You’ve heard that CBD oil is effective when used for pain management. But what are the mental health benefits of this natural remedy? Before we dig into that, let’s first learn a little more about what CBD oil is and what it is not (great intro guide here).
What Is CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of 100+ different chemical compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis family of plants. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main ingredient found in cannabis and is responsible for the psychoactive “high” one gets when using marijuana products. According to Kyro, CBD is the main ingredient in the hemp plant, which is part of the cannabis plant family. However, hemp contains very little THC, if at all. This means that CBD products will not give you the “high” but will give you all the same benefits of cannabis.
Here are six ways in which CBD oil can help with mental health.
Anxiety And Depression
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes depression as the single largest contributor to disability around the globe. Disorders that are associated with anxiety are sixth on that list. It is not uncommon for anxiety and depression to be treated with medications. The problem with this is that pharmaceutical drugs can cause several side effects. Others can result in addiction.
However, research is showing promise for CBD oil as a treatment for both depression and anxiety. In a study conducted in Brazil, 57 men were given either oral CBD or a placebo 90-minutes before taking a simulated public speaking test. The study revealed that a 300-mg dose of CBD significantly reduced anxiety during the test. The placebo, a lesser CBD dose (150-mg) and a larger CBD dose (600-mg) each had no impact on the anxiety.
As for fighting depression, CBD has antidepressant-like properties. The properties are the result of CBDs’ ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for controlling mood and social behavior.
Symptoms related to cancer and the side effects that result from cancer treatment may be reduced with CBD. Side effects such as vomiting, nausea, and pain are the specific targets that are discussed when CBD is provided to cancer patients. One study examined the effects on 177 people suffering from cancer-related pain and how CBD and THC helped to reduce it. These subjects had not experienced significant relief from pain medications but those who had an extract containing both CBD and THC had significant pain reduction compared to those who were administered an extract with just THC.
As for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, a study of 16 patients who used a one-to-one combination of CBD and THC in the form of a mouth spray found relief. They reported that their nausea and vomiting were reduced significantly compared to traditional treatment.
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, it may provide health benefits to those who suffer from acne. Acne is a skin condition that is not uncommon and is believed to be caused by a variety of factors ranging from genetics and bacteria to the overproduction of oily secretions and underlying inflammation.
A study that was conducted with test tubes revealed that CBD oil prevented the excessive oily secretions from the sebaceous gland cells. The anti-inflammatory action of the CBD also prevented the release of “pro-acne” agents into the skin.
The ability of CBD to act on the endocannabinoid system has researchers believing that this could produce health benefits to individuals suffering from neurological disorders. Several studies have been conducted focusing on how CBD oil can be an effective treatment for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
One study provided a total of 214 participants who have severe epilepsy with a dosage of CBD oil (0.9-2.3 grams) per pound of body weight. The study concluded that their seizures had been reduced by an average of 36.5%.
CBD has recently been linked to several health benefits related to the heart and circulatory system. One of the most interesting of these findings is the ability that CBD oil has in reducing high blood pressure.
A recent study provided dosages of 600 mg of CBD oil to nine healthy men and it reduced their blood pressure more than compared to a placebo. The same study also uncovered that the same subjects who were given stress tests experienced minor blood pressure increases compared to what is considered the normal response to stress tests.
Additional Health Benefits
There are several more health benefits that have been associated with CBD oil. They include the following:
Research has shown that that in diabetic mice, CBD treatment has reduced the incidence of diabetes by up to 56%. CBD has also assisted in reducing inflammation.
CBD has what researchers are calling anti-tumor effects. In both test-tube and animal studies, CBD has prevented the spread of various types of cancers.
Substance Abuse Treatment
In rats, CBD has reduced both morphine dependence and heroin-seeking traits. This is believed to be the result of CBD modifying the brain circuits that are related to drug addiction.
There have been studies that point to the possibility that CBD may help individuals who suffer from various mental conditions. This comes from the way in which CBD can reduce psychotic symptoms.
There is still a lot of research to be done, but there is enough evidence to show that there are many different health benefits that can come from the use of CBD oil as a treatment. In addition to relieving pain, CBD has many different properties that could make it the new ‘super drug’ that will have a huge impact on healthcare in the future.
However, there are a few side effects to be aware of when using this natural remedy. Some of the side effects noted in the studies referenced above include diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in both appetite and weight. It may also interact with certain medications and that is why it is suggested to consult with your doctor prior to adding CBD oil to any of your health care treatments.
Author bio: Marina Turea is a CBD oil enthusiast and has authored over 500 articles on CBD over the last decade. During her day job, she works at Content Manager at Digital Authority Partners.