CBD and Mental Health: Can It Help?
Coming up in October on the 10th is an important day: World Mental Health Day. Whether or not you have any mental health concerns of your own, you know someone, likely many someones, who do. And one question we get rather frequently here at cbdMD parallels the soaring number of Google searches as people ask the internet:
- Can CBD help mental health?
- Does CBD support mental health?
- What can I do for my mental health?
- Is there a connection between mental health and CBD?
- Will CBD help me?
Among other things like “what is CBD” and “where can I find CBD,” one of the most commonly searched CBD topics is about this connection between mental health and CBD usage. The quickest answer for you about drawing these connections, in spite of the myriad of people who attest to it, is that we don’t know for sure. This means that the scientific community, despite years and years of research, has not yet given conclusive evidence to support this connection.
That’s not to say that CBD won’t help you with your mental health in a variety of ways, especially when used alongside other healthful tools. For us to know exactly how CBD affects us or our mental health, we’d have to try it for ourselves and note any changes we feel. This is a very personal journey for each person, much like mental health is – a very personal journey.
Mental Health Becoming More Widely Accepted
As mental health awareness is becoming more commonplace and less taboo, thanks, in part, to observances such as World Mental Health Day, people are beginning to explore the mental health options available to them. Therapy, medications, and emerging health and wellness methods have recently experienced a dramatic increase in acceptance. Gone are the days of hiding or ignoring mental health issues. And we are on board with this new level of acceptance and interest.
With so many new options and methods coming to light, it only makes sense that some of that attention has turned toward CBD. Although research is still very much in its infancy, many wonder if there could be a connection between CBD and mental health – particularly as part of a smart, daily care routine to maintain well-being.
Can CBD support your mental health? While you consider your mental health, and maybe even do something special to honor your mental health journey for World Mental Health Day, we’ll try to address some of the interest in CBD for this area of your life, and answer your questions as honestly and as best we can. After all, your wellness, mental and otherwise, is very important to us. It’s kind of “what we do” here at cbdMD.
What Is World Mental Health Day?
World Mental Health Day was launched fairly recently, in 1992, by the then-Deputy Secretary General of the World Federation for Mental Health, Richard Hunter, as a way of bringing awareness to mental health issues. Since then, the yearly observation has picked up more support, now celebrating each year with a new theme.
World Mental Health Day 2021’s theme is:
Mental health care for all: let's make it a reality.
What Is Affecting Your Mental Health?
It’s often best to understand the root causes behind your mental health concerns to understand what you need. This is also necessary if you want to support your mental health with CBD or any other regimen you choose as part of your mental health journey – different needs call for different solutions.
Which means being strong and making the tough decision to talk to your doctor, therapist, or even your friends and family. It’s incredibly important to have a support system at whatever stage of the process, whether you’ve been working at it for years or you’re just starting your mental health journey.
Having trouble making the commitment to talk to someone? Start small. There are several resources available online if you’re not ready to talk to someone in person quite yet. Sometimes it can be really hard to make the leap to seek help – it can feel like that leap is as large as the Grand Canyon. And that’s okay. But if you break it down into smaller, manageable steps, you may realize it’s not as scary as you thought it would be. In fact, it can be empowering for you.
All you have to do is take it one step at a time – and you’ll be on your way to maintaining your mental health is a strong, healthy way before you know it.
CBD and Mental Health
Once you’ve talked with your doctor and decided to prioritize your mental health, and worked to put together a good support system for yourself, it’s time to line up some mental health strategies to get your mental health in that wellness and healing space. One thing you may be considering to support your mental health goals is CBD.
Since we do not know fully how CBD interacts with mood and mental health or how it affects the brain and your emotions, we can’t say fully what the mental health benefits could be for you. But many people are reporting that while they may have begun a CBD regimen for other reasons, they see benefits with regards to mood and mental health.
CBD is by no means a cure-all for your mental health needs, but it can help in supportive ways, indirectly. But how does this work?
How Does CBD Work?
CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a biological system in your body. We know that CBD and other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN bind to the receptors in your endocannabinoid system, which partners them with the regulation of many bodily systems. You have receptors throughout your body, including the skin, organs, tissues, your brain, and even your sexual organs and tissues.
Because these receptors are so abundant and spread throughout the body, and cannabinoids interact with them, we surmise that the same support for homeostasis may be widespread and multi-functional. Until decades of research can catch up to the anecdotal evidence from CBD usage, we can only go on with what we do know. Often what we do know is simply finding a means of taking CBD oil regularly, working to discern the right amount and types of CBD that work for us, and noting the ways it affects us as individuals.
Where Does CBD Come From?
CBD oil is created with extracts from CBD-rich raw hemp materials which are infused into a carrier oil. cbdMD uses MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) as our carrier oil because MCT is quickly absorbed and metabolized.
Once absorbed, CBD works with the CB2 receptors (endocannabinoid receptors) in your ECS, which plays a role in maintaining balance in the body. The rate at which CBD is absorbed, activated, and maintained in your system depends upon the method of delivery: by ingestion, topically, or by inhalation. Here at cbdMD, we offer both topical and oral methods of consumption through a variety of CBD products and strengths.
CBD oil tinctures are held under the tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing. CBD benefits typically begin within 15 to 30 minutes. Taking CBD regularly can help to maintain the level of CBD in your system and can offer more consistent results for you. Many people opt to make tinctures or capsules regularly and take additional CBD by way of CBD gummies.
Ingesting CBD by taking CBD capsules or eating CBD gummies will take much longer to reach your bloodstream than tinctures, but the benefits will usually last longer. CBD topicals and botanicals, on the other hand, are designed to be absorbed into the skin without entering the bloodstream. This means CBD topical benefits are localized to the area of application.
The last method, inhalation, is achieved through using vape oils, which are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. This method is the fastest way to get CBD into your system, but the benefits wear off sooner. At cbdMD we do not currently offer any CBD vaping products.
Making Every Day World Mental Health Day with CBD
No matter what CBD product or delivery method you choose, there is a wide range of benefits to using CBD daily. Many CBD users find that they can more easily cope with common daily stress. Others prefer to use it at specific times of day, such as before bed or after a tough workout. Regardless of the reasons people take CBD, if it’s taken regularly, many people feel that CBD helps with general wellness and calm.
These CBD benefits, though they vary from person to person, could help to support your life in many ways. When you are working to maintain good health or even your sleep patterns and you begin a CBD regimen, you may feel benefits from the CBD that spill over into your mental health. Though a bit indirect, it’s the outcome that matters most. The bottom line is whether or not you feel better.
However you choose to add CBD to your daily routine, CBD may help to promote equilibrium and balance in your life, including a sense of calm and relaxation. Additionally, take a look at other examples of how CBD benefits can help:
- CBD can boost mood by supporting a healthier response to recovery from physical discomfort related to exercise. (It can be hard to concentrate or think clearly when all you can think about is your ongoing discomfort.)
- CBD can take the jittery edge off your morning cup of coffee (if you can’t give up your caffeine, that is).
- CBD can even help your skin. (A pampering skin care regimen and a relaxing bath each day can go a long way on your road to improved mental health.)
The mixture of ways CBD benefits your health shows that CBD takes a multi-faceted approach to wellness, which often is required when you are working on your mental health.
While CBD clearly has countless benefits when used in various aspects of your life, the real question is: Can CBD help mental health? We’ve shown that, though it’s indirect (and perhaps we’ll have more evidence to the direct effects as more scientific studies address this point), yes CBD can have a positive influence by helping us in related ways.
Let’s take a look at how the benefits of CBD, as indescribable as they can often be, may help you in ways that affect your mood and mental health. We’ll discuss three important ways CBD can become a helpful aid to you as you work to improve your own mental health.
Sense of Calm with CBD
How CBD affects your mood, scientifically speaking, is still a gray area. Many mental health issues, however, are present daily and are cumulatively affected by daily stress. In other words, what is considered normal daily stressors for most people may affect you more deeply due to how your brain and mental health function. Not all of us are wired the same – but we all do have an endocannabinoid system working hard for us, in partnership with CBD, to help encourage a more calm response.
Consider the following:
- Feeling calmer may positively impact our mental health.
- Reducing our stress responses, whether a lot or even a little bit, can help us to better manage our mental health.
- Providing any kind of stability to how we feel throughout the day can also help us to work toward optimal health – mental, physical, or otherwise.
Better Sleep with CBD
The link between mental health and CBD can often be subtle. One of the likely reasons CBD is getting attention for mental health applications is its ability to support optimal sleep routines. Especially when partnered with melatonin, our body’s natural “sleepy hormone,” it can help us to maintain a healthy sleep pattern, which, in turn, makes us feel better mentally and physically. This improvement in overall mood that comes with better sleep may be the reason CBD is getting some “street cred” as a mental health option.
Sometimes, one of the hardest things about dealing with daily stress is trying to get to sleep at night, or struggling to stay asleep. Suffice it to say, mental health and sleep have a complicated relationship. Rare would be the person who wouldn’t feel mood or mental health improvement if their sleep issues were improved.
Some of the first things your doctor may ask you when you talk to them about your mental health are about how you are feeling, changes in mood – and how you are sleeping.
Sleep, if you haven’t heard, is crucial to our mood and our health. CBD complements melatonin to support your natural circadian rhythm and help your body get the reparative rest it needs, which is why cbdMD developed our CBD PM products.
Designed to allow you to drift off into the night gently, our sleep aids also contain a unique blend of traditionally relaxing herbs, including valerian root, chamomile, cascade hops, passionflower, and lemon balm. By making it available in both tincture and soft gel forms, we’ve made it even easier to incorporate into your nightly routine. Add a relaxing bath with our sleep formulation of CBD Bath Salts to create the perfect nighttime routine as you work toward better mental health.
Taking Charge of Your Health with CBD
When you begin to prioritize your own mental health, a beautiful thing happens. It’s like a light turns on within you that illuminates your path a little and makes you feel better on the inside. Call it a sense of accomplishment or a sense of pride, when you take charge of your mental health, seek help, and develop a plan, it can make you feel more in charge of your own life. This is a wonderful feeling.
CBD partners with many things you may put on your mental health plan. Discuss any of them with your doctor and/or therapist to develop a mental health maintenance plan that works for you.
- CBD partners well with yoga, meditation, and other calming techniques like deep breathing.
- When we adopt a multi-faceted approach, we can often see more well-rounded results. CBD can fit nicely into a comprehensive mental health plan.
- Regular CBD and a mental wellness plan can provide a stable foundation for your growth and healing.
Mental Health and CBD: Making a Plan
When you speak with your doctor and therapist (or get a therapist) to start working toward your mental health goals, you’ll create a plan that combines a variety of healthy choices. It may look something like this:
- Analyze your mental health and create mental health goals based on your needs.
- Make improvements to your lifestyle: diet, exercise, sleep, and various therapeutic measures.
- Begin working toward developing healthy coping mechanisms.
Should you choose to include CBD as part of your overall mental health strategy, you’ll need to know what to take and when. Which, of course, depends upon your specific mental health needs, as most things do.
Unless you have one very specific need that CBD can fill, you will likely benefit most from a combination of different CBD products taken at different times throughout the day, coupled with a variety of other smart mental health techniques. This is why cbdMD has developed a range of products from topicals to tinctures to gummies, all of which come in different concentrations and sizes for your various needs.
Although CBD gummies are often the easiest way to take CBD, that’s not to say there aren’t other things you can do to make your CBD regimen easier. While edibles may be the first solution that comes to mind, CBD-infused drinks are rising in popularity. This is especially true for consumers who want a convenient way to enjoy the benefits that CBD tinctures can provide but who don’t want to hold it under their tongue or deal with any possible aftertaste. (Everything you need to know about CBD-infused drinks.)
It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s fairly simple. Take CBD regularly in whatever form works best for you. Consistency is key. Just as with other supplements (vitamins, minerals, etc.), you’ll see the most benefit by using CBD daily.
We’ve also compiled some resources for you to help you choose the best CBD products for your lifestyle and your needs. Here are some of the resources we have for you as you make these decisions:
- Use our interactive Find Your Product feature on our website or use the chat feature to talk with a customer service specialist.
- Read this article, which talks about how to take CBD products and combine the different options.
- Read this article, which discusses the various strengths of CBD and what that means for you.
For more information on CBD and mental health and how the two can interact, check out our blog. Make sure you also connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news and special offers. Also – know that the next time you take a mental health day or celebrate World Mental Health Day, cbdMD is here for you! And, if you need to hear it: You’ve got this!
Originally written by: Devon Firestone