According to the World Health Organization (WHO) depression affects more than 300 million people of all ages globally. The most common medical treatments for depression in the U.S. are the use of pharmaceutical drugs like antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), anti-psychotic drugs, and many of the same medications used to treat anxiety. The trouble with these medications is that they often cause dependency and the list of side effects far outweighs the benefits.

Many people who suffer from depression but don’t want to resort to pharmaceutical drugs, have found relief by using CBD.

To prove the efficacy in treating depression with CBD, we’ll analyze a series of studies conducted over the last eight years.

Study Results

A 2010 study concluded CBD induces antidepressant-like effects comparable to those of Imipramine. These effects of CBD were probably mediated by activation of 5-HT(1A) receptors.

A 2011 study stated in the last few years, there have been several advances in the determination of the role of the endocannabinoid system in the etiology of depression and the functional actions of antidepressant drugs. Specifically, a deficiency in endocannabinoid signaling is sufficient to produce a “depressive-like” phenotype at the preclinical level…and capable of inducing symptoms of depression in humans at a clinical level. Moreover, facilitation of endocannabinoid signaling is sufficient to produce all of the behavioral and biochemical effects of conventional antidepressant treatments.

A 2016 study reported that CBD exerts fast and maintained antidepressant like effects as evidenced by the reversal of the OBX-induced hyperactivity and anhedonia.

Another 2016 study concluded findings extend the limited knowledge on the antidepressant effect of CBD, now shown for the first time in a genetic animal model of depression. These results suggest that CBD may be beneficial for the treatment of clinical depression and other states with prominent anhedonia.

A 2018 study went on to conclude results indicate that CBD induces fast and sustained antidepressant-like effect in distinct animal models relevant for depression.

These studies show a very clear connection between CBD and its effectiveness as an antidepressant.

Studies

Zanelati, T. V., Biojone, C., Moreira, F. A., Guimarães, F. S., & Joca, S. R. (2010, January). Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: Possible involvement of 5-HT1A receptors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20002102

Gorzalka, B. B., & Hill, M. N. (2011, August 15). Putative role of endocannabinoid signaling in the etiology of depression and actions of antidepressants. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21111017

Linge, R., Jiménez-Sánchez, L., Campa, L., Pilar-Cuéllar, F., Vidal, R., Pazos, A., Díaz, A. (2015, December). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: Role of 5-HT1A receptors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860

Shoval, G., Shbiro, L., Hershkovitz, L., Hazut, N., Zalsman, G., Mechoulam, R., & Weller, A. (2016, March). Prohedonic Effect of Cannabidiol in a Rat Model of Depression. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27010632

Sales, A. J., Fogaça, M. V., Sartim, A. G., Pereira, V. S., Wegener, G., Guimarães, F. S. & Joca, S. R. (2018, June). Cannabidiol Induces Rapid and Sustained Antidepressant-Like Effects Through Increased BDNF Signaling and Synaptogenesis in the Prefrontal Cortex. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29869197