From the fear of missing a flight to being confined on an aeroplane for hours, flying can induce anxiety among many, with reports suggesting between 33% and 40% of people experience some form of anxiety.
To help those with travel anxiety, the online CBD shop ICE Headshop offers tips on how to use CBD to ease pre-flight anxiety and stress. Georgina Sturmer, a BACP registered Counsellor, also comments on the psychology behind travel anxiety and how it can affect you.
Expert tips for using CBD for travel anxiety
How CBD works
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural anxiety and pain relief remedy. It is extracted from the cannabis plant, but unlike THC (also found in cannabis), it is not psychoactive, meaning you won’t feel high or disorientated.
Numerous reputable medical studies have found that CBD reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression by positively reacting with serotonin receptors in the brain, reducing anxiety.
Dan Currey from online CBD shop ICE Headshop says: “It is a common misconception that CBD has the effects of THC. However, CBD has been proven to have numerous health benefits, such as pain relief, better sleep, less stress and anxiety relief. Its therapeutic benefits have made it a popular natural remedy for anxiety and depression.”
How it can help pre-flight anxiety
When suffering from travel anxiety, particularly Aerophobia, it can be incredibly difficult to manage your anxiety and anxious thoughts both before and during your trip, and the build-up to the flight may feel just as daunting as the actual trip for many.
Dan Currey comments: “Flying can be one of the most anxiety-inducing things for many people. For those suffering from this anxiety, CBD can work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote healthy responses to stress and anxiety without adverse mental effects, allowing you to relax more on your flight and enjoy your travels.”
When to take CBD before a flight
It is recommended that you begin to take CBD for a few weeks before your flight to help your body find the right dosage and to help your body process its reaction to the stress in advance.
Dan Currey from online CBD shop ICE Headshop advises: “It is important to allow your body time to adjust to CBD and find the right dosage, especially for first-time CBD users.
“Upon their first time, people may be tempted to take a high dose of CBD as they assume this may work faster; however, this is never a good option. Instead, start with a low dose and gradually increase this amount until you find the right dose for your body.
“There are many different forms that CBD comes in, from gummy sweets to oils, so finding the right product and dose is vital to ensure you achieve the required effect.”
Travelling with CBD
If you are worried about taking CBD when you travel, the best thing to do is check the regulations in the region or country you are travelling to.
CBD is legal in the UK and many countries in Europe. However, it is always best to check before you travel to ensure the destination you are going to allows CBD. Some US states have differing laws on CBD, so when travelling to America, you must check the regulations of the specific state you’re flying to.
Georgina Sturmer, a BACP registered counsellor, commented on the fear of flying and how it can affect you: “Fear of flying is a rational response to a situation that would be unfamiliar to our ancestors. It’s when it becomes extreme that it’s a problem. Everyone’s fears are different; they are based on different causes, thoughts or events that trigger them and manifest in different ways. So there is no one way to cope with or manage the fear of flying.
“Numerous issues might contribute to someone’s fear of flying. For example, past events related to flying. We might refer to this as “trauma”. Maybe you’ve had a distressing experience at an airport or during a flight; perhaps you’ve been unwell, scared, or worried.
“Secondly, the fear of being out of control. A lot about flying is stress-inducing and out of our control. For many of us, this begins the moment that we are on our way to the airport. Thirdly, if you suffer from anxiety, claustrophobia, or PTSD, flying may trigger an extreme emotional response.
“Finally, if you find yourself catastrophising about events or ideas in everyday life, you may find negative thoughts spiral out of control. In the case of flying, you might find yourself catastrophising about every possible terrifying outcome.
“Our minds and bodies will offer emotional and physical signals to express a fear of flying. Emotionally, we might experience panic or fear. We might notice that it triggers our “flight, fight or freeze” response. It’s important to manage this fear so that it doesn’t worsen and get in the way of commitments or activities with family and friends. Also, if you have to fly, for example, for a work-related trip, it is important to ensure you can cope.”