CBD has many benefits, but what about its effects on depression?
Here’s what Oils by Simpson’s 2012 research shows:
Still, more long-term, and human studies are required before researchers can conclude whether CBD can fully replace traditional antidepressants.
CBD oil, derived from the cannabis plant, is a well-known natural treatment alternative for various health conditions, including chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid compound and can be extracted from cannabis to be used in various products available for purchase.
CBD oil is one of the most popular cannabis-based products.
CBD oil is CBD extract mixed with a carrier oil, like hemp or coconut, and can be applied topically or taken orally or sublingually.
What is depression?
Depression (also known as major depressive disorder) is a medical illness that affects how you think, feel, and act.
While it’s relatively common, it can be serious and lead to self-harm or suicide.
Depression negatively impacts the individual and often causes intense sadness accompanied by a loss of interest in hobbies that were once of interest.
In doing so, depression can lead to various physical and emotional problems as a side effect of its symptoms, leading to a decreased quality of life.
While depression can occur at any age and stage of life, it usually appears in the late teens and early adulthood for many people.
Interestingly, women are more likely to experience depression. Treatment of depression can vary, but most cases include a mix of medication (including antidepressants) and psychotherapy.
CBD and depression
Depression can be a long-term health condition that can be debilitating to a person’s quality of life and overall well-being.
Traditional antidepressants can work to alleviate symptoms; many of these medications have potential side effects, including recurrent headaches, feelings of agitation, and changes in bowel movements.
While research surrounding CBD and depression is still in its infancy, initial studies have indicated CBD shows promise as a treatment for anxiety and depression with minimal side effects.
Most of these studies have involved animal models. For researchers to make conclusive claims, more long-term studies involving human participants are required.
A 2018 review looking at several studies concluded that CBD has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects, improving mood and concentration when stress is experienced.
Researchers also found CBD could create effects without directly activating receptors, indicating a minimised risk of addiction.
A 2014 review also investigated the reason why CBD can help alleviate depression symptoms.
In most studies, CBD showed a positive interaction with serotonin receptors in the brain and acted as an antidepressant compound in animals.
Because serotonin influences emotions and regulates feelings of happiness, this research has great importance.
The endocannabinoid system
We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) within our bodies. The ECS is a complex cell-signalling system that aims to restore balance within the body.
As the ECS consists of endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain and nervous system, it can create therapeutic effects within the body, including a decreased heart rate and increased feelings of calm.
The ECS is only one way CBD can help improve symptoms of depression.
Cannabinoids can also interact with serotonin receptors to increase the uptake of serotonin within the body.
Serotonin is well-known for being the “happy hormone,” so when this occurs, users may experience improved mood, energy levels, and overall concentration.
Side effects and dosage
The amount of CBD oil for your needs will depend on your preferences and what you’re looking to get out of it.
It’s normal to do a bit of trial and error to find out what time in the day suits you best.
Some people like to take a few drops in the morning to keep their mood levels high throughout the day, while others enjoy taking CBD oil a few hours before sleep for its insomnia-relief benefits.
As a general rule, most experts agree that the majority of people should start slowly when taking CBD oil, especially if it’s your first time trying any cannabis-based product.
You can then increase the dosage and frequency over time based on its effects. A good amount to start with is several drops a day, and a common way to take it is sublingually (under the tongue).
Because this area is rich in capillaries, taking a few drops this way can enhance the absorption rate.
While most people experience no side effects with CBD and will have no issues throughout the process, others may develop side effects.
While these are often minimal, several factors, like metabolism and body composition, are seen to contribute to this.
Side effects include:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dry mouth
- Decreased or Increased appetite
Generally, side effects will disappear once your body gets used to taking CBD.
Still, you can limit your risk of developing side effects by incorporating CBD oil slowly into your daily routine.
It’s also crucial to check in with your doctor before, during, and after taking CBD, especially if any symptoms persist or get worse.
You’ll also be able to talk to them if you’re worried about taking the correct dosage, or if you’re wondering if CBD oil is the best choice for you, talk to your doctor before starting.
CBD has also been shown to interact with other medications, highlighting the importance of checking in with a health professional before taking it alongside any antidepressants.
CBD oil as a preventative for depression
Depression is a complex health condition, and several factors can play a role in depression:
- Genetics: Depression often runs in families. If an immediate family member, parent, or sibling has or has had depression, the risk of you developing it is high.
- Biochemistry: Certain differences in the chemicals within the brain can be a contributing cause to developing depression symptoms.
- Personality: There seems to be a high correlation between people easily overwhelmed by stress and those who are emotional, pessimistic, and with low self-esteem to be more likely to develop depression.
- Environmental factors: If there is constant exposure to violence, chronic stress, abuse, or a decreased quality of life, this may increase the risk.
CBD cannot prevent many of the risk factors of depression, including individual biochemistry and genetics.
However, CBD can help alleviate tension and stress in some situations.
There is a distinct link between long-term elevated stress levels and depression and anxiety, so by lowering some metabolic markers of stress, CBD may be able to reduce the risk of developing depression.
Stress is a highly significant cause of depression, so decreasing stress levels naturally is of interest for researchers investigating CBD and depression.
While most research investigating CBD’s effects on stress comes from animal studies, results have been promising.
Researchers recently investigated how exactly CBD affects stress levels in rats.
Lowered rates of stress levels and anxiety signals were observed alongside decreased blood pressure and heart rate. CBD’s anti-stress effects are due to its interactions with the ECS.
CBD oil and depression symptoms
Depression is a complex health condition and can be associated with numerous symptoms.
These side effects are often unpleasant and can fuel the feedback cycle to decrease the quality of life for individuals with anxiety significantly.
The symptoms of depression include:
- A continuous low mood or sadness.
- Feeling hopeless and helpless often.
- Low self-esteem.
- Severe changes in appetite (either increase or decrease).
- Fatigue or extreme tiredness nearly every day.
- Insomnia and poor quality of sleep.
- Extreme anxiety (depression and anxiety often walk hand in hand).
It’s important to note that while CBD can ease and assist some symptoms of depression, it’s advised to check in with your doctor for your treatment.
Cases of depression can be severe, and patients will require a diagnosis and treatment plan from a health professional.
Depression is a common mental health disorder experienced by individuals from all walks of life.
While there isn’t enough conclusive evidence to support CBD oil as a standalone option for patients with depression, research shows much potential.
The source: https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/