This article is the first in our series of CBD research articles. In it, you’ll get the facts about CBD, stress and mental health support – and how CBD can potentially be a benefit to mental wellbeing.
In recent years, CBD’s popularity has grown exponentially around the world, largely due to its possible ability to provide an array of potential health benefits. It does so by helping the body maintain homeostasis through interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating multiple biological and cognitive functions. Put simply, it can help your body to stay balanced so that it can function optimally – and that includes mentally as well as physically.
Arguably, stress and mental health issues affect more people these days than ever before, and there are many traditional “go-to” solutions that may help you feel better, like exercise or meditation. However, CBD is fast emerging as another effective long-term treatment. Although more clinical research is required in this area, studies have shown that the cannabinoid may have a number of positive effects on stress relief and mental health support, such as promoting serotonin production and encouraging a healthy sleep pattern.
Stress-reducing Effects of CBD Consumption
Although there’s an increasing number of people willing to testify to CBD’s effectiveness at relieving stress, the latest – albeit limited – scientific research backs these claims. One study1 showed that people with a social anxiety disorder who had been asked to deliver a speech experienced a quick and significant reduction in perceived stress and anxiety after consuming CBD, while those who took a placebo did not. Additionally, clinical research2 suggests that CBD positively interacts with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) – a region of the brain that plays a key role in the integration of emotional and cognitive information – thereby proving effective at treating stress-related disorders. Moreover, CBD also increases the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter responsible for relaxation. In response to mental overstimulation, GABA slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure – essentially helping us to de-stress.
Although it’s certainly not a guaranteed overnight cure – and we still have much to discover about the extent of its possible benefits – it’s clear that CBD has vast potential for producing positive outcomes for stress and mental health. Due to its interaction with the ECS, it’s likely to have a calming, relaxing effect when consumed, which should be directly advantageous to mental health support.
So far, the research points to a positive interaction between CBD, stress, and mental health support.
- Bergamaschi M, Queiroz R, Chagas M, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naive social phobia patients. 2011;36(6):1219–1226. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/)
- Kowal M.A., Hazekamp A., Colzato L.S., van Steenbergen H., Hommel B. Modulation of cognitive and emotional processing by cannabidiol: the role of the anterior cingulate cortex. Hum. Neurosci. 2013;7:147. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00147.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3629308/)