Delta 8 is the Perfect Remedy for Anxiety
Anxiety is a widespread phenomenon experienced daily by most people. Thanks to 21st-century technology, human civilization is evolving faster than ever. But this evolution comes at a cost: people are working harder than ever, and thanks to inflation, living expenses are up across the globe. These days there’s a lot to stress about. Many folks turn to alcohol or, in some cases, even prescription pharmaceuticals to cope. But with these substances, the costs and health risks often outweigh the benefits. What if there was a better way? Well, it turns out there is. Delta 8 is the latest and greatest cannabinoid found to have intriguing effects and exciting benefits. Delta 8 can be found in a variety of products, such as gummies or tinctures. In this article, we’ll uncover just what it is that makes delta 8 such an optimal treatment for anxiety.
What is anxiety?
The mayo clinic defines anxiety as “intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.” It is accompanied by physical responses such as a fast heart rate, rapid breathing, and sweating. Anxiety is typically situational, meaning some outside situation or occurrence spurs it. Speaking in public, for example, or meeting with your boss. People with social anxiety are overwhelmed simply by the thought of going to a party where a lot of people may be present. For most, going to a party is viewed as fun and enjoyable, whereas if you have social anxiety, just the thought of being in a large gathering is enough to trigger your body’s fight or flight response, releasing adrenaline and cortisol.
There are also certain disorders in which anxiety happens for no reason at all. You could just be sitting there, and all of a sudden, your heart starts pounding, and you find yourself in the middle of a full-blown panic attack. Disorders such as these are typically the result of chemical imbalances in the brain.
Anxiety that interferes with a person’s daily life, like in the case of panic disorder or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), is very serious. The anxiety of this sort is not to be taken lightly and should always be treated by a medical professional. But when it comes to using delta 8 as a treatment, this is not the anxiety we are referring to. We are talking about general anxiety. Anxiety that most people experience on a daily basis. We’ve all been there; you get home after a long day of work, dealing with rude customers or a boss who asks too much. You sit down on your couch in an attempt to relax, but you just can’t seem to turn your brain off. Your head is swimming with thoughts about conversations you had throughout the day, things you should have said, things you might have forgotten to do. Maybe you can’t help but think about all that you need to get done tomorrow.
We’ve all been here before, and your first instinct is probably to grab a beer out of the fridge or pour a glass of wine. But alcohol may not be the best choice; here’s why.
Alcohol and Anxiety
Alcohol is the most widely used drug on the planet. In the US, at least two-thirds of adults use alcohol in some form. The reason for this being that alcohol and anxiety are closely linked. While alcohol can be a great way to relax and have fun in social settings, it is not without its downsides, and when alcohol is used as a mechanism to cope with anxiety, things can get dangerous.
Comorbidity is a term used in medicine to describe instances where two or more disorders occur in tandem. An Australian National Survey of Mental Health study found a comorbidity rate of 3.3 between AUD (alcohol use disorder) and any anxiety disorder. This means that you are three times more likely to have both AUD and an anxiety disorder than you are to have just one or the other. A similar study conducted by the NCS found that you are nearly five times as likely to have alcohol use disorder if you have generalized anxiety disorder.
The link between anxiety and alcohol abuse is apparent, but the question remains, does prolonged alcohol abuse cause anxiety, or are those with anxiety simply more prone to alcohol abuse? The answer lies within a closer look at alcohol’s effects on the body. Alcohol is a suppressant. When it is ingested, it slows down your heart rate and suppresses your central nervous system. If you have anxiety, alcohol will temporarily provide relief as it slows down your mental processes and alleviates racing thoughts. The problem is that once the alcohol wears off, the resulting hangover produces a great deal of anxiety. If your hangover is severe enough, it can lead to panic attacks and hospitalization. So while drinking in the short term might alleviate your symptoms, they are going to get much worse in the long term. Alcohol is also highly addictive. The more frequently you drink, the more alcohol you need to continue feeling the same effects, thus perpetuating the cycle.
Those who already have anxiety are likely to drink because they find temporary relief from their symptoms, while those who abuse alcohol will likely develop some form of anxiety disorder if they continue their usage over the long term.
Cannabis and Anxiety
For a long time, the notion has existed that you could use marijuana to treat anxiety. From movie portrayals to first-hand accounts, the general consensus seems to be that marijuana makes you mellow and carefree. People use marijuana when they want to chill out, and doctors even prescribe medical marijuana for anxiety. But what evidence is there to prove this?
A 2017 study by the University of Washington found that in low doses, delta 9 THC, which is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, does indeed reduce anxiety. But in high doses, the opposite was found. Large quantities of Δ9 THC increase anxiety. These findings are, in truth, not very surprising. Many people have either experienced anxiety from getting too high or know someone who has experienced this. In an article titled Is Marijuana Too Strong? We examine how increased potency has led to more instances of marijuana-related anxiety.
Another study published in the journal of Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental concluded that “acute anxiety is the most common adverse effect of cannabis use.” It’s important to note that when they refer to “cannabis use,” they are explicitly referring to THC Δ9. Not all chemicals present within the cannabis plant have that same effect. In fact, the same paper stated that CBD demonstrated anxiolytic properties. Anxiolytic, meaning it reduces anxiety.
Delta 8 and anxiety
Delta 8, just like CBD, is an anxiolytic. People often want to know the difference between delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC. The two produce very similar effects, but those of Δ8 are much less potent than those of Δ9. It is the watered-down version, and because of this, you don’t have to worry about getting too high like you would with standard marijuana products. While marijuana can be a great tool to combat anxiety, you have to walk a tight line between too much and too little. With delta 8 you don’t have to worry about that. Even if you take a hefty dose of delta 8 you’ll never get as high as you would with a large amount of Δ9. Plus, delta 8 doesn’t cause anxiety in the same way. There have been no reported cases of users getting uncomfortably high or feeling anxious from taking delta 8.
Many users on Reddit report positive results from using delta 8 to help with their anxiety. In a Reddit thread titled “Delta-8 is a godsend for me,” a user explains how his anxiety became much worse due to the pandemic. He uses delta 8 to provide relief and mentions that regular THC makes him panic but not Δ8. You can read the thread here.
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