Mental health is an area where conventional, mainstream research is failing, and new treatments are needed to treat disorders such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, schizophrenia and more. Historically, the thought of a cannabis-derived medicine proving an effective solution for mental health would have been laughed at, since the stigma around the herb revolved around the supposed harm that it does to mental health. But in recent decades, scientists have been able to study the specific effects of various compounds in cannabis, and particularly CBD and THC.
While THC may be useful for some conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is CBD that has demonstrated the most potential. This is because THC is psychoactive and therefore mind-altering – it may bring about euphoria and other happy emotions in the right circumstances, but paranoia and anxiety symptoms could actually be exacerbated.
Contrastingly, CBD is a non-psychoactive substance, and although it can have a positive effect on mood, it doesn’t produce any of the mind-bending effects that CBD does. With that in mind, the potential of becoming mentally dependent on CBD is minimal, as users cannot go chasing a euphoric buzz. In fact, according to the World Health Organization who gave a statement on CBD in December 2017, the compound has no abuse potential.
This deeper understanding of the cannabis plant is something we simply didn’t have in the 1960s and 70s when cannabis was in the public spotlight, and discredited. The evidence towards its medicinal benefits are compelling, even more so now that researchers are aware of the primary system that cannabis compounds function in: the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system produces its own compounds that are comparable to the cannabinoids (e.g. CBD, THC) found in cannabis. Cannabinoids do not make the same interactions in the endocannabinoid system, but in the right doses, they essentially work towards keeping it healthy. For instance, CBD helps to ensure that endocannabinoids are present in the correct levels and are being sent to the right parts of the body.
Vaping CBD is healthier than smoking
Smoking cannabis was always a popular method of consumption because of the speedy release of cannabinoids. However, despite helping medicinally, the act of smoking brought new health problems for users. Vaping CBD offers people the best of both: a rapid onset of effects without posing a threat to the health of the lungs, the skin or the rest of the body.
How does it manage this? The reduced heat involved with the vaporizing process prevents harmful products such as carcinogens from forming and being ingested into the body. The absence of smoke means no tar, and therefore nothing that can clog up the lungs.
Vaping is also a more economical way of medicating with CBD. When smoking, the burning inevitably destroys a percentage of the cannabinoids, but with no burning, this doesn’t happen when vaping CBD oil.
It’s also much easier to consume the right dose when vaping CBD oil. Medicating with the herb may feel more natural, but since the cannabinoids are ultimately going to be unevenly spread across the plant, it’s impossible to take a standardized dose. However, when you purchase a CBD vaping product, you’ll know the exactly how much cannabinoids are present, and how much you have taken. Some vaporizers will emit precisely the same amount each time, while with others you have control over the size of your draw.
Vaping CBD for anxiety
It is important to become mindful about your anxiety and when it is most likely to strike. This is because if you can anticipate it then you can easily combat it with CBD e-liquid, which can either be added to a refillable tank or consumed via CBD cartridges. Refillables gives you the option you strengthen your mix with CBD concentrates, but the cartridges are less hassle, not as messy and perhaps more suitable for portable use.
Perhaps you have an important job interview and don’t want to be fraught with nerves, or maybe there’s a social situation that may make you anxious. Taking CBD beforehand can help to alleviate overthinking and ruminating, while reducing your levels of self-consciousness for several hours.
CBD does this by boosting the levels of GABA in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that essentially tells the brain to calm down when it goes into panic mode. It’s the overactivity of the organ that contributes to needless overthinking and worry.
Sure, there are other ways of taking CBD, but as anxiety can come on suddenly, you need something that is going to rapidly reduce symptoms in the event of an anxiety attack.
By the same logic, CBD can help with depression. Preliminary studies have revealed that levels of the anti-depressant endocannabinoid anandamide are increased upon CBD consumption, and is likely what brings about the mood boost that CBD does, since it can pass through the blood-brain barrier – experts initially thought that endorphins were responsible for this. Depression may not be solvable through medication alone, but CBD treatment can help to break things up during a major depressive episode.
Vaping CBD for insomnia
The necessity of getting eight hours of sleep a night cannot be underestimated. Neuroscience has shown that the body needs deep sleep to heal the muscles and to protect the brain from damaging proteins that, over time, can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.
But for those who simply find that they’re unable to shut off in the evenings, perhaps due to some anxiety as well, vaping CBD can help to ease these symptoms of insomnia. CBD is a biphasic compound, meaning that it has varying effects depending on the dose. While a possible energizer in low doses, CBD is decidedly sedative in higher doses, making it an effective sleep agent.
Before settling down for the night, a vape session can help to relax the body, and provide the sort of body high you’d expect from an indica-dominant strain of cannabis – just without the psychoactive effects. If your sleep is being disrupted due to physical pain, then CBD can help to blunt the sensations of it, so you can become more restful.
CBD vape oil is certainly worth trialling as a treatment for various mental health disorders. It’s a unique remedy, has limited side effects – and compared to oft-prescribed drugs like benzodiazepines it’s much safer – and is helping thousands if not millions of people worldwide. The internet has allowed people to share their stories about CBD, giving more weight than ever to anecdotal reports. Science is also showing that CBD’s effects are much greater than that of a placebo.