Men’s Mental Health & CBD

The World Health Organization conceptualizes mental health as being in a state where an individual can realise his own abilities and can cope with life’s pressure and stress. As a result, they can work productively towards promoting the community’s welfare

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the oldest (and remains to be “new”) supplements out there. In recent times, many men have shown interest and growing concern in CBD. Besides concerns about their mental health, many tend to worry about its safety, legality, and what they can do with it.

What is CBD?

CBD is amongst cannabis’ many compounds that can be extracted from mature hemp plants. Unlike THC, CBD does not present any psychoactive effects. Hence it does not present the “high” or stoned feeling after smoking. In fact, in some cases, CBD is used to counteract THC’s psychoactive effects.

In a recent report released by the WHO, cannabidiol use in men cannot lead to addiction or dependence. For the several instances that it has been used, there have been no reports on mental problems in men resulting from smoking legal CBD.

Research On UK Men’s Mental Health

Numbers don’t lie! In joint research between Swansea, Cambridge, Strathclyde University, and The UK mental Health foundation, repeated cross-sectional studies were carried out over the men population to understand the effects of Covid and lockdown on men’s mental health. 

As reported, the prevalence of mental health-related problems increased significantly amongst men in the UK during the first lockdown compared to pre-pandemic years. The first lockdown came as a result of the first Covid wave in the UK.

In mid-March, (wave 1) before the first lockdown:

  • 62% of the adult population felt worried and anxious
  • 30% of men were living with fear, while 22% of the population panicked.

Some of the major factors contributing to mental health-related issues include separation from friends, self-isolation, and the fear of the unknown while men were trying to cope with the uncertainties.

In Wave 2 (early April), which was just a week into the lockdown, there were more cases of mental health-related issues like stress and depression.

  • One in every four men (24%) in the UK felt lonely.
  • Young men suffered more as a result of lockdown than adults (up to 44%, from 16% before implementation of lockdown)

1 in 5 men (20%) could drink more alcohol while coping with stress. However, this was more prevalent amongst higher social grades.

CBD’s Demand Soars Amid Covid-19

In research published recently by Alphagreen, UK’s largest CBD products marketplace, more than 8 million Britons bought CBD products. In just the first four months into 2020, over £150m had been spent on CBD Products, a majority of the buyers being men, representing a 50% growth from the previous year.( Forbes)

According to Alpha’s CEO Pikovsky, some of the factors that might have facilitated the demand include anxiety and sleeplessness, while others felt let down by health systems. Hence, they had to seek alternatives in dealing with the leading causes of mental health issues.

What Were The Protective Measures?

During the lockdown, men who remained connected with family and friends had better mental health. Equally, men with pets might have had better mental health during the period.

Regarding lifestyle-related factors, men who could practice yoga, or meditation experienced a tragic improved mental health.

How Does CBD Work?

Like bioflavonoids, cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical manufactured in the hemp plant for its protection.

CBD oils and isolates have natural phytocannabinoids that can potentially bind with one’s cannabinoid receptors that are located in the nervous system and the brain.

Phytocannabinoids are fats. In a man’s body, cannabinoids are responsible for sending signals to the brain concerning stress responses. As well, they initiate the feeling of inflammation.

Endocannabinoids are just feel-good molecules naturally secreted by our bodies once we feel safe or do something we love.

Once a man smokes CBD, it makes the body secrete more endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are responsible for supporting the body’s endocannabinoid system in promoting mental health.

While full spectrum CBD has a low affinity for both CB1 & CB2 receptors, it can enhance the endocannabinoid’s actions by inhibiting the degradation rate.

CBD works as well by impacting how adenosine receptors function. Adenosine receptors are responsible for wakefulness and cardiac arrhythmias.

Is CBD Safe?

According to the WHO, CBD is safe. The only potential risk in vaping CBD is that it can interact with medications. However, before trying to use CBD for mental health, one should consult his doctor.

A doctor will help you break down what strain is ideal and will potentially present your desired effects. They can as well advise you on the dosage that will help you without overdosing.

While CBD dosing seems to vary

 from one clinical study to the other, a typical CBD dose ranges 10-100 mg per day. While deciding on the dose, several factors come to play. They include:

  • One’s body chemistry
  • Terpene content of your CBD
  • CBD tolerance levels
  • Method of Ingestion

In taking CBD, the method of use determines how fast and how potent your CBD will be. Smoking and vaping are the quickest methods to ingest CBD, followed by Sublingual use, edibles, and lastly, CBD salves for men and tinctures.

Some of the side effects of using CBD include fatigue and dry mouth. However, they are well tolerated amongst men who use cannabis.

Take Away

When promoting men’s mental health awareness, Movember funding encourages a comprehensive approach involving addressing sleep-related issues, stressors, foods, genetic susceptibilities, nutrient deficiencies, and hormonal imbalance.  In practice, CBD is considered an ideal catalyst that will tip you towards your desired freedom as a man. While buying CBD from either vendors or lounges, be sure to take the appropriate dose.

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