CBD for Anxiety & Depression
CBD for Anxiety and Depression
More and more, people turn to CBD for anxiety and depression. Common mental health issues have the potential to devastate your health and well-being. Per a report from the World Health Organization, depression is the main contributor to disabilities throughout the world. Moreover, anxiety disorders rank sixth as a contributor.
Oftentimes, doctors treat anxiety and depression with prescription medications. Typically, these come loaded with an array of side effects that range in their severity. From mild drowsiness to insomnia and sexual dysfunction, it’s hard to know how your body will react to antidepressants. More importantly, some of these medications are addictive and leave people with the potential for substance abuse.
In turn, many seek out more natural remedies, often turning to CBD for anxiety and depression. CBD oil shows promise as a treatment for these conditions. In one study, 72 people with anxiety or histories of poor sleep tried CBD. Many saw improvements in their sleep habits as well as decreases in their anxiety scores.
What is CBD? Is it the same as Marijuana?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, which is one of 200 cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. However, CBD is not psychoactive – as many other cannabinoids are. It has a different pharmacologic profile compared to these other cannabinoids. Moreover, it is found in both marijuana plants and hemp.
Is CBD for anxiety and depression safe?
In a general sense, yes, it is safe to use CBD for anxiety and depression. However, it is important to note that CBD products are not regulated by the FDA. Unfortunately, CBD products flooded the market, and it is unlikely that they are all tested and safe.
Moreover, the FDA issued several warning letters that market unapproved new drugs allegedly containing CBD. As part of this, the organization tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some products. They found that many products did not contain the levels of CBD claimed in the marketing.
Also, it is important to remember that CBD products are not approved by the FDA in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. When you want to try CBD products, it is important to find a company you trust.
People seem to put CBD in everything now. Does it really do anything in shampoo, beer, bath salts, etc?
Without proper studies, we cannot confirm how effective CBD is in such products. There is no evidence to suggest that it works as part of these products. Moreover, it is often unclear how much CBD these products contain.
Do CBD-based medications actually help with anxiety and depression? Is the science there?
There is some evidence in the effectiveness of using CBD for anxiety and depression. However, the research pertaining to mental health is not as advanced as it is in the treatment of epilepsy. The major indicators are found in pre-clinical evidence.
CBD research assesses a diverse range of conditions. Some of these studies show the potential for CBD to be neuroprotective, anxiolytic, anti-asthmatic, anti-inflammatory, and more.
While there is insufficient evidence to support the use of CBD for depression and anxiety, some people claim that it helps them on a personal level. The important takeaway is that there haven’t been enough controlled clinical trials to support it as treatment with true confidence. CBD requires much more research in general and in particular as a potential treatment for anxiety and depression.
Is there current research on CBD in the US? Do other countries use CBD?
At the moment, there are dozens of trials exploring the potential benefits of CBD. These clinical trials cover an array of disorders, from pain and PTSD to anxiety and addiction. Most of these studies are based in the United States. However, there are some in other countries.
Furthermore, there are studies combining CBD and THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. This product is Savitex and has been approved for certain treatments in Asia and Europe.
Are CBD products FDA-approved?
In 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract, by GW Pharmaceuticals as a treatment for 2 rare types of epilepsy. These are Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
How do I know whether articles about CBD for anxiety and depression are true?
It’s important to look for scientific evidence that supports claims made. Do they offer evidence from controlled trials? Is there a legitimate source that verifies the components? More than ever, it is hard to parse fact from fiction online.
When you are unsure about CBD, consult your physician, and see what they recommend.
How Does CBD Work?
The human body has an array of receptors, protein-based chemical structures attached to cells. These receptors receive signals from stimuli. We believe CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, mostly found in the nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
No one fully understands the precise way in which CBD interacts with these receptors. However, many believe that CBD alters serotonin signals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, and it plays a crucial role in mental health. Low serotonin levels are often associated with depression and anxiety.
Some people with anxiety choose to manage their condition with CBD as opposed to prescription medications. However, it is crucial to discuss this with your doctor before you make any changes to your treatment plan.
CBD for Anxiety and Depression: Research and Evidence
There are several studies that point to the potential benefits of using CBD for anxiety and depression.
CBD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder
With generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), CBD shows the potential to reduce stress in animals such as rats. This comes from a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The trials observed study subjects with lower behavioral signs of anxiety. They also saw improvements to the physiological symptoms of anxiety.
Other Forms of Anxiety
CBD also shows potential as a benefit to people with other types of anxiety. For instance, it may ease the minds of people who have PTSD or social anxiety. Studies show that CBD also helps people with histories of poor sleep as we mentioned earlier.
In 2011, a study looked into the effect of CBD on people with social anxiety. They gave people either a placebo or an oral dose of 400 mg. Those who received the CBD stated their anxiety levels were reduced.
Moreover, multiple recent studies link CBD to the reduction of PTSD symptoms. Examples include reduced nightmares as well as repetitive negative memories.
Other Neurological Disorders and CBD
A 2017 literature review of CBD and its impact on psychiatric disorders states that there isn’t enough evidence to tout CBD as an effective depression treatment. However, the authors found evidence in uncontrolled studies that suggest CBD has the potential to benefit people with anxiety disorders.
What are the side effects of CBD?
Overall, using CBD for anxiety and depression is generally safe. However, as with medications, CBD interacts with different bodies in different ways.
Some people experience the following side effects:
- Change in appetite
- Change in weight
Moreover, CBD might interact with other dietary supplements or medications you take. Exercise caution when you use CBD alongside other medications. Be sure to discuss it with your doctor beforehand to explore potential side effects.
How to Buy CBD for Anxiety and Depression
In certain areas of the US, CBD products are only available for specific medical treatments, such as for epilepsy. Some states require a license from your doctor in order to purchase CBD oil or other CBD products.
If cannabis is legal for medical use in your state, you might be able to buy CBD online or at a dispensary. As CBD research continues, more states are likely to legalize CBD products, allowing wider availability.