Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound that is naturally found in cannabis plants, such as hemp and marijuana. It is a lesser known cousin of THC, the compound in marijuana that makes you feel high. CBD by itself, however, has no psychoactive properties that would make you high. In the past decade, there has been extensive research into the health benefits of CBD. One particular benefit that has been discovered is that CBD can help improve mental health in numerous ways.
If you suffer from any kind of mental health disorder, from stress and anxiety to insomnia and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it may be worth seeing how CBD can help. CBD is legal to purchase everywhere from shops like this website, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. Here are three ways that CBD has been found to help improve mental health.
Many people deal with constant stress, anxiety or depression on a regular basis. One common underlying issue that is thought to cause these disorders is having a low level of serotonin. Most prescription medications that are given to people with these diagnosed mental health issues are SSRIs, which works to improve their serotonin levels.
Something that studies have found is that CBD likely interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which includes parts of your brain and nervous system. The ECS is not clearly understood, but it is thought to regulate the signals that tell your body to produce serotonin.
Sleep and mental health have a strong relationship with each other. When you feel stressed and anxious, you are less likely to get a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, when you don’t get enough sleep you are more likely to feel greater amounts of stress and anxiety.
As for CBD, some research has also found that it can help improve the quality of sleep you get so that you feel more rested in the morning. It comes back to the ECS – one of the other things it is thought to regulate in your body is sleep quality and the sleep/wake cycle of your circadian rhythm. By taking CBD, you are more likely to have a sound, restful sleep.
For people with severe levels of stress or anxiety, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), CBD has also been found to help reduce symptoms. For people who have PTSD, all of the problems associated with anxiety are heightened to extreme levels. This includes a decline in sleep, appetite, memory, motivation, cognitive abilities, focus, and more. It can also lead to severe and debilitating panic attacks.
There have been a few studies in the past decade that have shown promise for CBD relieving PTSD symptoms. One study found it was effective especially when used alongside counselling, while another study into children with insomnia and PTSD found it helped treat both.
If you want to try CBD to help improve your mental health, either in general or for specific conditions you have been diagnosed with, it may be beneficial for you. You may find that a combination of CBD with counselling can replace SSRIs, which have been found to have more serious side effects. Always consult with your doctor or therapist to know if it will work for you.
Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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