The catalyst behind the hype and success of CBD is its amalgamation of health benefits stretching across the spectrum of both physical and mental health. Combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise and stress-relieving activities like meditation, its products can potentially work wonders for your wellness. What’s more, it is considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as non-intoxicating and generally well-tolerated in the body. So, how exactly this popular component works for anxiety and what are the potential mental health benefits of CBD oil?
What Is CBD?
CBD (also well-known as cannabidiol) is a phytocannabinoid, one of the 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants. This active compound was discovered in 1940 and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract.
Types Of CBD
Cannabidiol is derived from both hemp and marijuana plants, which may differ in terms of how much of this cannabinoid and THC (the potentially psychoactive cannabinoid) can be extracted. For instance, cannabidiol from hemp plants contains only small amounts of THC while CBD produced from marijuana plants may contain varying amounts of THC which can produce unwanted effects.
Below are three main types of CBD:
- Isolate – Includes CBD only;
- Full-spectrum – Contains other compounds, including THC;
- Broad-spectrum – Contains all plant components with no THC.
It also comes in various products’ forms such as tinctures, capsules, edibles, topicals, vapes and many others. To find the ideal product for you, Alphagreen has a variety of the best CBD brands and customisable search options that allow you to find products that particularly help with stress, mood, anxiety and more.
Benefits Of CBD
The World Health Organization’s expert committee on drug dependence has offered a long list of conditions that cannabidiol can help treat or manage. These benefits include but not limited to the following:
Studies have shown that one of the benefits of CBD is that it can diminish chronic pain by positively impacting the endocannabinoid receptor activity, decreasing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. In short, this compound, especially in combination with THC, may be effective in reducing pain associated with diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Reduction of Anxiety & Depression
The World Health Organisation has declared depression as the largest contributor to disability in the world. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are ranked sixth. The usual treatments can be addictive and may cause several side effects, including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headache. Cannabidiol, however, has shown promise in the treatment of both depression and anxiety. Studies have proven that it can help to reduce anxiety and depression in both human and animal studies.
Alleviation Of Cancer-Related Symptoms
It is also believed that cannabidiol can help to decrease cancer-related symptoms as well as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Drugs that help with these distressing symptoms are sometimes ineffective, which cause some people to seek alternatives.
It is also known that it can help to decrease cancer-related symptoms as well as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Drugs that help with these distressing symptoms are sometimes ineffective, which cause some people to seek alternatives.
Some Other Potential Benefits of CBD include:
- Antipsychotic effects;
- Substance abuse treatment;
- Anti-tumour effects;
- Diabetes prevention.
The Effects Of CBD On Mental Health And Wellbeing
Research has shown that cannabidiol can help in mental health and wellbeing, stress relief, feelings of isolation, effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. It appears that it can calm the part of the brain responsible for healthy emotions and memory (hippocampus).
How Does CBD Oil Help In Curbing Anxiety?
All vertebrates have a complex endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives and transmits signals between (both internally and externally induced) cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid receptors by promoting or hindering certain specific physiological functions, such as sleep, hunger, immune response, pain and mental balance.
However, plant-derived cannabinoids, like CBD, have the same impact on our body and mind which makes it possible to overcome any deficiency in our endocannabinoids that can cause health problems, like pain, anxiety, sleeplessness or nausea.
How CBD Oil Works For Anxiety?
When taken, cannabidiol is directly absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the targeted endocannabinoid system and attaches to the cannabinoid receptors such as CB1 and CB2 and non-cannabinoid receptors like serotonin receptor – 5-HT1A. This interaction influences our body’s response to stress, pain, inflammation, etc.
It aids in many forms of mental disorders including Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety, Specific Phobias, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The good news is that intake of cannabidiol does not result in many of the serious side effects as conventional medications. This is simply because it doesn’t follow the same pathway as these medications.
Factors That Affect The Quality Of CBD For Anxiety
For cannabidiol to be effective in the treatment of mental related illness, the following factors have to be considered.
- Hemp source;
- Brand reputation;
- Lab results;
- Extract types;
- Size variants;
- Customer service.
The source of the hemp used to extract the oil is very important. For instance, hemp grown on regulated farmlands in the US or parts of the EU can be trusted to be safe, quality-controlled, potent, contaminant-free, GMO-free, and contains low levels of THC.
Some Research Into CBD And Findings
University Of Colorado
A study by the University of Colorado, Denver, in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and GW Research Ltd, focused on the safety and tolerability of the proposed dosage regimen. The form of cannabidiol used was GWP42003 supplied by GW Pharmaceuticals. The study was conducted on ten subjects. During the study, the dose of CBD administered was gradually increased according to the manufacturer’s recommendations with tolerability evaluated at each dose level.
The study began in October 2016 and concluded in November 2017.
Findings: Evidence found suggested that thid cannabinoid is relatively safe and may even be neuroprotective, reduces tremor, anxiety, psychosis and is well tolerated in PD. Besides limiting the psychoactive effect of THC, it was also revealed that cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties.
A research conducted by BMC Psychiatry focused on a systematic review of the emerging medical application of cannabis across all major psychiatric disorders.
Findings: The study concluded that there is encouraging evidence that medicinal cannabis can be used in the treatment of different psychiatric disorders. Other supportive findings are also coming forth.