Behavioral health experts and professionals recognize the potential of cannabis in providing relief to mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and others. The human brain is complex and so is the marijuana plant. Hence, the possibilities of reducing symptoms linked to mental disorders are something that marijuana can do.
In fact, new discoveries about one of marijuana’s active compounds, cannabidiol or CBD, are resurfacing and people are actually reaping the benefits. Aside from the fact that CBD is 100% safe for use and consumption, it also provides faster results than some pharmaceuticals fail to deliver.
Although calming drugs are already being used for decades and provided quality results, some people simply don’t like the idea that it contains massive chemicals. Unlike these drugs, cannabidiol is all-natural and vegan, which only has limited side effects. Because different bodies react to certain compounds distinctly, some people can feel nausea and dry mouth after taking cannabidiol. However, most people can testify that CBD helps calm their minds and alleviate body pain.
Can CBD Help in Mental Health?
Cannabidiol is derived from marijuana’s seeds, leaves, and flowers. It is considered an active compound next to Tetrahydrocannabinol. The latter is completely different from CBD as it provides psychotic properties like the feeling of being ‘high’. On the other hand, cannabidiol is a compound that interacts with specific serotonin receptors, which regulates mood, sleep, appetite, stress levels, and even pain.
A person suffering from chronic stress or generalized anxiety are exposed to drugs like benzodiazepines for short-term relief and antidepressants for a long-term solution. These have side effects and safety concerns, which threatens a person’s life.
What CBD can offer is support and relief to symptoms like increased heart rate, overthinking, fatigue, digestive issues and difficulty in breathing. By interacting with the serotonin receptors, CBD can get rid of these symptoms and make a person feel better.
Medical Potential of Cannabis
People suffering from mental ailments need access to alternative medicines such as CBD to lessen the intake of drugs with considerable side effects. Studies have proven that CBD as oral medication reduces nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer. Some people suffering from epilepsy also recorded reduced attacks after taking CBD and other marijuana-infused products.
Mental conditions are no exception because CBD interacts with the receptors, which transmits a message to the brain and then calms down the body. Given this reaction, more and more medical professionals recommend the use of cannabidiol as an alternative medication for people suffering from anxiety and depression.
CBD Benefits Backed with Science
Promotes Brain Health
Cannabinoids are considered neuroprotective which helps maintain brain health. Effects are related to several factors it has on the brain, particularly removing damaged cells and improving the efficiency of mitochondria. Since CBD also contains antioxidants, it helps get rid of the free radicals and reduce glutamate toxicity.
Prevent Nerve-Related Diseases
The extra glutamate stimulates nerve cells to fire, leading to cell damage or death. Cannabinoids act as a protective layer to keep cells healthy and promote better functions of the organs. In addition, cannabidiol also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the brain and body, caused by the interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
A more significant finding from a 2008 study showed that cannabidiol helped create new nerve cells in aging brains. As the brain ages, the production of new neurons slows down, which causes degenerative diseases. Therefore, new cells need to be created continuously and CBD can take part in this process. In addition to this, CBD also helps prevent nerve-related illnesses including neuropathy and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to a 2012 research, a number of respondents shown reduce anxiety symptoms after taking cannabidiol. Researchers were able to recognize the augmentation of the end cannabidiol system which mitigates behavioral and physical consequences brought about by stress.
Meanwhile, THC can increase anxiety in some patients due to the psychoactive effects of the compound. Respondents experienced increased heart rate, fatigue, and heavy breathing after taking THC.
Effective for Depression
Clinical depression is a serious mental condition that is characterized by persistent sadness, sudden loss of appetite and suicidal thoughts. Those who are diagnosed with this condition are required to attend psychotherapy to build self-esteem, improve social functioning and learn about coping mechanisms.
Intake of CBD is proven to stabilize a person’s mood by enhancing serotonergic and glutamate signaling of the brain. Regular intake showed the effectiveness of the compound in making respondents feel better and stress-free.
Neurologist John Russell Reynolds said that for certain types of pain, CBD is a more useful medicine within a person’s reach. It is an analgesic that works for mild to chronic pain. A number of studies revealed that the endocannabinoid system is involved in the processing of pain signals. With CBD interacting directly with these interconnected nerves, it can help alleviate pain. However, finding the right dosage is crucial to get the desired results. Stronger concentration is best for neuropathic and nociceptive pains.
Improve Sleep Quality
CBD hemp oil is proven to provide relaxation and calm, which are great for a quality rest. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, mood and sleep are stimulated, leading to more quality rest. Indica variety is also famous for this trick, helping users feel light and sleepy.
CBD Interaction With Other Pharmaceuticals
In line with medical treatments such as pharmaceuticals, if CBD is mixed with these drugs, problematic interactions can take place. Which is why it’s recommended to take things at a time. For instance, antidepressants can be taken at a particular hour in the morning or at night, then using CBD oil several hours after. Although there is no established evidence that can prove the problems that can arise from CBD interaction with other medications, it’s still best to be careful.
Overall, cannabidiol or CBD is a great alternative medication for those experiencing mental conditions like anxiety and depression. It is a natural compound and is safe to use and consume. However, it is important to consult a doctor first to see if this product is best for your situation.