There's no denying that living with food allergies can cause anxiety and stress at times. When you are newly diagnosed there can be a lot of uncertainty, and a steep learning curve follows as you get to grips with managing your food allergy on a daily basis. In addition there can be other challenges along the way, such as food reintroductions, unexpected reactions, starting school and so on. Although there are many self help steps you can take to reduce food allergy anxiety, there might be times when you feel a little overwhelmed. If you're struggling with poor sleep or constant worrying, CBD oil is a natural remedy that may help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
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The Endocannabinoid System
You're probably already aware of a number of 'systems' within the body that you learned about in biology lessons at school. The digestive system, reproductive system, respiratory system, immune system... But your school textbooks won't have mentioned another system that was only discovered recently. It's called the endocannabinoid system, and it seems to have an important role in keeping your your body's functions running smoothly.
Scientists don't yet know exactly how it works, but they have linked the endocannabinoid system to a number of different functions in the body, including anxiety. Your body produces a substance called cannabinoids to regulate this system and keep everything running smoothly. You actually have more receptors in your body for cannabinoids than you do for more well-known substances like serotonin and dopamine!
CBD oil (full name cannabidiol) is an extract from the cannabis plant, and is a plant-based cannabinoid. You can buy it as a food supplement online and in many health food shops. It's also available as a tea, as an ingredient in snacks, and in creams you can apply on the skin.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD oil is completely legal to sell and use in the UK. It must be tested to prove it doesn't contain THC (the component in the cannabis plant that give a 'high' feeling).
In addition, the Food Standards Agency has introduced new legislation to regulate CBD oil sales and protect consumers. All CBD companies must apply for a novel food authorisation to prove the contents of their supplements by March 2021.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
Although CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant, you can't get high by taking it. In the UK, it usually comes from the hemp plant, which is completely legal to grow and harvest. You may have already tried hemp in foods like hemp milk, hemp seeds or hemp protein powder. According to a WHO report, it is safe to use, and you can't get addicted to it. In other words, it's fine to try using CBD oil for anxiety at home.
Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression in some human and animal trials. This could make it a great alternative to prescription medications for anxiety which often come with a range of side effects and are sometimes addictive.
It's also shown promise at treating other conditions, including epilepsy and chronic pain. And it's being investigated for many more possible uses, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons, cancer and Alzheimers.
How Can I Try CBD Oil?
You can buy CBD oil supplements in a variety of different forms including drops, sprays, teas, creams and even in gummy sweets. To use it as a treatment for anxiety, look for drops or capsules which tell you the strength (e.g. in mg or %). This means you can control exactly what dose you are taking.
We still are a long way from seeing CBD oil on prescription for anxiety. So if you do want to give it a try you will need to experiement with it yourself. CBD oil supplements contain very low doses of cannabidiol. This means you can start slowly with a small amount and build up gradually until you feel a benefit from it.
Have you tried CBD oil for anxiety? What experience did you have, and would you recommend it to others?
- We don't know yet whether CBD oil supplements may interefere with any prescribed medications - speak to your doctor for advice.
- Known side effects from the high doses used in clincal trials include: dizziness, sleepiness, diarrhoea and loss of appetite. CBD oil supplements contain much lower doses.
- There are no studies yet into the effects of taking it regularly in the long term.