In the United States alone, an estimated 1 in every 5 adults struggles with mental illness. The most common of these include anxiety, depression, mood disorders, psychotic disorders (schizophrenia, delusional disorders), dementia, and eating disorders. Oftentimes, several mental health conditions are comorbidities: they coexist with one another, making it more difficult to treat.
The pharmaceutical industry has benefited from this: according to experts, the global antidepressant industry is seen to grow from its $28.6 billion value in 2020 up, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic. But there are many problems with antidepressants: these synthetic medications may not always work, and if they do, they come with a slew of side effects. These include fatigue, sexual issues, constipation or diarrhea, headaches, and insomnia to name a few.
Things were already bad enough before the pandemic, though it only made things worse; it seemed as if everyone was anxious or depressed about something. The world might not get any better, but the good news is that we have better tools for coping with mental illness.
Thankfully, we have cannabidiol (CBD). This non-psychoactive compound in the marijuana plant may quite literally be the number 1 mental health medicine we have today. And it’s all natural!
Here’s why you should consider using CBD if you are struggling with any kind of mental health problems.
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CBD helps manage symptoms of multiple mental illnesses
There are countless studies backing up the efficacy of CBD in treating numerous conditions: from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, mania, and so much more, you can even cut down or reduce your pharmaceutical medication intake (but always under the guidance of your physician).
People who live with mental or emotional comorbidities usually have to take numerous pills to help regulate their symptoms. But introducing CBD to your wellness regimen can help you cut back while living a healthier lifestyle.
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CBD helps you sleep better
Ever notice how the world just seems to be a kinder place after getting a solid night’s rest?
That’s because there is a link between sleep (or lack thereof) and your emotional well-being. According to the Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep has been associated with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other conditions. Additionally, insomnia can make existing mental health problems worse.
Taking CBD can greatly increase the chance of long, restful sleep. At low doses (under 500mg), CBD has an energizing effect although taking higher concentrations has been proven to help treat insomnia. It will also assist in relaxing you even if your mind is racing and constantly addicted to a cycle of negative thoughts. All that without having to pop a pill.
CBD improves overall mood
When one is struggling with any kind of mental illness, our moods are affected. As a result, our relationships, lifestyle, and well-being can also suffer.
Studies show that CBD is an effective mood stabilizer. Whether you have mild or severe anxiety, or perhaps borderline personality or bipolar disorder, CBD can help you feel better and manage your emotions. According to case studies, participants have used CBD to treat depression, mania, and even both, saying that it was more useful than conventional drugs for treating these symptoms. It also helped them find relief from the symptoms of pharmaceutical drugs.
In addition, CBD is well-known for its anti-anxiety and stress-fighting properties. When your body no longer feels anxious about the future, stressed out, or in fight-or-flight mode constantly, you have the headspace to pause before you think or say something you might regret and potentially hurt someone.
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So many ways to medicate
CBD is available in a wide array of consumption methods. You can literally choose to use it whatever your mood feels like for the day.
Feel like smoking? You can vape or smoke CBD flower. Feel like eating your feelings? There are countless varieties of delicious CBD edibles: chocolates, gummies, and other infused foods are just some of the choices. If you feel like getting creative in the kitchen, you can make your very own edibles with ready-to-use CBD oils. There are also infused beverages that will mimic the behavior of having a drink but instead deliver relaxing CBD doses instead of alcohol, which will worsen existing mental health disorders.
The hype IS real: CBD does work, and that’s why it’s so popular.
There are many polls and surveys but there is one in particular from 2021 that polled 387 current or previous CBD consumers; they were asked to complete an online survey with 20 questions. Researchers found that the top reasons people used CBD was for anxiety, sleep, general health, and stress. Participants have reported that it works in treating sleep problems, stress, and anxiety.
The participants also said that they self-medicated with CBD to treat their symptoms, and usually consumed in low doses. However, a significant population said that CBD was effective for them.
Is it right for you to medicate with CBD to manage mental health illnesses?
The best way to know is to speak to your medical provider especially if you are already taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. However, CBD is safe enough to self-medicate with if you have mild forms of anxiety or depression. You can start by taking low doses (300mg to 600mg has been touted as safe and effective for anxiety) and see if that helps. Edibles also have a longer-lasting effect even though they take longer for its effects to be felt.