While conventional prescription drugs may effectively control anxiety disorders, some people prefer using medical hemp oil to treat their symptoms. They find hemp oil, like CBN oil for anxiety and stress, far more effective than the traditional medicines offered by pharmaceutical businesses. It’s safer than they are too.
Considered as one of the most common mental health problems, stress and anxiety disorders affect about 40 million Americans yearly. This accounts for nearly 18.1% of the country’s general population.
Unfortunately, many people with anxiety disorders don’t seek professional help. Only about 36.9% of them sought medical attention.
But how does CBN oil for anxiety and stress work? What makes it a better alternative to conventional treatment? Moreover, is CBN oil for anxiety and stress really effective and safe?
What goes on in the brain when you have an anxiety disorder?
To better understand how CBN works, let’s first take a quick look at what goes on inside your brain when you’re stressed and anxious.
Stress and anxiety are like any other stimulus. They trigger a cascade of signals in your brain. The brain then interprets the signals and “dictates” how you’ll respond to the stressor.
Say for example you’re in a stressful situation, like receiving an eviction notice. This stimulus triggers the brain centers responsible for stress and anxiety, specifically the amygdala. Your amygdala detects fear, stress, anxiety, and threats based on the memories associated with the stressor. If you have encountered the same stressor before, the reaction will be stronger.
The amygdala then sends distress signals to your medulla oblongata. The medulla oblongata prepares you to fight or flee. So its activation leads to physical manifestations. Your heart rate speeds up. Your breathing becomes labored. You start to sweat. Your muscles tense up. You also feel nauseous.
But the amygdala isn’t done sending its distress signals just yet. It still activates your hypothalamus. The hypothalamus, once activated, triggers the HPA axis. This includes the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal cortex. The HPA axis releases several excitatory chemicals that keep you tense and on high alert.
While all these are happening though, the brain forms memories. It stores them in the hippocampus. So when you encounter the same stressors, you go through the same experience. You feel the same emotions, and sometimes, you also react the same way.
How does the brain regulate stress and anxiety?
This loop has to end so the brain can go back to its normal state.
Once the brain perceived that the threat is finally over, another cascade of signals occurs. One of the excitatory chemicals that the HPA axis released initiates this process. It sends a signal to the hypothalamus to stop its release of more excitatory chemicals.
The hippocampus also inhibits the amygdala from creating fear memories. This further suppresses fear response and reduces stress and anxiety.
What causes stress and anxiety disorders?
Several factors contribute to the development of stress and anxiety disorders. These include family history of mental health problems, hormonal imbalance, chronic health issues, old brain injuries, substance abuse, and medications.
Constant exposure to stress and anxiety also contributes to the problem. They bombard the brain with continuous stressful stimulus. So the brain cells are overly stimulated by excitatory chemicals. Overstimulation, in turn, creates small damages to the brain’s stress and anxiety centers. These small damages alter the brain structures and result in their dysfunction.
High levels of excitatory chemicals and structural damage cause low-grade inflammation. Their effects and byproducts can be pretty toxic to brain cells.
With the loop damaged, you become even more sensitive to stressors. Minor triggers easily stimulate your fight or flight response. So you’re always in a state of arousal and heightened senses.
All these further weaken the brain’s stress and anxiety centers. It makes it difficult for you to go back to your baseline.
What are the types of anxiety disorders?
There are several types of stress and anxiety disorders. These include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias. Other types include post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
While these differ in etiology, they have almost the same symptoms. These are the emotions and feelings triggered by the fight or flight response.
An anxiety attack typically lasts about 10 to 30 minutes. It peaks at about 10 minutes before it slowly tapers off. Unfortunately, the resulting fatigue after an attack usually lingers for a few hours.
Can CBN oil for anxiety and stress replace conventional anti-anxiety drugs?
As mentioned earlier, conventional drugs help control anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, long-term use of these drugs does more harm than good. Not only do they harm several organs, but they also increase dependence and addiction risk.
The legalization of medical cannabis and hemp oil saw a decline in the number of patients using prescription anxiolytics. Patients find that these oils provide better management of their symptoms.
In fact, a study on 2,774 individuals revealed that 46% of them switched to this alternative form of treatment. Of these individuals, 13.6% of them use it for anxiety, 12.7% for depression, and 35.8% for chronic pain.
What is CBN oil?
Compared to THC and CBD, CBN is the lesser known cannabinoid and is not as popular as its sister cannabinoids. However, CBN also produces potent therapeutic effects that rival THC and CBD’s.
People often confuse CBN with CBD since they don’t produce mind-altering effects. But what many don’t realize is that CBN comes from the degradation of THC. So to think that CBN doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects is incorrect. CBN can produce mild psychoactive effects, but this effect is way weaker compared to THC’s potency. In fact, a lab report pegs CBN’s potency at 10% of THC’s strength.
But don’t think though that using CBN oil for anxiety and stress will get you high. Because it won’t.
Medical CBN oils produce little to no psychoactive effects. Combined with CBD, a major nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, they become a potent agent against several symptoms. However, combined with THC, CBN may potentially intensify THC’s potency. But this increase in THC potency is inconsequential though. THC still remains as the major psychoactive cannabinoid.
CBN oil for anxiety and stress also contains essential terpenes. These terpenes work with CBN in controlling anxiety disorders and its associated symptoms.
So if you’re looking for an excellent CBN oil for anxiety and stress, choose one that contains some of these terpenes: limonene, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, and myrcene. These terpenes produce sedating, relaxing, and calming effects.
Limonene, linalool, and myrcene also contain anxiolytic properties which benefit patients with anxiety disorder. Additionally, limonene and myrcene both produce anti-depressant effects. This helps control one of the comorbid problems with anxiety disorders, depression.
How does CBN oil for anxiety and stress relieve symptoms?
Similar to THC, CBN also activates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce its therapeutic effects. In addition to this, like CBD, CBN also stimulates other non-cannabinoid receptors as well. These receptors play a part in modulating several symptoms that contribute to the worsening of anxiety symptoms.
Antioxidant Property of CBN Oil
Glutamate, a major excitatory chemical, contributes to neurotoxicity in the brain. It over-stimulates brain receptors, injuring the brain cells and causing brain inflammation. High glutamate levels also negatively affect the way our brain cells make new connections. It also contributes to the formation of free radicals.
Studies reveal that glutamate toxicity contributes to anxiety disorders. It damages the brain cells and negatively impacts the way they normally function. All these result in the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders. Laboratory tests reveal that patients with anxiety disorders have high glutamate levels.
Researchers found that CBN produces the same antioxidant effects like THC. It protects the brain cells from glutamate toxicity. It also protects the brain cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Anti-inflammatory Effects of CBN Oil
Neuroinflammation reduces the brain cells’ survival rate. It also prevents the formation of new brain cells. Studies reveal that chronic, low-grade neuroinflammation plays a role in depression and anxiety disorders.
CBN, like its sister cannabinoids, also modulates immune response when it binds to the cannabinoid receptor type 2 of the immune cells. It stops the immune cells from producing cytokines. It also induces apoptosis of these aberrant immune cells. By decreasing neuroinflammation, anxiety disorder symptoms can be controlled.
Sedative Effects of CBN Oil
People with anxiety problems often have trouble sleeping. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation significantly contributes to stress and anxiety symptoms. It reduces your ability to cope with stress. It also prevents your brain cells from regenerating and healing themselves.
Our brain cells need sleep to heal, and CBN oils produce powerful sedating effects. Like THC, CBN binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain to promote sleep. However, of all well-researched cannabinoids, CBN produces the most potent sedating effects.
One laboratory report tested CBN’s sedating effect and found that it rivals diazepam’s effect. According to their report, a small dose of 2.5mg CBN is just as potent as a 5mg diazepam.
Analgesic Effects of CBN Oil
It should be noted that chronic pain contributes to increased stress and anxiety problems. Unfortunately, stress and anxiety also worsen chronic pain.
Persistent pain disrupts your daily activities and stresses you out. Anticipating the next bout of pain makes you more anxious and irritable. Anticipation also makes your muscles tight, which become sore and painful. All these heighten your stress and anxiety which, in turn, make you more sensitive to pain.
CBN oils produce powerful analgesic effects when it binds to the sensory neuron’s vanilloid receptor. This is a receptor responsible for pain modulation. When CBN activates the vanilloid receptor, it causes desensitization to pain.
By controlling pain, stress and anxiety are reduced.
Anti-Anxiety Effects of CBN Oil
CBN relaxes the mind and body. Its powerful anxiolytic effect equals that of diazepam, a known prescription drug for anxiety disorders.
What are the other effects of CBN oil?
In addition to its anxiolytic effects, you’ll also get to benefit from CBN’s other therapeutic effects as well.
- Antiemetic effect.
Nausea and vomiting oftentimes accompany bouts of anxiety attacks. The antiemetic property of CBN helps control these symptoms.
- Appetite-stimulant property.
The right diet helps combat stress and anxiety. Superfoods like asparagus, blueberries, almonds, kale, and avocado have mind-boosting effects that help keep these symptoms at bay. Unfortunately, chronic stress and anxiety kills appetite. This prevents our body from getting the nutrients it needs to combat the effects of high stress and anxiety.
Patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders can benefit from CBN’s appetite-stimulating effect. This effect also benefits chemotherapy patients and individuals with appetite problems. It also helps HIV/AIDS+ patients who suffer from wasting syndrome.
How to use CBN oil for anxiety and stress?
If you want to maximize CBN’s therapeutic effects, choose a CBN oil for anxiety and stress that also contains important terpenes. Through the entourage effect, they boost each other’s therapeutic effects, making the product a potent CBN oil for anxiety and stress.
Like most hemp oil, it’s going to take some trial and error on your part until you get the right dosage. This is especially important if you have little experience with CBN oil.
So to avoid side effects, start at a low dose CBN oil. Many patients find that one drop of CBN oil helps relive their symptoms.
If you didn’t notice any improvement in your symptoms after an hour, then slightly increase your dosage. Repeat until you find your sweet spot.
Are there side effects to be aware of?
Yes, CBN oil also produces side effects. But these are very minimal. They usually resolve on their own and disappear once your body gets used to the presence of CBN.
Is CBN oil for anxiety and stress safe and effective?
CBN also won’t cause adverse changes in breathing and pulse rate. There are no cannabinoid receptors it can bind to in the brain stem. The brain stem houses the cardiopulmonary centers in the brain. Compared to opioid-based drugs, hemp-based products won’t cause an overdose.
Chronic stress and anxiety disorders debilitate you. It prevents you from enjoying life and takes away your simple joys. It makes you a prisoner of your own of your own mind. CBN oil for anxiety and stress has therapeutic properties that can significantly improve your quality of life.