Is CBD Good for Mental Health?
As California joins other states in legalizing recreational pot shops, more and more consumers are talking about its effect on mental health, most notably cannabidiol, or CBD. Science proves CBD safe and effective for an array of medical conditions, overall health improvement, preventative therapy, and as treatment for some of the worst, most debilitating mental health issues.
However, because cannabis remains a Schedule I drug under federal law, and therefore illegal, science has been slow to uncover the proof. Now, with states legalizing and federal prohibition crumbling, companies are funding research projects and study findings reveal a wealth of benefits. Simply put, CBD is proving the most therapeutically valuable compound, likely of all time.
Over the last two decades, patients have been relying on cannabis to treat the symptoms of a wide array of physical ailments, including HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, arthritis, and many, many more. However, its ability to help those afflicted with mental health issues is only now becoming mainstream, and the crucial role of CBD in it only now common knowledge.
How CBD Benefits Mental Health
Of the two primary cannabinoids in cannabis plants, CBD is the non-psychoactive one known for its medicinal properties. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, the most famous of all, CBD cannot make users “high.” Since phytocannabinoids, or those found in plants, such as CBD and THC, are very similar in structure to the body’s own endocannabinoids, they have the unique ability to interact with receptors.
The human endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining balance of systems in the body and regulating function, such as memory, pain perception, immunity, and many more, including mood. To do this, it relies on specific receptors to transport endocannabinoids where they need to go, namely CB1 and CB2 receptors. When the endocannabinoid system fails, so do all these functions.
Phytocannabinoids act as endocannabinoids do. They offer support to the endocannabinoid system when the production of endocannabinoids slow down. THC binds to CB2 receptors in the immune system and body, while CBD interacts with CB1 receptors in the brain and elsewhere to improve mood, reduce anxiety, alleviate stress, eliminate pain, and put the body back in balance again.
CBD Treats Common Mental Health Issues
When the body is functioning as it should, health returns, including mental health. By influencing CB receptors, CBD is able to provide relief from most symptoms afflicting those with mental disorders. It does so most effectively, without any of the side effects commonly associated with drugs frequently prescribed for such issues, which include addiction, organ damage, and even fatal overdose.
Without further ado, here are seven mental health conditions that could benefit from CBD oil:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Thousands of veterans use CBD to help them cope with PTSD, and there are many others suffering the aftereffects of trauma who are using it, as well. CBD oil helps them in numerous unique ways. It can help you forget the traumatic experience, even if only temporarily. It reduces the severity and frequency of nightmares too, while relaxing body and mind. Additionally, it improves sleep quality.
Although extremely effective at treating anxiety, THC in marijuana can also cause panic attacks and paranoia. A study in 2009 showed very high rates of anxiety among cannabis users. However, those already suffering anxiety can find relief by taking the right strains, particularly those low in THC and high in CBD. Science proves CBD with more anti-anxiety properties than THC.
Marijuana has a long history with depression. Many studies corroborate its beneficial effect on this condition. CBD, along with most cannabinoids, such as CBD, CBN, THC, and CBC has the euphoric ability to improve mood significantly. Furthermore, because the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in the development of depression, consuming CBD plays therapeutic and preventative roles, as well.
- Bipolar Disorder
Like anxiety, THC can either improve or worsen bipolar disorder in patients. CBD, on the other hand, is antipsychotic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, analgesic, anticonvulsant, and everything between, so it can boost mood, lower stress, and reduce the frequency and severity of manic episodes. However, if you have a tendency for paranoia, then stay away from high-THC strains.
Likewise, high doses of THC may be unwise for schizophrenics and worsen symptoms for them. Despite this, CBD treatment provides hope for sufferers. One study by GW Pharmaceuticals tested the effects of CBD on patients with schizophrenia. Findings were incredibly positive, showing CBD increasing cognitive function and decreasing the severity of schizophrenic symptoms.
- THC-Induced Psychosis
Most pot consumers ingest too much THC at one point or another. We all know the feelings of paranoia, spinning rooms, and other uncomfortable side effects. Although not lethal or harmful to health, THC-induced psychosis can be extremely unpleasant, even frighteningly so. Fortunately, if you ever do take too much THC, consuming CBD will counteract those effects and help you get over it faster.
One of the main reasons people suffer mental issues is because of a lack of sleep. Insomnia is a debilitating condition that can be life destroying if left untreated. CBD is famous for its ability to rebalance sleep cycles and maintain sleep patterns. It promises several hours of deep, satisfying sleep. However, you should avoid Sativa strains if you have insomnia, as they will keep you awake instead.
If you are considering CBD for a mental health issue, then discuss CBD therapy with your doctor beforehand. CBD can either reduce or increase the efficacy of some medications, which means that he or she may need to adjust your dosages accordingly. You can find an array of effective CBD products, as well as discounts for most of them, when you buy CBD online. Just make sure to use a trusted supplier.
Camilla Morgan is a blogger and contributor on cbdsafe, a California based distributor of online CBD products.