In recent years, there has been a surge of CBD products on the market. Some of them promised to treat serious health problems including those involving one’s mental health. There has been anecdotal evidence, but the question still remains: Can CBD cure mental health problems? And which form of CBD is best in curing mental illness?
The pressures of modern life may take a toll on our mental health. To date, some 300 million people of all ages worldwide suffer from depression. The World Health Organization also declared that one in four people suffer from mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. And, mental disorders is one of the leading causes of disability and poor performance at work. This statistics only prove that mental disorder is as important as any other body condition, and thus any mental issue should be addressed as much as possible.
Traditionally, mental disorders are treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In the case of depression, both methods are administered as they are found to increase quality of life and improve the patient’s compliance for treatment.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the alternative methods used to treat mental disorders mainly because it has properties that stimulate the regulation of the central nervous system. It easily binds with the body’s endocannabinoids and helps in regulating appetite, mood, sensation, and helps the immune system in keeping our antibodies normally. Contrary to popular belief, CBD does not give patients a high that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid can do.
CBD is proven to make healing faster with its antioxidant properties that get rid of toxic substances from the body which may cause serious inflammatory conditions such as myocardial infarction, inflammatory bowel disease, and stroke. Removal of these toxic substances has been linked to improved health and the decreased likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative diseases of the brain. There is also evidence showing CBD’s effectiveness in treating a special form of epilepsy. For people who experienced anxiety attacks, CBD oils have been proven to have therapeutic effects. The calming properties of CBD oil are also suitable for depression and muscle pain caused by multiple sclerosis.
For decades now, WHO has also shown interest in the healing potentials of CBD. In previous research studies, the substance has lowered feelings of isolation, relieved autism symptoms and reduced the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among animals and humans. These studies hypothesized that CBD helps to calm down the brain and support the hippocampus in generation healthy emotions and memory. Another study also showed that CBD is comparable to ipsapirone and diazepam (valium) in reducing social anxiety.
A 2012 study on psychosis also noted that CBD has antipsychotic properties that helped heal patients’ symptoms with fewer side effects and reduced problems in movement, weight gain or hormonal dysregulation, that commonly surface among patients taking antipsychotic medications.
Currently, CBD is legal in all 50 states in the United States. These states, however, have varying restrictions in the disbursement, use, and purchase of the substance. In 2015, the government has shown support by easing FDA regulations in paving the way for CBD trials. The substance can also be purchased online without a medical cannabis license. This, however, greatly depends on whether CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. These regulations are expected to change in the future with the promise to make hemp crop legal giving way for more freedom to use CBD.
Amidst these promising benefits, CBD comes with side effects including nausea, fatigue, and irritability. It is also reported to increase the body’s blood thinner Coumadin and may interact negatively with other chemicals in the bloodstream. Because of very few studies about CBD, the FDA has not released certification regarding the safety and purity of CBD dietary supplements. With these reasons, it is safe to consult the use of CBD with a licensed physician. The physician may give the right dosage, the frequency in taking the substance and its possible interaction with other drugs.