CBD Oil and Mental Illness: 11 Benefits of Using CBD for Anxiety

CBD tablet

With the increasing stressors of modern life and decreasing access to affordable health care services, many Americans are looking at the connection between CBD oil and mental illness treatment for relief.

A medical study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that one out of four children in Maine has depression, anxiety, ADHD, or some other mental health disorder. This is much higher than the national average of one in six. What’s worse, only half of these children have access to sufficient mental health care. 

But many parents are also concerned about the use of antidepressants in their kids. Researchers have discovered a distinct link between the increased risk of suicide ideation and the use of antidepressants in children and young adults. 

And more recent studies also exposed a similar risk for adults.

Since hemp products were legalized by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, CBD oil has gained popularity for its many medical benefits. One of the primary benefits touted in its use is for mental health conditions. The evidence is mounting that CBD oil for anxiety and depression alleviates symptoms without the risks.

What Is CBD and How Does It Work?

If this is the first time you’ve considered using CBD oil for anxiety and depression, you may be wondering what it is and how it differs from marijuana. If CBD doesn’t contain TCH — the chemical that provides a high — how does it work to alleviate mental distress? 

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. The plant offers a number of active compounds, called cannabinoids, including CBD and TCH. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the one we associate with getting high and feelings of euphoria.

While CBD is similar in structure and comes from the same plant, its effects on the body are very different. 

How to Use CBD Oil

While you can smoke CBD, most health providers recommend against using this method, as it is the least safe way to administer it. Luckily, you’ll find it available in many other forms, including:

  • Capsules
  • Creams
  • Candies
  • Lotions
  • Tinctures

Professional compounding companies, like https://www.gvbbiopharma.com/white-label, offer formulas in exacting potencies for children, adults, and even pets. These can be taken orally or applied topically to absorb into the skin.

Benefits of CBD Oil

Life is an anxious business, and there’s no doubt that anxiety can be debilitating for many people. However, CBD oil offers a number of benefits for those who suffer from anxious feelings that won’t go away and won’t let them function normally.

Along with improved mood and cognitive performance, CBD oil can also improve other limiting conditions.

1. Anxiety and CBD Oil

CBD oil can reduce anxiety caused by public speaking. A small study conducted in 2011 showed that CBD oil was effective in reducing the impairment caused by Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder.

A small, single dose of 600 mg offered to anxiety sufferers significantly reduced their discomfort, improved their clarity of thought, and improved their performance when required to give a public speech.

2. CBD Oil and Mental Illness

Another disturbing statistic about modern mental health is the shocking statistics for the high rate of suicide among veterans. According to the Veterans Administration, the rate of suicide deaths among U.S. military veterans has risen 43.6 percent since 2005. In 2017 alone, an average of 16 veterans died by suicide every day of the year. 

The good news is that a 2019 study showed that 91 percent of PTSD sufferers enjoyed a significant reduction of symptoms after only eight weeks of oral CBD use.

3. Depression and CBD Oil

The final word may still be forthcoming on the use of CBD oil for depression. In this case, your mileage may vary, since it can affect everyone differently. 

However, some studies indicate that it’s worth trying. Results have been more positive in animal studies, showing that CDB offered antidepressant effects under stressful conditions. 

4. CBD Oil and Schizophrenia

Those researching CBD oil and mental illness applications may be excited about recent findings in CBD oil’s antipsychotic effects.

While the use of marijuana can exacerbate symptoms in schizophrenics, the opposite seems to be true for CBD. Researchers noticed that schizophrenics that smoked cannabis with a high level of cannabidiol (CBD) had fewer psychotic episodes

Further studies found that CBD may be as effective as amisulpride, a medication commonly prescribed as an antipsychotic. 

5. CBD Oil and Chronic Pain

Along with recommendations for CBD oil and mental illness treatment, cannabidiol is most recommend for chronic pain conditions.

Cannabidiol works with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cell-signaling system that has receptors that cause predictable reactions in the presence of specific chemicals or hormones. One reaction is the blocking of pain signaling and inflammation in the presence of cannabidiol.

Chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia, spinal injuries, and arthritis are frequently associated with depression. Many health experts consider them comorbid conditions and often prescribe antidepressants to treat both together. 

Those who would prefer not to use antidepressant medications should know that CBD oil has been tested against chronic pain in a wide range of medical conditions. 

A 2018 study tested its efficacy against neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.

For arthritis sufferers, researchers found that the topical application of a gel containing CBD could reduce symptoms. Oral use also alleviated pain and stiffness when prescribed in adequate doses. 

6. CBD Oil and Metabolism

The old joke about smoking marijuana and getting the munchies doesn’t seem to apply to CBD. In fact, CBD oil can significantly support your weight loss efforts by improving your metabolism and reducing the over-consumption of food. 

While CBD doesn’t make you high, it can help regulate feelings of satiety. Researchers found that CBD reduced the appetites and feeding behavior of obese mice. Subsequently, the mice lost a significant amount of body fat. 

It’s a mistake, however, to think that all body fat is bad. Brown fat, which is metabolically active, helps us metabolize food more efficiently. It’s very different than the white fat that causes us so many health problems.

We’re born with plenty of metabolically active body fat to keep us healthy and regulate our core body temperature. This supply diminishes significantly as we grow older, however. It’s very difficult to maintain or increase our brown fat layer.

While intense exercise, exposure to cold temperatures, and an adequate supply of sleep can help increase brown fat, a 2016 study suggests CBD might be the missing element to improving metabolism long term.

On the other hand, in conditions where weight gain is desired, CBD may stimulate a healthy appetite. A 2018 study of CBD users found that it increased appetite in about 7 percent of users. 

For those seeking help for the treatment of a loved one with anorexia nervosa, research into the use of CBD for this mental illness has shown promising. CBD oil can help restore the appetite, researchers say, while rewiring the reward system that causes suffers to refrain from eating.

7. Antibacterial Effects of CBD

CBD oil can also serve as a powerful antibacterial agent, working effectively against dangerous infections, like staph and strep.

Used in conjunction with conventional antibiotics, CDB was shown to increase their effectiveness against e Coli, as well. 

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to sepsis, systemic infections that result in increased isolation and debilitation. For those suffering from the increased isolation brought on by sepsis, CBD can offer both treatment and relief from anxiety and fear.

8. Anti-Inflammatory Actions of CBD

Researchers have known that CBD and other cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents that suppress cytokine production.

Cannabinoids improve symptoms in multiple sclerosis, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases such as allergic asthma and even Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.

Depressive symptoms can make living with multiple sclerosis unbearable, and researchers from Colorada State University have recommended cannabidiol as an effective treatment. 

9. CBD and Oxidative Stress

As we fight to retain our health against an increasingly toxic environment, oxidative stress is responsible for many modern diseases. CDB oil works to fight the damage with an antioxidant action similar to that of Vitamin E. 

Researchers have discovered that it helps prevent neurotoxicity and prevents oxidative stress and damage to neurons. Further testing has shown that cannabidiol was significantly more protective than either Vitamin E or Vitamin C as an antioxidant.

As well as helping bolster emotional resistance in a stressful world when used for anxiety, CBD can help protect us against its damaging effects on brain chemistry.

10. CBD for Heart Health

Most surprisingly, CBD oil has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. An article in the Journal of Pharmacology showed that administering cannabidiol (CBD) can reduce cardio arrhythmias. 

It also works in a preventative fashion by normalizing high blood pressure, reducing the risks of heart attacks and stroke.

Scientists have found that 60 percent of hypertensive patients suffer from anxiety or depression. This can make compliance with medication and lifestyle changes difficult. As well as helping to treat high blood pressure, CBD may improve the mental outlook of patients.

11. CBD for Addiction Recovery

While many people associate the use of cannabis products with the problem of addiction, the opposite has been shown to be true with CBD. A 2103 study showed that CBD oil can be used by those trying to quit smoking.

When a small group of participants was offered the use of a CBD inhaler to moderate tobacco use, the number of cigarettes smoked was reduced by 40 percent. Follow up visits with the participants also found they continued at the reduced rate.

CDB oil may work well for other addictions, as well. Another study posits that conditions that may cause people to self-medicate with opiates — like anxiety, mood disorders, and chronic pain — are often reduced by the use of CBD oil. A preliminary test showed that the use of CBD oil reduced craving for heroin in recovering addicts for up to seven days. 

More Study Is Needed

Scientists need to do more research into CBD to find out exactly how it provides these many benefits. While each advantage has a different mechanism, the important point for most people is that it is currently available and can go a long way in reducing pain and suffering. 

While it may have some minor side effects such as sleepiness or stomach discomfort, it’s considered generally safe to use. 

For those researching CBD oil and mental illness treatment, further research cannot come soon enough. Luckily, they don’t have to wait and can begin to see if CBD oil can help them with anxiety and depression.