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We let science do the talking by sharing peer-reviewed articles (meaning a lot of smart people checked it out!) regarding research and development in the CBD space. This week, we’re focusing on research done on CBD’s potential effects on anxiety, neuropathic pain, and comorbid mood disorders.
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How CBD Works In Our Body & Its Potential Uses
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the more well-known cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. The other more well-known and well-researched cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC produces the high that many people know cannabis for, but while CBD doesn’t produce the same feeling, it binds to the same type of receptors in our brain and has been said to offer a variety of potential benefits.
The non-psychoactive nature of CBD has made it many people’s go-to for everyday or reoccurring usage. Many short-term studies have shown that CBD created reductions in heart conditions and decreased patient’s appetites. Research has also shown that CBD plays an extremely significant role when relieving pain because it influences the TRPV1 receptor. Its influence on the TRPV1 blocks pain signals from leaving the brain and hitting the rest of the body. CBD has also shown anti-inflammatory properties because of its ability to block enzymes that trigger inflammation in the body. However, one of the largest questions regarding CBD and its potential ability to alleviate anxiety disorders.
Anxiety and CBD
Researchers learned that CBD interacts with receptors in the brain such as the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CBR1), serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, among others that regulate anxiety-induced behaviors. Pre-clinical and clinical evidence has found CBD to be an effective treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In a rat study, low doses of CBD treatments showed an ability to prevent mechanical allodynia – nerve pain – and relieve pain-induced anxiety-like behavior through the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor. Clinical results showed that CBD is known to exhibit few side effects, supporting the increase of trials that test the efficacy of CBD-based compounds for chronic pain and anxiety.
In another recent study of adults living in New Zealand, where participants received medical CBD prescriptions for different ailments including mental health symptoms, all groups reported improvements in their overall quality of life after 3 weeks of experimentation. The individuals who received CBD for anxiety reported an improvement in the ability to go about their day-to-day lives and reduced anxiety and depression symptoms.
There hasn’t been a lot of research done on humans regarding CBD’s ability to alleviate depression, but researchers believe that CBD treats both anxiety and depression by altering serotonin levels. Which would mean that CBD would work similarly to how antidepressants and other anxiety medications work on your body. Many people have tried CBD under physician supervision instead of typical anxiety medications because many prescriptions have a long list of side effects which people find unpleasant. While CBD is not side-effect-free, some people find them to be more tolerable than the side effects that come with prescriptions.
If you are currently on anxiety or depression medication and are looking into the use of CBD to alleviate symptoms, consult your doctor before replacing CBD with your prescription or trying CBD alongside your prescription. The FDA has not approved CBD for treatment of any anxiety, mood, or compulsive disorders, so it’s important to remember that CBD may not be for everyone. Keep in mind that there is no known dose for CBD to treat anxiety.
Want to read more about mental health topics? Check out our blogs RESETing Your Knowledge: How Your Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health or 6 Ways To Feel Better Naturally.
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