For millions of Americans suffering from mental health issues, seeking out affordable, reliable solutions is becoming increasingly difficult. The high cost of traditional healthcare, manufactured prescription drugs with unpredictable side effects, and the desire for more autonomy and control over decision making are all contributing factors to the very real fact that Americans are seeking alternative options like never before. This is also a contributing factor to the incredible rise in popularity of CBD products.
As more states legalize the use of CBD products, the number of people using them also continues to rise, especially among those seeking help for common mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other illnesses. Managing symptoms of these mental illnesses can be very challenging, but a wide body of evidence suggests that CBD products can have a direct benefit in alleviating symptoms from the aliments mentioned above. Below we will briefly explore what CBD is specifically, and how it can help treat a wide variety of mental health issues and illnesses that many Americans are suffering from today.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (commonly referred to as CBD), is a derivative of the cannabis and hemp plants, each of which belong to the Cannabaceae family, of which there are about 170 different species total. CBD is commonly extracted from these plants for creating specific products such as oils, lotions, foods, and other helpful items. Different plants are chosen for the specific final product in mind, but regardless of the specific taxonomic nomenclature, cannabis is a broad classification of plants that CBD is extracted from. CBD is used by many as a helpful key to keeping the body in balance by reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and dampening pain (which happens with the body’s Endocannabinoid System, or ECS). These helpful functions of CBD that improve physical health can contribute to an overall better mental state, but CBD’s effect on the brain has a very direct impact on mental health.
Today, CBD that is extracted from hemp is legal in all 50 states. As long as the extract contains no traceable volume of THC (the primary intoxicating cannabinoid in weed that creates a “high”), the substance is legal for consumption. So for those worried about a supposed intoxicating effect of CBD or experiencing a high, rest assured, that is probably not going to happen, nor will it induce other negative effects associated with THC: increased appetite, weight gain, and paranoia. This does not mean every person should run out to a store and buy up the first CBD product they find, however. A discussion with a family doctor is always a good idea before supplementing any type of treatment with CBD. As we are all unique human beings, our reactions to different CBD products can also be unique and should be explored carefully and responsibly.
Treating Mental Health Issues with CBD
Studies continue to demonstrate the benefits of CBD when treating patients for their mental health. The World Health Organization offers a list of mental health conditions CBD can help with, including feelings of isolation, and those suffering from autism, social anxiety, epilepsy, and PTSD. People dealing with anxiety or high levels of stress should seriously consider CBD as an alternative treatment. Most users of CBD welcome its calming effect, and should not have to worry about the extreme paranoia that THC is known to cause in some users. Although there is no definitive scientific proof that CBD directly impacts the symptoms of various forms of anxiety, there is a continually-growing amount of research indicating that it does.
Depression is a shockingly common ailment in the United States. It is the leading cause of disability, and ranks among the top three workplace related issues according to the National Network of Depression. It is commonly held that depression can be caused by problems outside of one’s personal mental health, but nevertheless, suffering from depression is a strong indicator that something needs to change in the patient’s life for the better. CBD is reported by many to be a good first step, and may serve as a first line of defense to prevent them from slipping into chronic depression.
One of the most popular and perhaps prominent benefits of CBD is its ability to help users manage their stress. Suffering from excessive amounts of stress stems from an excess production of the hormone cortisol, which provides extra energy to the body when it feels threatened. People with particularly high levels of stress and suffering from a mental condition might experience other symptoms such as mania or panic attacks. Ingesting CBD will help improve the function of the body’s ECS, increasing its ability to regulate mood, sleep habits, and appetite by releasing endocannabinoids and other hormones and enzymes that may help calm the body as well. It has been suggested that CBD may also help regulate the production of cortisol, thereby reducing the chance of a sudden fight-or-flight experience or panic attack.
As stated above, improving the function of the body’s ECS can be crucial to overcoming mental illnesses. If a person’s ECS cannot effectively manage the body’s sleep cycle, the effects of a mental condition can be even worse. Because sleep is critical for the body to heal and regenerate, continued lack of sleep is detrimental and can impair cognitive function to varying degrees if left unchecked. This problem can snowball into other problems such as a strain on friendships, work, and diet. By using CBD to enhance the body’s ECS, steps towards a more regulated and healthy sleep cycle can be taken to help the user begin the full healing process of getting back to normal, healthy sleep patterns.
As we have stated in other posts, CBD should not be considered a miracle cure to the issues we have discussed. CBD is a wonderful, entirely natural alternative to many prescription drugs and can be explored as either a first step, a complementary element to a larger treatment plan, or a standalone alternative. We strongly encourage our customers and CBD users everywhere to approach CBD slowly and to research the potential side effects if taken alongside other medications. As humans, we each have unique biometrics that requires a unique approach to whatever ailment we may be working through. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to help choose what product might be best for you to start with, and please consider consulting with your personal healthcare provider as well.