CBD for Phobias
What is a Phobia?
Phobias develop when people begin to plan their lives by doing everything required to avoid what they are scared of, whether it be a circumstance, an animal, an item, or a location. They are categorised as an anxiety condition in the medical community. People who have the illness experience severe anxiety, sometimes even panic attacks, if they come into touch with their fear or even just think about it.
CBD, a naturally occurring chemical found in cannabis plants, has long been used for its beneficial effects. It’s also known to help with anxiety symptoms and is often thought to be safe to use since it does not produce euphoria. Since CBD does not result in the typical "high" associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another substance present in cannabis, it is legal to use in the UK and several other countries.
This essay will talk about the different types of phobias, and how CBD may interact with our bodies to help those with phobias.
What is a phobia?
Phobic anxiety disorders or phobias are one of the most common psychiatric disorders. They can be burdensome and may affect a person's quality of life and productivity levels. In the UK alone, an estimated 10 million people are living with phobias daily.
Many phobias usually start during the early years, most often between the ages of four and eight. These are most commonly what we refer to as simple phobias.
Simple phobias are phobias such as a fear of snakes or going to the dentist. More often than not, simple phobias will only cause mild anxiety in day-to-day life and can often fade as children get older.
For others, some phobias can be overwhelming and distressing to live with and may dramatically impact their lives and those of their family.
Complex phobias usually start later on in life. Most of these phobias are developed from a deep-rooted fear or anxiety about a particular circumstance or situation. Three common examples of complex phobias are social phobia, aerophobia (the fear of flying), and emetophobia (the fear of vomiting).
Signs and symptoms
Each person's phobia may manifest differently. The degree of phobia symptoms might also vary.
Typically, the symptoms include overwhelming fear and anxiety. This happens when you encounter a situation or thing you are terrified of. If your fear is severe, it might cause symptoms just by thinking about it.
A list of some typical phobia symptoms is provided below.
- Feeling shaky, lightheaded, dizzy, or faint
- Feeling as if you are choking
- Palpitations, an increased heart rate, or a pounding heart
- Chest discomfort or stiffness
- Dry mouth
- Cold or hot flushes
- Breathing difficulties or a feeling of suffocation
- Diarrhoea, vomiting, or nausea
- Feelings of tingling or numbness
- Shaking or trembling
When experiencing a phobia attack, persons may also feel psychological symptoms. These may consist of:
- The fear of dying
- Fear of passing out
- Fear of heights
- Uncontrollable fear
- A general sense of fear
What causes a phobia?
Phobias often appear throughout our childhood, adolescence, or the early stages of adulthood, frequently following a traumatic or stressful event or situation. However, it may be challenging to identify the causes of some phobias, and it might not be evident how they came about.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an active ingredient found in cannabis, along with around 120 other cannabinoids and other natural substances like vitamins, fatty acids, flavonoids and terpenes. CBD can be extracted from the hemp plant and blended with a carrier oil, like hemp or MCT, to make CBD oil.
CBD is known to help a wide range of health problems such as pain, mild or severe anxiety, and insomnia. It has grown in popularity not just because of the numerous possible advantages it provides, but also because it has no psychotropic effects. In contrast to THC, CBD offers benefits such as pain relief without the risk of anxiety, paranoia, or impaired cognition.
Your body also makes its cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. They're part of a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates important processes like sleep, pain and appetite to keep your body in a state of balance. Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that keep the ECS running smoothly. They interact with endocannabinoid receptors around the body to trigger certain actions. External cannabinoids, like CBD, can also act on your body's ECS receptors, triggering similar effects.
CBD for phobias: Can it help?
Whilst most phobias are treatable, it's not a one size fits all policy when it comes to finding a treatment for anxiety that works. Amongst the most popular are CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) and exposure therapy, most often used to provide some much-needed relief and a sense of control. Treating a phobia with therapy is effective but it is not a fast fix and can take a significant time.
Research has shown that the consumption of CBD throughout therapy sessions can help reduce the presence of pathological fears and alleviate the anxiety that comes hand-in-hand with phobias. The most recent studies carried out on treating phobias with CBD have shown real promise in supporting millions of people a year to reduce their symptoms of anxiety and make living with a complex phobia more manageable.
Additionally, research looking at how CBD affected those with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), which is essentially a social phobia, found that it may assist to lessen related anxiety.
Some research also suggests that CBD can boost the effects of exposure therapy, which helps patients associate particular signals with a fear response and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Clinical studies suggest that CBD, the main component of cannabis that interacts with serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, may have analgesic and anxiolytic effects. However, it is uncertain how it affects models of neuropathic pain and the activity of 5-HT1A receptors.
Which oil is best for supporting phobias?
There isn't just one kind of CBD oil available. There are many different types of CBD oils available and are designed to work differently depending on your needs.
A recent study revealed that treating anxiety disorders, one of the most common symptoms of a complex phobia, are best treated with a 600mg dose of CBD oil. Those treated with CBD found a significant reduction in their anxiety levels when being treated with exposure therapy.
How to take CBD for phobias
There are several methods to use CBD products. This includes tinctures, capsules, ingestible, vapes, and topicals. The method of CBD administration will depend on personal preferences and phobia symptoms.
CBD Tinctures: Tinctures of CBD oil are meant to be taken sublingually (meaning under your tongue). To use this type of CBD oil, choose your dosage and apply it to the soft tissue behind your tongue in drops.
CBD Vape Oil: CBD vape oils are designed to be used with vaporizer pens. Typically, they also include other chemicals like propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin in addition to CBD. Additionally, some CBD vape oil contains artificial flavourings that will alter the vape oil's flavour. Unlike traditional vaporizers, CBD vape oil frequently uses CBD as its primary active component in place of nicotine.
CBD Capsules and Edibles: Taking a CBD capsule or an edible is a terrific method to take your dose of CBD discreetly, easily, and consistently. However, oral administration of CBD will take a longer time to take effect as the substance still need to pass through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream.
CBD Topicals: Topical CBD is administered via the skin, using products made for topical use. For people who dislike the flavour of CBD oil or have trouble swallowing capsules, this is a great alternative.