In this day and age anxiety and anxiety disorders are becoming all too commonplace. Life has become extremely difficult for many people. These tough times have led a lot of people to become excessively worried and sometimes unable to function properly in their daily activities.
If you are battling these types of feelings of anxiety and fear each day then it’s important to know that it doesn’t have to last forever. You can get through this and get back to feeling like yourself again. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy road. But anxiety disorders are highly treatable!
Two things that are known to have helped many people deal with anxiety are CBD and Xanax. We are going to look at these to see how they might be similar and also how they are different. CBD has not been approved by the FDA to treat anxiety so can it even be helpful?
Why Is This Topic Important
There are different types of anxiety disorders but, as a whole, anxiety disorders are extremely common in the United States. The statistics say that there are over 40 million adults in the United States that are affected by some type of anxiety disorder.
If that number is correct then it is somewhere around 19% of the adult population. Looking at it differently that is almost 1 out of every 5 adults over the age of 21! That is an extremely high number of people which is why this topic of CBD vs Xanax for anxiety is so important. There are a lot of people suffering from anxiety and looking for answers.
Unfortunately, anxiety is not exclusive to adults. It is estimated that 1 out of every 8 children is affected by some type of anxiety disorder as well. Left untreated these issues and problems are likely to get worse as they become older and face more adversity that life often throws our way.
Signs That You May Suffer from Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety and anxiety disorder are words that often get thrown around and it can cause us to lose sight of the fact that they can be real problems. To be sure, every one of us feels anxiety. If you are a normally functioning adult then you will undoubtedly experience anxiety to some degree.
Anxiety is a normal part of life and the feeling of anxiety can actually be a helpful thing in some cases. If you have a big presentation at work or at school then you will most likely be anxious about it. But that feeling of anxiety means that you care and it will help drive you to prepare, practice, and do your best work.
But what about when it’s more than that? What is considered a normal amount of anxiety and how do you determine whether your anxiety goes beyond that threshold? How do you know when it’s time for you to seek help from a medical professional?
There is no clear black-and-white answer to some of these questions. But there are some symptoms that you should pay attention to that may help determine whether you are facing normal anxiety or something more serious like anxiety disorder.
One thing that people with anxiety disorder experience that differentiates from normal anxiety is persistent or excessive worry during situations that are not threatening. The problem is that when you are anxious and worried it can be difficult to recognize when a situation really is not threatening and serious. Here are some other symptoms to watch out for:
- Shortness of breath and racing heartbeat
- Headaches, insomnia, fatigue
- Upset stomach, diarrhea, frequent urination
- Sweating, tremors, twitching
- Problems sleeping
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Feelings of dread or apprehension
- Tense or jumpy
- Irritable and restless
- Always expecting and watching out for danger or anticipating the worst
- Obsessively avoiding feared objects or places
- Can’t concentrate
Again, we may face situations in life that will bring about some of these responses from time to time. That is completely normal. Occasional anxiety is OK and to be expected. Anxiety disorders go well beyond that and cause excessive and constant overwhelming anxiety and fear.
Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
When we talk about anxiety disorders we often lump everything all into one category. It’s not inaccurate to do so but it is also important to understand that there are various types of anxiety disorders and each can have a different impact on the individual. Here is a brief list of some possible anxiety disorders with some of the effects that they may have on an individual person.
Generalized anxiety disorder – This is when someone has excessive worry for no real reason. This is what most people think of when they hear about anxiety disorder.
Panic disorder – Someone will have an intense fear that comes on very suddenly and then can bring on a panic attack. The person may then start showing symptoms like a heart attack with chest pain and heart palpitations. These feelings then cause even more anxiety.
Social Anxiety Disorder – Someone feels very self-conscious or has excessive worry about everyday social situations. They may be obsessively worrying about being embarrassed or ridiculed.
Agoraphobia – A strong fear of being stuck in a place where it seems difficult to escape if there was an emergency of some sort. An example of this could be someone who is extremely worried or fearful about being on an airplane.
Separation anxiety – This isn’t specific to small children. Adults can also experience separation anxiety.
Selective mutism – This one normally impacts children who speak and act normally when they are around their family but they do not speak in public or at school.
What Is CBD
If you are not familiar with CBD then you may even be asking the question ‘what is CBD?”. CBD has garnered a lot of attention over the past few years. Some of it is good and some of the attention has not been so good. So understanding what CBD is and how it may help with anxiety is an important step.
One thing we want to make clear is that CBD is not marijuana. Regardless of what you may have heard CBD and marijuana are not one and the same. However, they both are derived from the cannabis plant which is where much of the confusion comes into play.
CBD is a naturally occurring substance that is found in the cannabis Sativa plant. Even more specifically, we get our CBD from the hemp sub-species of the cannabis plant. Hemp is just a simple way to differentiate cannabis plants that have a THC content under 0.3% to stay in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp is also high in CBD content.
There are numerous cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant. THC and CBD are probably the two most well-known and prominent. THC is the part of marijuana that is recognized for its psychoactive properties. THC is what gives users of marijuana a high feeling.
CBD is part of that same cannabis plant but it is different from THC in that it does not have any mind-altering or psychoactive effects. Because CBD is mostly considered safe to use and does not contain any mind-altering effects it has become a popular option for a variety of ailments.
Can CBD Help With Anxiety
We want to get this out in the open right upfront and make sure that everybody is on the same page. CBD has not been approved by the FDA to treat any anxiety conditions. In fact, there is only one CBD drug, Epidiolex, that has been approved by the FDA to date. That drug is used in treating seizures.
If someone that you know or a company that is selling CBD tells you that the products are FDA approved then they are either incorrect and don’t know the difference or they are just lying to you. Either way, we wouldn’t recommend buying CBD from them.
Even though CBD has not been approved by the FDA that does not mean that CBD can not be effective. In fact, if you do your own research you will find that there are thousands of testimonials about how CBD has helped people manage their anxiety.
CBD works in the body through a system called the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS. More studies are being conducted about the ECS and the roles that it plays. We have been learning that the ECS has a vast amount of functions to help our body’s homeostasis.
Research is also showing that the ECS seems to play an important role in how we react and respond to things that may cause fear, anxiety, and stress. The ECS helps us to be able to adapt to difficult situations that we face.
CBD works through interacting with the ECS and is thought to help to be able to control our behavioral responses such as fear and anxiety.
Is CBD Safe
We again want to reiterate the fact that CBD has not been fully vetted and approved by the FDA. You will not find any CBD products on the shelf with legitimate FDA approval as of this writing. But once again, just because the FDA has not given its stamp of approval does not mean that CBD is unsafe. However, that is sure to turn some prospective CBD customers away.
CBD in itself is generally very well tolerated by people. Meaning it does not normally cause a lot of negative side effects and no serious side effects. Some of the possible side effects could include things like dry mouth, loss of appetite, drowsiness, and diarrhea.
Maybe the biggest cause for concern when it comes to CBD goes back to the lack of overall regulation. The unreliability of some CBD manufacturers and impurities in some products is probably the biggest risk when it comes to CBD being safe. For that reason, we continue to stress the importance of only buying from trusted CBD brands and ones that utilize third-party lab testing.
When you choose to only use CBD products that have been fully tested and are begin sold by a reputable brand you are providing yourself a huge safety net of protection.
Can I Legally Use CBD
As part of the 2018 Farm Bill CBD was made legal on the federal level. The caveat is that CBD comes from hemp. Hemp is simply cannabis that contains a lower level of THC. The maximum threshold for THC in hemp used for CBD is 0.3%.
Having said that you also need to be aware of any local and state regulations regarding CBD. Many states have passed laws that may be somewhat different and more specific than what is laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill. However, in many cases, you will find that these state laws allow for more freedom when it comes to cannabis.
Side Effects of CBD and Is It Addictive
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential”. They also go on to say “To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”.
Although CBD is generally considered by most to be safe to use there is a possibility of some side effects. Some of the negative side effects that are possible from CBD use are:
- Dry mouth
- Temporary drop in blood pressure
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Change in appetite
When you compare the possible side effects and the fact that CBD is not addictive it becomes clear that CBD has much less potential for abuse than many prescription drugs that are on the market today.
How Can I Buy CBD
Buying CBD is easy! You can even buy online from the comfort of your own home if you want to. On top of that, you can even get free shipping from many online CBD companies.
Of course, you can always opt to try a local brick-and-mortar CBD establishment. We are all for supporting local businesses but in the case of CBD, we feel that caution is needed. This goes back to the lack of federal regulation and oversight.
Local CBD businesses can be great and we encourage you to check them out. But please be sure to research and understand exactly what you are buying. Ideally, you would be able to have access to the certificate of analysis (COA) for each product that you are buying. That is the only way to feel confident in what you are buying. As we mentioned before, one of the most dangerous parts of CBD is buying CBD which contains other substances that are dangerous. It’s not the CBD itself that is the most concerning part as long as the CBD was derived from hemp.
What Is Xanax
Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is a sedative that is commonly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is something you can only get as a prescription medication. It is incorporated into a class of medications known as benzodiazepines. Xanax works by enhancing a natural chemical in your body to produce a calming effect.
Can Anyone Use Xanax
Xanax is often prescribed to people from a wide range of age groups. The minimum recommended age that Xanax has been approved for is 18 in the United States.
Older adults may find that they are more sensitive to various side effects of Xanax. They may experience more bouts of things like feeling very drowsy or even losing coordination. This can obviously increase their chances of falling and sustaining serious injuries.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you will want to be especially cautious. Talking with your doctor and pharmacist is highly recommended. Xanax can cause harm to an unborn baby. Xanax also passes through breast milk so if you are nursing an infant it is not recommended that you use Xanax.
Side Effects of Xanax and Is It Addictive
Xanax is a powerful drug and if you are taking it then you need to be careful to follow the pharmacist’s instructions carefully as far as dosing goes. If you are having negative side effects or if they get worse then you need to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about it immediately. There are also many people who use Xanax that do not experience any negative side effects.
Some possible side effects of Xanax are:
- Increased saliva production
- Dizziness or lightheaded
- Feeling drowsy
- Change in sex drive
- Mood changes, hallucinations, or suicidal thoughts
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble walking or loss of coordination
- Difficulty remembering things
Is Xanax Addictive
Xanax is a powerful sedative. It is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for people experiencing panic and anxiety disorders. It can be very effective at helping with anxiety which is why it’s often prescribed.
One of the downfalls of Xanax is that it can be highly addictive. As someone continually uses Xanax your body can become physically dependent on it. This can cause addiction and it can also cause serious problems if someone stops using it cold turkey.
Through research, we have also learned that Xanax impacts the pleasure center in the brain by releasing dopamine. This is also a key reason why Xanax can be very addictive.
The bottom line is that you need to understand the risks. Xanax can be helpful for anxiety but it comes with risk. To minimize the risk of addiction you need to be diligent to only take the medication as prescribed by your doctor. Xanax has the ability to be abused and your body can become dependent on it.
How Do I Buy Xanax
Because Xanax is such a powerful drug it can only be obtained through a medical prescription and filled by a pharmacist. It is not something that you can go and buy over the counter (OTC) at a local store.
The reason is that it has a possibility of being misused and causing addictions and even overdoses.
What To Do If You Believe You Have An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety and stress is a normal part of life. We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Things happen that are out of our control and they can cause fear and anxiety. These feelings happen to all of us.
However, if you are constantly feeling this way and have been for some time then there may be an issue. If you believe that you may have an anxiety disorder of some kind then you should discuss it with your doctor as soon as possible. There are things out there that can help you to manage anxiety so you don’t have to live that way all of the time.
CBD vs Xanax: Which Is Better to Treat Anxiety
Deciding whether CBD or Xanax is the right choice for you can be a difficult decision. If you do believe you have an anxiety disorder then you should discuss it with your doctor. At least then you can go over some options.
Because CBD has not been FDA approved many doctors either haven’t studied a lot about CBD or may be reluctant to even suggest it. In many medical circles CBD does not get a warm welcome so don’t be surprised if your doctor does not highly recommend CBD.
Deciding to try CBD for anxiety is a personal choice. You should make sure you understand what CBD is and the risks and benefits it may provide. Only then can you make a decision as to whether CBD is right for you.
If it were for ourselves we would start with CBD before taking Xanax for anxiety. There are a few reasons we say this. One is that Xanax is powerful. Yes, it can be effective. But it can also be addictive and more dangerous than CBD. You also need a prescription so you will need to go to a pharmacy to get it.
Xanax has a risk of addiction and dependence that we prefer to stay away from unless it’s absolutely necessary. CBD does not appear to have those same types of risks. CBD is also easily attainable by ordering online and having it shipped to your house.
No, CBD is not approved by the FDA. But as long as you are buying CBD from a reputable brand that is thoroughly testing its products and displaying results it GREATLY reduces your risk of contaminants. In our minds, it basically negates not having FDA approval.
Overcoming and dealing with anxiety can be a very difficult road. Sometimes you just can’t do it by yourself. There is nothing wrong with asking for help or taking something that will help you to manage your anxiety. The key is to make wise decisions, talk with your doctor, take appropriate medication doses, and monitor your progress. If something is not working or if you believe you are becoming dependent on medication then you should speak up before it goes any further.