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Panic Attack and Anxiety Attack: The Differences, Similarities and How CBD Can Help With Both

Panic attack and Anxiety attack are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Though they may have similar symptoms, they do have some distinct features that separates both panic and anxiety disorder. Here we will try to understand the distinction between both and most importantly how we can help treat both cases better.

For people that suffer from panic attacks it can be both physically and mentally challenging. Panic attacks can happen without notice and cause an extremely intense episode of fear and anxiety. Panic attacks are like being trapped in one's fear and anxiety and are like living in a real life horror movie.

Panic attacks last for only a brief moment, but when it does people often feel as if they are losing control, experiencing heart attack-like symptoms or even dying.

Panic attacks are believed to happen when the fight-or-flight response is triggered. Fight-to-flight is a physiological response to an event one perceives as harmful or threatening. Fight-or-flight is a crucial part of your body’s stress response system. During such an episode, your body gets ready for a rapid and automatic response to either flight (confront the situation) or flight (escape the situation). During this phenomenon your heart beats faster, you become more alert, the pupil becomes dilated and the adrenaline hormones are released.

Symptoms of panic attacks can include:

  • Fear of losing you mind, death, losing control

  • Having a strong feeling of being in danger or bodily harm

  • Experiencing anxiety and irrational thinking

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness

  • Feeling the chills and tinglingness in your body

  • Trembling and shaking

  • Sweating heavily

  • Hot flashes

  • Tachycardia (having accelerated heartbeat)

  • Chest tightness

  • Shortness of breath and having breathing difficulties

  • Tensed muscles

  • Nausea

  • Abdominal distress

  • Dry mouth

  • Losing touch of reality

To protect yourself from chronic panic attack you can:

  1. Practice deep breaths

  2. Be mindful and stay in the present.

  3. Practice positive self-talk

  4. Exercise regularly

  5. Get enough sleep

  6. Limit stimulants intake such as caffeine and nicotine

  7. Maintain balance diet and stay hydrated

  8. Seek medical help if you have recurring panic attacks as it could lead to Panic disorder

When compared to panic attacks, anxiety attacks tend to develop gradually and are often associated with persistent worrying of threats that could take place. The threat may actually exist or be perceived. When compared to panic attack, when threatened by a stressful situation it will produce a sudden onset of fear while with anxiety attack it will involve a prolonged build up of stress. When the stress from the anticipation becomes too overwhelming, the stress levels can become heightened and lead to an anxiety attack.

During an anxiety attack you may experience effects mentally and physically like: irritability, difficulty in concentrating, restlessness while physically you may experience dizziness, fatigue, disruption of sleep, increase in heart rate, become startled very easily and muscle tension.

The symptoms may be the same, but with anxiety attacks the symptoms may last for days, weeks and months. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions. Yet only about 20% of American adults received medical care for it.

Treatment for both panic and anxiety attacks often includes:

  • Medications like anti-anxiety and antidepressants drugs.

  • Psychotherapy

  • Self-help techniques such as stretching, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation exercises.

  • Try natural remedies like Cannabidiol or CBD.

How can CBD products like Mellow CBD Oil help for panic and anxiety attacks? Mellow CBD Oil includes 900mg CBD and is made from CBD Isolate which contains only pure CBD and available in 30ml bottles with two flavor options: Natural and Orange. Mellow Full Spectrum CBD Oil is our full spectrum CBD option which contains 1,800mg CBD and has THC along with other cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDa and THCa, terpenes, flavonoids and healthy fatty acids. Mellow Organic also has Mellow CBD Soothing Balm, out CBD-infused vanilla scented balm to promote calmness, relaxation and pain therapy.

CBD or Cannabidiol is one the 100 cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects like THC does. CBD does not have anxiety provoking properties or is anxiogenic. CBD profile shows that it is safer and has less side effects than many anti-anxiety medications.

Researchers say that CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System which is made of receptors and enzymes that run throughout our body. The ECS helps regulate many important bodily functions like sleep/wake cycle, pain sensation, mood, immunity and helps regulate appetite too. Researchers believe that the anxiolytic properties that help with stress and anxiety is a result from CBD's interactions with the CB1 receptors and 5-HTiA Serotonin receptors in different parts of the brain.

Multiple studies, such as the 2011 research at the University of Sao Paulo and the 2015 study in New York, showcased CBD's positive influence on anxiety. Participants in the Sao Paulo study experienced notable anxiety improvement with CBD, and the New York study underscored its rapid and enduring positive effects on different anxiety disorders. Additionally, in 2016, Spanish researchers conducted animal experiments affirming that CBD may enhance serotonin and dopamine release in the brain, indicating therapeutic potential for anxiety relief.

CBD is a highly personalized supplement unlike typical medication. It's true that if you take it on a regular basis it would help your body make the best utilization of the cannabinoid. Some people just use CBD when they are having both panic and anxiety attacks and that works too. Just a reminder: you can also use CBD before bedtime. It can help you to have a more restful sleep. Getting adequate sleep is essential for your mental health.

How much CBD do you need? It's difficult to say how much you really need depends on the potency of the CBD product. If the amount of CBD is low then you will need more than a midrange or high amount of CBD. The dosage is a highly individualized thing. Some need more while others need less. It is recommended that you experiment with the dosage until you find what works for you. How much CBD you need also depends on your body's tolerance level and your metabolism. We can't stress enough that you should take your time in finding the right dosage for you. Always start low and slowly increase the amount.

Some people say that CBD can cause anxiety and panic to arise? They must have confused CBD with other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant like THC. We know that THC when consumed in low to moderate amounts and especially if combined with at least 1% CBD can take away anxiety and stress. Even though THC can give you the calming effects, when used in high dosage considering your body’s tolerance of THC may cause a complete opposite effect and ending up with a high level of anxiety instead.

Written by Vivek Roachthavilit

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