If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know very well that in that moment of anxiety, you can feel like you’re dying. When we have a panic attack, our nervous system goes through a series of biochemical changes that can be quite scary to say the least. Anyone who regularly has panic attacks is, understandably, desperate for a way to find relief. While there are medications out there that can help, many panic attack sufferers are interested in taking a more natural approach to their mental health.
That’s where CBD
comes in. As you may know, CBD has been thoroughly studied for its potential anti-anxiety benefits. So, it is not surprising that CBD may be able to help with panic attacks as well.
If you’re a panic attack sufferer, you may want to think about taking CBD habitually in order to experience relief from your symptoms. We are going to talk about the ways in which CBD might be able to keep panic attacks at bay. But, before we do, let’s get deeper into what panic attacks are and why they occur.
What are Panic Attacks?
Quite simply, panic attacks are temporary, sudden moments of panic that produce a series of symptoms in both the mind and body. Many people wrongfully think that panic attacks and anxiety attacks are the same thing. This is understandable considering the fact that the symptoms are extremely similar, and that they both stem from anxiety and stress. However, panic attacks are quite different in several ways.
Panic attacks, unlike anxiety attacks, seemingly occur without a clear trigger. In other words, panic attacks come on at seemingly random times, whereas anxiety attacks are a clear response to a stressful event or circumstance. This makes panic attacks all the scarier as the sufferer feels as though they have no control over these episodes.
Believe it or not, panic attacks occur as a biological response to stress that is meant to help us. Our subconscious mind believes that we are in danger, and so the nervous system goes through a series of biochemical changes so that we may be able to defend ourselves. It is believed that these changes to the nervous system served our ancestors who were faced with more physical danger on a regular basis than we are today.
What Causes a Panic Attack?
Panic attacks are linked to an underlying anxiety disorder, and many people who suffer from PTSD
are prone to panic attacks. Many psychologists believe that panic attacks are more likely to occur in people who habitually suppress their feelings and thoughts. This can explain why these attacks seem to come on out of nowhere. If a person’s worries and feelings are suppressed enough, the anxiety gets bottled up until it has no choice but to be expressed in the form of a panic attack.
What is Panic Disorder?
Many people will experience one or two panic attacks during their lifetime. However, many anxiety sufferers have what is known as panic disorder, in which they experience panic attacks frequently.
What are the Symptoms of Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks have many symptoms, and not every sufferer will have the exact same symptoms. In terms of psychological symptoms, a panic attack can cause a person to experience a feeling of impending doom, as though they were about to die or as though something terrible were about to happen. They will also experience racing thoughts and find it difficult to focus.
Physically, symptoms can include:
- Rapid heartrate
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Tingling sensations
- Numbness of the feet and hands
- Hot flashes
- Stomach pain
How are Panic Attacks Treated?
For many people, panic attacks last no longer than thirty minutes, which means that the majority of sufferers can wait things out without requiring medical treatment. However, those with panic disorder often try to find a treatment that will help prevent future panic attacks from occurring.
Panic attack sufferers are advised to seek counseling in order to diagnose and address the underlying cause of the anxiety. Some doctors may prescribe patients benzodiazepine drugs as well. These drugs can help stop a person from having panic attacks, but they are highly addictive and not meant to be taken over a long period of time.
Would CBD Be Able to Help with Panic Attacks?
As we said earlier, CBD is becoming a common natural treatment for anxiety. This is due to its potential ability to lower cortisol in the brain. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and when this hormone is present in high amounts, panic attacks can occur. Cannabidiol naturally has the potential to regulate the amount of cortisol that is secreted.
One study found that CBD was able to prevent panic attacks in both humans and animals that have panic disorder. Cannabidiol, according to the study, has powerful anxiolytic properties, meaning that it can calm the mind and nervous system quickly and effectively.
Taking CBD for Panic Attacks
Before you begin a CBD regimen to treat a health-related issue, you must speak to your doctor first. This is especially true if you’re already taking another medication.
The Administration Method Matters
There are two ways to take CBD for panic attacks. One way is taking it on an “as needed” basis. The other way is taking it daily so that CBD is always present in the system, which may help prevent panic attacks from occurring.
If you are taking CBD as needed, as in, when a panic attack is coming on, the administration method is extremely important. Different administration methods take different lengths of time to kick in, so you want something that works fast. It’s believed that vaping CBD allows a person to feel its potential effects within minutes. However, tinctures
can also take effect with 1-2 hr. period and can last for up to 8 hrs.
Know the Dosage Level that is Right for You
Another thing that is especially important is that you take the proper dosage level. Everyone’s body is different, which means that different people will respond to different dosage levels. We suggest starting with the recommended dose and sticking with it for a couple weeks. If you feel that you still are not finding adequate relief, you can increase the dose in small increments.
Treat Your Panic Attacks in a Holistic Manner
While panic attacks can be devastating and terrifying, it is possible that many sufferers can find relief in a natural way. CBD might be able to help a person manage the anxiety that can lead to these crippling episodes. If you want to take CBD as a method for managing panic attacks, speak with your doctor. It just may give you the sense of calm that you’ve been searching for.