Medical marijuana use has been on the rise in recent times, and it is now legal in 33 US states. Many people have recognized the benefits this plant can bring and use it for treating all kinds of symptoms from glaucoma to anxiety, PTSD, and more. But there is another derivate from the cannabis sativa plant that has reached a rock-star level, and that is CBD.
CBD has become a much sought-after treatment used by people with conditions like anxiety and depression. While there are no pharmaceutical drugs based on CBD for these conditions, people take these as food supplements. Despite this, the CBD industry is booming and many more people are looking to utilize the many beneficial effects of CBD.
The thing about CBD, the main ingredient in industrial hemp, when compared to THC which is the main ingredient in marijuana, is that CBD does not have any psychoactive effects; it does not impair judgment and has an array of health benefits. What’s more important, it is legal all across the USA.
CBD and Anxiety
Anxiety is the natural response of the body to stress. The aptest description of anxiety is the feeling of fear of what is about to happen. It is the feeling most of us get before an important interview, the nervousness before a public speech, or any similar activity. It is often accompanied by feelings of restlessness, pacing, and focusing on the negative.
Almost all people have been faced with anxiety at one point in their lives, and up to 20% of people suffer from a mild or severe form of anxiety disorder. To help people, doctors usually recommend therapy and anti-anxiety medication. But CBD has been shown to provide excellent relief from anxiety and its effects come without the downsides of conventional pharmaceutical medications.
If you are prone to anxiety attacks, then it is advisable to stay away from THC, as this cannabinoid has been known to cause anxiety, especially when taken in higher doses. However, if you are taking a full-spectrum CBD product, the THC amounts are very low and cannot cause any adverse effects.
The beneficial effects CBD brings on anxiety relief have been studied as well as confirmed, which should help brave people to opt for CBD. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, and CBD has been linked with aiding in the relief of most of these.
PTSD and Phobias
Anxiety grows when we are afraid of something, and when that fear turns to phobia, anxiety levels rise exponentially. PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is another form of anxiety disorder that can be very detrimental to the quality of life.
PTSD and phobias are something scientists call “learned fear,” as these can stimulate episodes long after the original trauma. These are often related to specific triggers that raise the levels of anxiety and fear. There are chemical changes that happen in the brain that lead to these cycles, in a complex process known as fear memory reconsolidation.
But CBD has a more in-depth effect, helping the disruption of this process that effectively keeps phobias and PTSD episodes at bay. This is very evident with many veterans that have chosen to use CBD instead of the strong prescription medication against PTSD.
Panicking is a cause for anxiety, and these are interconnected. To help the body deal better with panic, people have prescribed a medication called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). There is some evidence that points to the effective use of CBD in the treatment of panic disorders, as it can potentially bring back the hormonal balance in the brain. The improved hormonal balance could be the answer to helping people with panic disorders.
Social Anxiety Disorder
People that find it uncomfortable to deal in social situations usually have a form of Social Anxiety Disorder or SAD. This condition is accompanied by high levels of fear and anxiety, and often patients need to take strong pharmaceutical medications to be able to have a somewhat normal life.
This disorder can be helped with taking CBD. CBD has been explored as a potential treatment for SAD, and these have shown promising results.
Substance abuse has become a very real problem for plenty of people and has been the underlying cause of destroying a lot of families. CBD has been tested as a potential treatment for people battling with substance use.
Many times people that are seeking treatment for pain, anxiety, or depression turn to medical drugs. The overuse and abuse of these medications lead to addiction and the effects can be devastating. It is always better to reach for natural treatments like CBD to help with treating many conditions.
Anxiety is almost always present in people that have a history of substance abuse, which means that self-medicating with CBD is always a better alternative than taking opioid medication, alcohol or heavy drugs to manage this condition.
CBD and Depression
Depression is a medical condition that is described as a state of low mood or aversion to activities, and it affects the thoughts, motivation the feelings, and behavior. It is almost always accompanied by dark mood, feelings of hopelessness and can even be followed with thoughts of suicide.
This condition is treated with antidepressants and psychotherapy. The antidepressant medication can help in some cases, but in most cases, it brings an array of unwanted side effects. But there is an alternative treatment (see here) and it is in the form of medical cannabis and CBD. The medical cannabis use is legal in 33 states, while CBD is legal across the entire USA.
Many people battling with depression have tried using CBD and/or medical marijuana and the testimonials are amazing. Still, modern medicine is skeptical and requires more evidence to support these claims.
What Regulates Happiness?
Depression is the inability to feel happiness at things or feel enjoyment. The system that governs the feelings of happiness is the endocannabinoid system. Any imbalance in the ECS can result in feelings of low self-esteem, low emotional state, and inability to feel pleasure.
The normal functioning of the ECS can be disrupted by genetic factors, environmental factors, and low amounts of endocannabinoids in the body. Well, CBD can aid with this, as it can stimulate the ECS and help restore its natural balance.
One of the more important factors for happiness is having normal levels of serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the happiness hormone, but it also has other important functions like affecting the mood the appetite, sleep, and even digestion. Managing the levels of serotonin is the base on which most of the antidepressant medication is based upon. These drugs work by lowering the absorption of serotonin, keeping a higher level of this hormone in the body.
This neurotransmitter binds with specific receptors in the brain known as 5-HT1A. The prolonged use of antidepressant medication makes these receptors insensitive to serotonin, in some cases these stop working altogether. The CBD molecule acts as an agonist to serotonin receptors, stimulating them and increasing the serotonin levels. This can help the depression in people, so they would not have to take antidepressants, but only CBD.
Self-Diagnose and Self-Medication is Wrong
Even if you believe in the beneficial properties of CBD, I honestly believe that you should not go start taking them without first consulting your physician. This is especially true if you are suffering from a mental disorder like anxiety and depression.
I advise you to seek professional help and get a good diagnose for your condition. By having the correct diagnose, you can tackle your problem with greater precision and effect. Besides, taking up any treatment on your own could harm some people that are already taking more serious medication.
While there is nothing wrong with taking CBD for improving the wellbeing of the body, I still advise all my readers to consult with a physician they trust to get a professional medical opinion.
CBD Products for Anxiety and Depression
The CBD industry offers an array of different types of products. There are CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD edibles, CBD vapes, CBD drinks, CBD suppositories, CBD paste, CBD wax, shatter, and more.
The exact delivery method depends on each person, as some are comfortable in taking CBD oil, while others prefer CBD vape liquid. Each delivery method has its advantages and downsides, so the preferred method is up to you.
The other thing is the dosing of CBD. Many CBD manufacturers list the exact composition of their product on the label, so the customers know how much is in each dose. To find the dose that works for you, it is recommended that you start low and increase the dosage slowly to find the one that works best for you.
Please remember that this is only a recommendation, as the actual dose and the possible effects should be consulted with your doctor. But don’t be put off if you don’t start feeling the effects immediately, It can take up to a month for the CBD to become noticeably effective.
Anxiety and depression are serious mental conditions that affect the wellbeing and quality of life. People with these conditions are usually prescribed anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication, but these can cause addiction and can have adverse effects.
CBD can help, as it has a complex mechanism of acting in the body that includes the endocannabinoid system, specific receptors, and neurotransmitters, all important parts in the regulation of mood, anxiety, and depression.
There are many ways of taking CBD, and the main favored ones are CBD tincture, CBD capsule, and CBD vape liquids, as these are also very convenient and easy to dose. The exact dose is also a personal preference, and each person needs to find the one that works for them.
But to be clear, I’m not claiming that CBD is the cure-all product. I’m just stating what many medical types of research and plenty of people have said: CBD has the potential to bring the natural balance in the body, helping with conditions like anxiety and depression.