According to the Center for Disease Control, a staggering 49% of Americans have used a prescription medication in the last 30 days. Whether or not you are one of the millions turning to pharmaceutical everyday for your health and wellness needs, it is clear that this is a growing problem in our country that needs addressing. Luckily, many of the most popular CBD benefits make it a promising alternative to prescription pills.

While prescription pill use and abuse is rising at a concerning rate, there is good news when it comes to those seeking natural alternatives to their medical needs. A growing mountain of scientific research, along with countless firsthand accounts from real people finding relief through CBD, has made the natural compound a promising new treatment for a wide range of conditions ranging from mild to serious.

Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrin

CBD may help lessen the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. CBD has been shown  to increase levels of dopamine in the brain, which is one of the primary functions of prescription medications such as Adderall and other stimulants used to treat ADD.

CBD has also been shown to help increase anandamide, which is another important neurotransmitter in the brain. Brain scans of happy people show a higher level of anandamide, while depressed people and those with mood disorders show extremely low levels. This suggests that CBD may help treat symptoms that contribute to ADD and ADHD, without the unfavorable side effects or risk of dependency that comes with harmful stimulants.

Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft
CBD for Depression

Many people are still under the false impression that depression is simply a serotonin deficiency. While this chemical imbalance is certainly part of the equation, depression has been linked to several other neurotransmitter imbalances. Depression is also linked to conditions like inflammation, which can affect the structure of the brain as a result of trauma or stress.

With so many different avenues leading to depression, it should be no surprise that there is no single miracle cure for it. What ends up helping a person recover from depression is highly individual, and people who take a multi-pronged approach to recovery often have better results than those who depend on a single solution.

Since depression can be brought on by a host of different issues, including but not limited to pain, stressful life events, social isolation, and illness, there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach when it comes to treating the issue at the source. While most find success in a multi-pronged approach, recent studies have supported first-hand accounts that CBD is able to tackle depression at the source.

In order to understand exactly how CBD can help treat depression, it’s important to know how antidepressants work on the brain. When an individual is suffering from depression, a specific region of the brain known as the hippocampus begins to atrophy and shrink. This area is responsible for a number of the brains day-to-day functions, including not only our memory and learning but also our mood and emotions

Lucky, researchers have recently discovered that this part of the brain is also capable of recovering. It can grow new neurons and form new connections, something science previously only observed in young brains.

Antidepressants work to stimulate growth and healing in these brain neurons. Because it takes the body a while to form these new connections, it can take several weeks for antidepressants to kick in. Exciting new studies on CBD’s effect on the brain show huge promise when it comes to its ability to treat depression and the accompanying symptoms at the source.

The same area in the brain scientifically shown to improve seizures happens to be how CBD can help the brain of depressed people. Studies on both animals and humans have shown CBD treatments to reduce neuron atrophy and death in the hippocampus, as well as prevent shrinking of the hippocampus before damage is done. This makes CBD a promising substitute for antidepressants like Prozac often prescribed to do the very same thing.

Xanax, Ativan, Valium
CBD for Anxiety

While drugs are a popular choice as a treatment option for individuals suffering from depression, many of these pharmaceuticals can be highly addictive. Tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax not only carry a risk of addiction, but physical dependency and next-day grogginess have been reported by many patients reporting unfavorable side-effects.

In recent years, CBD (cannabidiol), has gained quite a bit of media attention thanks to its ability to treat a variety of both physical and mental ailments. Individuals suffering from anxiety are among the fastest growing group of users turning to CBD, reporting mood-stabilizing effects similar to those brought on by prescription anti-anxiety medications. This in turn has generated an increased interest in the scientific community, and now promising new studies exploring CBD benefits are beginning to support these positive anecdotal claims.

One study on Social Anxiety Disorder has patients simulate a public speaking test. Participants who consumed CBD reported significantly less anxiety, and heart rate and blood pressure readings supported these claims. Researchers concluded, “[CBD] significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance,” while the placebo group experienced “higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, [and] discomfort.”

Ambien, Lunesta
CBD for Sleep and Insomnia

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, the sad fact is that many of us aren’t getting the rest needed to perform at our very best. With an estimated 60 million Americans suffering from insomnia, it is clear that sleep-related disorders are a serious health issue in our country that needs addressing.

While life events such as big career or relationship changes can lead to stress and anxiety, which can cause temporary sleep disturbances, many of the root causes of insomnia can be hard to treat on their own. This can lead to deteriorating physical, mental, and emotional health which can be detrimental to a person’s overall quality of life. This leads millions of patients to seek out medical help each year, desperate for a solution to their sleep-related needs.

Many pharmaceuticals are available, both over-the-counter and with a prescription, that can temporarily alleviate some of the problems associated with poor sleep. Unfortunately, many of these patients also report unfavorable side-effects – like dependency and grogginess – that make these sleep aids an undesirable solution in the long-term.

For those seeking natural sleep, CBD is a promising alternative to pills. Not only does it help relax the mind and body by working on receptors directly associated with sleep, but because it helps regulate the brain and body’s other functions, it can also alleviate symptoms of pain and anxiety that can lead to insomnia. It is no surprise that CBD for sleep is one of the most popular CBD benefits being researched today.

Oxycontin, Vicodin, Aleve
CBD for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a serious issue in our country, with the CDC estimating that over 50 million Americans live with it everyday. Not only does this drastically reduce quality of life, but it can also affect work, relationships, mood, and much more. Common types of pain include: migraines, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and much more. While there are some home remedies to help take the edge of some of these symptoms, millions of individuals resort to strong narcotics to get through their day.

Luckily, growing research has shown that CBD could hold the key to treating this pain naturally, by attacking the problem at the source. By working directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD helps to regulate natural functions while restoring homeostasis in the body. It has been shown to reduce inflammation, which is one of the primary causes of pain in most older adults.

This endocannabinoid deficiency plays a role in a variety of difficult-to-treat conditions such as epilepsy, depression, Parkinson s, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, and much more. While research on the topic of CBD and pain is still new, it is clear based on first-hand accounts that many users begin feeling relief from a wide variety of pain-related issues once they begin using CBD.

From Pills To Plants – CBD Benefits Everyone

While CBD treatments are still relatively new in the medical community, this special plant compound has been used for centuries as a natural healer. With hundreds of new users turn to the cannabinoid every day, it is clear that CBD could be the next cure-all for those seeking a more holistic treatment solution.