CBD, short for cannabidiol, has become an increasingly popular wellness supplement over the last few years. Unlike THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD does not produce any high or intoxication. Instead, CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, which regulates various processes including mood, pain, inflammation, and more.
With its potential therapeutic effects, some have begun using CBD products to help support mood regulation. But can CBD actually help stabilize your mood? Let's take a look at what science says so far.
What Exactly is CBD and How Does It Work?
Before diving into CBD's effects on mood, it helps to understand exactly what CBD is and how it interacts with the body.
CBD is one of over 100 active compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. Other common cannabinoids include THC and CBN. CBD is derived mainly from hemp, a variety of cannabis that contains very low levels of THC.
When ingested, CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS regulates many vital functions including sleep, appetite, pain and more. CBD can indirectly alter the activity of receptors in the ECS, which is why it may have wide-ranging effects on things like mood, anxiety, pain and inflammation.
However, unlike THC, CBD does not directly bind to endocannabinoid receptors. This is why it does not produce any intoxicating or psychoactive effects. The exact mechanisms by which CBD may impact mood are still being researched, but its complex interactions with the ECS could play a key role.
How Might CBD Impact Mood?
Research indicates CBD may influence mood in a few key ways:
- Boosting Serotonin: Studies show CBD can increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression.
- Reducing Anxiety: Several studies have found CBD can reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. Its anxiety-relieving effects may stabilize mood.
- Alleviating Depression: While research is still early, some studies have shown CBD's potential to reduce depression symptoms. The antidepressant effects may be linked to its impact on serotonin.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Chronic inflammation may play a role in mood disorders. Because CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing inflammation may also stabilize mood.
- Regulating Hormones: CBD may impact levels of cortisol, insulin, and other hormones tied to mood. Balancing these hormone levels may also help regulate mood.
- Better Sleep: CBD may help improve sleep in some cases, which could alleviate mood issues caused by poor sleep.
So in summary, early evidence suggests CBD may positively impact mood through various mechanisms related to neurotransmitters, hormones, inflammation and sleep. But more research is still needed.
What Does the Research Say About CBD and Mood Disorders?
A growing body of research has investigated CBD's potential for supporting those with diagnosed mood disorders:
- Several studies have found CBD may reduce symptoms of major depressive disorder. In one study, CBD showed antidepressant effects comparable to the medication Imipramine.
- For generalized anxiety disorder, studies have shown CBD can reduce anxiety levels and alleviate symptoms. However, findings are mixed about CBD's effectiveness for other anxiety disorders like panic disorder or OCD.
- Research on CBD for PTSD has shown some positive results, with CBD helping reduce PTSD-related nightmares, anxiety and sleep issues in certain cases. More robust study is still needed in this area.
- In bipolar disorder, early research suggests CBD may have potential to improve mania and depression symptoms. But data is extremely limited so far.
- Overall the research is very preliminary, with small sample sizes. Larger scale, longer-term clinical trials are still needed to better understand CBD's therapeutic potential for mood disorders.
While these early findings are promising, CBD is not a cure-all treatment for any mood disorder. It also carries risks of side effects and drug interactions. Anyone considering using CBD for a mood disorder should first consult their doctor.
Using CBD for Mood Regulation
If you don't have a clinically diagnosed mood disorder but are interested in trying CBD to help stabilize your general mood, here are some tips:
Administration: CBD is available in oils, edibles, capsules, and vape form. Each has different onset times. Oils or vapes may be best for acute mood changes, while capsules/edibles for maintenance.
Dosage: Always start with a low dose of CBD like 10-20mg and increase slowly over time. Higher doses around 100-300mg may be best for mood support.
Timing: Be consistent with timing daily CBD doses. Split doses morning and evening if needed for mood throughout the day.
Lifestyle: Optimizing sleep, diet, exercise, social connection, etc. alongside CBD is key. CBD works best as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
Risks: Be mindful of potential side effects like diarrhea, fatigue, irritability. Also research any drug interactions before using CBD.
The key is finding the smallest effective dose that provides mood benefits without unwanted effects. Tracking your mood while using CBD can help determine optimal dosage and timing.
Is CBD the Right Choice for Your Mood?
While some early research shows promise, CBD is not a guaranteed solution for mood regulation in everyone. If considering CBD for mood support, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:
- Consult your doctor before using CBD, especially if taking any medications.
- Start with a very low dose and increase slowly over time.
- Track changes in your mood each day to gauge whether CBD is helping or not.
- Be realistic - CBD may provide small improvements but is not a cure-all.
- Use CBD as part of an overall mental health plan including therapy, lifestyle changes, etc.
Used responsibly under medical guidance, CBD does have the potential to provide gentle mood support. But CBD is just one tool, not a complete solution. A holistic approach is key for ongoing mental wellbeing.
Is CBD Safe?
When it comes to CBD use for mood, one major question is - how safe is it? The World Health Organization has stated that CBD is generally well tolerated and has a good safety profile. Most people can take CBD without significant side effects.
However, there are some risks and considerations to keep in mind:
- CBD may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and antidepressants. Always consult your doctor before trying CBD.
- Start with a low dosage and increase slowly to assess your tolerance. Too much CBD could cause side effects like fatigue or diarrhea.
- Research the company you buy from to ensure you get high-quality, lab-tested CBD products without contaminants.
- While rare, CBD could potentially cause liver injury at very high doses. Use the lowest effective dose.
- If inhaled, CBD vape oils may carry pulmonary risks similar to smoking. Oral forms like oils or edibles are recommended as safer alternatives.
While more research is still needed, the majority of evidence so far indicates CBD has a relatively good safety profile, especially when used carefully under medical supervision. But it's not entirely risk-free either. Talk to your doctor to see if CBD is right for you.
Is CBD Addictive?
Another common question about CBD is - can it be addictive? The short answer is that CBD is generally NOT addictive. Unlike substances like opioids, CBD does not appear to have abuse potential or cause physical dependence.
In fact, research shows CBD may help reduce addictive behaviors related to drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. CBD may modulate circuits in the brain tied to drug addiction. One study found CBD reduced heroin cravings in dependent users. More research is still needed, but CBD shows promise for fighting addiction versus causing it.
However, it's important to note that frequent, long-term CBD use can lead to increased tolerance, requiring higher doses to get the same effect. And abrupt discontinuation of high-dose CBD could potentially cause mild withdrawal symptoms like irritability or nausea. So while not addictive, CBD is not completely free of any dependence risk either. Moderation is key.
CBD Dosage Considerations
When using CBD for mood, proper dosage is critical. There is no universally recommended dosage, as ideal amounts vary based on individual factors. To optimize potential benefits while minimizing risk, it's important to adhere to the following dosage guidelines:
- Always start with the lowest effective dose, around 10-20mg daily.
- Slowly increase your dosage every 3-7 days until desired effects are reached.
- Stay between 10-50mg daily for minor mood support, up to 300mg for therapeutic effects.
- Never exceed 700mg daily unless directed by a doctor. High doses may increase side effects or toxicity risks.
- If using for a mood disorder, follow dosage advised by your psychiatrist or doctor.
- Track changes in your mood at each dosage to optimize benefits and minimize side effects.
A Mood-Boosting CBD Cocktail
If you're curious about integrating CBD into your balanced wellness routine, one approach is via CBD-infused cocktails. Jeng is a new CBD beverage
brand crafting creative cocktail recipes that blend the relaxing properties of CBD with the unique flavors of mixology.
With offerings like our fan-favorite Paloma CBD cocktail
, Jeng aims to provide an exciting way to enjoy CBD's calming qualities through mixology alchemy. Our recipes allow you to unwind and destress - with the potential mood-regulating qualities of CBD combined with the nostalgic joy of a thoughtfully crafted cocktail.
Jeng uses high-quality, terpene-rich CBD extract to ensure the cocktails deliver all the plant's benefits. The cocktail provides just enough CBD to take the edge off while allowing the flavors to shine.
So if you're looking to explore CBD's possibilities for gentle mood support, consider relaxing after a long day with one of Jeng's mood-boosting CBD cocktail recipes. Just remember to enjoy responsibly and consult your doctor before adding CBD to your wellness regimen.