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How CBD can Reduce Social Anxiety

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Social anxiety is one of the most common anxiety conditions with significant impairments in day to day life for those who suffer from the disorder. The increased disability, dysfunction and loss of productivity for those who suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD) is unfortunately a product of living day to day life, most times in social settings.

The pharmacological management of SAD remains problematic; only about 30% of subjects achieve true recovery or remission without residual symptoms of social anxiety. It has been found that those who suffer from SAD are more likely to use cannabis than those with other anxiety disorders, in order to self medicate.

However, the relationship between cannabis and anxiety can be contradictory. Most cannabis users reported the reduction of anxiety as their motivations for use. On the other hand, intense anxiety or panic are among the most common undesirable effects of cannabis. Lets talk about how this is possible! The contradicting effects of cannabis reflect the components of the cannabis plant being consumed, smoked or vaporized. Low doses of the most common component of the cannabis plant, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have relaxing anti-anxiety effects. When the dose of THC increases, this is when you may experience anxious or paranoid feelings. The other components of the cannabis plant influence its pharmacological use; CBD being the most major component with non-psychological effects. A study was held to test the effects of CBD among individuals who suffer from SAD, when public speaking. A total of twenty-four individuals with SAD and twelve individuals, who stood as the healthy control group, participated in a study of whether CBD helps prevent social anxiety. Twelve of the individuals with SAD were given 600mg CBD, twelve were given 600mg placebo. The twelve healthy individuals were given no medication. All of the individuals were then asked to publicly speak and the state-anxiety level and other subjective states were evaluated. The physiological measurement of skin conductance, arterial blood pressure, and heart rate were taken into consideration as well. The general consensus from the study was that individuals who suffer from SAD, especially when public speaking, benefit from pretreatment with CBD. Their anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance significantly decreased with the use of CBD. These individuals had results that mirrored the twelve healthy (control group) individuals who were asked to public speak. Overall, CBD can be very beneficial to individuals who suffer from anxiety, specifically social anxiety; diminishing disability, dysfunction and loss of productivity in day to day life.

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