CBD Oil or Pharmaceutical Drugs: The Battle Against Anxiety and Depression

Depressed ManMedical science, with all its innovations and advancements, has still not managed to tackle the underlying causes behind mental health issues. Surely, elements such as trauma and high stress have been identified as causation factors but doctors still have not been able to identify the root cause behind mental problems.

One of the most prevalent problems in the US today is the mental health problem identified as anxiety. It plagues almost 18% of the population in the US. People who suffer from anxiety also tend to suffer from depression as a result. Half the people suffering from depression also suffer from anxiety-related issues as well.

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

We experience daily bouts of anxiety and stress in our everyday life which sometimes is good as it gives us the nudge we need to complete tasks and reach goals. However, for people suffering from a clinically diagnosed form, anxiety is a regular feeling that hinders everyday activities and social life. It even manifests in the form of panic attacks.

Anxiety, depression, and chronic stress can even take on a physical manifestation where people may experience shortness of breath, complete despair, insomnia, unhealthy weight loss, and hormonal issues among many others.

The stress we take on every day, our past, and even family history all play a part in impacting our mental health.

Identifying and tackling anxiety and depression in its early stages is very crucial. With the correct balance of nutrition, mindset, and lifestyle choices, people can actually manage these problems. However, people nowadays turn to clinical drugs as an alternative which can have devastating side-effects as well as expose one to the danger of addiction.

Pharmaceutical Treatment

The most conventional methods of treating mental health issues are taking drugs such as Valium, Xanax, and other antidepressants, anti-psychosis medications.

These drugs work by increasing the number of certain neurotransmitters in the body such as serotonin (responsible for bringing about feelings of joy) in the human brain. This essentially means they are a temporary solution and do not address the fundamental cause of the mental issue.

Neurotransmitters are messages sent by the brain to coordinate and control the functions of the body. These messages are responsible for our thoughts, mood, actions, and our very survival. To name a few important ones: serotonin (responsible for sleep, thoughts, and food consumption), dopamine (the pleasure sensor) and endorphin (controls pain).

Drawbacks of Pharmaceutical Drugs

Focusing on a single neurotransmitter that might be functioning normally leaves patients with a higher risk of exacerbating the illness. The problem with laboratory drugs is that they target only one particular neurotransmitter at a time. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety exist because different neurotransmitters are in a state of disequilibrium. It often takes a combination of these drugs to obtain a satisfactory result, usually after numerous tries with the patient. And that could take months, even years.

Since antidepressants work by upsetting or adjusting the chemical balance within our body, there can be side effects and not everyone suffers from the same side effects even if when they are taking the same drug. Your genetics and existing metabolism play a major part in determining the type of side effects that you might experience. Some common are nausea, increased appetite and weight gain, insomnia, loss of sexual desire, fatigue, and irritability.

Where Does CBD Fit in?

Cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant and even in the human body. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive extract devoid of THC that is gaining widespread popularity and increased usage as it has been shown to have amazing benefits for the human body without experiencing the high associated with marijuana use. People are increasingly using CBD to combat anxiety and depression.

While there are plenty of benefits of CBD, some stand out more than others such as its anti-inflammatory traits, reining in the spread of cancer, reducing side effects from cancer treatments, reducing anxiety, and combating depression among many other uses.

What Does CBD Research Indicate?

CBD has been in the spotlight for a number of years and the attention is now shifting from personal consumption to more clinical and scientific research purposes. With over 20,000 research articles published on the plant and its many components, there now exists scientific backing to prove the benefits of CBD.

CBD has been proven safe to use without any side effects (except dry mouth which can be cured by drinking water) for the following mental disorders: anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Does It Work?

The largest neurotransmitter in the body is known as the endocannabinoid system and it makes up a vital part of the human body’s nervous system. The endocannabinoid system plays an important part in keeping us alive and our body in check. The systems covered by the endocannabinoid regulates sleep, digestion, reproduction, memory, and mood to name a few.

Cannabinoids which are found in CBD and our body act as message carriers for the endocannabinoid system and they restore balance to any dysfunctional neurotransmitters in our body.

When we consume CBD, we increase the number of endocannabinoids. This opens up paths for receptors which regulate our mood and bodily functions and consequently reduces anxiety and depression-related disorders.

In a nutshell, CBD can adapt within our body and help to restore neurotransmitters imbalances, thereby aiding in the alleviation of mental disorders. Because it works in junction with the same system that balances our body’s central nervous system, it knows exactly what to do to bring the body back in balance without creating any unwanted side effects.

The Bottom Line

Research has vouched for the use of CBD as a safe medical alternative that can cure a number of physical and mental problems. People suffer from different illnesses due to various reasons and it is always better to consult a physician before a complete switchover from pharmaceutical drugs to natural options. Never do it on your own!