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Treating Anxiety with Endocannabinoid System Support

This too shall pass…

Ever heard this reassuring adage on the impermanence of life’s trials and tribulations? I have personally told myself this seemingly 100 times over the past year or more. Although I strive to be fairly balanced, I have to admit that I can tip towards increased anxiety and higher stress.

I know that I am not alone in these vulnerabilities and I serve patients daily who are experiencing all time high levels of uneasiness. It seems as if the world's events - the COVID-19 health crisis, political turmoil, economic hardships, day-to-day stressors - are “stacking”, making it more and more challenging to maintain a sense of mental stability.

I read once that the term “this too shall pass” is most effective when you intentionally focus on letting it pass and moving on. This can be accomplished with walking/exercising, meditating, talking to someone, eating cleanly, focusing on quality sleep, etc... In a way, you have to “stack” proactive measures equal to or greater than the stressors that are leading to the escalating anxiety levels. It takes effort, but when the right approaches are applied, anxiety decreases and stress becomes more manageable.

However, as many are well aware, stacking beneficial personal behaviors is not always enough to match the weight of environmental stressors. This is true today more than ever. As a primary care provider and a community-based emergency medicine physician, I help manage anxiety every day. For the sake of efficiency, I often apply recommendations that have multifactorial benefits. After studying the vast health advantages of optimizing the endocannabinoid system, cannabidiol (CBD) has become a mainstay of my treatment platform.

The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. Studies have demonstrated that targeting the endocannabinoid system (ECS) can help regulate and improve anxiety. A colleague of mine began using CBD oil with teachers who were experiencing depression and anxiety surrounding teaching in the new COVID-19 environment. She noticed improvements in depression and anxiety, including the added benefit of improved sleep, with the patients using CBD oil.

Likewise, my colleagues on Formula30A's Medical Advisory Board and I recently completed and observational study with anxiety as the focus. Participating clinicians used 25mg of Full Spectrum CBD oil, which resulted in 72.5% average reduction in anxiety symptoms over an 8-week trial. This same study group observed many additional reported health impacts of targeting the Endocannabinoid System, including, but not limited to, improvements in sleep (64.3% average improvement) and chronic pain.

The results were impressive, even more so knowing that it was performed with the complexities of the world that we live in today. If you have not tried CBD oil personally or with your patients, I encourage you to learn more about the endocannabinoid system. In my clinical opinion, the risks of using CBD are minimal with potential huge reward in managing complex medical conditions, and definitely in regard to anxiety and stress.

Keep “stacking” your efforts and remember, “this too shall pass…”

Dr. Daniel Melville, M.D.

Dr. Daniel Melville, M.D.

Formula30A Medical Advisor

Dr. Daniel Melville has enjoyed a diverse and successful medical career in academic and private sectors, concierge services to conventional medical practices, and emergency room settings to outpatient clinics. Dr. Melville is a “Distinguished Graduate” of the United States Air Force Academy and went on to earn his Medical Degree from Louisiana State University in 2004. He became Board Certified in the American Academy of Family Medicine, after completing his residency in Family Medicine with emphasis in “Rural Medicine” in 2007. He owns and is the Medical Director of Melville Medicine, as well as maintaining full time credentialing as an emergency medicine physician at Texas Health Resources Hospital in Southlake, TX. Melville Medicine represents a dream opportunity to build upon his experiences to serve patients with an unparalleled thoroughness and availability. Dr. Melville’s work has been published in seven peer reviewed textbooks and journals.

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