There’s no denying that CBD products have become universally praised for their medicinal properties. And as a result, more and more people are choosing them over prescription medications or other natural alternatives. But because of its controversial reputation, people are also wondering if CBD oil can really help with mental health issues. We are going to take an in-depth look at CBD and decide if it’s just snake oil or something more than that.
What Is CBD Oil?
Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical found in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, therefore it can’t get you high. While CBD can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp plants, most legally sold products are made from hemp-based chemicals. As a result, CBD oil is completely safe to use without the fear of getting high.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the brain — the same receptors that affect our mood and behavior. In addition, CBD is known for improving the blood flow to the brain’s hippocampus, which is tied to Alzheimer’s disease and PTSD. But let’s see how CBD can help people that are suffering from mental health issues.
Anxiety is a natural response to stress that every human being experiences at least once in their lives. However, it can sometimes manifest itself regularly, becoming a disorder. The number of people diagnosed with anxiety issues increases every year, especially due to the ongoing pandemic.
Some studies have shown that CBD has relaxing effects that can relieve anxiety and stress. In particular, people that are experiencing anxiety attacks are more likely to calm down after using CBD. While it will not completely get rid of anxiety, it can help to keep it in check. Some users have also reported positive effects when using CBD for panic attacks and OCD.
As previously mentioned, CBD interacts with the receptors that affect our mood and behavior. Therefore, people with depression or similar disorders are starting to replace their medication with CBD. To further prove that it can help, scientists have tested the impact CBD has on serotonin levels. The conclusion of these tests was that cannabidiol affects the way the body reacts to already present serotonin levels.
So in short, CBD can be an alternative for people that are struggling with medication and want to avoid dangerous side effects.
CBD’s relaxing effects may prove effective for people that suffer from insomnia or related sleep disorders. One study, in particular, found that over half of their subjects improved their sleep experience using as little as 25 mg of CBD every day. Even so, further studies will be needed to completely prove the effectiveness that CBD has on sleep disorders.
PTSD And Alzheimer’s
Research suggests that CBD, taken alongside regular psychiatric medications, can reduce the symptoms of PTSD. That is mainly because CBD improves the blood flow of certain regions of the brain. One of those regions is tied to Alzheimer’s disease and future studies might prove that CBD can help those suffering from it too.
Some conditions that induce seizures, such as Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, don’t respond well to standard medication. Ironically, in some situations, epilepsy medication was responsible for causing even more seizures. However, scientists have concluded that CBD can reduce seizure frequency by up to 50%. Furthermore, CBD is not as dangerous as other forms of treatment are, which means that more people can use it against seizures. That is a big step toward making CBD the go-to option for alternative epilepsy treatments.
CBD Oil Side Effects
Although CBD can help people that suffer from a wide range of health issues, it does not come entirely without side effects. Dry mouth and appetite changes are some of the most common side effects people encounter. The good news is that you can keep the effects at bay by drinking more water and keeping a stash of snacks nearby.
Other possible side effects include nausea, dizziness, and increased anxiety levels. We should mention that those usually only affect people trying CBD for the first time or those that go overboard with the potency levels. In other words, you should be fine as long as you take things slow and research the product you want to buy.
The Bottom Line
Overall, scientists across the world are studying whether or not CBD can help with mental health issues. And while they are still researching, preliminary studies confirm the effectiveness of CBD. Time will tell if CBD oil and similar products will become the norm for relieving stress, anxiety, and PTSD.
If you are struggling with any of the aforementioned issues, have a chat with your doctor and suggest switching to CBD. Chances are you might even get some advice about dosage from him. But remember to always do your research before trying CBD, so you can avoid side effects.