Can CBD be effective in supporting your mental health?
Sophia Ali co-founder of Amma Life shares her views on supporting your mental health through the use of CBD oil and other methods, here
Just like physical health, we all have our mental health to look after and nurture. Often it can be as simple as talking an issue through with a friend, but sometimes our mental health may need some extra support.
Over recent years the use of CBD to support good mental health has been investigated by several researchers. CBD (Cannabidiol) is a type of compound called a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more famous cannabinoid cousin, THC, CBD does not have any intoxicating effect and some people report it can actually aid concentration and focus.
It seems that CBD can calm the brain and support the hippocampus, which is an area of the brain that is important for processing healthy emotions and storing memories. A daily intake of CBD can boost our wellbeing and help us to maintain a healthy emotional state.
CBD is known to optimise both physical and mental health. This has been linked to observations that CBD may boost the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is the vast network of cell receptor sites and cannabis-like chemicals found in the brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and gut. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating every aspect of our health including appetite, reproduction, mood, sleep, cell growth, and the immune system.
Studies have shown that CBD can be an effective way for some people to support their mental health by easing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. (Linda A Parker, Cambridge, mitpress.mit.edu/books/cannabinoids-and-brain)
CBD supplements can be helpful when taken alongside other lifestyle choices to support your overall health and wellbeing.
These are my top tips for looking after your mental health:
Create time to hang out with your friends
Spending time with your friends helps you to relax and unwind. Sometimes this is the first thing we cut out when we are busy, though we should always make some time to socialise. Whether it’s having a chat and a few laughs over a cup of CBD tea or going to the gym together, we don’t need studies to reveal that time spent with a friend can reduce the body’s stress response, lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Biohack your mindset
This may sound like some futuristic activity, but it is really about understanding the process of making changes to your lifestyle in order to “hack” your body’s biology and feel your best. One simple way to do this is to focus on 5 things you are grateful for every night just before bed. This encourages you to recognise all of the positive things that occur in your life and view the world through the glass is half-full lense (as opposed to half-empty).
Another technique is to get outside and exercise regularly – exercise is incredibly beneficial for your body & mindset. It is about much more than helping you to keep physically fit and healthy. Any exercise that is good for your body is good for your mental wellbeing too. Try doing 30 minutes of daily exercise – preferably outside for a double boost to your health.
Physical activity increases the brain’s production of endorphins, before and after the workout. This neurotransmitter has a positive effect on your mood, thus making you happier and decreasing stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, getting into the zone – the intense focus you maintain during many forms of exercise, can be viewed as a form of physical meditation. As it often helps you to forget about unimportant irritations and helps to retrain your mind to remain clearer and calmer in future stressful situations. These are simple forms of bio-hacking to help you work with your biology to ensure it works to support you.
Take regular CBD supplements
Taken regularly, CBD supplements can help to support well-being and maintain optimal health. From adding a few drops to a drink or placing some CBD paste onto the tongue, CBD can help you to relax and wake up feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep.
Studies show that meditating regularly, even just for 10 minutes a day can support you to be generally happier and more satisfied with your life. If you are new to meditation there are several apps available that can lead you through a practice.
Drinking plenty of water has many documented health benefits including maximising physical performance, improving brain function and energy levels.
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