Anxiety and Stress During the COVID 19 Crisis Pain
Experiencing anxiety and stress is a normal response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The public is worried about their own health, as well as the health of their loved ones. The impact of this crisis has affected various aspects of life, including finances, school, work, the ability to partake in social gatherings, and the ability to visit loved ones. People who already experience anxiety and stress may find that their anxiety and stress are worsening during this pandemic.
Anxiety is the basis of various disorders such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobia. Symptoms of anxiety vary greatly by person but may include rapid breathing, increased heart rate, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.
The terms stress and anxiety are commonly used interchangeably; however, they are two different conditions. Anxiety is a reaction to stress. Chronic stress can affect your health by causing symptoms such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, loss of sleep, and chest pain. Nonetheless, the physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety and stress are similar, and can be severe.
Managing Anxiety and Stress
There are many ways to manage stress and anxiety such as meditating, getting regular exercise, as well as limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption. Medications to treat anxiety and stress include antidepressants and sedatives, which commonly result in unpleasant side effects such as memory problems, drowsiness, sexual dysfunction, headaches, diarrhea, and vision problems
Cannabidiol (CBD), one of almost 200 cannabinoids found in cannabis, may be used to treat anxiety and stress. Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive. A small study performed in 2010 demonstrated that CBD may alter the blood flow to regions of the brain linked to feelings of anxiety, thus revealing it’s potential to reduce symptoms of social anxiety disorder. Additionally, a 2011 study showed that CBD can reduce social anxiety.
A pre-clinical research study conducted in 2014 showed that CBD oil has anxiolytic-like effects on animal models. This study involved a range of CBD oil doses on animal models performing stress-inducing tests such as a forced swimming test (FST) and an elevated plus maze (EPM). A 2016 research study showed that CBD can significantly aid in stress induced sleep issues, specifically on patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder induced anxiety.
Clinical studies have cautioned the use of high-THC products for patients with anxiety or stress disorders, due to the cannabinoid’s psychoactive effects. However, a hybrid of CBD and THC has been studied to be effective as the CBD may modulate the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD has been reported to have potential therapeutic effects for patients suffering from stress and anxiety. However, some anxiety disorders may require additional intervention such as therapy or medications. Presently, there is no research cautioning negative health effects associated with CBD intake. Further research is required to understand the long-term health effects associated with CBD consumption.
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