Can CBD Help with Anxiety and Depression

There is growing evidence that CBD for anxiety and depression is an effective treatment. Studies and research indicate CBD’s healing capacity extends from pain and inflammation to insomnia, epilepsy, and even cancer.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness and affect 40 million Americans every year. According to the National Institute of Medical Health (NMIH), 16.2 million, which represents 6.7% of the U.S. population, had one major depressive episode.

Depression and anxiety are most common in ages 18-25, and the most common medicines prescribed include Anti-depressants, Benzodiazepines, and Beta-blockers. Anti-depressants block the reabsorption of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

Anxiety and depression are conditions related to poor sleep patterns, pain, and mood regulation. The different types of anxiety disorders include

  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder),
  • PD (panic disorder),
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD),
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD),
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
  • Eating disorders.

CBD For Anxiety

CBD has a positive effect on mental health. It has been shown to interact with the serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin- a neurotransmitter impact’s a personal emotional state; low serotonin levels are linked to depression.

CBD also interacts with the CB1 receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors. The CB1 receptor forms a part of the Endocannabinoid system that regulates homeostasis- the key to better overall health.

So, it supports the work the ECS is already doing to help your body function regularly when you take CBD. When CBD binds to the CB1 receptor in the brain, it facilitates the CNS in fight inflammation and modulates serotonin’s effects. In fact, this is how many anti-depressants work by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain.

Moreover, anxiety and stress inhibit GABA production that tells the brain to chill out by inducing sleep, relaxing muscles, and creating a sense of calmness. Scientists believe CBD can help modulate GABA so the body can function regularly according to its schedule.

Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety and depression include:

  • memory issues,
  • overthinking, trouble concentrating,
  • poor sleep or insomnia,
  • rapid heartbeat,
  • Pain such as headaches, body aches
  • mood swings,
  • feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and pessimism,
  • restlessness, irritability, fatigue
  • Digestive disorders.

If untreated, in severe cases, thoughts of death and suicide attempts are usual.

In addition, CBD can reduce social anxiety disorder by lowering activity in the amygdala and increasing prefrontal cortex activation, the areas of the brain involved in the fight-or-flight response. It restores the neurons in the brain to function at an average level.

A study published in Neuropsychopharmacology shows that CBD administered before a public-speaking event significantly reduces overall anxiety, performance anxiety, and cognitive impairment. Experts also believe careful dosing can help panic attacks and disrupted sleep patterns during the night.

CBD and Depression

Humans produce cannabinoids in their bodies that help fight depression, protect & heal the brain, modulate and balance the production of chemicals in the brain. Sleep disruption and depression are closely linked; 90% of depressed patients complain about difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

CBD can also be used to treat sleeping disorders such as sleep-walking, jaw-grinding, or nightmares. CBD seems to positively affect the serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin impacts many functions in the body, including emotional well-being and feelings of happiness. Keeping serotonin levels in the body at an optimal level is often critical for people with depression.

How to Use CBD For Anxiety And Depression

CBD is usually being used as a complementary therapy for treating various anxiety disorders. Since studies are still underway, the recommended doses are yet to be standardized and will also differ according to the patient’s condition.

CBD works best when taken on a regular basis, often two-to-three times a day. It is advisable to start on a low dose and work your way up. It may take days or even months to feel the effect. It may not take as long for someone with mild symptoms to feel the effect as those dealing with severe anxiety or depression.

Researchers have found that 300-600 mg of CBD significantly reduces severe anxiety symptoms. However, CBD is not a substitute for prescription medications or talk therapy and is not a magic elixir. Also, it may work better for some people than for others. Hence, it is better to consult your doctor and figure out the lowest, most effective dose.

Methods Of Administration CBD for depression

CBD can be taken as an oil, sublingual spray or drops, capsules, soft gels, in edibles, as vaporized oil, or as a powder or paste. The effects of orally administered CBD products begin showing effect within half an hour to two hours. Smoking or vaping can provide immediate relaxation, helping to get over public speaking or social anxiety.

What Are The Potential Side Effects And Risks Of Using CBD?

CBD is thought to be relatively safe; also it is non-addictive and intoxicating as it contains less than 0.3% THC. However, it can cause some side effects and may cause interactions with certain drugs. The purity and source of the product will also determine its effectiveness and potential risks.

CBD side effects include fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea, dry mouth, and changes in appetite or weight. However, there may cause interactions with drugs for migraine, hypertension, heartburn, and certain others. Hence, while using CBD to treat mental health disorders, it is always better to take professional advice.

Since many physicians may not know the science behind medical cannabis and how to integrate it within a patient’s treatment plan, look out for holistic physicians aware of phytomedicine use. The Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Association of Cannabis Specialists are great sources for researching healthcare professionals well-versed in CBD.

Is CBD Effective For Anxiety And Depression In Pets?

One of the fastest growing health trends to manage anxiety in dogs and cats includes using Hemp CBD oil. You can administer CBD oil with pet food or spray it sublingually. As with humans, it is best to start with a low dose and monitor how your reacts before changing the dose, gradually increasing as the need be. The same precautions and side effects are to be taken into consideration too.

It is essential to keep in mind that as a remedy while CBD for anxiety and depression seems promising, there is still a lot of research and understanding that needs to be done on how it works. The FDA has not approved CBD products; hence they should not be used as a replacement for prescription drugs and without a healthcare provider’s consultation.

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