CAN CBD TREAT DEPRESSION?
Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders, affecting more than 264 million people of all ages across the world. According to a study carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), British people are now among the most depressed people in the Western world. As the search for better medications for depression continues, many are now turning to CBD as a drug to treat depression. If you’re suffering from depression, you might be curious and wonder if CBD actually works. Let’s dive into the subject fully.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the more than 100 natural compounds found in cannabis plants. These compounds are also known as cannabinoids, and they occur naturally. Unlike many other cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not cause a mental high or feelings of euphoria. CBD has gained popularity in recent years as new research uncovers its many potential benefits. The initial results of some studies suggest that CBD may help relieve the symptoms of depression.
Depression: What it is, symptoms and causes
Depression is a common mental disorder that can negatively impact a person’s health, social life, ability to work, and overall well-being. It causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest and may make sufferers feel as if life isn’t worth living. Common symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness
- Sleep changes
- Appetite or weight changes
- Sleep changes
- Suicidal thoughts
Many people believe that depression is caused by a serotonin imbalance in the brain, and clinical studies suggest the same. Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide range of functions in the body. It is sometimes called ‘the happy chemical,’ and a shortage of it may result in a sad, depressed mood, low energy, negative thoughts, and a reduced interest in sex.
While researchers affirm that low serotonin levels are linked to depression, there are many other possible causes of depression (which could, in turn, affect the normal production of serotonin in the body), and some of them include:
- Physical illness
- Chronic stress
- Past trauma
- Physical pain
- Social isolation
- Other emotional disorders
How does CBD work to treat symptoms of depression?
There is initial evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of medical conditions, including anxiety and depression. For example, the published result of research from 2014 suggests that CBD has a positive interaction with the serotonin receptors in the brain as they produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.
Authors of a review from 2018 also noted that many studies have shown that CBD has anti-stress effects, which may reduce depression-related stress. The review also added that the cannabinoid worked without activating the body’s endocannabinoid receptors directly, which suggests that CBD is less likely to become addictive when used repeatedly over a period.
Going further, experts believe that CBD plays a critical role in regulating human emotions and that depression is a sign that the hippocampus in the brain isn’t functioning properly. The hippocampus is a specific region in the brain that’s responsible for memory, learning, and emotion. When used, CBD may help promote neurogenesis or the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus, which will lead to an improvement in the three key areas of memory, learning, and emotion.
How does CBD compare to antidepressant medications?
Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of people have started using CBD because of its benefits over antidepressant medications.
For starters, it takes a few weeks for the effects of antidepressant medications to kick in, meaning people suffering from the condition may have to endure the symptoms while they wait for relief. In contrast, a 2019 research has shown that CBD has a fast and sustained antidepressant-like effect.
Another reason CBD is considered a better choice is that it is not addictive. It can be used several times without creating compulsive behavior to continue using the substance. In addition, it may also result in fewer side effects than antidepressants. Common side effects of antidepressant medications include insomnia, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and more.
Is CBD safe to use?
So far, CBD is safe to use, but you may experience some side effects for a little while if you are sensitive to the cannabinoid. They include:
- Dry mouth
How to take CBD
There are many ways to consume CBD for depression, but they can be grouped into four formulations, namely edibles, oral, vaping, and topical.
- CBD Orals: With this formulation, you can consume your CBD mixes as they are or use it to prepare smoothies and coffee. This includes tincture, capsules, sprays, and oils. They’re usually easy to use and are quite effective.
- CBD Vape: Vaping is another excellent way to quickly ingest CBD as it goes straight into the lungs and is absorbed into the bloodstream. The effects kick in faster, but they don’t last long like edibles.
- CBD Topicals: Topical CBD products are those that are applied directly to the skin. However, they’re not suitable for mental health uses as the compounds cannot be absorbed into the blood. They’re effective for symptoms like localized pain and skin issues. Examples are CBD-infused beauty products, lotions, and creams.
- CBD Edibles: Drinks and foods such as CBD-infused gummies are now widely available. They’re a delicious way to consume CBD, and the effects last longer than vaping.
CBD for depression is generally safe to use and is a popular choice for many since there aren’t many reliable naturals, easy remedies for depression. Consider talking with your healthcare provider to review medications and other supplements you’re taking before you begin using CBD. This will help prevent potentially dangerous interactions between CBD and prescription drugs.
Finally, while you can buy CBD in stores across the UK, it’s safer to look for brands that are reputable and trustworthy. If you’re looking to buy quality CBD products, head over to our store to browse our array of products that meet the industry standards.