By Andy Coffaro

If you feel like a solitary human battling anxiety disorder, take comfort in knowing that nothing is further from the truth.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) claims that the disorder is the most prevalent U.S. mental illness “affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.” The ADAA reports that while anxiety is quite treatable, “only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.”

What does typical treatment look like? Expensive cognitive behavioral therapy, doctor visits and hospitalizations are the commonplace routes.

The 2020 arrival of coronavirus isn’t helping. The CDC recently acknowledged that infectious-disease stress could cause fear of losing your job, life’s savings, and loved ones. In turn, you may experience insomnia, a dependence on tobacco and booze, and additional health and mental issues.

Take a deep breath and know you’re not alone, don’t have to sell your valuables to pay for medical care, and that CBD products available at local retail outlets and online significantly reduce stress, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

CBD: Nature’s Prozac

You don’t have to retake high school biology to attain a CliffNotes understanding of CBD’s potential therapeutic effects on anxiety.

Experts and online retailer Mendi provide a concise “CBD 101” tutorial: CBD aids the natural neurotransmitters within you that support pain relief, and it “binds to a receptor that triggers serotonin release, leading to a reduction in stress and anxiousness, which balances mood.”

You may know serotonin as the “happy chemical” from television commercials for medications like Prozac and Zoloft. The on-screen actresses skipping through tulip fields with golden retrievers in tow is great marketing, but side effects like headaches, vomiting, insomnia, sexual dysfunctions, and countless others are often overlooked.

While studies have shown that CBD can have side effects like tiredness, they pale compared to doctor prescribed and over-the-counter products. Even Tylenol has a laundry list of side effects far outweighing CBD merchandise.

You Can Get With This, or You Can Get With That

We know millions suffer from anxiety, and CBD items are a clinically proven alternative to traditional medications.

So what the heck do you buy the stuff?

A good place to start is searching for “CBD” at established online dispensaries, although grocery stores like Whole Foods carry products now too. You can choose among CBD-packed capsules, tinctures, vape pens, gummies, and extracts. Some products are easier to ingest (and digest) than others, and most feature different flavor profiles, so do your homework or talk to experts wherever you purchase your goodies.

Finally, don’t freak out if you lack access to local CBD-selling retailers. Ordering CBD items is 100% legal online “as long as it is derived from industrial hemp (containing THC below 0.3% by weight). And in 2019, the TSA deemed it safe to fly within the continental United States with CBD products also possessing less than 0.3% of THC (although it’s always smart to confirm the laws of your departing and arriving airports, as well as your final destination).