Cognitive disorders – particularly mood related ones such as depression and anxiety – have proven to be very fertile soil for the CBD revolution. We have seen one case after another, and a big batch of anecdotal evidence, to prove this point out. Today, we’re going to explore the answer to the question why.
It may surprise you to understand that feelings of anxiety are perfectly natural and healthy. We obsess in today’s society over anxiety as purely a defect. But in fact, it’s much more.
Evolution has armed us with a defense mechanism that has been honed over millions of years to help us respond in an accurate and timely manner to various stimuli that are probabilistically likely to emerge in our environment of evolutionary adaptation.
If you want to understand what the real problem is, then you need look no further than the vast changes we have made through culture to how the world works. We have created a daily life context that is completely detached from our longer-term environment of evolutionary adaptation.
As a result, our instincts are no longer properly suited to our daily life experiences.
In a sense, it all comes down to the hypothalamus and the amygdala – the two areas of the brain that are responsible for controlling our behavior on an instinctive basis based on sensory data streaming in through our eyes and ears and other senses.
For someone with an anxiety disorder, this instinctive response system misfires on a continual basis, constantly alerting the body of the need to be ready to fight or flee to avoid some unhappy outcome. It is an exaggeration of the fundamental misalignment that has been produced to the adaptation we have made to our world in relationship to the environment where those instincts initially evolved.
CBD and Anxiety
It may surprise you to find out that the most abundant receptors to be found in the human brain are the CB1 receptors – an intimate and integral part of the endocannabinoid system. This is also precisely why THC has such a powerful impact on the functionality of the brain (THC is a powerful agonist for the CB1 receptor).
However, research has found that CBD has an important impact on these receptors as well: it appears to effect the receptors by provoking the transportation of critical proteins that carry neurotransmitters into and out of neurons at a rapid rate.
The results? The triggering of a positive feedback loop that cycles greater and greater production of these important elements of neurochemistry.
Perhaps most importantly, this effect has been strongly seen for the neurotransmitter serotonin. This neurotransmitter plays a critical role in precisely those elements of mood regulation that are crucial to tipping the balance from disorder back to order where our anxiety system is concerned.
While we are still working to understand all of the mechanisms involved in governing this important system and helping people suffering from this difficult disorder, we do already understand certain principles that show extraordinary promise. For the most part, we can tell that CBD is responsible for several important mechanisms integral to the management of anxiety disorder, including a virtuous circle of serotonin ubiquity, the blocking of the reuptake of adenosine, and the mediation of pain signals in binding to vanilloid receptors.
That said, one may rest assured that that much more focused research is on the way.