Could CBD Help with Mental Health Issues?

The entire mental health landscape is changing. Even today, many people view it as a ‘taboo’ subject. However, it is finally dawning on us that there is a global mental health crisis. The ongoing damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that 450 million people around the world live with a mental or neurological disorder. Despite the raft of new treatments, two-thirds of individuals with a known mental disorder don’t seek help. Shockingly, approximately 40% of countries have no mental health policy.

Then there are the side effects associated with medication such as antidepressants. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of sexual desire

Therapy is a proven effective method of helping patients cope with conditions such as depression. However, access is often limited. The WHO says that in over half of the world’s countries, there is only one psychiatrist per 100,000 people.

In the last few years, patients are beginning to turn to CBD for help with mental health disorders. In some cases, cannabidiol has replaced antidepressants as the treatment of choice. Is there proof of its efficacy? Is it safe to use? Should you choose a major CBD brand such as PureKana when purchasing products such as CBD edibles online and tinctures? Let’s find out.

Patients Are Now Switching to CBD – Why?

A 2019 survey conducted by the Brightfield Group, found that amongst a group of 5,000 people who use CBD, 60% do so to combat anxiety. The next most common reasons are chronic pain, insomnia, and depression.

While there is evidence that cannabis can help with anxiety, an excessive level of THC could make matters worse. In contrast, CBD is non-intoxicating. Even the WHO suggests that the cannabinoid has an excellent safety profile. It is preferred to THC by many users because it doesn’t cause them to become high. Also, drug screenings look for THC metabolites, rather than CBD.

Yet despite its potential, the compound is not FDA approved. One exception is Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract. The FDA approves this Big Pharma product for the treatment of rare seizure disorders.

The lack of FDA approval means detailed studies into CBD are limited. This situation is changing, however, pushed by the growing popularity of the compound. An estimate from the NY Times suggests the CBD market will exceed $16 billion by 2025.

Such is the hype surrounding CBD that the Department of Veterans Affairs is funding a study on it. It hopes to determine if soldiers returning from war with PTSD could find help in the form of CBD. This clinical trial involves 136 participants and began in March 2019. Unfortunately, it is not due for completion until September 2023. Which begs the question:

Is There Any Evidence That CBD Helps with Mental Health Disorders?

A double-blind study, published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in June 2017, didn’t offer good news. It found that healthy volunteers who used CBD experienced minimal change in their emotional reaction to unpleasant images or words. Harriet de Wit co-authored the study. She said that a calming drug would have changed the volunteers’ response to the stimuli, but it didn’t.

However, one has to remember that those volunteers did not suffer from a mental health issue. In contrast, a study published in Neuropsychopharmacology in February 2011 featured 24 patients with a social anxiety disorder (SAD). Half the group took 600mg of CBD 90 minutes before completing a simulation public speaking test. The rest of the volunteers used a placebo.

Typically, for students with SAD, a four-minute talk with minimal preparation time would cause serious issues. However, the group that tried CBD experienced a significantly lower degree of anxiety than their placebo-using counterparts.

The lack of federal approval means existing studies on cannabidiol are thin on the ground. However, this situation is likely to change. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the growth of hemp. While it didn’t legalize CBD, it is worth noting that the vast majority of farmers grow hemp for the CBD market.

Eventually, we may have a situation where there is enough evidence of CBD’s efficacy for mental health issues that it becomes FDA approved. For the time being, we must rely on limited research and an enormous level of anecdotal evidence.

Is CBD Safe?

The answer is ‘yes,’ but only if you buy from a reputable brand. CBD itself is not a scam, but there are plenty of scammers within the unregulated industry. A shocking proportion of products don’t contain the amount of CBD promised on the label. Make sure you only choose a company that offers third-party lab reports with every product.

This is what you get when you purchase PureKana CBD edibles. You also have the option to try the brand’s outstanding oral spray, CBD beverage enhancer, or CBD honey sticks. The honey sticks contain 10mg of CBD apiece and are a convenient and delicious method of consuming the cannabinoid.

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