June 10, 2021

CBD’s Massive Impact on Mental Health

Written by - Mallory Milne

minute read

CBD's big-dog status as the newest and trendiest alternative health care treatment on the market is not to be understated. Its rise to popularity began very rapidly and has been growing steadily for the past few years. The cannabis industry's wealth is largely made up of CBD oil's profits, as the hemp market is expected to surpass $2 billion by the end of this year.

CBD is hailed for its purported benefits to users. CBD use can impart a sense of relief from physical anxiety symptoms, chronically stressful situations, and insomnia. In addition, it shows promise as a potential adjunct treatment for seizure prevention, chronic pain management, and general bodily inflammation.

Because CBD contains no THC, it is not cognitively impairing and doesn't produce the euphoric high marijuana is typically known for.

CBD is a potent cannabinoid with zero addictive effects; it can be taken as frequently as desired without experiencing withdrawal symptoms or becoming dependent on CBD.

CBD acts through the cannabinoid system in the human body in order to produce a positive dopaminergic and serotonergic effect. CBD is primarily metabolized by the enzyme CYP3A4, which inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and serotonin within the brain.

CBD's ability to inhibit dopamine and serotonin without producing euphoric or psychoactive effects makes CBD the perfect remedy to almost any mental ailment.

CBD is useful for remedying social and general anxiety disorders, and it plays a very large role in the management of certain mental illnesses (including dementia, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, PTSD, insomnia, and ADHD in addition to generalized anxiety and depression).  

CBD is also useful for increasing mindfulness and concentration by reducing the anxiety associated with performing subjectively important tasks. For example, if one has an important test to take, they may find that CBD improves their academic performance because it reduces the anxiety associated with taking an important test.

How Should CBD Be Ingested?


CBD is a versatile chemical compound and can be absorbed in many ways. Some of the most common methods of ingestion include oral ingestion through two different mediums - oils and tinctures.  

CBD oil is administered under the tongue and must be held there for 30-60 seconds to be effective. Similarly, CBD tinctures are pills that can be taken by mouth, and they hold the same level of bioavailability as CBD oil.  

In addition, the absorption rate of orally ingested CBD in these forms are dismal; just 6-19% of the CBD oil you ingest is actually absorbed by your body. The reasoning behind this unfortunate fact lies in the body's creation of encapsulating molecules that trap fatty compounds like CBD oil.  

The other manner in which CBD can be ingested is through inhalation. The intranasal bioavailability of CBD can surpass 31%. This means that intranasal ingestion of CBD is 2x more potent than tinctures and up to 10x more concentrated than CBD oil. 

It is also the most effective method of administration because it is absorbed by your lungs almost immediately, taking just 3 minutes to reach peak concentrations in the bloodstream. By contrast, orally administered CBD takes up to 5 hours to begin working.  

From your lungs, inhaled CBD enters directly into the bloodstream. The oral administration of CBD is dampened by the digestive system and liver, leading to lower absorption rates than inhalation. It can be said that CBD is far more potently absorbed when inhaled as a vapour or smoke.

CBD's Unique Potential to Fight Anxiety, Depression, and Accidental Fatalities: Explored

The Link Between Sleep and Depressive Thinking - Here's How CBD Can Help


CBD has a unique impact on the restfulness of the sleep it induces. In scientific studies, CBD has been proven to help those suffering with insomnia fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for a longer period of time. Anecdotal reports showcase that those who use CBD on a regular basis enjoy more restful sleep than those who do not.  

This means that CBD plays a large role in fighting generalized anxiety and depression, and here?s how.  

People who don't get enough sleep on a regular basis are more prone to experiencing mental health issues, particularly mental health issues associated with anxiety and depression.  

Those who sleep more experience fewer symptoms of depressive thinking. Because CBD induces restful and lengthy sleep, it can play a large role in mitigating depressive thinking. 

According to new scientific research conducted by Binghamton University, sleeping less than the recommended 8 hours per night is associated with intrusive, repetitive thoughts like those seen in anxiety or depression. 

This means that a consistent lack of sleep can induce negative and repetitive thinking, better known as rumination. Symptoms of rumination are commonly associated with psychiatric disorders such as severe anxiety and depression because rumination is obsessive and centred squarely on past mistakes and regrets, those who lack sleep on a consistent basis have a harder time fighting the overly negative and repetitive thoughts in their head. 

Sleep disruptions are proven to negatively impact the mental health of those who suffer from insomnia or another sleeping disorder.  

CBD can be of great assistance to those suffering from severe anxiety and depression simply by inducing more restful and lengthy amounts of sleep. For example, a patient who is suffering from anxiety and depression may find that they feel somewhat better when they catch up on their lack of sleep and establish a healthy sleep schedule.  

CBD is hailed for its ability to assist insomniacs who may struggle to establish a healthy nighttime routine, and it plays a large role in mitigating depressive thinking by providing easier access to restful sleep without posing the risk of addiction or dependence.

CBD's Ability to Reduce Accidental Fatalities


Those who don't get enough sleep on a consistent basis are also at risk of injuring themselves or others when operating heavy machinery or driving. According to the CDC, drowsy driving was responsible for an annual average of 83,000 car crashes from 2005-2009. 37,000 of those crashes resulted in serious injury, and 886 of those car crashes resulted in death. The CDC also reports that up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.  

Scientific studies have shown that being awake for 18 hours and getting behind the wheel has exactly the same impact on cognition and decision-making as having a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.05%.  

Being awake for 24 hours and deciding to go for a drive is equivalent to having a BAC of 0.10% (the federal limit is 0.08%). Case in point, drowsy driving is equivalent to drunk driving and implementing the regular usage of CBD to fight insomnia may lower the number of annual deaths caused by drowsy drivers getting into fatal car accidents. This is true because CBD is proven to induce consistently restful sleep when used on a regular basis.

Anxiety and CBD - The Unique Connection


Without posing a risk of addiction or dependence, CBD is able to inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This inhibition of serotonergic and dopaminergic receptors occurs when CBD is metabolized by the enzyme CYP3A4, and it is also responsible for vastly mitigating the feeling of anxiety. 

Because CBD utilizes a unique method in order to induce dopaminergic and serotonergic inhibition without providing euphoric or psychoactive effects, CBD may have a large impact on social anxiety disorder (SAD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).  

Anxiety disorders impact a large portion of adults in the United States; in fact, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that an estimated 31.1% of US adults suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.  

Instead of taking addictive drugs meant to reduce anxiety (mainly benzodiazepines), CBD showcases a huge potential to significantly reduce the symptoms of numerous kinds of anxiety disorders. These disorders include GAD, SAD, PTSD, panic disorder (PD), and OCD.  

In another retrospective scientific study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of CBD in reducing symptoms of anxiety and sleep disorders. Of the 72 participants in the trial, within the first 2 months of CBD treatment, an estimated 79.2% of participants reported marked improvements in anxiety symptoms.  

Studies showcase the potential of CBD to reduce symptoms of anxiety and sleep disorders in a vast segment of the United States population. Therefore, CBD's non-addictive yet anxiolytic nature makes it the perfect supplement for those suffering from severe symptoms of anxiety and subsequent depression.

CBD's Continuing Role on the Function of Brain Health


The prevalence of mental illness in the United States is a real and growing problem. However, CBD has been shown to improve mental health for those suffering from a variety of mental disorders.

By reducing free radical damage caused by growing inflammation in the brain, supplementing a medication regimen with CBD can assist suffering patients in generating new and healthy brain cells.

CBD's ability to vastly reduce the negative impact of brain inflammation and induce the growth of new brain cells can help mitigate the symptoms of debilitating mental disorders. These disorders include Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, insomnia, severe PTSD, ADHD, severe anxiety, and severe clinical depression.

CBD's Potential to Reduce Systemic Inflammation Explained

CBD can reduce inflammation throughout the body and brain for individuals suffering with unexplained physical or mental disorders. Because it is well-tolerated by everyone, has no side effects beyond mild sedation and has no addictive potential, CBD can and should be used to promote the reduction of systemic and mental inflammation in suffering patients.  

Scientific studies conducted by researchers show that CBD has marked potential to reduce systemic inflammation in animals. Because inflammation, both physical and mental, is directly associated with some kind of pain, CBD also carries the potential to mitigate chronic symptoms of mental illness by directly reducing systemic inflammation.  

2008 study conducted on mice found that CBD can play a role in preventing the onset of type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease caused by an overload of systemic inflammation.  

Another study conducted in 2013 found that CBD can play a role in protecting against the onset of MS (multiple sclerosis) by directly reducing the harmful impact of excessive systemic inflammation.  

Therefore, CBD can play a large role in protecting against the harmful impacts of systemic inflammation, and it should be considered as an additional supplement for patients who may not be experiencing the physical and mental pain relief they are looking for.

CBD can be used as an adjunct to clinical medications designed to reduce inflammation throughout the body, and it may potentiate the positive effects of these medications by further reducing systemic inflammation.

Seizures and CBD - How Can CBD Help Epileptic Patients?

Epileptic patients suffering with frequent uncontrollable and dangerous seizures may find relief in supplementing with high doses of CBD. Some people with epilepsy successfully use CBD in order to further mitigate the intensity and frequency of their seizures, and this fact speaks to the neuroprotective effects of CBD.  

The neuroprotective effects of CBD are attributed to its strong antioxidant properties, which make it so potentially effective at growing new and healthy brain cells. For those suffering with epilepsy, growing these new brain cells can play an important role in mitigating seizure intensity and frequency.  

In fact, the neuroprotective properties of CBD are so noticeable that the FDA has approved a new medication called Epidiolex for epileptic patients! Epidiolex is an FDA-approved medication that only contains a purified form of CBD, and it is meant to account for the treatment of frequent and intense seizures in epileptic patients who are 1 year of age or older.  

A recent scientific study shows that epileptic patients taking prescription Epidiolex (CBD) experienced a 39% reduction in seizures throughout the study period.  

CBD and successful seizure treatment go hand-in-hand because the neuroprotective properties of CBD can successfully and significantly mitigate the intensity and frequency of seizures experienced by epileptic patients.

Conclusion - Is CBD Really All It's Made Out to Be?

The marked and scientifically proven benefits of CBD, combined with its non-addictive nature, make it the perfect adjunct or supplement for markedly improving symptoms of mental illness. CBD can also increase mindfulness and concentration.  

Furthermore, CBD can significantly increase the seizure threshold in epileptic patients and protect against the harmful neurological impact of Alzheimer's and dementia by markedly reducing systemic inflammation. CBD is also proven to clinically assist those who may be suffering from insomnia, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and ADHD.   

Scientific studies show time and time again that CBD is clinically assistive in treating mental illness, and its non-addictive nature makes it the perfect remedy for various mental ailments in conjunction with prescribed medications.  

So, is CBD right for you? The only way to know is to experience the benefits of CBD for yourself.  

About the author 

Mallory Milne

Mallory is a mom of two, as well as the main content writer and owner of CBD Handle. She has been a consumer advocate and CBD user since 2018, and strives to relay accurate, easy to understand information and to educate others on the health benefits of CBD.


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