One of hemp’s many healing properties include it’s effectiveness in regulating psychological health. That’s right, in addition to addressing physical symptoms, CBD and hemp are known to respond to mental health issues including anxiety and depression.
Recent studies suggest CBD’s properties as a natural anxiolytic (anxiety-reducer) and even antidepressant-like qualities. As CBD becomes more promising as an answer to mental health issues, it may serve as a viable alternative to traditional antidepressant and antianxiety medications for some individuals.
More Studies on CBD and Mental Health
Multiple studies suggest CBD’s effectiveness in treating mental health disorders. In 2011, research found that CBD proved effective in easing the side effects of social anxiety disorder (SAD).
In other instances using animal study subjects, CBD showed promise in treating PTSD, as well as lessening anxiety-related symptoms, such as increased heart rate.
Emerging evidence suggests that CBD can serve in the treatment or management of a variety of anxiety and depression-related disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- General Depression
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
How Does CBD Work?
Knowing that CBD can work to address a variety of mental health issues, you might be wondering how exactly the compound accomplishes this. While research on how CBD impacts us chemically is still emerging, we have a number of valuable insights on how the compound affects various systems in the body.
One key factor is CBD’s impact on the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a system in mammals that produces naturally occurring cannabinoids, which subsequently create regulatory responses. CBD, an external cannabinoid coming from the hemp plant, interacts with the ECS to prompt regulatory responses when our natural cannabinoid responses are lacking.
The core function of the ECS is its interactions with the central nervous system (CNS). Because almost all of our stress responses come from the CNS, it’s no wonder why the ECS plays such a big role in stress and anxiety related disorders. CBD can help the ECS to regulate the central nervous system, reducing acute and chronic symptoms of these disorders.
On top of impacting the ECS, CBD is also likely to influence serotonin signals. This is likely what gives CBD antidepressant qualities. Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter that influences mood and happiness. A lack of serotonin can lead to depression, and a chemical imbalance of serotonin can cause chronic issues of depression in many individuals. CBD shows promising potential to modulate the brain’s serotonin transmission, which offers an explanation as to why CBD is known to have a positive effect on mood.
Psychology, Psychiatry, and CBD–An Emerging Field of Study
There is still much to be determined about CBD, especially the intricacies of its impacts of the central nervous system and brain. The study of CBD alongside psychology and psychiatry is still an emerging field of research. Currently, there are no definitive explanations on how CBD interacts with the ECS, CNS, or serotonin receptors. However, current research on CBD displays a promising future for the compound’s potential with mental health. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or other common mental health disorders, it’s likely that hemp can help.