I was listening to a podcast with spiritual teacher, author and former candidate for Congress, Marianne Williams the other day when she mentioned, “For people aged 25 years and younger, the FDA has warned that antidepressants can increase, not decrease, the risk of suicide.” I’d heard some of the statistics before, but for some reason this stopped me in my tracks. It’s shocking. It’s awful. As someone who has survived the death of a loved one from suicide I ruminated on this statistic for a bit and felt a tinge of anger. Williamson went on to mention that antidepressant prescriptions, which are used to treat both depression and anxiety, have increased and so have suicides. It’s a sad statistic with far-reaching implications. But, is this a coincidence? This is a tricky, loaded subject and I don’t want to make light of anyone dealing with mental illness and the people who treat them. A professional’s opinion should always be sought – but it can’t stop there. One needs to be an advocate for their own mental health and overall well-being and find options that work best for them. Given the statistics the plausible conclusion is that people in need are over-prescribed dangerous medication with horrific adverse reactions. But why? Safer options do exist and more and more people who suffer from depression are turning to CBD to treat it. Here’s why: Research shows that CBD oil causes receptor 5-HT1A, which releases serotonin, to fire more effectively.
There is evidence to suggest that even doing something as simple as incorporating more CBD into your daily routine can help to bring your body to a more balanced state of wellness, evening out inconsistencies and leveling the body’s natural response to triggers, both mental and physical.
Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol as it is also known, has been shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder and researchers suggest that it may also be effective for panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A 2011 study aimed to compare the effects of a simulation public speaking test on healthy control patients and treatment-native patients with social anxiety disorder. A total of 24 never-treated patients with social anxiety disorder were given either CBD or placebo 1.5 hours before the test. Researchers found that pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alertness in anticipation of their speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort.
CBD is a safe option to discuss with a medical professional when treating but still the stigma remains. Proponents of CBD’s use in treating medical conditions and ailments hope the findings of studies now underway will help change that thinking and finally bring to light its potential benefits. Maintaining good overall health and incorporating CBD into a daily routine might be just what the doctor ordered.