CBD vs Other Anxiety Medications
Posted by NECTAR WELLNESS
About 1 in 4 Americans has experienced some form of an anxiety disorder, whether it be generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety/social phobia, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), panic disorder, or one of the other many types of anxiety disorders that exist. Anxiety can be a debilitating condition that gets in the way of many aspects of everyday life, including work and socializing, which is why it’s so important that anxiety sufferers receive some kind of treatment.
Fortunately, Anxiety is a Fully Treatable Condition
Today, there are many medications out there that can be prescribed by a psychiatrist, along with a multitude of natural remedies that have varying levels of effectiveness. One holistic solution that does have research to back it up, however, is cannabidiol (CBD). In this case, we will take a look at how CBD compares to prescription anxiety medications that are most commonly taken for this condition.
First, we’ll talk about the most common go-to for anxiety: benzodiazepines, which refers to a class of drugs including Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. These drugs work on a neurotransmitter called GABA, which is in charge of brain activity. By increasing GABA, thoughts slow down significantly, and the person no longer experiences feelings of hypervigilance and being overwhelmed.
Benzodiazepines are very effective, but they come with some issues. One is that they can be extremely inhibiting due to how much they slow down brain activity, making it hard to focus on things like work and driving. They are also not meant to be taken long-term, as they are highly addictive and can cause serious and potentially deadly withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are commonly used to treat depression, but they can also address anxiety by increasing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that gives us a feeling of happiness and contentment. These drugs block the reabsorption of serotonin so that it’s easily available to serotonin receptors in the brain. Examples include Lexapro, Celexa, Prozac and Paxil.
SSRIs, like benzodiazepines, can be very helpful to anxiety sufferers. But, they are associated with certain side effects including weight gain, migraines, dizziness, sexual dysfunction, insomnia and loss of motivation. Taking them in the long term can have negative effects on cognition. Also, when taking SSRIs, one has to be extremely careful about consuming alcohol as well as other medications.
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor drugs are becoming more commonly prescribed to those who have anxiety. What they do is balance the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine, another mood-mediating neurotransmitter, in the brain to introduce a stronger sense of calm and contentment. The most commonly prescribed SNRIs are Cymbalta, Savella and Effexor XR.
These drugs typically cause the same side effects as SSRIs – mainly sexual dysfunction, weight gain, migraines and insomnia – and can lead to high blood pressure. This is a newer class of psychiatric drugs, so there is not as much information about long-term effects related to functions like cognition.
Tricyclic antidepressants are becoming more commonly prescribed among anxiety sufferers – especially Elavil, Tofranil, Asendin, Vivactil, and Silenor. They do not treat all anxiety disorders, and so are better for those with generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder. But, they come with the risk of serious side effects, including potentially fatal heart conditions along with hypotension and changes in vision.
How Does CBD Stack Up to the Above?
Cannabidiol is the only natural, nontoxic choice on our list. CBD is a cannabinoid, and its job is to attach itself to cannabinoid receptors in the brain to regulate the balance of neurotransmitters that affect our mood, including serotonin, cortisol, GABA and melatonin. CBD can be enormously effective when taken daily and doesn’t come with any known risk of serious side effects, nor is it addictive.
Because of this, cannabidiol can be taken in the long term without any risk of dependency or withdrawal. CBD has become an extremely popular option for those who want to stay away from pharmaceuticals, and even has been shown countless times in clinical trials to offer a tangible positive effect on those suffering from all kinds of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety, among others.
Choosing CBD for Your Anxiety
At the end of the day, it’s safe to say that cannabidiol is the least risky choice out of all of the above anxiety treatments. And, you don’t need a prescription for it, either, all while studies have confirmed repeatedly that it could be extremely effective at addressing all kinds of anxiety disorders at their root cause. So, if you want a holistic option for managing your anxiety, Nectar Wellness Supercharged™ CBD Oil, Supercharged™ CBD Gummies, and Supercharged™ Vape Cartridges are fantastic options that may very well give you the relief you’ve been looking for.
Please Note: If you’re on medications for an anxiety disorder, it would be best to speak with your doctor and/or a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist first. Afterall, they do have access to your medical records, and can therefore make a proper determination if taking CBD is the right course of action. Basically, CBD could suppress the CYP3A4 enzyme that metabolizes half the medications we commonly take.