Treating anxiety with cannabis is not an uncommon behavior in our modern times. Whether social anxiety CBD treatment makes sense or not is an entirely different subject. The reality is people are doing it whether or not they can confirm its validity.
We are here to explore that; strictly how valid using CBD for anxiety is and what the research has to say.
There’s also a lot more depth to the subject than most people can imagine. Choosing the right strain to help you cope with social anxiety will depend on the THC-to-CBD ratio and getting the dose right, but the reality is that that action alone will only get you so far. Understanding what is causing your symptoms so that you can address the issue from a knowledgeably holistic point of view, rather than adapting to a mono-dimensional opinion, is where success lies.
What is social anxiety?
Perhaps the easiest way to identify a social anxiety disorder is by the way you think of and act during social interactions. Some of the main symptoms include “an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others.”
Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental health condition that can be mild enough to be confused with common ‘shyness,’ or as severe as fearing every social interaction to the point where you fear losing your job. You fail to retain friendships. You close off yourself to the world entirely.
The research suggests that close to 7% of Americans are affected by a social anxiety disorder and may account significantly for a person failing to reach their full potential.
Common symptoms of a social anxiety disorder include:
- Blushing, sweating, shaking, and an elevated heart rate.
- Nausea and gastrointestinal distress.
- Avoiding eye contact, speaking at a low volume, and a rigid posture.
- Avoiding social situations and having a hard time talking to people in general.
- Feeling self-conscious, awkward, or embarrassed in front of others.
- Fear of being judged by others.
What causes social anxiety?
It's believed that social anxiety disorder may run in families and could have a genetic component to its proliferation. However, we don't know why some family members have it, why others don't, or how it spreads.
Certain parts of the brain regulate how we react to social interactions and how we interpret them. Likewise, the brain links to producing a feeling of fear and anxiety. This link is suspected to be the leading cause and precursor of social anxiety itself. It is the brain-generated fear that prompts people to misread others' behavior and underdevelop their social skills. Both of which can lead to social anxiety as well.
Stressful life experiences and environmental influences have also been associated with social anxiety. For instance, physical and emotional abuse, bullying, and life-altering decisions that went wrong may also play an important role.
Common Social Anxiety Treatments
When diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, patients are usually referred to a mental health specialist who can assess the condition's severity and decide on further treatment. Common treatments for social anxiety include psychotherapy sessions and medication.
The most common type of psychotherapy used is cognitive behavioral therapy, which, in theory, may help the patient change thinking and behavioral patterns that generate anxiety and fear. However, it's not the only type of therapy used toward social anxiety relief. Other types of treatment, including support group meetings, may prove helpful in coping with social anxiety.
When it comes to medication, doctors usually stick to anti-anxiety meds, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. Whatever the medicine is in a specific case, anxiety meds are only recommended if the patient has clinically diagnosed anxiety.
- Anti-Anxiety Medication
Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed anxiety medication that works as a sedative and muscle relaxer. Benzodiazepines are usually prescribed for short periods because of the overwhelming side effects they may carry, like drowsiness, along with changes in balance and memory. Other common side effects include headaches, depression, and even seizures in some cases.
Antidepressants treat depression rather than diagnosed anxiety disorders. However, they may come in handy in treating the symptoms of certain kinds of anxiety disorders. Common side effects of antidepressants include sexual dysfunction, nausea, muscle weakness, gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, and drowsiness.
These are a form of medication commonly used in patients with heart conditions. Because of their general physical effects on the body, physicians have also found a use for Beta-Blockers to help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. Widespread side effects of Beta-Blockers include fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, nausea, and shortness of breath.
- Home Remedies
Home remedies might sound a little farfetched if you're dealing with severe social anxiety, but we promise you that they're not. Most of the home remedies suggested in this article are ways to alter your natural physiological state by promoting the production of endorphins, relaxation, and breathing techniques that will help your body oxygenate more efficiently. Some of the most successful home remedies include frequent exercise, breathing exercises, meditation, and healthier dietary habits.
Why CBD for Social Anxiety?
While not a treatment for anxiety, CBD has been associated with anxiety symptom-relieving properties. Many sources indicate that CBD provides the body with anxiolytic effects.
This might come as a bit of a surprise if you've smoked marijuana before and experienced unreasonably intense anxiety while under the influence of THC. While CBD is attributed to an array of anxiolytic properties, THC, on the other hand, can have a counterproductive result.
A 2017 paper on the Effects of Marijuana on Mental Health states that "THC appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses and increase anxiety at higher doses." CBD appears to decrease anxiety markers at all doses that have been tested.
Another study published in 2010 investigates and records the effects of CBD on patients diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). The study found that CBD may reduce SAD anxiety, an property related to CBD's effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.
Based on the study above results, we can safely assume that CBD's anxiolytic effects are not incredibly farfetched. Accompanied by the vast amount of anecdotal evidence that supports it, this assumption seems quite sensible.
Best High CBD Strains for Anxiety
Based on the research, it seems reasonable to look for high CBD strains for anxiety-related purposes. Subsequently, you also want to avoid high THC strains. Here’s a useful list that will send you on the right track:
Around 14% of CBD content and possibly the most common type of CBD hemp strain used by people help deal with stress and anxiety. ACDC feels potent but is entirely non-psychoactive.
With an average of 16% CBD content, Lifter Hemp Flower is another commonly encountered player in the war against anxiety. The classic cheese and diesel-like terpenes give this flower a distinct and unique flavor profile that you won’t find anywhere else.
3. Cherry Wine
Cherry Wine is an appropriately named high CBD strain for anxiety. A terpene profile giving off scents of wine and cheese and averages a 17% CBD content with less than 1% THC. A relatively negligible amount of THC could help enhance the effects of CBD.
4. Ringo’s Gift
This product is a cross between parent strains Harle-Tsu and ACDC. Both parent strains are known for delivering great anxiety suppressing feelings of uplifted relaxation. It gives us enough reasons to believe that Ringo’s Gift is what it sounds like; a present.
5. Sour Tsunami
Specifically bred and engineered to contain high CBD content and a low THC mirror, Sour Tsunami is documented to deliver feelings of happy relaxation, combined with a focused yet euphoric effect.
A high CBD content of up to 18% makes this Elektra Nug an incredibly vibrant smoking flower that hits you with an equally relaxing and mysterious scent.