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Therapeutic Effects of CBD for Anxiety and Depression

Cannabis sativa has a long history as a medicinal plant, likely dating back over two millennia. Marijuana has been used to treat pain as far back as 2900 B.C. It was a natural antidote for ancient humans with chronic or terminal illnesses. They buried mummies with a small amount of cannabis, signifying the importance of the plant in those times.

The renewed interest in the therapeutic effects of cannabis emerged from the movement that began 20 years ago to make cannabis available as a medicine to patients with a variety of conditions.

The most common conditions for which they use medical cannabis are pain, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, nausea, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, epilepsy, cachexia, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and degenerative neurological conditions.

CBD Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Today, scientists have identified the chemicals partly responsible for the effects of marijuana.

CBD is the chemical extracted and purified from the cannabis or marijuana plant. Since CBD does not get people “high,” it can improve the quality of life without incapacitating the person. They make CBD oil by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.

Some scientific studies have confirmed it may ease symptoms of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety. People who live with depression and anxiety are becoming interested in a natural approach for treatment.

Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that can have devastating impacts on health and well-being. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the single largest contributor to disability worldwide, while they rank anxiety disorders sixth.

They usually treat anxiety and depression with medications like benzodiazepines, which can be addictive and may lead to substance abuse. Pharmaceuticals like these can cause several side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and headache.

In one Brazilian study, 57 men received either oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before they underwent a simulated public speaking test. The researchers found that a 300-mg dose of CBD was the most effective at significantly reducing anxiety during the test.

The placebo, a 150-mg dose of CBD, and a 600-mg dose of CBD had little to no effect on anxiety. Research has also found that CBD can protect and stimulate neuron growth in the hippocampus – an area of the brain that atrophies in people with depression. The hippocampus governs mood and helps people experience happiness. As the hippocampus shrinks in people with depression, the more they feel sad and helpless. With CBD oil not only preventing the atrophy of the hippocampus but also stimulating neuron growth, it can recover, which can alleviate depression symptoms.

They link these qualities to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.

Next blog: The Role of CBD to Ease Cancer-Related Symptoms

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