Improve your mental health with CBD
We are always looking for ways to take care of our physical health, whether it’s with a new supplement or exercise routine, or simply living a better lifestyle. But we don’t always give the same care and attention to our mental health, which is just as – if not more – important. Without being at peace mentally, the mind can play tricks to make life more difficult or even unbearable.
With the World Health Organization now estimating that depression affects 300 million people around the globe, and National Institute of Mental Health figures showing that about 40 million American adults (around 18 percent of the adult population) suffer from anxiety, it’s fair to say that society is stumped by mental illness.
There are pharmaceutical drugs available, however the side effects, personality changes and possible addictiveness of them is off-putting for many. Some find relief through calming practices such as meditation. However, the revelations of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) show that this network has a direct impact on our mental health, regulating mood. Therefore, a cannabinoid-based treatment like CBD, which helps to regulate the entire (ECS), may be beneficial.
Let’s look at how CBD is being used to manage anxiety and mental health.
Reducing anxious symptoms with CBD
Suffering from anxiety can feel like being stuck in a mental prison, with over-analysis, nerves, fears, doubts and self-consciousness overloading the brain with thoughts, many of them irrational. This can have a paralysing effect on a person, preventing them from going about life with vim and vigour and achieving goals. Physical symptoms can also manifest from anxiety, such as chest pains, stomach cramps and hyperventilation.
Once an anxiety attack begins, it can be very difficult to calm down – this unwanted experience can be very stressful, and seriously affect quality of life; especially if anxiety is striking in public.
However, CBD can help bring anxiety under control, and significantly reduce the severity of an attack. CBD’s anxiolytic effects come from the compound making it easier for GABA neurotransmitter to bind with GABA receptors. GABA eases anxiety by decreasing activity in the brain.
Vaping CBD vape oil and e-liquid is the most effective intake method to combat anxiety. When vaping, the CBD can start to influence the body within seconds. For those with anxiety, onset of symptoms can be very sudden, hence the need for a rapid remedy.
The quick relief offered by CBD is a safety net that is helping many anxiety patients to go about their lives with less stress. Whenever anxious symptoms arise or feel like worsening, a dose of CBD can help settle things down. If it’s not possible to vape, then taking CBD gummy bears or capsules in the morning – which work for several hours – can help to temper anxiety during the day.
Depression is one of the biggest medical problems facing society today, and the lack of effective treatments for this mood disorder only amplifies concerns. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been the leading antidepressants since the 1980s; however, their usefulness has often been questioned. Furthermore, a recent review in Lancet found that antidepressants prescribed to children with depression are “ineffective.”
The ECS presents mental health researchers with new possibilities when it comes to treating depression. The system not only influences our mood, but the primary endocannabinoid anandamide is known to be a powerful antidepressant. In fact, ground-breaking studies into the ‘runner’s high’ have found that anandamide is responsible for the natural euphoria, not endorphins as first thought. Anandamide is often referred to as ‘human THC’ or the ‘bliss molecule’.
Typically, anandamide is degraded quickly by an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) – that’s why we don’t feel high all the time. However, sometimes too much anandamide is broken down, which can lead to a decline in mood. But FAAH can be inhibited by CBD, which subsequently lifts anandamide levels. With more anandamide in the body and brain and binding with CB1 receptors, mood is sure to be increased. Running may be an effective, natural trick to alleviate depression.
Some studies have also shown CBD to interact with the serotonin system, activating the 5-HT1A receptor – this also explains why CBD is a handy mood-enhancer.
Cannabis and paranoia
The scare story that cannabis makes people paranoid is age-old, but unfortunately many still believe it without having a complete understanding of the herb. Very high quantities of THC, which may be consumed by recreational users, could lead to some mental side effects, but the set and setting also has huge influence over this.
THC is a psychoactive substance and can make emotions stronger. Not being in a safe and secure place only increases the risk of feeling anxious and paranoid from cannabis use. Also, being worried beforehand about thinking such negative thoughts during a trip, just increases the chance of having them. Be wary about taking massive amounts of THC, and for those having a heavy session, then it may help to have some CBD e-liquid close by – the anti-psychotic properties of CBD (the cannabinoid is a negative allosteric modulator of CB1 receptors) reduces a THC high.
Historically, it hasn’t been easy to talk about mental health, and mental illnesses certainly haven’t received the same attention as physical illnesses, simply because they aren’t visible. But staying mentally balanced is clearly important, and CBD can help anyone work toward this state of being.