Mental Health Week 2023
May 15th – 21st 2023 marks Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, an event which has been running since 2001 and has become one of the world’s most significant observances for raising awareness of mental health conditions and removing the stigma.
This year, the theme is anxiety – an issue that Mental Health UK has estimated that over 8 million people in the UK are experiencing at any time.
It may come as no surprise that rates of anxiety have soared in the past few years, increasing by 25% in the last year alone. This has prompted the World Health Organisation to advise all global leaders to pay extra attention to mental health and well-being. However, we still have a long way to go in reaching all those who require help and providing the support they really need.
As anxiety has risen, so too have anti-anxiety drug prescriptions. The Independent recently published a report revealing that hundreds of thousands more women than men have been prescribed “powerful anti-anxiety drugs which experts warn are harder to come off than heroin”, referring to benzodiazepines. And although women are diagnosed with anxiety twice as much as men, it’s thought that the reason for this is that men with anxiety are slipping under the radar due to cultural pressure to be stoic and suppress emotions.
Fortunately, this mental health crisis has also prompted us to start looking at anxiety (and the treatment of it) in a whole new, more holistic way. Those suffering from the condition are keener than ever to find ways to address the root cause of their distress, and they’re also turning to traditional plant medicines and practices for respite.
CBD oil for anxiety
We specialise in CBD and stock a wide range of brands for CBD Oil. While this supplement isn’t a panacea (or even a ‘medicine’, officially speaking) and it won’t solve all your problems, the CBD molecule (the most abundant cannabinoid in CBD oil) has been shown to interact with the body in fascinating ways, which may help support balance in the mind and body overall.
When it comes to anxiety, endocannabinoids (the cannabinoids naturally produced by the body) play an integral role. One endocannabinoid, Anandamide, has been found to work rather like a gatekeeper for stress (and therefore anxiety) in the brain, keeping the fight or flight response under wraps unless it’s actually needed.
When levels of Anandamide are healthy in the brain, this neurotransmitter naturally helps to keep anxiety and stress in check. But when it’s depleted, as may happen as a result of lack of sleep, illness, or chronic stress, it’s easier for that stress response to cascade inappropriately.
Fortunately, the CBD molecule temporarily inhibits the enzyme which breaks down endocannabinoids, resulting in higher levels of endocannabinoids flowing around your body and brain.
Many terpenes (aromatic compounds, of which there are over 50,000 in nature and often over 100 in certain cannabis cultivars) are also thought to have anti-anxiety potential. So, many CBD consumers prefer full spectrum oils or terpene-infused oils to take advantage of this.