As more research is coming forward surrounding CBD and its ability to affect our mental and physical well-being positively, it’s important to note that mental illness is a serious issue facing 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. 

That’s 46.6 million people struggling with mental health issues in the U.S. today.

This staggering number doesn’t take into account the number of people suffering from anxiety disorders. Approximately 40 million American adults – about 18% of the population – have an anxiety disorder.

If we are lucky and happen to not fall into these two painful and sometimes debilitating categories, most of us can admit to regularly feeling just plain old stressed out.

Until CBD became known to us, our only options were to either struggle through it, or to take medications that offered limited benefits. These came with un-fun side effects: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, sleepiness, sexual problems, and suicide, to name a few.

These side effects don’t sound appealing.

CBD can potentially be a gamechanger for mental health

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as a state of well-being. With the current statistics of people who are suffering from mental health issues growing each year and the side effects of the treatments, it is more important than ever to look into alternative therapies that support our mental health and well-being.

That’s why the research community and scientists are so excited by the recent research surrounding the therapeutic uses of CBD for mental health conditions, from anxiety and depression to PTSD.

Currently, there are almost 100 studies researching CBD. Everything form IBF and substance abuse to a myriad of studies on CBD’s potent effects on mental health conditions like depression, PTSD, and anxiety.

One thing of importance to note is that CBD, the “non-intoxicating” cannabinoid in cannabis, has a better side effect profile than drugs used to treat mental health issues.

Here’s a highlight of what we know so far about CBD and mental health

  • CBD helps with anxiety – and helps us relax

A new Brazilian study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology shows that cannabinoids may be the next best anti-anxiety medication and, in particular, help with panic attacks.

  • In states where medical cannabis is legalized suicides rates fall

In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, they discovered that “Suicides among men aged 20 through 39 years fell after medical marijuana legalization compared with those in states that did not legalize.”

CBD and THC are like sister molecules within the cannabis plant.

  • CBD helps with depression

Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. What came first, the chicken or the egg?

CBD upregulates and enhances serotonin. Serotonin, sometimes called “the neurotransmitter of happiness,” is involved in behaviors as wide-ranging as sleep, cognition, aggression, learning, appetite, and reward activity. CBD’s potentially far-reaching ability to interact with our serotonin receptors is what scientists believe may underlie its anti-anxiety effects and depression symptoms.

  • CBD supports better sleep cycles

As it turns out, more than 1/2 of insomnia cases are related to depression, anxiety, or psychological stress. Sleep and mental well-being are intimately tied together.

And, our endocannabinoid system is right in the mix. Research now shows that a healthy endocannabinoid signaling regulates sleep stability.

  • CBD is showing positive results with people who suffer PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is characterized by poor adaptation to a traumatic experience. In one recent study of note, they discovered that “CBD may offer therapeutic benefits for disorders related to inappropriate responses to traumatic memories. 

The effects of CBD on the different stages of aversive memory processing make this compound a candidate pharmacological adjunct to psychological therapies for PTSD. 

CBD also shows an action profile with fewer side effects than the pharmacological therapy currently used to treat this type of disorder. Even at high doses, CBD does not show the anxiogenic profile of compounds that directly activate eCB transmission.”

Given that PTSD affects approximately 10% of people at some point in life, this is exciting research towards CBD’s ability to help people suffering from PTSD.

Does one CBD consumption method work more effectively than another?

Researchers are just beginning to look at intake methods and their cannabinoid effectiveness. To date, what we know can say is that the best delivery system is one that provides an optimal dose for a desired duration with few unwanted side effects.

CBD-rich cannabis oil products can be taken sublingually, applied topically, or with transdermal patches.

The effects of orally administered CBD-rich cannabis oil and topical patched can last for four hours or more, but the onset of effects is much slower (30-90 minutes) than inhalation.

Concentrated CBD oil extracts can also be inhaled with a vape pen. Inhalation is an excellent choice for treating acute symptoms, and their effects can be felt within a few minutes and typically last a couple of hours.

It’s important to know that vaporization, sublingual tinctures, or transdermal patches, provide a more direct route for CBD to enter the bloodstream.

How to find your ideal CBD dose?

Firstly, it’s essential to know that CBD is safe, even at high doses.

In a recent study of single doses of CBD ranging from 1,500 mg, 3,000 mg, and up to 6,000 mg, they showed that CBD is indeed safe.

Secondly, there is very little published research regarding dosing other than some studies showing higher doses of CBD has a calming effect, and lower doses of CBD has a stimulating effect.

Each of our endocannabinoid systems are different, with some of us having a more active cannabinoid system, while others have a less active cannabinoid system.

As with any medicine, it’s going to be a bit of trial and error until you find your ideal daily dosage. Learn more about how to find your ideal CBD dosage