Mental Health, Natural Health & Wellness

Cannabidiol: A Powerful Alternative Treatment for Mental Illness

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Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.— 43.8 million, or 18.5% — experiences mental illness in a given year”. These are the alarming statistics we are currently facing in the United States, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Fortunately, there’s an ongoing conversation on mental health taking place, with increased awareness compared to previous years. However, a great deal of patients are faced with long-term treatment, usually with harmful prescription medication. But what if we had a natural solution available, such as CBD oil? Find out the CBD benefits for mental health below.

CBD Oil for Anxiety

The notion of medical cannabis for anxiety serves as essentially the most popular queries in relation to CBD hemp oil. Based on preclinical trials and what confirmed the information currently available, researchers widely agree that CBD is actually a powerful all-natural anxiolytic. CBD and anxiety go hand in hand, with cannabidiol oil greatly decreasing the effects of conditions within his particular category.

From heart rate to blood pressure, the very best strains for anxiety succeed in maintaining stats under control. Although traditional weed and anxiety could be a catastrophic combination, pure CBD oil with very little to no THC content, (approximately 0.3%) will work wonders on calming the nerves. Science shows us that, despite originating from the same plant, THC and CBD interact differently with our brain, with the latter being a powerful anti-psychotic.

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Cannabis Oil for PTSD

Common medications used to treat the debilitating symptoms of PTSD include heavy anti-depressants such as Prozac or Zoloft, which can potentially lead to addiction or withdrawal symptoms. Nevertheless, CBD treatment for PTSD is identified as a safe and natural solution. But how does CBD help PTSD? Above all, by noticeably reducing symptoms of PTSD, starting with fear memory.

In addition to this, CBD can play a crucial role in PTSD treatment by lowering the chances of hypervigilance, otherwise known as being extremely alert. Hemp oil for PTSD can also help with recurring nightmares that most patients suffering from this disorder undergo. CBD specifically has a relaxing effect thus reducing symptoms of anxiety, as opposed to the psychoactive impact of THC, which may actually increase symptoms of anxiety.

Cannabidiol Oil for OCD

Another anxiety disorder that can greatly benefit from the myriad health benefits of CBD oils is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Just like in the case of PTSD, OCD is typically treated with harsh anti-depressant drugs that can have a lifelong impact. OCD patients usually have to take daily treatment to keep symptoms of the disorder at bay.

A CBD anxiety study with preclinical trials on rats concluded that cannabidiol may have anti-compulsive benefits for OCD patients. In other words, there is an increased chance that those with OCD may not feel such a strong need to carry out certain actions repetitively.

CBD for Social Anxiety

Based on data collected by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) affects 15 million American adults, which is approximately 8.7% of the entire population of our country. One of the most dominant traits of this anxiety disorder is fear of public speaking.

Research shows that pure CBD tincture makes SAD patients more comfortable with speaking in public, even with a better reaction from their audience. One specific study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in Oxford a few years ago sums up that “CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas”.

On a more general level, you can also take CBD oil for panic attacks, extensive stress and even migraines.

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Cannabidiol and Sleep Disorders

Though anxiety and insomnia are often co-existing conditions, there has recently been a spike in the demand of CBD tincture for sleep. Therapeutic benefits also extend to CBD REM sleep, in which cannabidiol oil may regulate the anxiety-induced alteration in this stage of deep sleep.

A study conducted last year on a 10-year-old girl with sleep issues, anxiety and additional PTSD symptoms had impressive results. The general conclusion included “clinical data that support the use of cannabidiol oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with posttraumatic stress disorder, with a “steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep”.

CBD Oil for Addiction

A list of CBD oil benefits also includes addiction management and treatment. Whether it’s alcohol, cigarettes or stronger substances, CBD has been proven to reduce both cravings and relapses in those who suffer from addiction. Even more so, CBD oil can aid in shielding your brain from damage caused by abusing these substances.

Researchers are now diving into the power of cannabidiol to balance emotional memory processing that is often associated with addiction. Supporting this claim, a recent study on hemp oil showing the benefits of cannabidiol in relation to substance abuse disorders states that “cannabidiol reduces the expression of drug memories acutely and by disrupting their reconsolidation”.

Medical Marijuana and Depression

Despite the fact that CBD does not possess the psychoactive properties that give THC the “high” effect, it does allow the user to relax and enjoy a sense of calm and mild euphoria. More and more individuals are seeking medical marijuana for depression, some who haven’t yet found an effective treatment, others to avoid the addiction caused by anti-depressants.

To understand how the effects take place, we need to go back to one of the general causes of depression: lack of chemical balance in the human brain. This directly impacts the central nervous system, which is also known as the endocannabinoid system. When neglected, this system undergoes reduced levels of energy, mood swings and loss of appetite, among others. CBD aids in leveling all of these symptoms, without tightly binding the CB1 receptor and causing intoxication like THC.

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CBD Oil Effects on Schizophrenia

Last but certainly not least, it is imperative to reference CBD trials for the treatment of schizophrenia when discussing cannabidiol and mental health. Psychologists currently believe that cannabidiol can affect the dopamine system in our brain while decreasing symptoms of cognitive disorders such as schizophrenia. CBD and schizoaffective disorder work through anandamide, a critical neurotransmitter in psychosis.

Results from such trials point out that CBD can boost levels of serum anandamide, which leads to the improvement of the condition. The formal conclusion of the research team was that “inhibition of anandamide deactivation may contribute to the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol potentially representing a completely new mechanism in the treatment of schizophrenia”.

While more research is needed to prove the effectiveness of CBD oil for each disorder mentioned here, there is much hope that cannabidiol will become a normal therapeutic component in the near future. As far as mental health is in discussion, the anxiolytic, anti-depressant and antipsychotic properties of CBD are paving the way to a new perspective on global mental illness therapy.

References:

Nardo, Mirella, Casarotto, Plinio C., Gomes, Felipe V., Guimarães, Francisco S., “Cannabidiol reverses the mCPP-induced increase in marble-burying behavior”, Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology, 2013.

2 Crippa, J.A. et. al, “Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report”, Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2011.

3 Shannon, S., Opila-Lehman, J., “Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report”, The Permanente Journal, 2016.

4 Lee, J.L., Bertoglio, L.J., Guimarães, F.S., Stevenson, C.W., “Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders”, British Journal of Pharmacology, 2017.

5 Leweke, F.M. et. al, “Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia”, Translational Psychiatry, 2012.

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