If we were to rank the degree to which CBD has been accepted and adopted by society at large as a device for therapy and treatment of various different types of health concerns and conditions, we might rank its application for anxiety, and particularly social anxiety, as very near the top.
One of the reasons for this is because the available treatments can be seen as falling so far short, as well as containing of vast array of different unwanted side effects.
In addition, social anxiety is very difficult to define from a medical standpoint in terms of causality. And therefore, the scientists that sit in the pantheon for the medical and pharmaceutical establishment have a very difficult time understanding how to come up with a large or small molecule treatment.
In some sense, this makes it seem as if social anxiety is not a â€śrealâ€ť treatable condition. But for those suffering from this condition, that isnâ€™t very reassuring. Thatâ€™s why many people are now embracing CBD as a very important part of this equation. So letâ€™s explore the specifics of that development.
Understanding Social Anxiety
The acronym providing the shorthand for social anxiety disorder is one of the most appropriate acronyms that we have in the English language: SAD.
Social anxiety disorder, or â€śsocial phobiaâ€ť, is really about the avoidance of complex or significant social situations. Think of it something like a fear of being in the spotlight of the perception of other people, particularly in group situations.
It is thought that this condition could affect as many as 1% of the current population of the United States. But it is important to not confuse this with concepts such as a fear of public speaking or â€śstage frightâ€ť, which are vastly more common.
In this case, we are focused strictly on very nonthreatening social interactions â€“ the simple experience of everyday life among people. And one can imagine how this may have a dramatic impact on oneâ€™s ability to actualize themselves in daily life or experience a sense of quality of life.
While only about 3 million Americans statistically suffer from social anxiety disorder, the condition is particularly prevalent in those between the ages of 13 and 18 years of age. And this makes sense: for most of us, we can recall these years and understand exactly what this statistic is pointing to. This is when youâ€™re just beginning to come to understand yourself in the world as a separate being and a part of a larger society. And part of that process of understanding is about what psychologists call the self-reflective mirror. It is about imagining how others are perceiving and judging you.
CBD and Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is effectively an inflation of the importance of assessing and understanding hypotheses about the perception and judgment of others.
Most importantly, however, the end result of this is a cycle of emotionality that results in something that can be thought of as â€ślearned fearâ€ť. This shifts the neurochemistry of an individual into what can progress into a chronic state.
At the end of the day, as we are now beginning to understand, this comes down to the actions of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The brainâ€™s primary excitatory neurotransmitter is known as glutamate. It is up to the cannabinoids receptors in the mammalian brain to control the release and reuptake of glutamate.
The principal inhibitor of glutamate is GABA. It is through the regulation of the combination of these two molecules that the endocannabinoid system modulates a homeostasis of the brain that comes into play as a critical element in the equation that drives the existence of this chronic form of social anxiety disorder.
As we have covered extensively, introduction of CBD into the endocannabinoid system leads to a strong potential for a rebalancing of the functionality of that system.
Further research will likely demonstrate the precise specifics of how CBD related products impact the endocannabinoid systemâ€™s regulation of these important elements of neurochemistry to control and resolve situations that result in a chronic version of social anxiety disorder