CBD and Mental Health
As mental health issues have become more openly discussed in recent years, the use of CBD for mental health has garnered a lot of attention. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, two of the most notable cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, are thus continuously being researched to determine how they can be used for mental health.
CBD users have reported that CBD use can help improve a host of mental and physical health issues, including stress and pain relief, and boosting mood, but before we can answer whether CBD is good for mental health or not, we must first understand how it works in the body.
How CBD Works
Our bodies naturally produce certain chemicals called endocannabinoids. Researchers suggest that when these chemicals come in contact with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), they help regulate numerous bodily functions such as sleep, appetite, and mood.
CBD, just like THC, interacts with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system and thus it could have positive effects on one’s mental health. But unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t have the mind-altering effects that are characteristic of marijuana use. And since CBD products contain only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%), it’s safe to use CBD for mental health.
Common Reasons for CBD Consumption
The growing interest surrounding CBD is primarily due to its supposed health benefits. Regular users of CBD products claim to have experienced many therapeutic effects from daily consumption such as relief from daily aches and pains, sleeplessness, racing thoughts, and stress among others.
A survey conducted by Forbes Health discovered that 60% of adults in the US have tried CBD products, whereas 62% of the respondents used CBD for relaxation and to reduce stress. Other popular reasons were improved sleep quality, and respite from racing thoughts.
In another study, it was found that the top four reasons why people used CBD are: racing thoughts and feelings of unease, inability to sleep, stress, and general well-being.
Uses of CBD for Mental Health
The health benefits of cannabinoids have undergone much research and speculation, with more progress being made in understanding whether CBD is good for mental health. CBD can help improve one’s mental health in several ways. If you’re excited about the possibilities of CBD, here are a few ways that you might be able to benefit from CBD for your own mental health:
1. Better Sleep
A restful night’s sleep is crucial for a healthier mind and body. Poor sleeping habits or a disrupted circadian rhythm due to stress can be detrimental to your mental health. Several studies have shown that the right dose of CBD may help promote better sleep, and anecdotal reports from habitual users confirm so. However, the full extent of CBD’s effect on sleep requires more in-depth research.
2. Reduce Stress
A study published in 2021 on the effectiveness of CBD in enhancing the endocannabinoid system’s ability to control stress concluded that there is enough substantial clinical evidence to say that the use of CBD for mental health could improve the body’s response to stress. The same study also noted that even lower doses of CBD greatly improved stress and its associated manifestations such as feelings of dread and unease.
3. Improve Mood
Cannabis’s mood-elevating properties are primarily a result of its high THC content. But experts suggest that even CBD with THC concentrations lower than 0.3% can prove effective against low moods. An old research noted that a few studies indicate CBD may have a positive relation with serotonin receptors in the brain. But it emphasizes that further investigation is needed.
Is CBD Good for Mental Health?
Even though the number of studies and research on CBD for mental health is not sufficient to make any conclusive claims about its effectiveness, it’s still worth noting that the current data is promising enough that experts have stressed the need for further examination.
Though CBD may not be able to cure serious mental health conditions, it could be a safe and effective solution for the management of day-to-day stressors. THC is already well-known for its efficacy against certain mental health disorders but it is an addictive compound. CBD on the other hand is non-addictive and non-psychoactive — making it a more desirable alternative. But you should always consult a doctor before using CBD for mental health.