Updated: 6 days ago
If you have struggled to find an effective product that contains CBD for anxiety or depression, you are not alone. With the addition of CBG to the hemp product marketplace, things get even more confusing. When it comes to treating stress, anxiety, and depression, both CBD and CBG (cannabigerol) are strong contenders. Both cannabinoids have demonstrated the potential to influence mood regulation, providing calming effects and helping to reduce feelings of anxiousness. But how do they compare? There's a long list of benefits available from CBD and CBG products which may have led to some skepticism about the benefits of cannabinoids. Many people think because CBD companies tout their products as a cure-all that, it must be snake oil or a marketing ploy. You may be asking how it is possible for one product to work for so many people with so many different issues.
As remarkable as it might sound, the Endocannabinoid system (ECS) wasn't discovered by modern medicine until 1988. We now know that your ECS is a master control system for a myriad of body functions like blood sugar and hormone regulation, immune functions, pain centers, and metabolic functions, among others. It seems remarkable that a major system in the human body went undiscovered for so long, but here we are. When cannabinoids interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your ECS, they can have wide-ranging effects. Exactly how that happens is still left to be discovered, but it does not mean that the numerous beneficial effects people report aren't very real.
CBD for stress, anxiety, and depression
CBD is the most widely studied cannabinoid for mental health issues, with numerous studies concluding that it may help to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and influencing the production of serotonin in the brain – a neurotransmitter associated with positive mood states (Source).
Studies have found that CBD oil may be effective in reducing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD shows up during the winter when some retreat indoors and out of the cold. Even if you get outside often to work or play in the wintertime, you can be affected. With shortened days and reduced skin exposure to sunlight, our vitamin D levels are significantly decreased. The shortened daylight may also affect Melatonin levels which play a key role in our sleep/wake cycle, and Serotonin which greatly affects our mood. CBD may help your ECS optimize these important hormones while reducing levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the body. Several studies have concluded that CBD may have a rapid and sustained antidepressant effect on the brain by inducing cellular and molecular changes in the body related to depression (Source).
One important study found that CBD extracts helped reduce generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms. Out of 72 participants in the study, 79% showed decreased anxiety scores throughout the study (Source). This is significant and incredibly promising for those of us struggling with anxiety.
Studies have shown that CBD may also help reduce symptoms of PTSD by reducing anxiety and improving sleep, which are two common symptoms of the disorder. CBD works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. By regulating these functions, CBD can help reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms and improve an individual's overall quality of life.
In addition to reducing anxiety and improving sleep, CBD has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. This is particularly important for individuals with PTSD, as inflammation has been linked to an increased risk of developing mental health disorders.
Another benefit of CBD is its ability to increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a key role in regulating mood and emotion. Individuals with PTSD often have low levels of serotonin, which can contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression. By increasing serotonin levels, CBD can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of these mental health disorders.
How much CBD should I take?
CBD is wonderful, but prescribing a one-size-fits-all dose or delivery route is tough. Because cannabinoids react a little differently depending on your body chemistry, metabolism, and the route of delivery, finding the perfect CBD for anxiety and stress can take some time and trial and error. While many of our customers report incredible benefits from CBD, whether it is a CBD gummy or our CBD tincture, some people have better results with one of our CBG products. Reading our product descriptions, blogs, and testimonials can help you purchase the right product for you. We strive to give you as much detail and scientific evidence as possible, but you may still have to experiment a little with the dose you are taking and give the product time to work. Some people may have to wait a few weeks to see the benefits of CBD that they are looking for. You can also read our blog on CBD dosing for information on where to start your journey.
What if you have given high-quality CBD products the old college try, and they're just not working? CBG might work better for you.
CBG for stress, anxiety, and depression
CBG's effects are slightly different than those of CBD. Like CBD, CBG is a cannabinoid that interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system. However, CBG is the so-called "mother" cannabinoid, which means it plays a role in the biosynthesis of other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. This unique property may make CBG effective at treating a wide range of conditions in a way that CBD can't.
A survey of people using CBG for a wide range of conditions showed that most of the participants using CBG products rated their condition as "much improved" or "very much improved" (Source). This is in line with what we have heard anecdotally from our customers. Many people report that they have better relief of symptoms using CBG products like our CBG tinctures vs. more well-known CBD products.
While CBG research is still in its early stages, some studies have suggested that this cannabinoid may be better at reducing stress-induced behaviors like fearfulness or anxiousness than other cannabinoids like CBD. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that CBG may be able to reduce inflammation in the brain which could be beneficial for those suffering from depression.
Several studies have examined the effects of CBG on mood disorders like stress, anxiety, and depression (Source). One compelling study found that CBG was able to significantly reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in rats. Taken together, these studies suggest that CBG may be an effective treatment for stress, anxiety, and depression.
Is THC beneficial for mental health?
The relationship between THC, the primary psychoactive component in cannabis, and mental health has been a topic of much debate and research. While some studies have suggested that THC can be helpful in treating certain mental health conditions, others have warned of the potential negative effects it can have on mental health.
One study found that low doses of THC can have positive effects on depression and anxiety. However, high doses of THC have been associated with increased symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is important to note that the effects of THC on mental health can vary depending on the individual and the specific mental health condition being treated.
THC has been found to cause a temporary increase in psychotic symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking. This can be particularly concerning for individuals who suffer from conditions such as schizophrenia, as THC can worsen their symptoms and potentially lead to further complications.
While the relationship between THC and psychosis is not yet fully understood, researchers have made significant progress in recent years. One study found that individuals with a family history of schizophrenia who used cannabis were more likely to develop the condition than those who did not use cannabis. This suggests that there may be a genetic component to the relationship between THC and psychosis.
It is important to note that not all individuals who use cannabis will experience negative effects on their mental health. However, for those who are already predisposed to psychosis, it is important to exercise caution when using cannabis or to avoid it altogether.
Despite the potential risks, some researchers have suggested that THC may have potential benefits for certain mental health conditions. For example, a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that THC may be effective in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One of the main benefits of THC for PTSD is its potential to reduce anxiety. THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which plays a role in regulating anxiety and fear. When THC is ingested, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation. You should be aware that products that combine THC with CBD can reduce the potential for increased anxiety.
Another benefit of THC for PTSD is its potential to reduce nightmares. Many people with PTSD experience vivid and disturbing nightmares, which can cause further anxiety and sleep disturbances. THC has been shown to decrease the frequency and intensity of nightmares in people with PTSD, allowing them to get a better night's sleep.
THC may also help to reduce hyperarousal, a common symptom of PTSD characterized by an exaggerated startle response and increased heart rate. By promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety, THC may help reduce hyperarousal symptoms and improve the overall quality of life for people with PTSD.
Thanks to the previous legal status of cannabis and the continued efforts of prohibitionists, performing studies on all cannabinoids has been difficult. Still, our customers have reported incredible results with our CBD and CBG products. The decision of which cannabinoid is better for treating stress, anxiety, and depression ultimately comes down to what works for you. It’s important to understand that the effects of cannabinoids can vary from person to person, so it may be worth trying both before making a decision. Regardless, if you are suffering from any mental health disorder, it’s always best to speak with your healthcare provider about the treatment options available.
Disclaimer: The Blackhouse Botanicals Blog is for informational purposes only and does not replace professional medical advice. While we strive to provide quality links and studies, using the information in this blog or materials linked from this blog is at the user’s own risk. Users should seek professional medical advice for any medical condition they may have. By using blackhousebotanicals.com, the user agrees that this website does not constitute a replacement for health and fitness advice from a professional provider.
El-Alfy AT, Ivey K, Robinson K, Ahmed S, Radwan M, Slade D, Khan I, ElSohly M, Ross S. Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Jun;95(4):434-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.03.004. Epub 2010 Mar 21. PMID: 20332000; PMCID: PMC2866040.
García-Gutiérrez MS, Navarrete F, Gasparyan A, Austrich-Olivares A, Sala F, Manzanares J. Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders. Biomolecules. 2020 Nov 19;10(11):1575. doi: 10.3390/biom10111575. PMID: 33228239; PMCID: PMC7699613.
Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-041. PMID: 30624194; PMCID: PMC6326553.
Russo EB, Cuttler C, Cooper ZD, Stueber A, Whiteley VL, Sexton M. Survey of Patients Employing Cannabigerol-Predominant Cannabis Preparations: Perceived Medical Effects, Adverse Events, and Withdrawal Symptoms. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Oct;7(5):706-716. doi: 10.1089/can.2021.0058. Epub 2021 Sep 27. PMID: 34569849; PMCID: PMC9587780.
Borrelli F, Fasolino I, Romano B, Capasso R, Maiello F, Coppola D, Orlando P, Battista G, Pagano E, Di Marzo V, Izzo AA. The beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease. Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 May 1;85(9):1306-16. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2013.01.017. Epub 2013 Feb 12. PMID: 23415610.