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Can CBD improve your mood?



There has already been positive research into how CBD can help with conditions such as anxiety and depression

From depression and anxiety to chronic pain, CBD is used to treat a wide variety of mental and physical health issues – but can it improve your mood?

While research into the topic, and particularly how CBD works to affect your mood, is still ongoing, most of the signs would point to a simple answer of ‘yes’.

CBD impacts mood by interacting with the endocannabinoid system – a network of receptors found throughout the body which can contribute to mood disorders when not working properly. With CBD not causing a high like THC, it’s likely that those who use it will notice the absence of negative emotions and triggers, rather than temporary euphoria.

It has already been demonstrated that the use of CBD can improve sleep, which we’re sure most insomnia sufferers will agree is a huge mood booster in itself. Research published in 2019, which looked at whether CBD improved sleep or reduced anxiety in its 72 subjects, found that in the first month, 66.7 per cent reported better sleep. 

In terms of conditions like depression, experts believe that CBD’s benefits for mental health are related to its positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain.

Low serotonin levels are generally connected to depression, and while CBD doesn’t necessarily boost these levels, it may affect how your brain’s chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that’s already in your system. 

An animal study conducted in 2014 found that CBD’s effects on these receptors in the brain produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, both of which can contribute to an improved mood. 

A 2018 review of existing studies by Crippa, Guimaraes, Campos and Zuardi concluded that CBD has anti-stress effects, which can improve low mood when its reason is due to stress.

The team said: “CBD is a useful and promising molecule that may help patients with a number of clinical conditions. Controlled clinical trials with different neuropsychiatric populations that are currently under investigation should bring more important answers in the near future.”

Anxiety is also thought to be linked to low serotonin, so CBD’s effect on receptors may also explain its effect on mood in relation to this, too. 

One study found that people who took 600 milligrams of CBD experienced significantly less social anxiety than participants who took a placebo. 

Improved quality of life is also a very positive boost for overall mood, and is something which was linked to CBD usage in a 2020 study. Researchers evaluated the remedy’s effects on 397 adults living in New Zealand, where participants received medical CBD for a variety of ailments, including mental health. 

All groups studied reports improvement in their overall quality of life after three weeks of treatment and 70 per cent reported some level of satisfaction with CBD, ranging from good to excellent. 

While research is ongoing, it would appear that CBD can improve feelings of relaxation and offer gentle mood improvement for those who need it, and further studies should only strengthen these claims. 

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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