Cannabidiol (CBD) has recently seen an uptick in popularity, especially in the US. People are taking it for multiple health benefits including as an alleged treatment for anxiety and depression. It is taken both to soothe everyday nervousness and pains, while others use it for more diagnosed treatments such as anxiety disorder.
But is CBD really a miracle cure for all these ailments? Well, research has been intensively only over the past decade. There are some potential signs pointing towards it being a good supplement to treatment, but we don’t know the long-term effects yet. It will take more time to fully establish CBD as an official medication. Below, we have highlighted what is known so far about the use of CBD for depression and anxiety.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is not a product that you can find directly in nature. It is extracted from the cannabis plant, separating the THC, and only leaving the CBD compound. The THC is what produces the feeling of “being high” when marijuana is smoked. Since this is removed, CBD oil won’t have this effect on your body. Typically, any recommended CBD for use should have lower than 0.3% THC.
ntil now, CBD has been promoted as a treatment for the following medical problems:
- Chronic Pain
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
However, most of these treatments haven’t been officially recognized and only one medication has been approved by the FDA:
- Epidiolex for Epilepsy and Seizures occurring due to tuberculosis sclerosis
Can CBD help with anxiety and depression?
We don’t know for sure exactly how CBD helps with either, but the most promising research has been on the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that helps regulate a person’s mood, behavior, sleep, and digestion.
Research done in 2016 shows that increasing serotonin levels can help reduce anxiety. This is based on the concept that certain antidepressants also work in the same way by regulating serotonin levels.
Lowered serotonin levels can also be connected to depressive episodes. This is one argument for CBD, stating that it can improve serotonin levels, thereby treating depression. However, this is not a concrete theory and more research and studies will have to be conducted to come to a final decision.
Research that has been done so far
Most research has been conducted over the past decade only as CBD and THC products were banned around the world for a time. This is why progress on CBD treatments has been slow, but we are slowly getting to a point where we understand more.
Some of the research that has shown promising results are:
- A social anxiety study in 2011 – This study was carried out to determine if CBD can reduce social anxiety, which is the fear of being judged in a social situation. In this study, 24 people who were diagnosed with social anxiety were given either 600mg of CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before a public speaking test. The results showed that those pretreated with CBD showed that their negative self-evaluation (which was present in all of them) was almost abolished.
- A study on paranoia in 2017 – This study was carried out to identify if CBD can help patients diagnosed with high paranoid traits. They wanted to know if CBD was useful to administer for those at-risk of major mental illness due to their anxiety and paranoia. However, the test result showed that there was no evidence that their anxiety, heart rate, or cortisol levels were changed during the treatment.
These studies were small-scale studies so their results should not be taken as concrete evidence. More research on large groups of people will have to be undertaken to fully understand the benefits and implications of using CBD for anxiety and depression.
Is there a prescribed dose to treat anxiety?
Even though there are no official numbers, certain studies have found that a dosage between 300 to 600mg can help reduce feelings of anxiety in people. However, this number can vary between people depending on multiple factors so you should always consult a doctor before consuming any dose.
Are there any side effects to consuming CBD?
CBD oil has had a number of side effects on people. These don’t affect everyone but the chance of it happening is there. The most common side effects are:
- Dry mouth
You should also note that taking too much CBD than is required can be detrimental to your health. It was found that doses over 900mg can increase your heart rate which can be dangerous for some people.
Since the FDA has not approved most CBD products, there are many fake and unsafe products on the market. This is why it is extremely important to always select a trusted and well-known supplier to get your CBD products from such as Hometown Hero CBD. They have a wide variety of CBD products as well as THC-related products such as their Delta 8 joints.