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CBD for Psychiatric Disorders: What Does the Research Say?

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Tons of research has shown that CBD has positive effects on mental health, particularly in people suffering from certain mental disorders. On the flip side, some studies have also found these findings to be inadequate. Does this call for further investigation to substantiate the purported benefits of cannabis on mental health? All the same, what does the research say about the use of CBD in treating psychiatric disorders?

A natural alternative 

As you probably know by now, marijuana is used to treat a wide range of ailments, mental disorders being one of them. Apart from being a natural pain reliever, cannabis is used for a wide range of psychiatric health challenges, including anxiety, PTSD, and depression. While many studies have established that the effects can vary from person to person, the existing data has also shown its effectiveness in combating mental health challenges. Many people use cannabis as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals, which can have unpleasant side effects on one’s health. Let’s now take a look at some psychiatric disorders treated using CBD.

Anxiety 

We may deny it, but we have all suffered excessive fear, panic, or worry at some point in life. But treating anxiety can be pricey, especially if it becomes chronic. These days, so many people forego the therapy and turn to CBD. CBD is known to have a considerable amount of compounds with long-term beneficial effects on:

  • Panic Disorder 
  • Social Anxiety Disorder 
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

Depression 

This is one of the common mental disorders worldwide, and an estimated 17 million adults in the US each year fall victim to this condition. Antidepressants are a common remedy because they act on serotonin receptors in the brain. However, an inadequate supply of the substance can lead to depression. Research has found that CBD has an antidepressant effect on these receptors. Rather than increasing your body’s serotonin levels, it just binds to these receptors to mimic the effect of this feel-good chemical.

Insomnia 

Sleeping contributes to our mental health and our productivity too. Without adequate sleep, did you know that you are exposing yourself to difficulties and conditions such as depression, obesity, and cardiovascular disease? Well, the calming effect of cannabis can help you get the much-deserved dose of snooze!

An experiment was conducted on an adult who had sleep problems. The individual would take 25mg of CBD for 30 days daily. After the 30 days, there was a 65% improvement in his sleep pattern and quality.

Posttraumatic stress disorder 

These are disorders that occur after a traumatic experience. They may come in the form of memories, thoughts, and nightmares. If you have been involved in a major road accident, for instance, you are likely to experience PTSD. According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the researchers stated that CBD reduces PTSD symptoms despite regular psychiatric checks. 

Final thoughts

Finally, research indicates that when CBD is used in treating pediatric epilepsy, it cuts seizure frequencies by half. As much as there are anti-seizure medications, their responsiveness is not as effective as CBD. These are just some of the many reasons why medical marijuana is increasingly becoming popular in the world of alternative medicine.


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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