January 10, 2019
Did you know that one in every four people will be affected by some kind of mental health issue at some point in their life? Just in the United States alone, that’s over 80 million people! With so many people experiencing some form of mental illness, it’s no wonder doctors, naturalists, and victims alike are all searching for new and better ways to help improve mental health.
As we discussed in our last post, CBD provides a host of benefits for your physical health. But did you know that CBD can also improve your mental well-being? If you or someone you know suffers from a mental health issue, you may want to at least consider CBD as a treatment option that you can discuss with your doctor.
Before you do that, though, here’s a list of just some of the things CBD can do to help with your mental health:
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues today. Not only can anxiety make you experience shortened breaths and unclear thoughts, but it can also affect your health by raising your blood pressure, causing digestive issues, and resulting in lack of sleep. To help ease your symptoms of anxiety, CBD helps your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) establish homeostasis, or harmony and balance, throughout your mind and body. This can ultimately help you feel calmer and experience fewer or less severe side effects of anxiety.
If you experience frequent and/or severe feelings of sadness, CBD may help. When ingested, CBD works with several receptors in your brain to establish homeostasis. One of the receptors that CBD activates is your 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which is responsible for regulating your mood and anxiety levels. By targeting this specific serotonin receptor, CBD can enhance how your serotonin receptors send signals throughout the brain and body. As a result, you can experience fast and lasting antidepressant-like effects in a natural way.
One way that CBD strengthens your ECS is by inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that is fundamentally linked to happy feelings. When you ingest CBD, it inhibits the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FFAH) enzyme that breaks down anandamide. By inhibiting the breakdown, CBD enables anandamide to last longer in the body, which strengthens your ECS.
It’s great to have a strong Endocannabinoid System, but why is it so important? Well, your ECS is responsible for regulating several systems within your body, including mental processing. Over the years, scientists have determined a link between a weakened or insufficient ECS and mental health issues, including depression. By strengthening your ECS, CBD can help reduce your chances of suffering from mental issues, or reduce the side effects you experience.
A psychosis disorder is when someone experiences impaired thoughts and emotions to the extent where they cannot identify what is reality and what is not. Examples of psychosis disorders include Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s. Psychosis can come about from various different things, but one interesting cause that scientists have found is the frequent use of high-THC products, such as marijuana. Studies show, however, that CBD can help counteract the negative side effects that THC can have on the brain. CBD does this by lowering the psychosis symptoms as well as improving general cognitive function.
Many people experience an extreme case of anxiety as a result of a traumatic, frightening, or extremely stressful event. For some, this condition may be clinically diagnosed as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), whereas others may have milder but still detrimental side effects. No matter the severity of the condition, those who suffer from such anxiety often experience nightmares or flashbacks of the event, which can cause them to feel extreme guilt, sadness, or irritability. One way that CBD can help reduce these effects is by activating the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which can help improve your mood and reduce anxiety.
Another way that CBD can help is by reducing the activity of the amygdala part of the brain. In short, the amygdala produces fear. It controls the way we respond to events, particularly frightening ones. CBD can reduce activity in the amygdala by inhibiting the FAAH enzyme (remember this from earlier?) and increasing the amount of anandamide in the body. As a result, you can experience greater and longer-lasting feelings of happiness instead of fear.
For those who experience obsessive compulsions, CBD may help. Obsessive compulsions can interfere with day-to-day life in many different ways, and it can be a great hindrance for many people. When ingested, CBD can activate your 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which, in part, helps reduce compulsive behavior and instincts.
If you or someone you know suffers from an addiction of any kind, CBD may be able to help with that as well in several different ways. First, CBD can help reduce cravings. It can also help reduce any anxiety caused from such cravings, resulting in a calmer mind and greater ability to focus on quitting.
As you can see, CBD can help ease the effects of many mental health issues. If you or someone you know experiences one or more of these issues, it may be worth considering CBD. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor before using CBD, especially if you are already taking medications. You may be surprised, though, to see just what CBD can do for you.
What to expect in part nine: What are the different ways to use CBD?
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Missed our previous articles? Check them out here!
Biles, Mary. “7 Amazing Ways CBD Can Help Our Mental Well-Being.” ENDOCA. https://www.endoca.com/blog/cbd-for-mental-wellbeing
“Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. April 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860
“Causes: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/causes/
Niesink, Raymond J.M. and Margriet W. Van Laar. “Does Cannabidiol Protect Against Adverse Psychological Effects of THC?” National Center for Biotechnology Information. October 16, 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3797438/