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  • by Nicola Boulton September 27, 2022 5 min read

    How Does CBD Affect Mental Health Disorders?

    The intake of CBD products due to their health benefits has gained a lot of interest in the medical field. This article will discuss what CBD does to the mind, understanding mental health disorders, and how CBD affects different types of mental health disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders.

    The CBD industry is growing fast and booming more than ever before. It has an alternative to every health problem experienced by a human being. People list several health conditions that CBD may treat. Studies also suggest that CBD can alleviate symptoms associated with mental health disorders. For instance, CBD can offer antidepressant effects; it can reduce the frequency at which seizures occur in epilepsy patients, among other benefits.

    What Does CBD Do to the Mind?

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is found in cannabis plants such as hemp and marijuana. It is categorized as a cannabinoid, a component that interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for most of the functions in the body, such as mood regulation and pain perception. Garza-Cervantes et al. (2020) stated that when CBD reacts with ECS, it causes relaxation of the mind and reduces stress. It is considered advantageous to use CBD since it does not alter the state of mind of the person using it. The psychoactive effects found in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound of cannabis, are not found in CBD.

    Understanding Mental Health Disorders

    Mental health disorders are conditions that affect the way you think, your mood, and your behavior. These conditions may be chronic or occasional. Mental disorders can make you miserable in life or cause many problems either at home, school, or work. Common signs and symptoms of mental health disorders include sadness and worry, low concentration or confused thinking, extreme mood changes, trouble understanding and relating to situations or people, excessive anger, hostility, and violence.

    Types of Mental Health Disorders

    According to Kendrick et al . (2012), some of the common mental health disorders include

    • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
    • Psychotic disorders
    • Depression
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Panic disorder
    • Simple phobias
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

    Possible Causes of Mental Health Disorders

    • Genetic history. Mental health disorder is common in people whose relative or family also has a mental disorder. Certain inherited genes, especially from a mentally ill person, may increase your risk of having a mental disorder.
    • Stress or any form of abuse experienced in life, especially if it happened in childhood.
    • Chemical imbalances in the brain and other biological factors.
    • Traumatic brain injury.
    • Environmental exposures before birth. For example, a pregnant mother's use of drugs and toxins may affect her unborn child mentally.
    • Excessive use of alcohol and other recreational drugs.
    • Having a serious medical condition like cancer.
    • Feelings of rejection, loneliness, and isolation.

    CBD and Mental Health Disorders

    There is a booming interest in the potential mental health benefits of CBD. Many existing kinds of research suggest that CBD may treat various conditions, including anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and sleep issues.

    CBD and Epilepsy

    Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. Symptoms of epilepsy vary across victims. Some victims might stare blankly for a short period, while others might repeatedly have leg or arm spasms. CBD has a range of benefits for neurological disorders such as epilepsy. According to Klotz et al. (2018), CBD proves to be effective in acute and chronic seizures. The study also suggested that  CBD decreases the frequency of these seizures.

    CBD and Anxiety

    Anxiety is the most common mental illness that most people experience today. It is an emotion that is characterized by feelings of tension, worry, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. CBD may help alleviate symptoms of anxiety. It may work by affecting serotonin levels in the brain. Increasing serotonin levels can help treat anxiety. According to Blessing et al. (2015), CBD has a wide range of pharmacological benefits, including interacting with some receptors that regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviors, specifically the cannabinoid type 1 receptor, serotonin receptor, and transient receptor. However, the quality and dosage of CBD may vary between products and producers.

    CBD and Depression

    Depression is the feeling of severe despondency and dejection. It is a situation where you have feelings of emptiness, sadness, or inability to find pleasure in things you once enjoyed. Symptoms of depression vary from mild to severe until they can lead to various physical problems, such as the inability to function at home or your place of work. CBD is believed to cause antidepressant effects. Melas et al. (2021) suggested that CBD acts on serotonin receptors in the brain by lowering serotonin levels which may produce antidepressant effects. Antidepressant medications may result in several side effects, such as insomnia, mood swings, agitation, and sexual dysfunction, which may not appear while using CBD.

    CBD and Sleep Disorders

    Sleep disorders are conditions where you regularly experience difficulty sleeping. These conditions prevent you from getting restful sleep or impair your sleep. CBD is believed to alleviate symptoms of insomnia and may help you get more quality sleep. According to Maddison et al. (2022), a CBD dosage of 160mg prolonged sleep compared to a placebo. The ability to recall dreams was significantly reduced regardless of CBD dosage.

    CBD and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    This is a mental health condition that comes as a result of traumatic life experiences. People with post-traumatic stress disorder may have disturbing thoughts and recurring feelings related to a terrifying experience and might last long, even after the traumatic event. Elms et al. (2019) suggested that CBD may help reduce post-traumatic disorder symptoms. CBD topicals and edibles are the best forms to treat such conditions.

    Conclusion

    Mental health is a major issue in the health sector today. A lot of suggestions on the better way to curb mental illness include using CBD. You can use CBD oil for mental and other diseases for better health. CBD holds a promise in curbing the effects of mental health disorders on users, including alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The market is flooded with CBD products varying in compositions and concentrations. Some products may not contain what is on the label claim. Users of CBD need to gather sufficient information about a product before purchasing it.

    References

    Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol Is A Potential Treatment For Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825-836.

    Elms, L., Shannon, S., Hughes, S., & Lewis, N. (2019). Cannabidiol In The Treatment Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, 25(4), 392-397.

    Garza-Cervantes, J. A., Ramos-González, M., Lozano, O., Jerjes-Sánchez, C., & García-Rivas, G. (2020). Therapeutic Applications Of Cannabinoids In Cardiomyopathy And Heart Failure. Oxidative Medicine And Cellular Longevity, 2020.

    Kendrick, T., & Pilling, S. (2012). A NICE Clinical Guideline Is A Common Mental Health Disorders—Identification And Pathways To Care. British Journal Of General Practice, 62(594), 47-49.

    Klotz, K. A., Schulze-Bonhage, A., Antonio-Arce, V. S., & Jacobs, J. (2018). Cannabidiol For Treatment Of Childhood Epilepsy–A Cross-Sectional Survey. Frontiers In Neurology, 9, 731.

    Maddison, K. J., Kosky, C., & Walsh, J. H. (2022). Is There A Place For Medicinal Cannabis In Treating Patients With Sleep Disorders? What We Know So Far. Nature And Science Of Sleep, 14, 957.

    Melas, P. A., Scherma, M., Fratta, W., Cifani, C., & Fadda, P. (2021). Cannabidiol As A Potential Treatment For Anxiety And Mood Disorders: Molecular Targets And Epigenetic Insights From Preclinical Research. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences, 22(4), 1863.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton


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