Is An Endocannabinoid Deficiency Causing Your Anxiety?

The Endocannabinoid System, ECS, maintains homeostasis for various bodily and chemical processes to yield balance. What’s more, recent studies prove that phytocannabinoids behave similarly to endocannabinoids. That explains why the body finds it easy when it comes to using CBD beneficially. 

Your CB1 and CB2 receptors act as neural pathways through which your ECS regulates and maintains bodily responses such as pain, movement, emotion, coordination, and mood. However, CBD doesn’t adhere directly to the receptors.

It actually prevents the breakdown of your body’s natural endocannabinoids, which allows it to optimize the utilization of the naturally existing ones. More so, other factors such as stress can lead to a disruption of the ECS and a decrease of the body’s natural endocannabinoids. CBD can actually augment this shortage and ultimately restore the balance. This is by promoting the release of more cannabinoids and inhibiting the overstimulation of the CB1 receptor. 

As of now, it’s not yet fully clear what the exact mechanism is that causes CBD effects on anxiety. Nonetheless, it seems that CBD’s anxiolytic effects come from its associations with the CB1 receptors, as well as the 5-HT1ARs found in the brain.

Specifically, CBD interacts with the 5-HT1As or the serotonin receptors. This a compound that controls mood and feelings of happiness. In general, these 5-HT1A receptors have a significant role in anxiety disorders. Anxiety drugs such as buspirone adhere to this receptor to alleviate the effects of anxiety behaviors. That explains why CBD might have a positive impact on anxiety patients.

What’s more, further studies have also shown that CBD might have a positive impact on anxiety since they interact with the brain’s GABA receptors⁽¹⁾. Once they slow down the brain’s activities, the soothing effect could lower anxiety in stressful situations.

Endocannabinoids’ Role

Endocannabinoids are compounds that the body produces on its own. They work with the ECS to maintain homeostasis. Phytocannabinoids come from outside the body (specifically from plants). They work with the ECS just like the ones we already make ourselves.

Researchers have been looking into two endocannabinoids – 2-AG and anandamide (AEA) to a great extent.

Why Is Anandamide Important?

It can sound simple to say “CBD will make you less stressed.” However, several studies have shown that the accumulation of endocannabinoids in your body is what makes the real difference. Chronic stress can happen because of an “endocannabinoid deficiency”. This happens when something causes your body to produce fewer chemicals like anandamide.

This ultimately leads to an unbalanced body, which might lead to other complications such as illness, fatigue, and skin conditions. If your body has a low anandamide supply, it may equate to increased cortisol. This can cause an unnecessary fight or flight response which results in anxiety.

In general, this is an essential part of a balanced body’s survival instinct. Nonetheless, there can be enhanced endocannabinoid levels during times of acute stress. This increased stress might eventually lead to physical and mental complications, e.g. adrenal burnout. Ultimately, this leads to a further reduction of endocannabinoids. And this cycle keeps going.

Breakdown of CBD Effects on Anxiety

When you ingest CBD, several things occur. One of the vital measures when it comes to stress management is the inhibition of the enzyme FAAH. It’s responsible for breaking down anandamide. As a result, significant anandamide levels can flow freely all over the system. In turn, it may impact the HPA axis – this is the central stress response system.

Tinctures, water solubles, and soft gel capsules are three common ways to consume CBD that are easy and effective.

Recent studies suggest that the accumulation of CBD allows substantially higher anandamide levels. In turn, this can prevent unnecessary levels of cortisol. Simply put, anandamide can act as your stress gatekeeper.

Conclusion: CBD Effects on Anxiety

Research shows that CBD inhibits the efficiency of enzymes like MAGL and FAAH. With these enzymes limited, levels of 2-AG and anandamide increase in your body. The result is simply that users feel more relaxed. This study showed⁽²⁾ that people felt less anxiety from public speaking when they took CBD. This study showed ⁽³⁾ that people with anxiety disorders found relief by taking CBD. If you are interested in benefiting from CBD effects on anxiety, be thorough in your research. Find quality products that label everything clearly and allow third party testing. And always ask your doctor if they think it is a good idea.

The Tanasi Difference

Here at Tanasi, we’ve made it our mission to create the highest quality, scientifically validated hemp extract products that support people’s overall wellness. Our unique, patent-pending CBD+CBDa formulation helps unlock the body’s full potential, learn more about our difference here.

Additional Sources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28249817/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5425583/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
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