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Mental health is an essential component of our overall well being. Yet sometimes, maintaining a healthy mental state can feel like fighting an uphill battle. There are many challenges to treating mental health conditions, but now, the options for talk therapy, psychiatry, support groups, holistic intervention, and other treatment types are expanding. 

There are certain factors that impact mental health that are outside of our control. This include things like family history, life circumstances, the changing of the seasons, and more. However, there are many ways in which we can positively boost our mood and well being. This, of course, can drastically improve quality of life in those who struggle with their mental health.

In this blog, we want to highlight the benefits that CBD may offer in the management of mental health conditions. While the effects of CBD are still being evaluated by scientific research, preliminary studies have shown some promising results. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into the effects of CBD use on anxiety, depression, and sleep. 

CBD and Anxiety

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, and usually occurs with some change in life circumstances. Perhaps you feel anxious as a deadline approaches, or before a medical procedure. You might feel restless, have difficulty sleeping, find it difficult to concentrate, and you might even feel heavy in your chest or stomach. However, as the circumstances pass, the anxiety dissipates.

In comparison, a generalized anxiety disorder is one that is much more permanent, and needs to be managed on a regular basis. The symptoms of anxiety persist, and may cause disturbances in one’s ability to work, sleep, perform activities of daily living, and in social interaction. There are many ways to manage an anxiety disorder; this may include psychological therapy, medication, learning coping techniques and more. 

Researchers are always exploring additional ways to support anxiety management, and some speculate that CBD could be a useful tool. CBD is now used to aid in the management of many conditions, from improving sleep quality to pain management. Now, it seems that CBD may also be useful in managing certain mental health conditions, anxiety included.

There have been multiple studies that have provided evidence that administration of CBD can reduce anxiety symptoms and behaviors. In one small randomized controlled trial, subjects were either given 400 mg of CBD or a placebo. Those who took the CBD expressed a reduction in subjective anxiety symptoms (meaning they felt less anxious), and chemical measures showed changes in the function of the brain that are associated with decreased anxiety. This study demonstrated that CBD has an effect on the chemical control of our brain. Specifically the limbic system, which is the part of our brain that is responsible for behavioral and emotional response to stimuli. [1-2]

Although there is still further research needed to explore the potential benefits of CBD, It seems that it is able to extend some beneficial effects to those who live with anxiety disorders. Now let’s continue exploring the effect of CBD on other mental health conditions, such as depression. 

CBD and Depression

Depression is a mental health condition that impacts an estimated 280 million people globally. While the effects of depression vary from person to person, symptoms commonly include feelings of sadness, irritability, or loneliness, loss of interest, poor concentration, fatigue, changes in appetite, poor sleep, and hopelessness. 

Among other causes, the incidence of depression can be linked to a change in the chemical nature of the brain. Specifically, there are three neurotransmitters that scientists think are involved in depression – dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Low levels of these neurotransmitters are associated with depression, and there are even some studies to suggest that low levels may in fact be part of the onset of depression. [3]

In regard to CBD, researchers are specifically looking at the relationship between CBD, depression, and serotonin. While CBD doesn’t seem to stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain, it seems that CBD may help the brain respond to the serotonin already produced by the body. This suggests that the possible effectiveness of using CBD to help manage depression could be dependent on the brain’s ability to produce serotonin. [4]

CBD and Sleep

While difficulty sleeping isn’t exclusively an issue related to mental health, it can certainly be an issue for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health conditions. The impact of poor sleep on declining mental health seems to be an established relationship. [5] Additionally, there have even been studies to demonstrate that insomnia is a causal factor in paranoia, hallucinations, and other severe mental health problems. [6] Therefore, it seems that sleep duration and quality is an important factor to consider when managing mental health conditions.

CBD is thought to improve sleep in a few different ways. First, scientific research has shown that CBD regulates cortisol and helps relax our bodies. [7] This helps many people find better quality sleep for longer periods of time without the drowsy side effects of sleep aids. CBD is also known to interact with receptors in the pineal gland, which produces melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycle. Overall, research has demonstrated that using CBD does positively benefit one’s ability to fall and stay asleep, which could be an incredible aid for those who are struggling to manage mental health conditions. [8]

While CBD is no magical treatment to cure mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, it does seem to offer some promising benefits. If you’re considering trying CBD for the first time, you will love our CBD Turmeric. Not only is it formulated with optimal absorption and impeccable quality in mind, you can get it 100% risk free. Our 180-day money back policy guarantees your satisfaction! 

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Citations

  1.   Crippa, José Alexandre S., et al. “Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Report.” Journal of Psychopharmacology, vol. 25, no. 1, Jan. 2011, pp. 121–130, doi:10.1177/0269881110379283.
  2. Blessing, E.M., Steenkamp, M.M., Manzanares, J. et al. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics 12, 825–836 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  3. Schimelpfening, Nancy. “What Is the Chemistry behind Depression?” Verywell Mind, https://www.verywellmind.com/the-chemistry-of-depression-1065137. 
  4. Amanda J. Sales, Carlos C. Crestani, Francisco S. Guimarães, Sâmia R.L. Joca. Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, Volume 86, 2018, Pages 255-261, ISSN 0278-5846. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.06.002.
  5. Milojevich HM, Lukowski AF (2016) Sleep and Mental Health in Undergraduate Students with Generally Healthy Sleep Habits. PLOS ONE 11(6): e0156372. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156372
  6. Daniel Freeman, et al. The effects of improving sleep on mental health (OASIS): a randomised controlled trial with mediation analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 4, Issue 10, 2017, Pages 749-758, ISSN 2215-0366. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30328-0.
  7. Zuardi, A W et al. “Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers.” Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas vol. 26,2 (1993): 213-7.
  8. Zhornitsky, Simon, and Stéphane Potvin. “Cannabidiol in humans-the quest for therapeutic targets.” Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 5,5 529-52. 21 May. 2012, doi:10.3390/ph5050529
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