CBD & COVID-19: Managing Stress, Fear & Anxiety

04/04/2020
CBD for Coronavirus

In these extraordinary times, with the world-changing minute-by-minute, how can we regulate the levels of stress, fear and anxiety that we feel?

In this article, we are going to explore the potential CBD has to help manage anxiety as we grapple with the widespread effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We will focus purely on scientific data, investigating how CBD could be used to help manage stress, fear and anxiety; without making any unfounded claims.

It’s been difficult to keep up with all of the latest developments on the ever-evolving Coronavirus crisis that has its grip on the world. We’re in unchartered territory, which has resulted in drastic action to defend civilians from contagion, limiting the spread of this pandemic. 

The global health crisis has inevitably triggered an economic crisis, sending businesses and employees into a flurry of panic, as social distancing measures continue to be ramped up. The complexities of this crisis are wide-reaching, as it intrudes on the daily lives of every single member of the population.

These are desperate times, which have called for desperate measures. If you’re not anxious about your health, then you’re fearful about the security of your job. Unfortunately, it’s the perfect storm for anxiety. There’s a lot to think about and it can be easy to get your head in a spin with the current events.

At Handpicked CBD, we’re fascinated by the potential therapeutic effects that CBD can have on those who are suffering from anxiety. In a time like this, it’s important to keep a level head with clarity of mind. This will ensure you can effectively face any challenges that may be coming your way.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of more than 100 chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, extracted from hemp plants. It has attracted significant attention in the wellness industry, with various scientific studies suggesting that it may have the potential to treat a range of conditions, including anxiety. 

Many people often get CBD confused with THC. These are both cannabinoids and despite sharing a very similar chemical structure, they are quite different in their effects. THC is the cannabinoid whose effect can make you feel “high”. In contrast, CBD doesn’t make you “high”, but it still has an effect on your body’s endocannabinoid system, which is in charge of keeping your body in balance. 

Does social distancing have the potential to impact anxiety and stress?

Any form of disruption to your daily routine can be enough to make you at least a little bit unsettled and anxious. When we look specifically at what citizens across the globe are being asked to do, there are several other factors at play here which could cause some anxiety.

Social distancing does a lot more than just disrupt a person’s daily routine. People are being asked to isolate themselves and reduce social contact. 

A recent report​ from Australia’s Swinburne University and VicHealth, explored the correlation between loneliness and anxiety. Among 18 to 25-year-olds, the report found that higher levels of loneliness increase a young adult’s risk of developing social anxiety by 10%.

These are shocking findings that highlight the potential consequences of social distancing on a person’s mental health.

On top of this, the act of social distancing is also causing workers to lose a considerable amount of their salary, as they have to go onto sick pay during their time away from the office. Money problems can significantly contribute towards stress and anxiety. With a troubled, Coronavirus-stricken economy, this could become the new normal for many.

There is a strong correlation between debt and poor mental health. People who are experiencing financial difficulties are more likely to feel anxious, depressed and stressed. ​Recent figures​ show that of those who are currently in some form of debt, 38% have felt anxious and 34% have suffered from stress.

Can CBD be used for anxiety and stress?

To get through these challenging times, you’re going to need to develop coping strategies. From mindfulness and meditation to deep breathing and yoga, there are a variety of wellness activities you could be participating in from the comfort (and safety) of your own home to promote a sense of inner calm.

The vast majority of research into CBD’s effects on anxiety and stress has been done in rodents, such as mice. A ​recent review​ explored 32 different rodent studies that tested CBD’s effects on anxiety and stress. From these studies, only one didn’t provide useful results.

In one example, mice were placed in a cage with a boa constrictor. Mice were given low doses of CBD, this was the equivalent to a 20-milligram dosage for a 150-pound person. With CBD in their system, instead of panicking, the mice took time to scan their environment and chose strategic locations in the cage.

So, how does this translate to humans? In a human-based study, consisting of a public speaking challenge, CBD was found to reduce performance anxiety both for people without anxiety disorders and also for those with social anxiety disorder.

Conclusion

Whilst we haven’t had any full clinical human trials to demonstrate CBD’s positive effect on anxiety, we do have the rodent trials that provide the intial base for human trials, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from thousands of people across the world suggesting that it does in fact help. 

That said, everybody reacts differently, and without clinical proof, there’s no way anyone can actually say for certain (yet) that CBD helps anxiety. However, the signs are certainly encouraging.

We hope this article has helped you to learn more about the therapeutic possibilities of CBD for anxiety and stress. Explore our range of high-quality, tried and tested CBD products today!