If you live in an urban area, finding parking can be stressful enough on its own.
Add on top of that the stress and mental exhaustion of driving itself, and you’ve got a recipe for driving anxiety.
However, you may be able to minimize these feelings with CBD (cannabidiol).
In this article, we’ll discuss how CBD works to help relieve driving anxiety and the research behind it.
What is driving anxiety?
Driving anxiety is a form of specific phobia. A phobia is defined as an extreme, irrational fear of something.
Driving anxiety, it’s typically a fear of driving and all its possible dangers (i.e., being in a car accident).
Specific phobias are related to unique triggers that cause you to feel overwhelming panic when exposed to them (i.e., your car breaking down on the highway).
You may even experience symptoms like increased heart rate, nausea, and diarrhea during these attacks.
What causes driving anxiety?
There are several factors that can contribute to driving anxiety. The most common factor is a past negative experience while behind the wheel.
For example, maybe you got into a bad car accident or were involved in some other traumatic event while driving.
Whatever happened, if it was scary enough for you to remember it years later. Then chances are good that it contributed to your current fears about getting behind the wheel again.
However, there are many people who develop driving anxiety without any obvious trigger.
In fact, studies show that up to 8% of Americans suffer from driving anxiety at some point in their lives.
It’s also more common among women than men and tends to be diagnosed between the ages of 20-30.
How do I know if I have driving anxiety?
If you find yourself feeling extremely nervous before or during a trip behind the wheel, then you could be suffering from driving anxiety.
When did you start to notice your mind racing with thoughts like What if my car breaks down? or What if I get into another accident? then it’s time to seek help.
What should I do if I’m worried about driving anxiety?
If you’re concerned that you might have driving anxiety, then consider seeing a mental health professional for treatment options.
They’ll likely recommend cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as one of their first approaches because it works well for treating specific phobias and driving anxiety. Or try it with CBD.
Ways to overcome driving anxiety before it begins
Although many people experience driving anxiety without any obvious cause, there are a few things you can do to make driving more comfortable.
These solutions focus on breathing techniques and simple exercises that can help calm your mind and relax your body.
Keep in mind that these solutions won’t eliminate anxiety, but they will minimize it so that you don’t have to suffer through an uncomfortable drive every time you go out.
And if your anxiety is severe enough to warrant medication, consider using CBD oil as part of your treatment plan—it may be able to reduce or even eliminate symptoms entirely.
If you want to try it for driving anxiety, here are some helpful tips.
Practice mindfulness during your commute.
Take deep breaths as you get into your car, and then slowly exhale while thinking about all of the positive aspects of getting where you need to go.
Think about how good it feels to be outside, how much you enjoy driving, or anything else that puts you in a good mood.
Even if your thoughts turn negative at first (e.g., I hate traffic!), just acknowledge them and return to focusing on positive thoughts instead.
The goal is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones by learning how to control your breathing and quieting your mind… not necessarily by forcing yourself to think positively all day long!
What you can do during a panic attack
Panic attacks may come on so suddenly that you don’t have time to think of a plan, but there are things you can do like taking CBD.
Try to control your breathing and slow down your heart rate. Many people find it helpful to distract themselves by looking around or going for a short walk.
If you feel safe doing so, try calling someone or asking them to drop by so they can be with you until your symptoms pass.
A trusted friend or family member can also help distract you from what’s causing anxiety.
Once you get through an attack, make sure to talk with your doctor about how to manage future panic attacks.
And remember: Your feelings aren’t permanent.
They won’t last forever—and when they go away, you’ll know just how strong you really are.
You got through one tough moment; you can handle anything else life throws at you.
When should you use CBD oil?
Consider a CBD oil supplement during times of worry or in anxious situations, such as before public speaking or flying.
As one scientific review noted, it seems to reduce anxiety in clinical (trials) only when administered together with anxiolytic drugs.
Besides improving your confidence and reducing feelings of stress, CBD oil may also improve brain function and help you sleep better.
Read on for more reasons you should use CBD oil for anxiety and how to get started.
For example, it can take up to two hours after ingestion for CBD oil to take effect.
If you’re looking for immediate relief from symptoms, then vaping or smoking might be better options than oils or tinctures.
However, oils can be absorbed sublingually, which means they go directly into your bloodstream and provide immediate effects.
Tinctures are placed under your tongue, where they’re absorbed directly into your bloodstream.
This allows them to enter your system much faster, but also makes them harder to store and more prone to oxidation.
Vaping is fast becoming an increasingly popular method for consuming cannabis extracts because of its speed and convenience.
When choosing a vape pen, look for features like adjustable temperature control and airflow settings that allow you to customize your experience.
Some pens even come with built-in screens that display temperature settings and battery life so that you don’t have to keep track of yourself.
With so many products available today, choosing a vaporizer can feel overwhelming.
Is CBD safe to take while driving?
Research indicates that a number of individuals who experience driving anxiety take daily doses of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).
Based on anecdotal evidence and what we know about how it works in humans. We believe it is safe to consume up to 400 mg (or about 20 drops) of cannabidiol per day for 3 months without experiencing unwanted side effects.
As always, it’s important to consult your doctor before starting any new supplement or medication.
If you do decide to try taking it while driving, please be sure to speak with your physician first.
For most people, using cannabis prior to driving does not increase their risk of being involved in an accident.
In fact, studies show that cannabis use actually makes drivers safer by reducing their risk of getting into accidents due to drowsiness.
While we don’t recommend taking any substances before driving. If you do choose to consume cannabis before hitting the road.
It is important to know how it will affect your body and brain so you can make an informed decision.
Final Thoughts on using cannabis as an alternative to prescription drugs
It is important to remember that cannabis is not for everyone. Cannabis can have a profound effect on driving performance.
So if you are going to use it before getting behind the wheel make sure you know how much is too much.
If you take prescription drugs and are considering using cannabis as an alternative, make sure you understand your prescription.
Make sure to check with your doctor about interactions or adverse effects between your medications and any cannabis products.
Also, keep in mind that some states do not allow patients to substitute medical marijuana for other prescriptions. Even when they contain similar ingredients.