The most popular reason people use CBD is to alleviate anxiety. Researchers are rightfully enthusiastic about CBD’s potential to help with everything from mild anxiety to panic attacks and disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
CBD’s anxiety-relieving effects are supported by multiple research studies. For example, one study in individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) demonstrated that CBD significantly reduced anxiety caused by public speaking. In addition, CBD is known to counteract the anxiety produced by THC, its psychoactive cousin.
Alongside anxiety, depression is the leading mental health challenge of our time. Indeed, these two disorders often go hand-in-hand. An increasing number of people are now turning to CBD as an alternative option for helping with depression and related mood issues such as lack of motivation.
Although research in this area has only just begun, studies in rodents suggest that CBD may have beneficial effects for depression.
Stress is another common health concern where CBD can be helpful. This is not surprising when we consider the interplay between stress, anxiety, and depression, which can cause or worsen one another. In particular, research shows CBD can help us deal with stress by affecting brain systems involved in stress regulation and responses.
We've all experienced how sleeping just a few hours less can negatively impact our cognitive performance for the whole day. Indeed, sleep is perhaps the single most important process for maintaining peak brainpower.
Although CBD is not a sleep aid per se, it is widely known that anxiety, stress, and depression contribute to insomnia and other sleep problems. This means CBD can enhance sleep quality in individuals prone to these issues.
Another less-discussed nootropic benefit of CBD is neuroprotection – the protection of neurons (brain cells) from damage. Neuroprotective compounds not only defend against the natural, age-related decline in cognitive function but also neurodegenerative conditions.
So far, studies in animals have shown that CBD may protect neurons from degeneration through antioxidant activity and other effects. This benefit is of particular significance to older adults.
Last but not least, another promising use for CBD is to help with substance addiction. Early animal and clinical studies show that CBD can help reduce the cravings for opioids, cocaine, psychostimulants, cannabis, tobacco, and potentially even alcohol.