Can CBD Help With Mental Health?

  • Researchers have found that CBD has anti-anxiety, antiepileptic, and antipsychotic properties that might help reduce depression[1].
  • In a clinical trial, 79% of the participants who used CBD experienced a reduction in anxiety[2]
  • CBD may affect how the brain reacts to serotonin[3]. An imbalance of serotonin levels may lead to mood disorders, like anxiety and depression[4].
  • CBD may help maintain anandamide (the “bliss molecule”) levels to reduce mood swings and emotional outbursts[5].
  • However, more studies are needed to support the current evidence for CBD’s potential to treat mental health conditions.

Best CBD Oils for Mental Health

Editor's Pick

Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil

Specifically formulated to be more palatable to CBD users
Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil Bottle
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Editor's Pick
  • Score breakdown
    Value
    Quality
    Strength
    Customer Service
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Effectiveness
  • Summary

    Each bottle of the 750mg CBD oil tincture contains 25mg of CBD per dropper full. The oil is peppermint flavor to mask any unpleasant tastes related to CBD.

    Pro's
    Cons's
    •  Mid-strength
    •  Natural peppermint flavor
    •  Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
    •  No other flavors
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? 20% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Kentucky, USA & North Carolina, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Full Spectrum CBD Oil
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Full Spectrum
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    Moonshine extraction method
    How to take it Under tongue
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    750 mg per bottle
    Carrier Oil Organic Hemp Seed Oil
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    25mg of CBD per dropper full (1ml)
    Drug Test Contains 0.3% THC but there is a chance you may test positive for marijuana
    Flavours Peppermint
    Price Range $89 ($75.65 for subscriptions, 15% discount from regular price)
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    $0.12/mg ($0.10/mg with subscription)
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    2-4 business days (first class USPS)
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants Organic, Non-GMO, no pesticides, no herbicides, no solvents or chemical fertilizers, No preservatives or sweeteners
    Allergens Vegan, Gluten free
    Refund policy Within 30 days
    Recommended for New CBD users
    Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
Check Latest Prices

Best Organic

NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil

Perfect for anyone who are looking for CBD products that promote a healthy body and mind.
NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Best Organic
  • Score breakdown
    Value
    Quality
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    Customer Service
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Effectiveness
  • Summary

    Natural remedy for various illnesses. NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oil is a whole-plant extract containing a full spectrum of naturally occurring synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes.

    Pro's
    Cons's
    •  Pure CBD hemp
    •  All natural
    •  Approximately 300 drops total
    •  No other flavors
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? 20% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS20
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Colorado, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, Organic Virgin Hemp Seed Oil
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Full Spectrum CBD
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2 Method
    How to take it Under the tongue for approximately 30 seconds before swallowing
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    900mg per bottle
    Carrier Oil Organic Hemp Oil
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    60mg per dropper full (1ml)
    Drug Test Contains 0.3% THC but there is a chance you may test positive for marijuana
    Flavours Natural
    Price Range $99 - $434
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    $0.08 - $0.13
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    2-3 Days via USPS
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants No additives or preservatives, Non-GMO, NO herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers
    Allergens Not specified
    Refund policy Within 30 days
    Recommended for Health-conscious persons
    Countries served USA (all 50 states) and over 40 countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, Beliza, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and many more.
Check Latest Prices

Best Value

Sabaidee Super Good Vibes CBD Oil

4x the strength of a regular cbd oil
Sabaidee Super Good Vibes CBD Oil
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Best Value
  • Score breakdown
    Value
    Quality
    Strength
    Customer Service
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Effectiveness
  • Summary

    Super Good Vibes CBD Oil provides the purest and highest quality Cannabidiol (CBD) on the market as well as other high quality phytocannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, omega fatty acids, trace minerals, and other beneficial for your health elements, which all work together to provide benefits.

    Pro's
    Cons's
    •  Extra strong
    •  Significant benefits with just a few drops
    •  100% Natural ingredients
    •  No other flavors
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? 15% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS15
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Colorado, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients Cannabidiol (CBD), Coconut Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) Oil, Peppermint oil
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Broad Spectrum
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2-extraction
    How to take it Using 1-3 servings per day as needed is a good start to determine how much you need
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    1000 mg per bottle
    Carrier Oil Coconut MCT Oil
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    33.5 mg per dropper (1ml)
    Drug Test Contains 0.3% THC but there is a chance you may test positive for marijuana
    Flavours Peppermint
    Price Range Single Bottle - $119.95, 2-Pack - $109.97 each, 3-Pack - $98.31 each, 6-Pack - $79.99 each
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    Single bottle - $0.010, 2-Pack - $0.011, 3-Pack - $0.009, 6-Pack - $0.007
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    3-5 Business days
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants Contaminant-free
    Allergens Vegan and Gluten-free
    Refund policy Within 30 days
    Recommended for Patients who are looking for serious CBD oil support
    Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
Check Latest Prices

Best Natural Alternative

cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg

Uses USA hemp that is grown on non-GMO farms, and is both vegan and gluten-free
cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Best Natural Alternative
  • Score breakdown
    Value
    Quality
    Strength
    Customer Service
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Effectiveness
  • Summary

    cbdMD’s CBD oil tinctures are made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp and MCT oil as a carrier oil. Tinctures are offered in orange, mint, natural, and berry flavors. Safe for daily use, the oil tinctures are packaged with a built-in rubber dropper to adjust CBD dosage easily. The packaging is made to be easy to transport and discreet to use.

    Pro's
    Cons's
    •  Various delicious flavors to choose from
    •  Has vegan, organic, and gluten-free ingredients
    •  Free shipping for this particular product within USA
    •  World-class customer service team
    •  cbdMD uses MCT as its carrier oil so individuals who are allergic with coconuts should consider other brand options
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? 15% Off Coupon Code: cbdMD15
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Kentucky, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients Cannabidiol (CBD), MCT Oil, and Flavoring
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Broad Spectrum
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2 extraction method
    How to take it Under tongue
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    1500mg per bottle
    Carrier Oil Organic Coconut MCT Oil
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    50mg per dropper full (1ml)
    Drug Test Containing less than 0.3% THC, there are still trace amounts
    Flavours Natural, Berry, Orange and Mint
    Price Range $99.99
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    $0.07
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    2-5 Business days (via Fedex)
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants 100% organic, non-GMO, and vegan-certified
    Allergens Vegan, Gluten free
    Refund policy Within 30 days
    Recommended for Daily CBD oil users
    Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
Check Latest Prices

Why People Are Turning to CBD for Mental Health

CBD has shown promise in initial studies as a treatment for symptoms of both anxiety and depression. As more people turn to natural alternative treatments for mental health, the interest in CBD also grows. 

Mental health includes an individual’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. It affects how one thinks, feels, and acts. 

Moreover, mental health helps determine how an individual handles stress, relates to others, and makes choices. Sometimes, people also use the term mental health to mean the absence of mental illnesses.

Mental illness can be defined as a health condition that changes a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, causing the person distress and difficulty in functioning[6]. Mental illness can be mild or severe.

There are many different mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders

According to a 2017 study, approximately 792 million people were living with a mental health disorder[7]. The number was slightly more than one in ten people globally (10.7%). 

In a 2020 survey on public health, increased levels of mental distress were found due to the COVID-19 pandemic[8].

The most prevalent mental illnesses people suffer from are anxiety and depression. 

Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear, and they may cause interference with daily activities. The symptoms include heart palpitations, high blood pressure, feelings of insecurity, panic attacks, and sleep problems[9].

Depression is one of the main affective disorders characterized by extreme sadness and hopelessness. It may sometimes develop as a secondary condition to an underlying health problem, including chronic pain syndrome, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease[10]

CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural compound derived from the cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, most CBD oils contain only trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

Trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) do not produce any psychoactive effects.

A clinical trial showed that 79% of participants who used CBD experienced a reduction in anxiety than those who used other over-the-counter drugs[11].

A 2015 study suggested that CBD may help alleviate symptoms of anxiety for several conditions. These include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)[12].

Additionally, a study published in 2018 demonstrated CBD as a potential remedy to depression[13]

Researchers examined the experimental and clinical use of CBD. They found that it showed antiepileptic and antipsychotic properties that might help reduce depression linked to stress.

Recent studies have also looked at CBD as a standalone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and supplement to traditional treatments, such as medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

These findings showed that CBD might help with PTSD symptoms, including replaying negative memories and having nightmares[14]

Furthermore, several types of research have been conducted to understand the effects and potential benefits of CBD on mental health

In a 2011 study, participants with social anxiety were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo. After ingesting CBD, participants experienced overall reduced levels of stress and anxiety[15].

A study in 2016 also reported that CBD helped with the psychotic symptoms of people with schizophrenia[16]

Researchers noted that CBD did not cause significant debilitating side effects associated with some antipsychotic drugs.

While multiple studies suggest CBD’s positive effects on mental health, further investigation is still needed to substantiate CBD’s purported benefits[17]

How CBD Oil Works to Help with Mental Health

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for the state of balance or homeostasis in the body. 

The ECS has two central cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in different parts of the body and play a specific function. 

CB1 receptors are located in the brain and are associated with cognitive actions related to thinking, coordination, memory processing, mood, and appetite. 

The therapeutic benefits of CBD are realized by their interaction with the body’s ECS and its specialized cannabinoid receptors. 

The exact way CBD affects CB1 receptors in the brain is not clearly understood. However, it is believed to alter serotonin signals.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter with an essential role in mental health

People with depression have low serotonin levels. Not having enough serotonin may cause anxiety[18]

A study reported that CBD’s antidepressant effects do not appear to increase serotonin levels. Instead, it affects how the brain responds to serotonin that is already present in the body[19].  

It is also found that CBD helps keep anandamide at the right level, reducing emotional outbursts and mood swings[20]

Anandamide is known as “the bliss molecule,” as it stabilizes emotions, controls feelings of happiness, and euphoria. 

The Pros and Cons of CBD for Mental Health

The Pros

  • CBD shows potential in reducing stress and anxiety levels[21].
  • Studies suggest that CBD is a potential remedy for depression[22]
  • Researchers have found that CBD reduced symptoms of psychosis for people with schizophrenia[23]
  • CBD may help with symptoms of post-traumatic stress. CBD may also help with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)[24].
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is generally safe for human use[25]

The Cons

  • There is inadequate evidence to prove that CBD is an effective treatment for mental health issues. 
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved CBD oil as a treatment for mental disorders.
  • Side effects of CBD may include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, drowsiness, and changes in appetite[26].
  • CBD may interact with medications or supplements[27]

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Mental Health

There is no standardized approach to mental health treatments. They vary greatly depending on the individual, the type of mental illness, and its severity. 

Aside from prescription medications and therapies, one may also try alternative and holistic treatments for mental health.

Meditation is a relaxation technique that ranges from mindfulness-based meditation, guided meditation, to simple breathing exercises. 

A Johns Hopkins study found that meditation may improve psychological stresses, such as anxiety and depression[28]

Yoga is another relaxation technique that helps with anxiety and depression. Studies concluded that practicing yoga modulates the body’s response to stress and has a long-term effect on anxiety reduction[29]

Another way to help ease stress and anxiety is through aromatherapy. A 2012 study suggested that using essential oils, like lavender, may significantly reduce blood pressure and heart rate and improve sleep quality in the long-term[30]

Similarly, CBD has been found to have antidepressant and anxiety-reducing effects[31]. Several CBD products infused with essential oils, like lavender, help promote calm and relaxation. 

How to Choose the Right CBD for Mental Health 

There are three types of CBD oil to choose from:

Full-Spectrum CBD oil contains different plant-based compounds, including phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients. These compounds work together to create an “entourage effect.”

Broad-Spectrum CBD contains multiple cannabinoids found in the hemp plant but does not contain THC

CBD Isolate contains pure CBD with no other cannabinoids

If one wants to know how to choose the best CBD oil for anxiety, there are different factors to consider.

Source of Hemp – The hemp extract may come from Colorado or some parts of Europe, for instance. One should look for CBD products derived from non-GMO, organic hemp to ensure that it is free from pesticides, or harmful contaminants. 

Extraction Method – The extraction process involves the separation of the CBD extract from the hemp plant. It may be through CO2 extraction or ethanol extraction. 

Carrier Oil – Carrier oils help increase the bioavailability or absorption rate of CBD in the body. The most common carrier oils used in CBD products are hemp seed oil and MCT oil. 

Lab Testing – Reliable CBD brands get their products tested by a third-party lab to ensure the highest quality, potency, and safety. They must also post the lab results of their CBD products on their website. 

Taste – CBD hemp oil may be unflavored or come in various flavors, such as peppermint or chocolate, to help mask the strong taste of hemp.

Company Policies – Some CBD brands, like CBDistillery and NuLeaf Naturals, provide some of the best CBD oils for anxiety. Check if they offer a money-back guarantee and research on their policies on shipping, returns, and refund. 

Legality – The use of medical marijuana is illegal on the federal level but is legal under some state laws. 

Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC are legal under federal laws but are still illegal under some state laws.

In the United States, the use of cannabis is allowed for specific medical conditions, such as epilepsy. 

Epidiolex is the first and only CBD treatment for seizures approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)[32]

CBD Dosage for Mental Health 

CBD dosage varies from person to person and depends on different factors, including age, weight, and genetics. It is advisable to consult health professionals to find a suitable starting dosage. 

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advises very few commercially available CBD products that replicate the therapeutic effects observed in clinical trials[33]

In a randomized placebo-controlled study, an oral dose of 300 mg of CBD was received by male subjects 90 minutes before undergoing a simulated public speaking test[34]. The researchers found that the dose administered was enough to reduce the speakers’ anxiety significantly. 

However, it was only a limited study. More research is needed to determine the appropriate dosage for people with anxiety symptoms

How to Take CBD for Mental Health

CBD oils may be taken as tinctures, gummies, topicals, or vapes

CBD tincture is taken sublingually by using a dropper to place the oil under the tongue. It can also be added to food and drinks, but this may affect absorption. 

CBD may also be consumed through edibles, such as CBD gummies or mints. In these forms, CBD may take up to two hours to kick in and only 20-30% of it gets absorbed[35]

Topicals include CBD-infused lotions, creams, balms, salves, and transdermal patches, which are applied directly to the skin. This method is a suitable choice for treating skin conditions or localized pain. 

Sometimes CBD oil is mixed with massage oil to provide calm and relaxation during massages and aromatherapy.

Vaping or smoking allows for better absorption of CBD into the body[36]. In this method, CBD goes directly into the bloodstream, and the effects are felt much faster[37]

However, vape use poses serious health hazards. A study showed that several lung diseases, such as collapsed lung and lipoid pneumonia, are associated with vaping[38].

Conclusion

There are many mental health illnesses, such as bipolar disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. 

Many people turn to CBD for these mental conditions because of its potential health benefits in reducing stress, anxiety, and managing depression. 

Multiple studies have demonstrated CBD’s anxiolytic, antiepileptic, and antipsychotic properties. 

Research also shows that CBD helps maintain the right levels of anandamide in the body to stabilize emotions, reduce mood swings, and emotional outbursts. 

While CBD does not increase serotonin levels directly, it affects how the brain responds to the serotonin in the body.

Still, there is not enough scientific evidence to recommend CBD as an effective treatment for symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Before buying CBD, it is still best to consult a medical professional for guidance on proper usage and dosage. 

Cannabis users should note that the use of medical cannabis is not legal in all 50 states. However, Cannabis sativa hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC are legal under federal laws. 


  1. Crippa, J. A., Guimarães, F. S., Campos, A. C., & Zuardi, A. W. (2018). Translational investigation of the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD): toward a new age. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 2009. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009/full 
  2. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series. The Permanente Journal, 23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc6326553/
  3. Sales, A. J., Crestani, C. C., Guimarães, F. S., & Joca, S. R. (2018). Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 86, 255-261.
  4. Baldwin, D., & Rudge, S. (1995). The role of serotonin in depression and anxiety. International clinical psychopharmacology.
  5. Campos, A. C., Moreira, F. A., Gomes, F. V., Del Bel, E. A., & Guimaraes, F. S. (2012). Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 367(1607), 3364-3378.
  6. Study, B. S. C., & National Institutes of Health. (2007). Information about Mental Illness and the Brain. In NIH Curriculum Supplement Series [Internet]. National Institutes of Health (US). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK20369/ 
  7. Ritchie, H. & Roser, M. (2018). Mental Health. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: https://ourworldindata.org/mental-health 
  8. Pierce, M., Hope, H., Ford, T., Hatch, S., Hotopf, M., John, A., … & Abel, K. M. (2020). Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal probability sample survey of the UK population. The Lancet Psychiatry.
  9. Wells, A., & Leahy, R. L. (1998). Cognitive therapy of anxiety disorders: A practice manual and conceptual guide.
  10.  Krishnan, K. R. R., Delong, M., Kraemer, H., Carney, R., Spiegel, D., Gordon, C., … & Cohen, P. D. (2002). Comorbidity of depression with other medical diseases in the elderly. Biological psychiatry, 52(6), 559-588.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825-836.
  13. Ibid. 
  14. Black, N., Stockings, E., Campbell, G., Tran, L. T., Zagic, D., Hall, W. D., … & Degenhardt, L. (2019). Cannabinoids for the treatment of mental disorders and symptoms of mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry, 6(12), 995-1010.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Fakhoury, M. (2016). Could cannabidiol be used as an alternative to antipsychotics?. Journal of psychiatric research, 80, 14-21.
  17.  Bitencourt, R. M., & Takahashi, R. N. (2018). Cannabidiol as a therapeutic alternative for post-traumatic stress disorder: From bench research to confirmation in human trials. Frontiers in neuroscience, 12, 502.
  18. Cowen, P. J., & Browning, M. (2015). What has serotonin to do with depression?. World Psychiatry, 14(2), 158. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc4471964/
  19. Ibid. 
  20. Ibid.
  21. Crippa, J. A. S., Derenusson, G. N., Ferrari, T. B., Wichert-Ana, L., Duran, F. L., Martin-Santos, R., … & Filho, A. S. (2011). Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 121-130. http://www.academia.edu/download/46711236/Neural_basis_of_anxiolytic_effects_of_ca20160622-8056-14aolkn.pdf
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid.
  26. World Health Organization (WHO). (2018). Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf
  27. Machado Bergamaschi, M., Helena Costa Queiroz, R., Waldo Zuardi, A., & Crippa, A. S. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current drug safety, 6(4), 237-249.
  28. Brown, J. D., & Winterstein, A. G. (2019). Potential adverse drug events and drug–drug interactions with medical and consumer cannabidiol (CBD) use. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(7), 989.
  29. Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E. M., Gould, N. F., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R., … & Ranasinghe, P. D. (2014). Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA internal medicine, 174(3), 357-368.
  30. Gururaja, D., Harano, K., Toyotake, I., & Kobayashi, H. (2011). Effect of yoga on mental health: Comparative study between young and senior subjects in Japan. International Journal of Yoga, 4(1), 7.
  31. Chien, L. W., Cheng, S. L., & Liu, C. F. (2012). The effect of lavender aromatherapy on autonomic nervous system in midlife women with insomnia. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, 2012.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Rubin, R. (2018). The path to the first FDA-approved cannabis-derived treatment and what comes next. Jama, 320(12), 1227-1229.
  34. Armentano, P. (2006). The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (www. norml. org).
  35. Linares, I. M., Zuardi, A. W., Pereira, L. C., Queiroz, R. H., Mechoulam, R., Guimaraes, F. S., & Crippa, J. A. (2019). Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 41(1), 9-14.
  36. Paudel, K. S., Hammell, D. C., Agu, R. U., Valiveti, S., & Stinchcomb, A. L. (2010). Cannabidiol bioavailability after nasal and transdermal application: effect of permeation enhancers. Drug development and industrial pharmacy, 36(9), 1088-1097. https://doi.org/10.3109/03639041003657295 
  37. Ibid.
  38.  Broderick, S. (2020). What Does Vaping Do to Your Lungs? Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/what-does-vaping-do-to-your-lungs

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Prevention & Awareness

Struggling with Anxiety? Try Taking a Tap Class

August 11, 2016 August 10, 2016 Lauren Abdill

 

I’ve been living with terrible anxiety since I was a little girl. As I’ve grown older, I’ve tried a ton of remedies — yoga, coloring books, talk therapy, medication, meditation, mindfulness, massage therapy, aromatherapy and all the self-care and self-help books I could find. And I’ve got to be honest with you all, my dear blog readers — none of them hold a candle to tap dance.

 

I danced when I was young and tap was always my favorite class. Since I’m about to start grad school (as well as an intense internship), I decided to re-visit the great art of tap dance so I had some kind of physical outlet during this stressful period.

 

I’ve only been taking classes for a few weeks and it’s already done wonders for my anxiety.  Here are 4 ways tap dance has helped me — and 4 reasons you should try it, too.

 

  1. You get to let out all of your frustrations.

 

The whole crux of tap dancing is stomping your feet on the ground — which is incredibly cathartic for someone who’s dealing with intense anxiety or stress. You can physically release all the pent-up feelings that us anxious folks typically hold onto.

 

  1. You really work up a sweat. 

 

I really wasn’t anticipating this, but you get sweaty during a tap class. Why? Because it’s exercise. And as we all know, exercise is great for anxiety (and depression!). It releases endorphins and increases body temperature, which can have a calming effect. I’ve never been an exerciser; I hate running and don’t at all enjoy going to the gym. So it’s awesome to finally have some kind of work-out routine and get those health benefits from doing physical exercise.

 

  1. It requires you to concentrate on something other than your anxiety. 

 

Tap dance requires a lot of mental concentration; you have to think carefully about which part of your foot is hitting the floor on which count, how fast you’re transitioning from foot-to-foot, etc. It’s amazing to walk into a tap class and have all your worries melt away — mostly because there’s no room in your head, since you’re trying to get that combination down.

 

  1. It’s a great way to meet people. 

 

I moved to a new state almost a year ago and still haven’t met a ton of people (mostly because I work from home, running this blog you’re reading!). I can be shy around new people and don’t like putting myself out there, but tap class has been a great way to make friends in a low-stress environment. Everyone is there to have fun; we’re all beginners, so it’s not a competition; we laugh at ourselves when we mess up and cheer each other when we nail a step. It’s nice to have a little community.

 

 coping self-care tap dance

 

Tag: anxiety

Reflection and Resilience

December 20, 2017 December 20, 2017 Brooke Hubbard

Can you believe it’s already December? Before we know it, 2017 will have passed and 2018 will be on its way. As is such, many of my friends, family members, and classmates have begun reminiscing and reflecting on the ups and downs that came with 2017. And I’ve been reflecting as well, though more about…

 

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Campus Mental Health “Crisis” or “Opportunity”?

December 18, 2017 Laura Horne

 

We see it every day in the headlines: “The Hidden Mental Health Crisis in America’s Schools.” “Everyone One Must Confront Our Mental Health Crisis.” “Are We Facing a Campus Mental Health Epidemic?” Many of these publications are referring to a challenge many U.S. colleges and universities are facing today due to a mix of factors.…

 

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What the Holidays Can Be Like With a Mental Illness

December 12, 2017 December 20, 2017 Active Minds Staff

 

For many, the holidays season is the best, most joyous time of the year. For others, it’s the opposite. Living with a mental illness is tough. And it’s even harder when you’re expected to be all happy and jolly, loving life with your friends and family. It’s hard to explain how an atmosphere of happiness…

 

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EXPECTO PATRONUM! A Spell or a mantra?

July 18, 2017 Pablo Campos

 

Ever since being introduced to the Harry Potter books in elementary school I’ve felt a strong connection to the magical world that has taken me beyond that which I sometimes feel with my real life acquaintances. Attending book and movie releases helped me have something to look forward to, the characters’ growth something to guide…

 

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Racism is Making Us Sick

May 5, 2017 Laura Horne

Help and hope are available. Over the last 14 years, Active Minds has empowered students facing mental health struggles to share their stories to let others know they’re not alone and to spread that message: help and hope are available. During my time as a member of the Active Minds team, I’ve come to recognize…

 

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Life is not a Trajectory

October 25, 2016 October 25, 2016 Ava Mirzadegan

This morning, as I sat down at my brand new cubicle here at the Active Minds National Headquarters, I realized that I forgot my mug in the lobby of my apartment building. I quickly texted my mom to see if she could grab it for me. She replied that she could, and I started to go…

 

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The Only Way Out is In

September 22, 2016 September 7, 2016 Colleen Coffey

This post was written by Dr. Colleen Coffey, a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. I think that mental health issues exist on a spectrum. I mean this, of course, in the context of the range of issues we all face and the spectrum of severity of diagnoses I also mean this as it…

 

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Mental Health News Round-Up: July 15

July 15, 2016 July 14, 2016 Lynn Brantley

Pokemon Go Having Unintended and Amazing Effects on Players’ Mental Health Who would’ve thought we’d hear “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” again? Who would’ve thought a video game would be beneficial to your mental health? Pokemon Go is an interactive app where users can walk around outside and catch different Pokemon. It has encouraged people to…

 

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How Active Minds Changed My College Career

June 27, 2016 June 22, 2016 Hannah Metzger

Hannah Metzger is a former member of Active Minds at West Chester University and is currently serving as a summer intern for the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. The transition into college is rarely a quick and easy one to make. You go from the comfort of your hometown and people you’ve known for years to a…

 

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Stress Less Week: Am I An Imposter?

April 21, 2016 April 18, 2016 Maggie Bertram

Have you ever felt like an imposter? Like any minute you’ll be found out for the fraud you really are? That the extraordinary talent everyone says you have is really just average, and you can’t really achieve what they expect? Me, too. And it’s caused me anxiety my entire life.

 

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anxiety

The White Balloon Could be Coming to Your Campus

By Libbi Ethier

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white balloonLooking for a creative way to start a conversation about mental health and engage a large population in your community or on your campus? Active Minds at Rochester Institute of Technology may have found one of the most creative ways yet to engage their campus, get the word out about their chapter, and educate their peers at the same time: they brought The White Balloon to their campus.

 

The goal of this program was to inform peers about the proportion of college students who live with mental illness in the United States. They accomplished this goal in three ways: balloons, mystery, and social media.

 

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 Date October 15, 2015

 Author Libbi Ethier

 Tags anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, mental health, Mental Health 

 

Awareness Month, programming, Schizophrenia, substance abuse, suicide prevention

Suicide Prevention Month: Reasons to Stay

By Alyse Ruriani

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This post is part of a Suicide Prevention Month blog series. Read the other blogs here.

 

IMG_1297I am alive.

 

Some days, this surprises me. I think of all that has happened in the 20.5 years of my life and am shocked to find myself still standing, still breathing, heart still beating. If you asked me a couple years ago if I would live to see 21, I would have laughed in your face. I would have said that my illnesses would probably take me before I even reached 18.

 

My illnesses are not physical; they are mental. That does not mean that they are any less serious, life-threatening, or difficult. It means that everyday I was fighting a battle against myself. I was at war with my own being and that was difficult on its own.

 

At age 17, after spending three years trying to balance my eating disorder, depression, borderline personality, anxiety, and self injury alongside of high school and being a “normal” teenager, I decided it was time to give up. I was tired of trying medication after medication. I was tired of going through so many different therapists. I was tired of fighting. I thought that it was never going to get better and that treatment was failing me. I felt hopeless. Continue Reading

 

 Date September 14, 2015

 Author Alyse Ruriani

 Tags anxiety, depression, eating disorders, recovery, suicide attempt survivor, suicide prevention, suicide prevention month

 

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: 1 Video and 5 Main Findings

By Vanessa Volpe

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The mental health of the Black undergraduate community is vitally important. After talking with several student-led campus organizations, myself and a team of passionate undergraduate students created this video to encourage dialogue about mental health challenges, stigma, and resources both on campus and nationally.

 

In addition to sharing this video, I’m excited to share with you some of the main findings of my Emerging Scholars Fellowship research!

 

#1. Racial discrimination is still an important risk factor related to mental health symptoms of anxiety and depression for Black college students. Interestingly, different aspects of the experience of racial discrimination were related to different mental health symptoms.

 

Graph1

 

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 Date June 16, 2015

 Author Vanessa Volpe

 Tags African American Community, anxiety, coping, depression, Emerging Scholars 

 

Fellowship, gender identity, John Henry, race, stigma

Mental Health News Round Up: June 5

By Kathryn DeWitt

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Anxious Students Strain College Mental Health Centers

A new report from Penn State reveals that anxiety is biggest concern for students seeking help at campus counseling centers. Counseling centers work to alleviate the pressures of the influx of students and provide innovative ways to encourage de-stressing.

 

Did John Nash’s schizophrenia boost his ‘beautiful mind’?

John Nash, the mathematician who rose to fame with the movie “A Beautiful Mind,” recently passed away with his wife in a car accident.  As people begin to investigate his legacy, a debate about mental health disorders and creativity emerges. 

 

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 Date June 5, 2015

 Author Kathryn DeWitt

 Tags anxiety, bipolar disorder, mental health news, Schizophrenia, substance abuse

 

Chapter of the Month: Occidental College

By Jaclyn Webber

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1425555_253282681496020_167931192_nOccidental College has been named Chapter of the Month for May! Their stigma-fighting techniques have caught our eye and we want every chapter to know about them, too.

 

Active Minds at Occidental College did not rest for a minute this spring semester, working continuously to break the barriers to mental health services on campus.

 

In addition to leading a diverse panel of 10 students who spoke openly about their mental health issues to a large classroom of peers, the chapter was also recently recognized for their on-campus advocacy for the addition of a peer mentoring program in the counseling center.

 

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 Date May 22, 2015

 Author Jaclyn Webber

 Tags anxiety, depression, eating disorders, membership, mental health, mood disorders, 

 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, programming, Recruitment, stigma, student life, substance abuse, treatment

Mental Health News Round-Up: May 22

By Kathryn DeWitt

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Colleges Relieve Pressure Post Suicides

In a Huffington Post Live interview, Active Minds at MIT, Active Minds national office, and the Jed Foundation discussed the multi-faceted pressures college students face, administrative policies about leaves, and help seeking behaviors.  The video is well worth a watch for all StigmaFighters working to change the conversation about mental health.

 

A Commencement Speech For The Already Graduated: Be Courageous

In honor of commencement speeches, one Forbes author has advice for graduates and non-graduates alike: be courageous because anxiety is inevitable. Finding healthy ways to cope with anxiety should be our goal.

 

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 Date May 22, 2015

 Author Kathryn DeWitt

 Tags anxiety, depression, media, mental health news, PTSD, stigma, suicide prevention, treatment, veteran mental health

 

Mental Health News Round Up: April 24

By Kathryn DeWitt

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The New Yorker Festival 2012 – In Conversation – Lena Dunham Talks With Emily NussbaumLena Dunham Tackles The Stigma Of Mental Health With A ‘Workout Selfie’

In an Instagram photo of herself, Lena Dunham talks about her own history with obsessive compulsive disorder to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. She also advocates for those experiencing mental health disorders to try exercise.

 

Mental Health, Drug Treatment Will Be “A Big Part” Of Clinton’s Campaign

After hearing about mental health from varying constituent groups, Hillary Clinton has promised to make mental health and substance abuse issue a large part of her campaign. In her own words, “I think a lot of people are thinking, Well, that’s somebody else’s problem. That’s not my problem. And indeed, it is all of our problem.”

 

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 Date April 24, 2015

 Author Kathryn DeWitt

 Tags anxiety, mental health, mental health news, recovery, stigma, stress

 

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Stigmas, Barriers and The Importance of Having the Conversation

By Vanessa Volpe

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The most enlightening and enriching experiences of my project so far have arisen from opportunities to have conversations with campus student groups about mental health in the Black undergraduate student community.

 

Presentation1

 

In these sessions I first asked students to help me brainstorm what barriers they saw to talking about mental health and seeking mental health support in the Black undergraduate community. Some of the most common barriers students mentioned were:

 

Financing campus mental health services – uncertainty about payments, only a certain number of sessions for free, what happens after graduation

Feeling like one needs to be perfect

Not feeling like there’s enough time in the day

Not seeing people of color seeking mental health support or working at places that provide mental health support

pres 3 and 4

Here are photos of UNC’s Active Minds Chapter in front of their brainstorming boards.

 

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 Date April 21, 2015

 Author Vanessa Volpe

 Tags African American Community, anxiety, depression, Emerging Scholars Fellowship, race, stigma

 

Mental Health News Round-Up: April 17

By Kathryn DeWitt

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downloadWorking Through Depression: Many Stay On The Job, Despite Mental Illness

Two people talk about depression and the considerations to take with disclosure at the work place. Another gem from this interview “But it’s important to remember that [external events affecting mood is] not how depression happens for everyone.”

 

How a Transgender Teen’s Cries for Help on Reddit and Tumblr Powered a Movement Against ‘Conversion Therapy’

Having experienced and decried conversion therapy, Leelah Alcorn begged for the world to “fix society” in her last post on tumblr.  With traction from mounting from an online petition bearing Alcorn’s name, the White House supports the efforts to ban conversion therapy at the state level.

 

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 Date April 17, 2015

 Author Kathryn DeWitt

 Tags anxiety, depression, eating disorders, LGBTQ, mental health news, research, treatment

 

Stress Less Week: Download These Mental Health Apps Today

By Chapters Team

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mental-health-apps-SFWADDealing with a specific mental health issue? Anxious at work? Just feeling more down than usual? There’s an app for that!

 

Thanks to Active Minds at the University of Rochester for putting together this extensive list of mental health-related mobile apps. Refer back to this list whenever life gets tough!

 

Reminder: These apps are not substitutes for clinical assistance. If you’re feeling suicidal or are experiencing a mental health emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK. 

 

Anxiety and Stress

 

Beat Panic

Beat Social Phobia (iTunes/Android)

BellyBio Interactive Breathing

BioZen

iStress

Worry Box- Anxiety Self Help

Stop Panic & Anxiety Self Help

SAM – Self Help for Anxiety Management

Panic Aid

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 Date April 17, 2015

 Author Chapters Team

 Tags anxiety, autism, mental health, self-harm prevention, stress, stress less week, suicide prevention, Technology

 

Tag: separation anxiety

Did You Hear about the Rose that Grew from Concrete?

May 3, 2017May 3, 2017Janae David

 

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Provin Nature’s laws wrong it learned how to walk without Havin feet Funny it seems but, by keepin its dreams It, learned to breathe FRESH air Long live the rose that grew from concrete When no one else even cared No…

 

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