Can CBD Really Help with Stress, Anxiety and Depression?

Hand holding bottle of Cannabis oil against Marijuana plant, CBD oil pipette

We live in a world where virtually everyone is affected by stress, anxiety or depression in some way. These experiences may be short-term for some, but for many, they’re ongoing, chronic issues that affect their everyday life.

Conventionally, medication is used to treat anxiety and depression. People are told to find outlets or de-stressing techniques, like yoga or meditation, to alleviate life’s stresses. But CBD, or cannabidiol, is now being touted as an effective way to alleviate these three major mental health issues without any side effects.

What does science have to say?

Understanding CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a natural oil that contains phyto, or plant, chemicals known as cannabinoids. The body makes cannabinoids naturally when we feel relaxed and/or secure. They’re also released by the body when we exercise and enjoy a restful night of sleep.

Cannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, and they stimulate a “feel good” response.

What many people don’t realize is that the cannabinoid system helps keep the body in balance. It keeps our digestive system running optimally, keeps pain in check, combats inflammation, and lifts our mood.

CBD can be found in cannabis plants as well as hemp. But it will not make you “high.” THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. CBD oil that is derived from hemp has virtually no THC, so it does not produce any psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD has been shown to counteract the “high” effect that THC creates.

Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states.

Is CBD Effective for Stress, Anxiety and Depression?

You know that CBD is legal and what it is, but how can it be used to help treat stress, anxiety and depression?

Here’s an interesting thing about depression: it causes the hippocampus to shrink. This particular area of the brain is responsible for learning, memory and emotion. Fortunately, this area of the brain is also capable of recovering. It’s possible to develop new neurons and forge new connections. That’s why anti-depressants are so effective – they stimulate neural regeneration in the hippocampus.

Research shows that CBD can actually reduce neuron atrophy and death in the hippocampus. In this way, CBD products can help the brain and improve memory while boosting mood and CBD can improve your focus.

Additionally, research on both animals and humans has found that CBD can help:

  • Reduce feelings of isolation
  • Alleviate autism symptoms
  • Reduce the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

It appears that CBD can help relax the brain while protecting the hippocampus.

Research shows that CBD can help with social anxiety as well as psychosis. In the study involving psychosis, participants enjoyed the same level of symptom relief, but those taking CBD experienced fewer side effects.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD oil and other CBD products help induce feelings of relaxation and overall well-being. While the research is still promising, we still don’t know the long-term effects of CBD. But for those who have tried everything for their anxiety, stress or depression and found no relief, CBD offers a potential alternative solution.

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