Can CBD Help With Anxiety and Depression?

by | Nov 23, 2022 | Latest News | 0 comments

How do you know if you have anxiety or depression as a clinical condition? Compared to experiencing low mood because of temporary or situational issues?  At times, life can be filled with unexpected highs and lows.  And we can all feel anxious or sad when we are stressed. 

But clinical anxiety and depressions are actual health diagnoses. A doctor can conduct tests (surveys of your mood and behaviors) to determine and diagnose anxiety or depression.  And if a clinical diagnosis results from the testing, a treatment plan can be developed.  One that will help you manage the symptoms, so they do not disrupt your quality of life. 

There are many misconceptions about anxiety disorders.  People who have anxiety may appear to be hyperactive or manic.  They may seem like they “worry too much” about everything.  And sometimes, anxiety can be incorrectly assumed to be a personality trait.  However, people with anxiety have well-defined medical conditions.  

Life with anxiety is not a choice.  No more than it is ever a choice to have any medical diagnosis with symptoms that can be hard to manage.  And while many different prescription medications are used to treat anxiety and depression, some people are looking for a more natural solution.  Like cannabidiol or CBD. 


How is Anxiety or Depression Diagnosed?

A primary care provider (PCP) or a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose anxiety or depression.  The process usually begins with a patient who describes persistent symptoms that are new or unusual for them. 

Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety and depression include:

  • A state of excessive worry that occurs persistently over a long period of time (at least six months of experiencing the symptom)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Feeling agitated or restless
  • Irritability 
  • Muscle tension 
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Impairment in social life, profession (work), family, or intimate personal relationships as a result of anxiety symptoms
  • Changes to eating habits (abnormal loss or increase in appetite)
  • Withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities and social engagements

 There are a number of mental health tests or scales that can be administered.  The tests help to determine whether the individual has depression, anxiety, or both conditions.  One of the most common tests used to diagnose anxiety or depression is The Beck Depression Inventory or BDI. But some people are hesitant to talk to a physician about mood disorders or symptoms, even though a doctor-supervised treatment plan can be life-changing for them. 

If you suspect you may have anxiety or depression, there are also accessible online tests you can take.  Mental Health America (MHA) provides one on their website that you can complete anonymously to get a score.  It can help you determine the level of anxiety or depressive symptoms you are currently dealing with.  

No online mental health evaluation should be taken as conclusive.  They are designed to give you insights into your current symptoms and determine if you may need medical assistance. The online tests provide information you can share and discuss with your doctor. 


Are Anxiety and Depression Hereditary?

Researchers have discovered that anxiety and depression can be inherited.  That means if you have one or more close family members with depression, you have a higher-than-average risk of developing one or both mental health conditions. 

One research team in the United Kingdom (UK) was successful at isolating a gene common in families that have hereditary depression. The 3p25-26 chromosome was detected in a study group of more than 800 families with recurring depression. 

Some scientists believe that a family history of anxiety and depression may increase the risk of developing either (or both) conditions by 40%. The other sixty percent (60%) of contributing factors are presumed to be environmental or based on traumatic experiences. 

Can I Have Both Anxiety and Depression at the Same Time?

There are a few misconceptions about anxiety and depression.  One of the most common beliefs is that someone can have anxiety or depression.  One or the other, but not both at the same time.  That is, in fact, not true.

While clinical anxiety and depression are separate disorders, individuals can be diagnosed with both mental health conditions. 

Can a daily cannabidiol supplement help individuals who have anxiety or depression? For some, an alternative medicine treatment plan may include cannabidiol (upon the advice of a physician).  But does it work? We’ll share some facts about using CBD to help with symptoms of anxiety and depression.


What Are The Common Side Effects of Prescription Anxiety or Depression Medications?

When someone is diagnosed with anxiety or depression.  Because the patient wants to feel their best again and resolve problems like mood disorder, insomnia, and low energy. 

One of the first options provided by physicians is prescription medications for depression or anxiety.  A class of prescription drugs called SSRIs and SNRIs is commonly prescribed to patients with anxiety or depression. 

Some of the most common SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ) prescribed for depression are:

  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Luvox
  • Paxil,
  • Zoloft

The prescription SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) medications most often prescribed for the treatment of clinical anxiety include:

  • Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Savella (milnacipran)
  • Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Fetzima (levomilnacipran)

Even though prescription medications for anxiety and depression are considered safe, there can be side effects.  And whether a patient experiences mild or severe side effects from a psychotropic medication is hard to predict.  Often, patients must try several different medications before they find one that works well for them.

Side effects from SNRIs and SSRIs used to treat anxiety and depression can be minimal or debilitating.  Prescription anxiety medications (SNRIs) may cause fatigue, constipation, insomnia, appetite loss, and sexual dysfunction.   

Depression SSRI medication side effects can include indigestion and nausea, weight loss and loss of appetite, blurred vision and dizziness, and symptoms of dry mouth. There are also some medications that conflict with SSRIs, including linezolid, MAOIs, and other medications that increase serotonin levels.  They can cause a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome


How Could Cannabinol (CBD) Help With Anxiety or Depression?

Cannabidiol (CBD) does not contain any psychoactive properties similar to marijuana.  For example, taking CBD will not cause you to be impaired.  But it can impact the body in a variety of beneficial ways. 

In a recent study conducted by OnePoll for the Forbes Health survey, 51% of Americans reported using CBD regularly to help alleviate anxiety.  The survey was collected from 2,000 American adults. 

 According to the Forbes Health survey, some clinical studies suggest that 25 to 75 milligrams per day of cannabidiol (CBD) can effectively relieve generalized anxiety and insomnia. But that estimate can vary depending on body weight, age, health conditions, prescription medications, and other factors that can reduce the efficacy of CBD.

According to some studies, full-spectrum or broad-spectrum cannabidiol supplements offer the most value.  And that is because of the combination of several helpful cannabinoids that work together (entourage effect).  A small amount of THC (0.30% or less) can also help amplify the benefits of CBD. 

Start by talking to your primary care provider (PCP) or physician about cannabidiol.  Your physician may review your health history and current medications to make sure that CBD is a safe supplement for you.


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