For thousands of years, the cannabis plant has been utilized for medicinal purposes. The plant, more specifically the flower, contains more than 100 different compounds, which are known as cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most abundant compound in the cannabis plant and known for its psychoactive properties, with the second-most found compound, cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD does not contain psychoactive effects, but is known for a wide range of benefits, from pain relief to improving sleep. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the potential mental and physical health benefits of CBD. Emerging scientific studies finding that CBD may ease symptoms of a wide range of conditions has resulted in a deluge of CBD-based products, including CBD tincture, dietary supplements, bath soaks, drinks, and food.
This blog covers 5 evidence-backed health benefits of CBD, as well as potential side effects and safety concerns related to CBD products.
There are a number of conditions that CBD is said to help, although more thorough research is needed to determine the potential effects and benefits of CBD. Some suggest that CBD holds the key in treating a number of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, among other things.
Anxiety is a common problem for many people. Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 19.1% of U.S. adults each year.
Early studies suggest that CBD may help alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders including Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Panic disorder, Social anxiety disorder, and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This is because CBD targets our endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating key bodily functions such as the cardiovascular and central nervous system. However, while the substance has considerable potential for calming those suffering from anxiety disorders, further research is needed to better determine the long-term effects and therapeutic benefits.
In the U.S, depression is one of the most common mental disorders, and affects an estimated 17.3 million adults each year. Treatments like psychotherapy and medication are widely available, although interest in complementary and alternative treatments has also grown in recent years – including CBD.
CBD has been studied for having potential antidepressant effects. Some antidepressants work by acting on serotonin receptors in the brain and stop the reabsorption of serotonin in the presynaptic neuron. Low serotonin levels may play a role in developing depression, and studies – while only on animals – suggest that CBD might have an impact on these receptors which result in antidepressant effects.
Because of CBD’s calming effect, it holds potential for treating those suffering from sleeping difficulties and insomnia. Sleep is undoubtedly a critical component of mental health and well-being. It’s widely reported that U.S adults don’t reach the recommended amount of sleep each night. This is an issue, as not getting enough sleep is linked to both physical and mental health illnesses.
One study conducted with adults who had symptoms of poor sleep and anxiety found that 65% experienced improvements in their quality of sleep after a month of taking an average of 25mg of CBD daily. These scores did however fluctuate over time. Further research is needed to determine the possible benefits of CBD on sleep.
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