Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is derived from the hemp or marijuana plant, but it does not contain any psychoactive qualities. While many people used to smoke to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety or depression, they are now switching to CBD for its gentler, soothing nature. CBD oils should contain less than 0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive chemical present in cannabis. Without THC, users avoid any of the mental side effects while still being able to enjoy the calming effects associated with cannabis.

How Does CBD Affect the Brain?

The body has a built-in endocannabinoid system that recognizes the presence of CBD and THC and sends signals to cells. The wide range of cannabis and CBD effects are all stimulated by the endocannabinoid system. As it was only discovered in the 1990s, and CBD only became mainstream in the last few years, there is still much to learn about how this system functions. So far, researchers know that the system is still active even without THC or CBD and it helps regulate a variety of physiological processes. CBD oil interacts with a variety of brain receptors that affect mood, pain, and sleep. As a result, people who use CBD oil often experience reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Ways CBD Oil Can Help

Everyone’s experience with mental health is different. While diagnostic criteria help establish a baseline for clinical treatments, it’s important to research the various manifestations of anxiety and depression to determine if CBD oil might help you. CBD can subdue physical side effects of anxiety such as a racing heart, feeling jittery and lightheaded, shaking, and shallow breathing. For those with depression, CBD can work similarly to SSRI antidepressants without the common and challenging side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. If you struggle with insomnia as a result of your mental health, racing thoughts and persistent, negative feelings, these may diminish after you start taking CBD. Note that it does take time for CBD oil to build up in your system, which means you may not experience any noticeable results for a couple of weeks. You should still only take the recommended dose.

A Word of Advice

CBD oil is not a cure for depression or anxiety. Although it can be an effective natural treatment, it is only one way to manage symptoms, not resolve them. Working with a therapist or even engaging in self-therapy is the only way you can get to the root of your problems and begin to truly recover.

In the meantime, taking CBD oil can help you find relief from your anxiety and depression symptoms.

About the author

Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.

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