let your doctor know the drugs you have been using before taking CBD for panic attacks. This information may help him or her to tell you how best to use CBD to relieve anxiety.
The Legality Of CBD
Based on the federal government directives, hemp-derived CBD products are legal in the US. Nonetheless, they must not have more than 0.03 THC content. CBD for panic attacks regulations is quite tricky in the US. For example, some states still consider CBD as an illegal substance. Thus, you are not permitted to cultivate or consume it without the government’s approval. You can only leverage CBD for panic attacks in such states if your doctor prescribes it for you.
CBD’s “sibling,” THC, causes withdrawal symptoms. Besides, it is addictive and can impair people’s performance in their daily tasks. So, the government placed restrictions on its use. Nonetheless, CBD’s close relationship with THC makes legalizing it a challenging task. So, it is not surprising that some states legalize it while some states are still contemplating. You cannot afford to base your understanding of the legalities of CBD on only federal laws. You may be in for a rude shock if you do so.
More so, Marijuana-derived CBD products are legal in some states but illegal on the federal level. So, it is in your best interest to be conversant with CBD laws in your state. CBD regulations can be so complicated that some states that permit the use of CBD banned some products. For example, the substance is legal in New York. Nonetheless, the state government did not legalize CBD edibles. So, you should speak to an attorney in your state to avoid running afoul of the law. You can be fined or jailed if found guilty in states where CBD for panic attacks is illegal.
How To Buy The Best CBD
You may need the license of a doctor to get CBD products in some states. Some states only permit CBD products to treat ailments like epilepsy. If your state legalizes CBD’s medical use, you can purchase it in a specialized cannabis clinic or online. More states will be more open to legalizing CBD as research continues, and its fame increases.
Ensure that you contact a reputable company to get superior quality products. You need to buy top-quality CBD products to enjoy their medicinal benefits. Here are some factors you need to consider before purchasing a product:
The source of the hemp used to extract CBD is critical to its quality. If it is from managed farmlands in some parts of Europe or the US, it is the right choice.
Type of Extract
Extract type can be broad-spectrum, CBD isolates, and full-spectrum. These types depend on the cannabinoid content of the extracts. Full-spectrum contains every cannabinoid in their natural proportion, while broad-spectrum does not have THC. CBD isolates do not have any other plant materials apart from CBD. So, CBD isolates are the best because they are 99% pure and usually have third-party lab testing results.
The potency of CBD products depends on the concentration of CBD in them. The more CBD present in a product, the higher its effectiveness.
No physical or mental disorder is palatable, and panic attacks are no different. Therefore, it is critical to seek help as fast as possible. There are different treatment options out there that can help you against panic attack symptoms. Nonetheless, with lower side effects, CBD for panic attacks is a fantastic choice. Ensure that you are conversant with CBD laws in your state to enjoy CBD products without getting into trouble.
Soares, V. P., & Campos, A. C. (2017). Pieces of evidence for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol. Current Neuropharmacology, 15(2), 291–299. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159×14666160509123955
Panic attacks and panic disorder – symptoms and causes. (2018, May 4). Retrieved July 16, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/panic-attacks/symptoms-causes/syc-20376021