Some people think the fear of flying is understandable; however, those of us who suffer from phobia know how hard it can be. Fear of flying has a name. It is called Aerophobia. Many (who aren’t even suffering from aerophobia) tend to think that traveling by airplanes is the mode of transport that is the most accident-prone. This isn’t true as statistically speaking flying is the safest mode of travel. Actually, cars and trains are more accident-prone than airplanes. Still, people will have a fear of flying just because they are in the air. In that case, they need to take something with antidepressant properties. CBD, in this regard, can help as it ensures it reduces the fear, stress, and anxiety related to the aerophobia.
Some background on aerophobia:
A lot of individuals ask what is Aerophobia. Many say that phobias originate from an irrational form of thinking or some tragedy, most probably witnessed in childhood. In other words, the origins of this type of fear are either traumatic or completely irrational. When we talk about irrational, we are essentially talking about things that someone’s mind may make-up which makes little to no sense at all.
For example, someone has seen lots of plane crash investigation documentaries and begins to think (without affirming) that planes are always crashing. The crashed planes shown in these investigative documentaries are only a negligible number of the planes that are flown or manufactured around the world. The crashed planes may have had profound effects on the future of the aviation industry but still, planes are the safest way to travel.
Another reason Aerophobia can arise is when something traumatic related to airplanes takes place. Hypothetically speaking, it can be something like an air crash happening in front of a child’s eyes. Either subconsciously or even consciously, a child is going to register the crash as the basis of his or her fear of flying. It can come in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder or another generalized anxiety disorder.
Around 60% of the people suffering from it have reported that they also suffer from anxiety disorders when they are also suffering from this type of fear.
Physically, it can manifest in the form of vomiting or panic attacks if there is even a little sight of an airplane or air travel. People suffering from it will feel intense fear with forthcoming anxiety and stress related to the phobia itself.
Background on CBD and other cannabinoids:
Something like Aerophobia, which is characterized by intense fear, anxiety and related stress, needs an antidepressant. Antidepressants in medicine form are widely available around the world but these also tend to be plagued by different side-effects. Vomiting, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, addiction, and dry mouth are some of the side-effects related to the use of antidepressants.
CBD, which has minimal side effects, is a chemical compound belonging to a group of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. CBD’s real name is Cannabidiol and is abbreviated as the former. One of the greatest qualities CBD has is having antidepressant qualities. Additionally, it is also anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and also anti-anxiety. It is due to the therapeutic effects like these CBD is gaining traction in its popularity. CBD can help bring down the effects of Aerophobia through its antidepressant qualities.
There are a bunch of other cannabinoids. Many of them pertain to different classification dividing the group of cannabinoids, themselves. The first one should be the one called Endocannabinoids. An endocannabinoid is a type of cannabinoid which is made inside the bodies of the vertebrates. We, ourselves are vertebrates. These are used for specific bodily functions. Anandamide is an example of this group.
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CBD belongs to the classification called Phytocannabinoids. These stem from plants, specifically the cannabis plant. Its relation to the cannabis plant may sometimes provide the stigma of CBD being psychoactive. In reality, it is not. Being psychoactive means a chemical compound can alter the brain to let it feel its intoxicating effects. THC, a sister compound of CBD, is the psychoactive one. Either of them can be in the same species and can also be absent from a species of cannabis. Whosoever has the highest concentration is bound to release the most effects (CBD in hemp and THC in Marijuana).
Synthetic made cannabinoids is another kind and the recent one to join their ranks. As the name suggests, these cannabinoids are made in a lab setting and therefore are artificial. Spice and K2 are two of its main examples and these are only made for industrial purposes. Synthetic cannabinoids can be highly potent and therefore are not recommended for human consumption.
Many of the cannabinoids can have identical genetic DNA like anandamide is considered to body’s own “THC”. Aerophobia or fear of flying as we know it is treatable by either of these cannabinoids minus the synthetic ones. All of the cannabinoids are able to do this by interacting with the system of cannabinoid receptors found in the body. These receptors make-up the entire Endocannabinoid System. In the next section, we describe why CBD is better than all of these cannabinoids combined.
How CBD helps with reducing the fear of flying?
Fear of flying is characterized by anxiety and fear. Stress can be an additional side-effect of it. You should note, flying is not the reason that strikes the person with Aerophobia, but it is the associated anxiety. Anxiety is able to handicap the afflicted individual by the means of inducing mild tension or all-out panic attacks.
CBD has a sedative and antidepressant qualities. And, by being non-psychoactive, should be the best alternative to the addictive antidepressant medicine. It also doesn’t have a long list of side-effects and these are, at best, mild side-effects. It’s then a good thing to have CBD to treat the effects of aerophobia. It can also help treat people who do not know that they are suffering from it and may end up asking What is Aerophobia?
CBD treating Agoraphobia or generalized anxiety related to travel is not a new case. It has been evidenced in a 2011 Brazilian study. The scientists of the study found CBD has similar anxiolytic properties as the ones found in benzodiazepines but these are not habit-forming properties. Benzodiazepines are one of many known antidepressants.
These Benzodiazepines are much like Serotonin Reuptake and Inhibitors (SSRIs). Another great example of this medicine like this is Prozac and Zoloft. Anxiety response is characterized by the serotonin neurotransmitter. Serotonin is making us feel the effects of anxiety. If there is a spike in your anxiety levels, it means serotonin levels are taking a dive and there are raising cortisol levels. Cortisol’s function is to regulate the fight or flight response of the body (to which anxiety is related). Serotonin’s function is to regulate the good mood feelings and fight the stress or anxiety levels in the brain.
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When we ingest CBD in any form, it can bind to a receptor called 5-HT1A. It is a subtype of serotonin receptors for which CBD is an agonist. It means CBD can bind to it and therefore unlock its potential. After CBD binds to it, it releases a flow of serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain/body. Subsequently, increased levels of serotonin are able to reduce anxiety and induce blissful feelings. The former effect has been thoroughly discussed in studies. The latter may not be fully clear but nevertheless is supported in various studies. CBD is famous for reducing the effects of Cortisol but most of the evidence regarding it is mostly anecdotal.
In an animal study by Spanish researchers, the results essentially showed CBD has similar outcomes of SSRIs. Additionally, CBD might be faster than SSRIs in their anxiety-reducing roles. This exclaims the function of CBD is the same as the SSRIs and CBD may be faster than most SSRIs. The reduction of anxiety and stress levels means CBD is able to deal with Aerophobia. The flight and fight response in our bodies is responsible for creating fear. Anxiety and stress (and their related neurotransmitters) are the main components of this type of response system.
Other ways CBD can reduce the effects of Aerophobia?
CBD, through two other ways up its sleeves, is capable of helping reduce the effects of Aerophobia. A disorder like the fear of flying is characterized by heightened effects of fear, anxiety, and stress. CBD hurts it where it should. It attacks the anxiety and stress levels of the system. The hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with anxiety and stress, gets smaller when something like depression or generalized anxiety disorder affects the brain. It is another way of saying people with the aforementioned issues tend to have a smaller hippocampus.
It is abnormal to have a smaller hippocampus. Phobias like fear of flying can also tag along with generalized anxiety disorders. CBD has a way of increasing the creation of new neurons. New neurons can lead to the neurogenesis of the hippocampus and thus is able to bring it to its former glory.
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Furthermore, CBD can also deal with Aerophobia by way of using the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). It has different cannabinoid receptors with two of them being the most common. ECS has, CB1 and CB2 as the most common of its cannabinoid receptors. CB1 may be vastly studied but sometimes CB2 can have more important functions when it comes to the anxiety mitigation. CBD (cannot bind directly to ECS) is able to indirectly influence to CB2 to process and forget phobias and fear. Extinction learning is one of the many forms of ECS functions. CB2 can bind to anandamide (in Sanskrit means “bliss”) and guess what helps release anandamide more.
It is CBD, which does that. CBD is able to bind to the travel mechanism of anandamide. Anandamide uses a fatty acid-binding protein (FABP) to get inside a cellular membrane. In the cell, FAAHs or Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase, an intracellular enzyme capable of breaking down anandamide is waiting. CBD takes anandamide’s place on FABP and anandamide is left alone to flow elsewhere, thereby creating an excess of it. This increase in the levels of anandamide is able to bind to the CB2 receptors of the Endocannabinoid System thus creating an onslaught of processes that induce the extinction of phobias. These phobias can include the fear of flying.
CBD is great! But is it Possible to Fly with it?
We get it, you are thinking about how something related to a cannabis plant (famous for being intoxicating) will be allowed in a flight. The answer to it is plain and simple. Previously, due to its association with the cannabis plant, the legislators were hell-bent on keeping it banned. Gradually, CBD became popular due to its therapeutic effects.
But now, CBD, and its source material Hemp (cannabis derivate) is legal. This has been true ever since the provisional laws regarding it from the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 and the 2018 Farm Bill. Retrospectively, it gave the green light to travel authorities to enable CBD to on the planes if not mixed with other psychoactive compounds. Now you can use it for fear of flying and reduce its effects.
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