You’ve probably heard about CBD because it appears in countless products these days, ranging from topical creams to oral supplements. The cannabis compound was first isolated in 1940 and in recent years has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions ranging from epilepsy and chronic pain to depression and anxiety.
What is CBD?
There are about 60 compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Until recently, the most well-known one was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which produces that mind-altering high countless people know and love.
Another cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), is not psychoactive but does cause changes in the body whether it’s used as a cooking oil, added to food or taken as drops. Found in hemp, the least processed form of the cannabis plant, CBD is considered to have many health benefits.
Your endocannabinoid system (a series of cell receptors) receives cannabinoids produced naturally by your body, bringing balance to your heart, digestive, endocrine, immune, nervous, and reproductive systems. Stimulating the endocannabinoid system with plant-based cannabinoids can restore balance when needed.
Whereas THC directly affects receptors that are located primarily in your brain and central nervous system (CB1), CBD only affects those receptors indirectly along with receptors found mostly in peripheral organs, especially cells associated with your immune system (CB2).
How is CBD used to treat depression and anxiety?
CBD’s primary impact is on other receptors including those that help regulate mood. By stimulating the serotonin receptor, CBD helps alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety.
Research also suggests that CBD affects receptors in the amygdala, the part of the brain that is responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergency events, making it less excitable.
Because CBD has the same properties as antidepressants and antianxiety agents (anxiolytics), it can be used to treat PTSD, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and mild to moderate depression.
What’s the best CBD to product to use for depression and anxiety?
CBD oil usually comes in the form of a highly concentrated extract such as a tincture, capsule or a simple extract. You may have to experiment to find the right CBD oil to treat your depression or anxiety just as you would with pharmaceutical drugs. This is due, in part, to the fact that strength and bioavailability varies from one product to another.
How much CBD should I take?
An effective dose is usually between 10 to 200 mg but, as with pharmaceutical drugs, you may have to experiment to find the right amount.
Generally, it’s a good idea to start out with the lowest possible dosage to allow your body to adjust and go from there. CBD doesn’t take effect quickly so you should wait a few days before increasing your dosage.
Your health is a serious matter so it’s advisable to consult with a trained healthcare professional before starting. This is critically important if you plan to use CBD oil with other medications; CBD oil sometimes increases the potency of other drugs.
In recent years, researchers around world have been conducting tests on CBD, from clinical trials to animal studies and even test-tube experiments. There is still much to be learned about this cannabis compound but its future as a therapeutic drug seems bright.
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