Q: I have a lot of anxiety. I think I always have, but it seems to have gotten worse lately. When I need to give presentations at work I am just full of dread. I’ve also noticed feeling more anxious when different social engagements come up and I’ve actually been making up excuses to get out of them, even with friends. I don’t really want to take a prescription, but I really hate feeling this way. Is there anything natural that can help?
A: General anxiety disorder and social anxiety is extremely common. Sometimes medications can be beneficial, but trying natural options first is a good idea. There are a number of natural products that can work very well for helping to reduce anxiety and stress.
The first I’d mention is theanine- theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that can be very helpful for anxiety. Theanine helps to encourage alpha brain waves, which are associated with a calm, relaxed state. It can be taken every day without a problem if needed, but is also effective if used only occasionally when you know you’re going into a stressful situation. All of us at Pass Health Foods use theanine at one time or another. It’s a great supplement that helps to “take the edge off”.
The standard dose for adults with anxiety is 200-400mg of theanine once or twice a day. It’s a nice supplement because while it does help to reduce anxiety, it does not cause tiredness, so it can be used during the day without a problem. Interestingly, theanine is also known to help with increasing focus. We have our Jarrow brand theanine on everyday sale at the store since it’s a supplement we love so much.
Another idea for anxiety, especially when dealing with more extreme issues, is CBD oil. CBD is an extract from the hemp plant which has similar chemical and health properties to the THC (the psychoactive extract in marijuana known for its “high”) in cannabis, but without the mind-altering effects.
CBD is best known for its benefits for pain relief, but there are also numerous very positive studies on its benefits for reducing anxiety, as well as helping to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Many published studies have reported benefits of CBD for a number of different mood and emotional disorders- CBD has even been found to be beneficial for people who have not had success with conventional treatments for anxiety and depression.
CBD extract is present in both marijuana and hemp plants. In Illinois, medical marijuana and all extracts from the cannabis plant are illegal for use without a prescription. Because of this regulation, the CBD oil we have available is sourced from the hemp plant. CBD oil ranges vastly in quality, potency, and effectiveness. Conventionally grown CBD from hemp can also have a large amount of toxins in it because hemp is naturally a “bio-accumulator” plant, which means that it draws toxins from the soil.
Because of this, we’ve been very careful in the types of CBD oil that we’ve decided to carry in the store, and have chosen the brand Green Gorilla, a high quality CBD extract consisting of entirely organic ingredients.
Also, I wanted to say that our CBD oil is completely safe for drug testing. Since it is source from the hemp plant, the amount of THC (the compound in marijuana that shows up on a drug test) in our Green Gorilla CBD is 0.003%, so there is absolutely no worry about any problems with a drug test (which I can’t say is the case with all CBD oils on the market).