What is the psyche? What is CBD (Cannabidiol) and how does it work? Can a natural remedy from the hemp plant alleviate complex psychological ailments? And if so, which ones?
Many people are skeptical and place their trust in antidepressants, which are increasingly being used and yet are known for their side effects.
In this article, we highlight the connections, cite research studies, and try to organize the facts so that everyone can make a decision for themselves.
We also provide valuable advice and tips on what to look out for when using CBD oil. We also invite you to join in the discussion in our forum and exchange ideas with others!
What is the psyche?
The psyche is often defined as thinking and feeling. In other words, it's our internal experience. This is, of course, a theoretical concept. Physiologically, the central nervous system (CNS) is behind it.
This consists of our brain and spinal cord.
For example, for fear and stress to reach our thinking and feeling, the CNS must convert the sensory stimuli that come from outside.
Of course, stimuli also arise within our bodies, and there are self-reinforcing tendencies in our psyche that allow existing symptoms to re-emerge and grow without sensory influence.
It would be a challenge to want to influence the sensory stimuli. We can hardly avoid them without completely switching off our perceptions (sounds, smells, heat, cold, visual perception, and so on).
The better approach is to influence the conversion of stimuli and their interpretation by the CNS. And this is exactly where CBD comes in.
Can CBD Oil Help with Mental Health Issues?
The human body itself produces cannabinoids (in this case called endocannabinoids). Few people know this, but they are indispensable. Because our endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been an integral part of our body for millions of years .
And it controls and influences, among other things, our body temperature, moods, pain perception, hunger, and thirst.
If endogenous cannabinoids can influence moods, this is also possible for the hemp extracted (phyto-)cannabinoids. In a good CBD oil (full-spectrum oil), other cannabinoids are also contained in addition to CBD, which have many positive effects.
Here is a brief overview of the most important ones:
|Cannabinoid||Effect and Benefit|
|CBD (Cannabidiol)||relieves pain inhibits and fights inflammation stimulates appetite reduces anxiety and psychosis|
|CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid)||inhibits and fights inflammation good for the protection and build-up of nerve cells and fibers fights bacteria|
|CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid)||inhibits and fights inflammation helps against nausea and vomiting can prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells|
|CBCV (Cannabichromevarin)||inhibits and fights inflammation acts as an antidepressant|
|CBG (Cannabigerol)||works against pain and inflammation fights fungal infestation and bacteria good for bone building|
|CBN (Cannabinol)||works against pain reduces cramps good for healthy sleep|
Effect and Application of CBD Oil for the Psyche
As we have seen, CBD and the other cannabinoids help with many physical disease symptoms. But they are also very helpful with numerous mental ailments.
This can be directly, by reducing anxiety or psychosis or acting as an antidepressant. The effect can also be indirect, by protecting nerves, relieving pain, or improving sleep.
The antidepressant and anxiety-relieving effect of CBD was examined more closely in a study in 2019 and shows promising initial results.
In addition, cannabinoids appear to indirectly increase serotonin levels and thus increase well-being.
A serotonin deficiency often manifests itself as depression.
Also, in the case of anxiety and trauma-related disorders, very promising results were achieved through the treatment with CBD. The authors of this study concluded that more and more evidence from human and animal studies suggests that cannabidiol also relieves established anxiety.
Indirectly, stress can also lead to mental problems or be an expression of their existence. In this study, the researchers found a higher stress resistance in the participants who consumed CBD.
Last but not least, there are the psychoses in all their forms: hallucinations, paranoia, loss of reality. Here a study from 2018 opened new doors: "Cannabidiol can partially normalize changes in the function of the parahippocampus, striatum, and midbrain ...
Since these regions are critical for ... psychosis, the influence of CBD on these sites could underlie its therapeutic effects on psychotic symptoms."(Author's translation).
This sounds sober, but it could make CBD an ideal, almost side-effect-free drug in the clinical treatment of psychoses.
Positive effects through CBD were already observed in animal experiments and in patients with schizophrenia in 2012.
We are sure that the findings on the subject of CBD will open up many new ways of treating and improving mental problems in the coming years.
This is also urgently necessary, as CBD research currently still has gaps and not all doctors are satisfied with the scientific database.
How quickly does an effect occur?
For CBD and the other cannabinoids to work, they must first get into the bloodstream. This happens naturally when inhaling the fastest. In this case, you should feel the first effect after a few minutes.
A note: for this you need CBD as a liquid or as a crystal that you can vaporize.
If you choose a CBD oil and drop it under the tongue, the active ingredients also get into the bloodstream relatively quickly via the fine blood vessels under the tongue. Expect about half an hour.
If, however, you swallow the oil or consume the CBD in food or in a drink, it takes much longer: it is only released into the circulation in the digestive tract. The duration here: one to two hours.
How long does the effect last?
Of course, the duration and intensity of the effect also depend on the dose. Normally, the effect lasts about four to six hours. However, to achieve an effect in mental problems, it is advantageous not only to take CBD punctually for acute complaints but regularly for a while so that the basic evil dissolves.
What are the possible side effects?
Although it is usually well tolerated, CBD can cause side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness or fatigue. These symptoms often only occur temporarily and then disappear again.
The World Health Organization has also certified CBD that it
- shows no special side effects
- does not alter consciousness
- does not cause addiction - neither psychologically nor physically
However, it is important to know that CBD can influence the mode of action of other drugs - as can also be the case with grapefruit. This is a group of drugs, so-called "prodrugs", which are taken as an inactive compound and are only activated in the body by an enzyme called CYP3A4.
CBD can hinder this enzyme so that too little of the inactive drug substance in the body is converted into active and the therapeutic effect is more or less lost.
Therefore, talk to a doctor if you want to take CBD permanently and at the same time depend on another medication.
Another note: Pregnant women and children should not take CBD.
How does CBD compare to antidepressants?
According to the WHO, almost 350 million people worldwide were affected by depression in 2016, not counting other mental illnesses. Antidepressants are therefore a billion-dollar mass market - despite potential side effects.
Depending on the group of drugs, these include insomnia, skin rashes, headaches, joint and muscle pain. Libido and orgasm ability can also be impaired.
The most serious disadvantage of classic antidepressants is, however, that any antidepressant can lose its effect after months or years, simply because the brain responds less to the drug, i.e. develops a tolerance.
Compared to this, CBD has hardly any side effects. In addition, in the case of CBD, there is rather a "reverse tolerance". Regular intake of CBD can actually lead to needing less of it over time to feel the same benefit.
This seems to be due to the fact that CBD improves the activity of endogenous receptors and promotes the production of endocannabinoids.
The cannabinoids are also an organic, natural substance - provided you choose a good CBD product.
What is the state of research?
In science, there has been an increased openness - not to say acceptance - towards cannabinoids over the years. There is a huge need to catch up on studies.
This is due to the fact that cannabis extracts were often associated with drugs in the last century, although the psychoactive component (THC) is filtered out for medical CBD products.
Doctors are increasingly recognizing that CBD can be a gentler, softer alternative to antidepressants. Especially for use in anxiety disorders, CBD has created a market.
Even in clinical treatments of more severe mental illnesses, CBD is increasingly being considered as an accompanying measure.
What patients need are reliable long-term studies and broader series of examinations, which are currently still lacking. To this day, most patient studies are designed for a two-digit number of participants.
What should be considered when choosing CBD oil and taking it?
The most important thing is to find a good CBD product. This is not always easy, because the offer is large and unfortunately there are always some black sheep.
Pay attention to how the hemp from which the CBD comes was grown. Organic, pesticide-free hemp is a must! You can see this from the certificate that every manufacturer should disclose. If this is not the case, stay away from it.
We definitely recommend a CBD full-spectrum oil. As already explained above, this also offers other cannabinoids and terpenes (aromatic substances) that reinforce each other in their effect.
Taking CBD oil is uncomplicated. We recommend simply putting a few drops under the tongue, letting it work for a minute, and then swallowing. The dose depends on the goal you want to achieve: is it just relaxation, good sleep, or do you want to combat disease symptoms?
A medium dose, which can be taken permanently for depression, is between 20 and 40 mg CBD daily. However, the dosage should be tailored to the patient, his body weight, and his state of health.
Start with a low dose of 10 mg CBD daily in 5-step increments, so that your body gets used to the cannabinoids and you get a feel for the effect. It is best to distribute the dose over three times a day to distribute the cannabinoid level evenly.
If you are looking for more information on taking and dosing CBD oil, just look in our guide. There are many tips and further hints!
Medical cannabis does not have a long history of clinical use. And as many users as there may be, it faces a strong lobby.
The tenor is that the effect of CBD has not yet been proven 100% by studies. This is formally correct. This can be countered by the fact that there are
- Millions of satisfied users who are helped by CBD
- CBD causes hardly any side effects
- many studies have already attested to CBD's good efficacy and tolerability.
If you have doubts and want to use CBD for a serious mental illness, talk to your treating doctor.
We hope that after reading this, you now have more insights and can better assess the possibilities of CBD in relation to a healthy psyche.
Perhaps you will find further suggestions in our discussion forum. We are also always open and grateful for your feedback!