CBD won’t get you high, but it can alter your mood. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, or chemical compound, found in the cannabis plant, that has the power to alleviate a variety of ailments, such pain, inflammation, seizures, insomnia, and mood disorders. But it’s not a one-time only fix. Like a vitamin you might take daily, CBD works best when it can build up in your system.
If you’re dealing with psychological distress or mental illness, CBD can help. Here are a few conditions you can use it to treat:
According to a 2013 study, CBD can help people quit smoking. The study found that smokers who used a CBD inhaler smoked fewer cigarettes, and did not have any more of a craving for nicotine. Meanwhile, a 2015 study found that CBD could help dependent patients quit opioids: With CBD, the patients experienced reduced anxiety, mood disorders, insomnia, and pain, suggesting that they could have easier withdrawal.
CBD can help treat depression by shifting the body’s levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that’s vital to mood, appetite, sleep, memory, and behavior. CBD can act similarly to serotonin in the body, helping improve communication between neurotransmitters that dictate depressive tendencies. It can also help with insomnia, which itself can lead to depression.
Anxiety can go two ways with cannabis: The plant’s main cannabinoid THC can either work as an anxiolytic treatment, or it can cause even worse anxiety. When the latter happens, CBD often works to be an antidote to THC-induced anxiety or paranoia. A study from 2015 suggests that CBD may serve as a tool in combating a variety of anxiety disorders, including general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
CBD’s anxiolytic effects can reduce fear and hyper-vigilance among patients suffering from PTSD. According to a 2012 study, CBD can block the long lasting behavioral consequences of “predator stress,” meaning that CBD can decrease habitual post-traumatic behaviors initially developed to deal with highly stressful situations. Now that the stressful environment is no longer, PTSD patients are still dealing with the neurological, long lasting behaviors — which is why CBD can be so helpful to them.