The Calm Within The Storm?
For the past five months, our world has been turned upside by the Covid19 pandemic. The virus’s effects are even more widespread than what we hear about on the daily news updates. Every aspect of our lives has been impacted and for most of us, the impact has been largely negative.
Aside from the fear of contracting the virus itself, or of spreading it to our loved ones, there are so many other crises in the world to worry about; from the economic impact the pandemic will have on people’s lives and livelihoods, to our children’s social and academic well-being, to the social unrest that is going on which is also having a dramatic impact on so many aspects of daily life. The world we live in has suddenly become an incredibly uncertain place.
The human brain is uniquely vulnerable to uncertainty.
Our brains like predictability. This trait dates back to prehistoric times, when we needed to know where the safe watering holes were; where we could go to safely find food; and where we could shelter safely and without fear of being eaten by wild animals or killed by warring tribes. Predictability reinforces to us that our world is safe, and more importantly, that we are safe within our world. 2020 has thrown us all a curveball. Life during a pandemic is one thing, but a pandemic of the digital age is the stuff that (bad) dreams are made of. We are constantly bombarded with information about Covid19. Information that is filled with contradictions and changes on a weekly if not daily basis. When this happens, it creates a state of being in our brains called “hypervigilance”. Hypervigilance means being overly sensitive to all of the information we are exposed to; it can feel like a psychological ‘assault’. Our brains are on high alert all the time, seeking information that may possibly be helpful in meeting our most basic need for safety and stability.
Living with uncertainty causes our brain to have to work harder, to take in and process more and more information, trying to make choices that will keep us safe. In trying to find safety in a world of uncertainty, what actually happens is that our brains seek out and begin to find ‘threats’ everywhere. The ‘threats’ can be real or they can simply be misperceived. And when we are exposed to extreme or prolonged stress, our brains, and their electrical pathways can become rewired to overreact to negative information, or ‘triggers’.
And THIS is how anxiety disorders are created.
Before Covid19 entered our lives, we already had a problem in the United States with anxiety disorders. Nearly 20% of our population will experience one of the anxiety or anxiety-related disorders in their lifetime. These disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD, to name a few.
Unfortunately, many of the available treatment options for patients suffering from anxiety disorders are not very effective; and they come with a lot of potential side effects, as well. The antidepressant medications are routinely used to treat anxiety-related disorders, and these include many that we all familiar with, names like Lexapro, Celexa, Zoloft, and Prozac; also Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq are commonly used, despite having a large body of clinical research that shows minimal improvement in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. The side effects of these medications include everything from weight gain to sexual dysfunction to worsening of anxiety and depression. Anxiolytic medications like Xanax, valium, and Klonopin are specifically ‘anti-anxiety’ medications, and while they are very effective at treating anxiety, there should be a lot of caution exercised when taking these medications, given their high risk for developing tolerance (which means they become less effective with long-term use, and higher doses are needed) and they are addictive.
Is it possible that there is a safer, more effective, very holistic treatment option with minimal side effects, no dependency, or overdose risks? Is it possible such a treatment could come from a plant, not a laboratory, and offer a better option for millions of people suffering from anxiety disorders?
You bet it is.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-hallucinogenic, pharmacologically active component of the cannabis plant that has been researched extensively and been shown to have tremendous promise for treating all of the different forms of anxiety disorders from generalized anxiety disorder to PTSD and even obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Covid-19 related anxiety has been well-documented, although I don’t think any of us need a research study to realize that the pandemic has created a tremendous amount of anxiety in our lives. Those of us who are involved in patient care have seen the patients suffering from the stress brought on by Covid, and we’ve been inundated with requests for help, usually dispensed in the form of an FDA-approved, black-box warning-labeled little pill.
It’s important for patients to know that there is another option for treating anxiety disorders. Just like any prescription drug or treatment option, nothing comes with a guarantee, but CBD oil has excellent science demonstrating its potential benefit for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders including PTSD. Compared to the known side effects of prescription anti-depressants, (including, but not limited to: weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, sleep disturbances, and headaches), CBD oil has minimal side effects associated with its use at typical dosing ranges.
CBD oil works at the cellular level in the precise areas of our brains where anxiety originates to calm down the fight-or-flight responses that happen when we are anxious. CBD works to prevent those memories from causing exaggerated responses to occur. Cannabis medicine also helps to decrease the nightmares that can occur in PTSD and anxiety disorders, to allow patients to have restful sleep, and promote recovery.
H-empirical CBD comes in a variety of strengths, flavors, and in tinctures or gummies; to meet each patient’s different needs. It comes in pleasant flavors and it comes with the peace of mind from knowing that it is organically-grown, independent third-party laboratory-tested, and free from molds, contaminants, and toxins. Not all CBD products are created equally and selecting a product that is high quality, and laboratory-verified for quality, content, and purity is very critical.
H-empirical offers the safety and quality that you need when choosing a product.
The covid-19 pandemic will end, and eventually, we will be able to return to some degree of normalcy. Even when that happens there will still be patients who suffer from anxiety. CBD oil is a better, safer alternative for many patients. Next time you or a loved one experiences anxiety, consider trying H-empirical CBD tincture. You won’t regret it, and it just may change your life.
In good health,