Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Cannabidiol (CBD) medicine can help you manage your panic disorder symptoms and live a more comfortable life. Find out how you can use CBD to tap into your body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Panic disorders are anxiety disorders that cause panic attacks. During a panic attack, you feel intense fear and anxiety. These feelings become so strong that you experience physical symptoms like heavy breathing, shaking and an increased heartbeat. You may even feel a sense of doom or like you are going to die. Although panic attacks cause no immediate harm, it can be difficult to understand that when you feel extreme panic.
Conditions that count as panic disorders include:
Some people experience a condition known as panic disorder that causes sudden and unexpected panic attacks. The unpredictable panic attacks can result in avoidant behaviors and mood symptoms. A person with panic disorder may have constant worries about their next panic attack.
CBD works with your mind and body to regulate your mood and thinking patterns. It gives you more control over your symptoms so you can focus on recovery.
We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that manages cannabinoids, the compounds found in marijuana. The ECS creates its own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and also works with cannabinoids from cannabis (phytocannabinoids). Two receptors called CB1 and CB2 bind to cannabinoids and send signals to our bodies. When you take cannabis medicine, the body uses the cannabinoids in it to regulate your systems.
The ECS also maintains our brains, including the parts related to feelings of panic. The central amygdala manages emotional learning and stress responses. In other words, it teaches our brains how to react to triggers and handles anxiety. It also has CB1 receptors that bind to cannabinoids. We can use cannabinoids like CBD to tap into the amygdala’s ability to regulate itself.
CBD boosts your endocannabinoids’ ability to control your functions. Instead of attaching to a receptor, it increases the amount of anandamide in your body. It acts as a blocker for FAAH, the fatty acid responsible for breaking anandamide down. When you use CBD, it lets your body use more anandamide.
Anandamide activates the CB1 receptors in your amygdala and regulates its activity. When you have an overactive amygdala, you can use CBD to manage its responses. As a result, you have lowered anxiety levels. The increase in anandamide also improves your overall mood, and CBD attaches to your serotonin receptors for further benefits.
Since CBD has no psychoactive properties, it keeps you calm instead of exacerbating your anxiety. THC-based medication can increase anxiety levels for some patients. However, CBD doesn’t have this side effect, and it can reduce the effect when added to THC medicine.
You can get CBD medication through a medical marijuana program, at a 21+ dispensary or from a natural health store. The CBD oil that comes from online and brick-and-mortar health stores has fewer regulations than those in dispensaries. However, you can find high-quality CBD oil by checking the product formula and store reputation. When you buy medicine from a dispensary, it may have THC in it. Talk to the staff members about their product formulas and find a balance that works for you.
Any type of CBD product can help your symptoms except for some topical treatments. The medicine needs to reach your brain to relieve your feelings of anxiety. When you use a cream, lotion or similar treatment, most of the medicine absorbs into the skin and muscle. Meanwhile, edibles, pills, inhaled medication and ingested oil travel through your bloodstream to your brain. These medications last for various lengths and take different amounts of time to come into effect.
For the best results, we recommend getting advice from a cannabis-trained doctor. These medical professionals understand how cannabinoids like CBD relieve different ailments. They can help you out even when you don’t plan on joining your state’s medical marijuana program. Search our doctor listings to find a physician in your area.
CBD and cannabis medicine can relieve various ailments through the ECS. Learn more about our list of treatable conditions.
Learn more about Panic Disorder and what makes medical marijuana an effective treatment for Panic Disorder’s symptoms.