Do you know that one in four people will suffer from a mental disorder at some point in their lives? While there are many different treatments available, almost two-thirds of people with a known mental health issue don’t seek help from a professional. Many refuse to seek treatment because of the stigma associated with mental health issues. Others are leery of the side effects that most prescription medications have.
For those people who are looking for an alternative option, CBD is worth considering. CBD has shown to offer all sorts of benefits, including the ability to ease anxiety, depression, and potentially other mental health conditions.
Keep reading to learn how CBD usage affects your mental health.
What is CBD?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound found in the hemp plant. It’s a cannabinoid, which are the “feel good” molecules that naturally occur in the body when we feel relaxed or happy. When we sleep and relax, or even hug someone we care about, the body releases cannabinoids.
When released, the cannabinoids bind to receptors that stimulate feel-good responses. Aside from feel-good responses, the endocannabinoid system also helps to keep the body balanced. It helps to regulate inflammation, pain, and even maintains our mood.
One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD is that it will get you high. If you’re chasing a high in order to elevate your mood, CBD won’t offer the effects that you seek.
While CBD is found in the cannabis plant, which contains high levels of THC, most CBD products are made using hemp-derived CBD. Hemp contains much less THC, which is the cannabinoid that has psychoactive effects. A legal CBD product contains no more than 0.3% of THC, which is a trace amount.
How CBD Impacts Mental Health
For years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has offered a list of conditions that CBD may be able to help with. The list is derived from the results of animal and human studies. And according to the WHO, CBD may be beneficial for mental health in that it calms the brain and supports the hippocampus. These are the areas of the brain that are important for memory and healthy emotion.
Studies have shown that CBD may benefit those experiencing:
- Feelings of isolation
A study also showed that CBD may be beneficial in reducing social anxiety. In fact, the study found that CBD may work comparably to common prescription drugs such as diazepam and ipsapirone. The group taking CBD had fewer side effects and experienced no issues with hormonal imbalances, weight gain, or movement.
Is CBD Right for You?
These days, there’s no shortage of CBD products to choose from. Top brands, such as PureKana, offer gummies, oils, topicals, vape pens, and more. Whether you prefer CBD in a candy-like form or want a traditional capsule, there’s sure to be a product for you.
Over the last few years, CBD products have continued to grow in popularity. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, 14% of Americans reported that they use CBD, and 37% say that they use it for anxiety. Around 63% of CBD users reported that it was extremely effective in minimizing stress and anxiety.
But is CBD the product you need in order to boost your mental health? There are some things you’ll want to know before hopping on the CBD train as a way to treat any mental health condition.
CBD is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Treatment
As with any other medical treatment, according to CBDGrade, it takes time in order to figure out which CBD dosage offers the results that you want. This is no one-size-fits all treatment. Everyone’s body and brain react differently to CBD. What works for someone else may not work for you.
The fact is that using CBD as a way to manage your mental health means that you’ll need to be open to trial in error. Not only will you need weeks to find your sweet spot, it may also take time to find a product that really works for you.
Discuss With Your Doctor First
One of the most important things you can do as someone who suffers from a mental health condition is to discuss using CBD with your doctor first. Remember, there’s still much to learn and understand about CBD, and human studies are still underway. With this said, you don’t want to add CBD to your daily routine without first getting medical clearance.
There are many reasons why you don’t want to just start taking CBD. First, CBD can negatively interact with certain medications, including anti-psychotics. You’ll also want to check with a medical professional to ensure that CBD will offer the benefits you need. Mental health treatment can be tricky, so it’s always best to do it under the supervision of a doctor.
Not All Products Are Made Equal
If you’ve never taken CBD before, then you’re likely to be quite shocked at the number of different products that are available. Not only are there tons of different brands, CBD products are different based on:
- Kind of CBD used
- CBD dosage
- Existence of other cannabinoids
- How the CBD is extracted
- Quality of CBD
With so many factors, it can be hard to know which CBD product is best for you. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a well-known CBD brand that offers third party lab testing for its products. This way you can have peace of mind that you know exactly what a product contains.
You’ll also want to take time to read brand and product reviews before making a purchase. This way you can see what previous customers have to say.
There’s still a lot to learn about CBD, including the need for more human studies. However, evidence so far has shown promising results for people who want to use CBD as a way to relieve anxiety, stress, and other mental health conditions. Just remember, check with your doctor first before you decide to self-medicate using any CBD product.