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Anxiety and other mood disorders likely affects many of your chiropractic patients and hemp seed oil may help.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder afflict approximately 18 percent of the population, or roughly 40 million adult Americans.
Based on these numbers, this means that approximately 1 in 5 people will develop some type of anxious condition at some point in their lives, making it the “most common mental illness in the U.S.” according to the ADAA.
Because symptoms of anxiety—some of which the National Institute of Mental Health says include restlessness, irritability, fatigue, and sleep issues—can greatly reduce a person’s quality of life, those suffering from this category of conditions often find themselves in search of effective ways to reduce these sometimes debilitating feelings.
While some treatment options involve taking prescription medications to relieve the emotional distress, one all-natural option is hemp seed oil.
Hemp seed oil, fatty acids, and anxiety
As explained rather in-depth by Seed Guides, hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant. While the entire plant can be used in the oil creation process, Seed Guides shares that the seeds are the most powerful part of the plant when it comes to producing top quality oils that contain healthy levels of various omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids—compounds known to affect a person’s anxiety levels.
Case in point, Medscape Medical News published an article sharing how one study reduced anxiety in its participants by as much as 20 percent simply by having them take an omega-3 supplement for a period of 90 days. As a side note, this study also discovered that participant’s interleukin 6 (IL-6) production was reduced by 14 percent after the 3-month supplement time frame.
This is important to note as the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that this protein specifically “is primarily produced at sites of acute and chronic inflammation.” Thus, lowering it provides additional health-related effects.
Another study, this one released in April 2015 by Pain, the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, found that proper amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can also help reduce the incidences of migraines and headaches. This type of chronic and reoccurring head pain is a symptom the ADAA calls “a good indicator” that someone is suffering from an anxiety-driven disorder.
Phytocannibinoids and terpenes
Hemp oils which contain supportive amounts of phytocannibinoids and terpenes that can have additional positive effects on the neurological system. What do these two substances have to do with anxiety?
Phytocannibinoids contained within the Cannabis sativa plant play an important role in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a system of natural biochemicals and their responding receptors which are responsible for proper brain and body function.
Put another way by one article published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in January of 2012, “the ECS can be considered as a regulatory buffer system for emotional responses.” Thus, maintaining its health is critical to maintaining healthy levels of anxiety.
Furthermore, Leafly informs that cannabis terpenes “are fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity.” Accordingly, some aromas provide more anti-anxiety benefits than others. For instance, the terpene linalool has a floral, citrus, or spice smell and it provides many benefits related to anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Additionally, the terpene limonene has a lemon or orange aroma, making it another effective anti-anxiety option.
Put simply, together these two compounds can help users relieve anxiety. But that doesn’t mean that hemp seed oil doesn’t face one major objection. And it’s an objection that can stop healthcare professionals from recommending its use.
Addressing objections to hemp seed oil
Despite the positive effects that hemp seed oil has on reducing an individual’s anxiety levels, it is still a plant which has been highly controversial in both the medical community and the population at large due to the fact that the plant it is derived from contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
It only stands to reason then that this brings up the question as to whether or not hemp seed oil creates a psychoactive response in its users, the same type of response that is typical when marijuana is consumed via smoking, inhaling vapors, or in a variety of edible treats.
Fortunately for anxiety sufferers, Seed Guides indicates that hemp seed oil does not create this same type of psychoactive effect as “hemp oil is typically almost free of THC.”
In other words, this particular oil provides all of the scientifically proven benefits of hemp seed—one of which is its reduction of anxiety—without negative psychological effects on the user commonly associated with THC. That makes it an oil that can provide some much needed anxiety relief.
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