Can CBD Treat Panic Attacks?

Oct 28 2017 1 Comment

Panic attacks are scary to experience, and even scarier to witness. They oftentimes take up symptoms of strokes and can cause unconsciousness. With 1.7% of the population, approximately 2.4 million Americans, having experienced a panic attack at least once in their life, it’s become more common and definitely more important to bring awareness to panic attacks, and highlight possible remedies.

What are Panic Attacks?

Firstly, a panic attack is the overwhelming feeling of anxiety or fear that seemingly occurs out of nowhere. Symptoms of a panic attack include a dangerously fast heart rate, becoming short of breath, inability to move, choking up, chills and shaking. These frightening signs of a panic attack strike without any warning, and make the situation even more difficult to handle.

Why Do You Experience Panic Attacks?

While the origins of each individual's panic attacks vary, we can assume that the majority of them stem from high levels of stress. Genetics also play a role in the likeness of panic attacks and other mental health conditions.

There are times, however, when your subconscious is responsible for triggering a panic attack. Traumatic situations, bad dreams or generally negative experiences have a tendency to remain in the subconscious, and appear without warning, causing a panic attack. Panic attacks can also be a symptom of heart problems, low blood sugar, drug addiction and hyperthyroidism.

Possible Treatments for Panic Attacks

Conventional medications, while are sometimes effective, are known for their undesirable side effects. Less intrusive treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a common and effective treatment for individuals that have experienced multiple panic attacks. CBD oil is derived from hemp products and contains no THC. 


  • Reducing Fear

According to a preclinical study published in NCBI by Campos AC, CBD exhibited the possibility of reducing symptoms of fear, a commonality in those who have experienced multiple panic attacks.

These individuals are conditioned to feel fear in particular situations that can trigger their panic attacks. If the infralimbic cortex, which is responsible for emotional responses such as fear, is targeted, then these instances can decrease. 

  • Blocking Unintentional Memory Retrieval

A person’s memory plays a large role in anxiety and probability of panic attacks, as a flashback to a traumatic incident is the most common trigger of panic attacks.

According to the same trial mentioned above published in NCBI, the study observed that CBD could block the unintentional retrieval of memories in rats. It was reported that when CBD activates the CB1 receptor, it could possibly block the traumatic memories of rats, reducing the probability of recurring panic attacks. Additionally, serotonin production assists in reducing fear, panic and anxiety.  5-HT1A receptors, which attach to serotonin transmitters, and are responsible for decreasing blood pressure and heart rate.  

Only now do we understand how common panic attacks are, and the importance of bringing awareness to them. Stemming from stressful situations, or instances of trauma, panic attacks are definitely nothing to take lightly, and need to be treated with caution.



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