Serotonin affects your mood, appetite, digestion, sleep, and memory. It’s one of the most common neurotransmitters in the human body. Lack of serotonin is associated with chronic depression, stress, and anxiety. A new solution may help you feel better, naturally.
Cannabidiol or CBD is a compound derived from cannabis or hemp plants. It’s non-psychoactive, but new science is emerging which suggests taking CBD may provide relief for a wide range of health conditions.
How CBD Works
CBD triggers serotonin receptors throughout the body, producing the same systemic effects of serotonin itself.
Normally, when serotonin triggers a receptor, it can “bounce back” and trigger an autoreceptor as well. This system is the body’s way of preventing too much serotonin from being released.
Serotonin acts to inhibit fear and anxiety. It controls blood pressure and limits cortisol, the “stress” hormone. Serotonin moderates oxytocin, the “happy” hormone, and regulates human growth hormone. Having the proper level of serotonin in your system is essential to your health and happiness.
Because CBD is able to perform the same functions as serotonin, without triggering the body to limit serotonin release and without causing serotonin syndrome, CBD has the potential to treat a wide range of health conditions. It can do that without any significant side effects.
Finding Relief: How to Start CBD
Depending on the method you choose to take CBD, it may act quickly to relieve acute symptoms or it may provide a slower but longer-lasting effect. Dosage may also vary based on your symptoms or general health. This means that it’s always best to talk with your doctor before trying CBD.
You can take CBD as:
- Pill or supplement
- Lotion or ointment
- Oral tincture
- Vapor with an e-cigarette or vape pen
What Does CBD Treat?
Anxiety & Depression
Stress can actually cause lower serotonin production, causing anxiety and depression. This relationship can put people in a downward spiral as their stress levels feed into a serotonin deficit and vice versa.
Nearly 15 million adults in the United States deal with major depression. Another 40 million have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. And that doesn’t include people who have yet to seek treatment. CBD can help to reduce stress, social anxiety, and treat depression.
Sleep problems are often associated with anxiety, stress or depression and treating the underlying condition may improve your symptoms. Let’s face it, most of us aren’t getting enough sleep and nearly 1 in 3 adults suffer from insomnia. CBD can help treat insomnia and improve your REM sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed.
Nausea & Vomiting
CBD may help cancer patients by reducing nausea, even when traditional nausea treatments offer no relief. Even better, as an appetite stimulant, CBD may help patients recover faster.
CBD can also help with other causes of nausea. Nearly half of migraine sufferers experience nausea and up to 60% of people suffer from motion sickness. CBD may be able to help relieve their symptoms.
Appetite & Weight Loss
Though CBD can act as an appetite stimulant, it won’t give you “the munchies”. In fact, CBD may aid in weight loss efforts by reducing your sugar cravings. It can also moderate appetite by treating the underlying conditions causing unhealthy binging or loss of appetite. The list includes depression, migraines, and chronic pain.
Chronic Pain & Inflammation
In the United States, 40 million adults have experienced some form of severe pain. More than half of that number feel pain daily. CBD can reduce pain and inflammations associated with damaged nerves, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer. It can also be effective in treating some types of pain that don’t respond to traditional western medicine.
One of the most extreme claims of CBD proponents is that it could fight drug addiction. Early studies have shown that the use of CBD reduces the rate of relapse and drug-seeking behaviors.
In 2015, over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 had substance abuse disorders and 52,404 people died from drug overdoses. Although more research is needed, CBD can be a key to treating addiction.
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Author: Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.