How Does CBD Affect Your Brain?
CBD (full name "cannabidiol") is a natural botanical compound produced from hemp. Often taken in the form of CBD oil, it is used for a wide variety of physiological benefits that affect both the body and the mind.
So what are CBD's effects on the brain? Is CBD the mental health tool you've been looking for?
In short, CBD has demonstrated potential for reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and reducing symptoms of depression.
Here's what the research says about each of these benefits, CBD's effects on the brain, and other important considerations about CBD for your mental health.
Talk To Your Doctor About CBD For Mental Health
Mental health issues like depression and anxiety can have serious and even life-threatening implications. Unfortunately, when it comes to your mental health, there are no simple solutions, and treatment should always be carried out according to the best science and under professional care.
CBD has clinically-proven potential for improving mental health, but it should never be your first line of defense for such an essential aspect of your overall well-being.
If you are interested in attempting to self-medicate for depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, we urge you to discuss CBD treatment with your doctor and consider working with a licensed therapist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional.
THE ECS, Mental Health, and CBD: Effects on the Brain
CBD has been the subject of increasing clinical research, and new discoveries about its potential mental health applications are regularly emerging.
CBD works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system (or "ECS"). This system, made up of a complex series of cannabinoid receptors, plays a vital role in maintaining the body's homeostasis.
The body's endocannabinoid system influences a startling number of important bodily processes that affect both the body and the mind. By interacting with the ECS, CBD elicits subtle shifts in the system that can have profound effects on your state of mind.
Given the currently available evidence, it is generally accepted that CBD has potential for at least the following mental health concerns:
Here's a brief run-down on each of these therapeutic uses for CBD effects.
CBD for Stress and Anxiety
Although stress and anxiety aren't perfect analogs, they're closely-enough related that we might as well discuss them in a batch.
CBD has a well-established capacity to reduce the frequency and severity of anxiety and stress flare-ups. When it comes to CBD's effects on the brain, this is undoubtedly the most widely-discussed and well-researched application. Countless anecdotal reports and a growing body of clinical research resoundingly support CBD's ability to make stress flare-ups more manageable and lead to calmer, more focused and anxiety-free days.
Notably, some research shows that moderate doses of CBD may be more effective than high ones for treating anxiety. Even more surprisingly, some users report that the use of some CBD products, especially full spectrum products (which include trace amounts of THC) may have increased anxiety! It's another reason to involve your doctor in your CBD treatment — and a reminder that choosing the right type of CBD matters!
If you need help figuring out where to start looking for stress-focused CBD options, these Wellness Stress Support Gummies by Medterra are perfect. They're broad spectrum, so there is no trace THC, and they're infused with honey and lavender, two long-trusted stress relievers.
CBD for Sleep
Many users are turning to CBD as a gentle sleep aid, and many report good results. Despite this, research shows that CBD's effects on sleep may be indirect.
Rather than actively increasing sleepiness, it's generally believed that CBD's pro-sleep effects are actually a side-effect of its anti-anxiety potential! By reducing stress, the argument goes, CBD calms the mind and reduces those errant thoughts that can keep you awake long into the wee hours of the morning.
For many users, that might be all the boost they need. But if you're looking for a more active sleep-booster, some of CBD's cannabinoid cousins may be just the trick. Most notably, cannabinol, or "CBN", is often lauded as the "sleepy cannabinoid", owing to its ability to actively bring on the sleepies.
CBN is an important ingredient in a growing number of cannabinoid-based sleep aids; combined with CBD, it offers an all-natural sleep booster that might be the thing you've been dreaming of.
CBD for Depression
Although not as widely discussed or well-researched, CBD may have a useful role to play in the management of clinical depression.
Research shows that CBD affects levels of serotonin present in the brain, which has been linked to an antidepressant-like effect in both animal and limited human studies.
While these studies are promising, they are far from conclusive. As such, users absolutely should not attempt to self-manage their depression with CBD. It may prove useful as a component of treatment, but no depression treatment should ever be embarked on without the input of a licensed therapist or other mental health professional.
Nonetheless, these preliminary results and a handful of anecdotal reports do show promise for CBD as a tool for treating depression. With further research into proper use and dosage, CBD may open up bright new avenues for treating this debilitating mental health issue.
Closing Thoughts on CBD and Your Brain
Luckily for us, there has been extensive (and continued) research into CBD's interaction with the brain and its role in mental health. While the science shows the many benefits of CBD as a wellness tool, we always encourage people to speak to their healthcare professionals and find products that can help them live fuller, happier lives.
If you have any questions, please contact the CBD Choice customer service team. We're here to help you find the best CBD option.