Around 20% of the world's population suffers from some form of anxiety or depression. If you have either of these, you might be looking for an alternative way to get your body to feel relaxed and feel good. It's natural for a lot of people who suffer from a form of mental condition to move away from conventional, and oftentimes harmful, medicine and seek out alternative therapy. One alternative medicine is CBD oil.
There has been a lot of buzz around the compound, both good and bad.
CBD, an Overview
Because it is closely associated with the cannabis plant, many demonize CBD oil as another form of marijuana that can make people high. But actually, most CBD oil is extracted from hemp, a cousin of the marijuana plant but mostly it's a plant used for industrial purposes to make things like clothing, rope, and paper.
Moreover, CBD in itself does not cause any psychoactive effects. While it is true that CBD is an active compound in marijuana plants, it is, in fact, the substance called tetrahydrocannabinol that causes one to feel high when consuming marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, is responsible for the relaxed feeling people get from consuming cannabis as well as other effects such as increased appetite and a decrease sensation in pain.
It is for this reason why there is so much attention generated around CBD; it offers a lot of benefits to body. Supporters of cannabis legalization heavily rely on this argument, stating that not all cannabis products have to make people high. Some of its compounds can be extracted for their benefits with those that have psychoactive effects excluded.
Treatment for Mental Disorders
The benign nature of CBD and its more lax legal status, it's been more widely studied and researched. A lot of research has shown that CBD oil may be an effective treatment for a wide variety of health conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- Gut problems (Crohn's disease, gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome)
CBD oil has also been shown to be able to address certain mental disorders some of which include:
A randomized and placebo-controlled study of adults diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder reported that there was a positive effect on the measurements of impulsivity and hyperactivity when subjects were given a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD. However, the treatment didn't have any effect on the measurement of attention and cognitive performance on the subjects. This suggests that further research is needed before it can be conclusively proven that CBD oil can be used to address ADHD symptoms.
There have been a number of studies that suggest CBD oil reduces self-reported anxiety in people without diagnosed with clinical anxiety. Research has also suggested that CBD oil is able to alleviate anxiety that's been artificially induced in patients with social phobia.
There has been a lot of controversy with regard to the efficacy of CBD oil as a treatment for depression. To this date, there have been no studies that specifically examined CBD as a treatment for depression. In animal studies, rats that were treated with CBD acted in a similar way that they would when treated with antidepressants. As of late, there is very little research that supports the use of CBD oil in treating depression other than anecdotal accounts.
In the case of sleep disorders, there is one study that investigated the efficacy of CBD to improve sleep quality. In it, the proponents used 40, 80, and 160 mg of CBD and administered them to 15 individuals with known insomnia. The results suggested that 160 mg of CBD showed the best results in improving the sleep quality of the subjects.
Currently, there are two studies being conducted that examine the role of both THC and CBD on post-traumatic stress disorder. One is titled Study of Four Different Potencies of Smoked Marijuana in 76 Veterans with PTSD. The second one is titled Evaluating Safety and Efficacy of Cannabis in Participants with Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Both studies are scheduled to be completed within this year. However, assumptions based on how CBD acts on the brain, point positively to it being a possible solution for PTSD.
- Bipolar Disorder & Schizophrenia
For both bipolar and schizophrenia, there has been no conclusive proof that CBD can be used in their treatment. In fact, patients with diagnosed bipolar disorder who regularly use cannabis are associated with earlier onset of the disorder, poorer outcomes, and severity in hypomanic or manic episodes.
Individuals with schizophrenia are more likely to use cannabis and this tends to worsen their psychotic symptoms. It can also lead to relapse and result in poorer outcomes.
Studies regarding CBD research for the treatment of mental conditions are still in its infancy. There is also limited support for the use of CBD oil as a treatment for mental disorders. In disorders like autism and anorexia, there has been very little research done to see if CBD can be used to help with the symptoms.
But one interesting finding based on current research found out that the dosage needed in order to result in some beneficial effects tends to be much higher than what is typically found in commercially available products. For instance, online dispensary canada that offer CBD oils are in bottles with a total of 250 to 1000 mg. But the research suggests that effective treatment requires 30 to 160 mg of CBD oil depending on the symptoms.
All this suggests that people who regularly use CBD oil today don't experience any clinical effectivity. Instead, they are likely to be benefiting from a placebo effect from these oils and supplements at a dosage of 2 to 10 mg per day.
Before checking weed online and purchasing CBD oils and supplements, it's important that you first check with your health care provider such as a prescribing physician or psychiatrists. CBD might unintentionally react with psychiatric meds resulting in adverse reactions.