Can CBD help to alleviate depression symptoms? The answer is yes.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults every year and one in six people at some time in their life.
Additionally, the World Health Organization reports depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.
A huge number of Americans take antidepressants – but these drugs are not always effective. In fact, an estimated 33% of depression sufferers admit that medication does not offer relief. Moreover, it’s no secret that antidepressants can cause some fairly unpleasant side effects.
The good news is, every year more people are discovering that CBD oil is a natural option for alleviating their depression symptoms.
How CBD Can Help With Depression
CBD is one of the 60+ naturally occurring compounds found in all cannabis plants. Endocannabinoids are the molecules that act as chemical messengers in the “endocannabinoid system”. Our nervous system, which contains cannabinoid cell receptors, respond to cannabinoids and tell the body to do certain things.
The human body naturally produces its own cannabinoids with the help of fatty acids found in foods such as nuts, seeds and fish. The same receptors bind to the compounds found in CBD.
Research shows that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This helps to regulate essential human functions such as sleep, appetite, mood, pain and pleasure.
CBD has the unique ability to influence brain activity and relieve the symptoms of depression.
Studies Show CBD To Be Effective
In one study, researchers found “ample evidence that endocannabinoids are important regulators of stress responses.”
During depression, plant cannabinoids such as CBD have the ability to regulate one’s response to stressful situations.
Additionally, the University of San Paulo has conducted pioneering research into CBD as an anti-depressant. They found that CBD directly activates the serotonin receptor, thereby resulting in an anti-depressant effect.
A 2016 study reported, “Our results demonstrate that CBD exerts fast and maintained antidepressant-like effects.”
The results coming out of Brazil support many of the other preliminary studies into CBD for treating depression and other mental health issues.
In an extensive literature review, it’s clear that CBD can minimize fear response and soothe symptoms of depression.
Another study demonstrated the antidepressant effects of CBD was comparable to that of Imipramine.
These are just a few examples of the potential of CBD to become an alternative for addressing mental health issues.
Finally, CBD case studies show a very clear connection between CBD and its use as an antidepressant.
Can Anybody Use CBD?
Anybody can use CBD for depression without fear. It is not a psychoactive substance, so there is no danger of getting “high” from it. There are also no adverse side effects when using CBD products.
The World Health Organization has found CBD to provide real medicinal benefits from preventing seizures to alleviating anxiety and helping insomniacs.
How CBD Affects The Body
CBD works on the body by influencing the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system helps to keep our bodies balanced. Everything from appetite to pain sensation, mood, memory, immune system functions and inflammation control.
Similar to how we use vitamin C to kick start our immune system, CBD acts as a kick starter to help the functions of the body’s central regulatory system.
A good number of CBD users enjoy its stress elimination properties. Elements of the oil directly activate serotonin receptors in the brain causing an anti-stress effect.
“Most patients seem to be using CBD as an anti-anxiety medication… it helps calm them down and relax them,” said Dr. Solomon. “The biggest clinical studies show it does help decrease anxiety when you take 300 to 600mg of CBD.”
Anxiety case studies show CBD provides a calming effect of serenity and prevents recurring anxiety problems.
In a review of scientific literature by researchers from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, scientists found that studies clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD.
“What CBD does is help balance our endocannabinoid system, the main job of which is to keep our body in homeostasis,” says Aimée Gould Shunney, a licensed naturopathic doctor at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine.
She says, “CBD calm’s down your body’s stress response and brings those cortisol and adrenaline levels back to baseline.”
CBD can be as effective for pain relief as an opioid, but without the potential for deadly addiction and side-effects. The compounds in CBD oil provide quick relief from inflammation and pain.
Dr. Solomon shared a self-report study he conducted at U.C. Berkeley, which tracked patients that were using opioids for pain relief. When subjects tried using CBD instead of opioids, the majority “reported that CBD provided relief equal to their other medications, but without the unwanted side effects.” He noted that more research needs to be done, but all signs point to pain relief—which would lead to fewer opioid-related deaths.
Among the top benefits of CBD is to manage chronic pain diseases like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Over the counter pain killers have harmful effects such as liver damage and are thus unsuitable for prolonged use. This is why many chronic pain patients are opting to shift to CBD for hope.
According to the Florida Marijuana Medical Doctors, one of the most important benefits of CBD is to reduce inflammation in the brain. Studies have linked inflammation to issues such as anxiety, depression, memory trouble, stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, fatigue and brain fog. In addition, the same studies suggest CBD can slow inflammatory responses in the body. Reducing this response in the brain means alleviating many symptoms associated with neurological conditions.
CBD protects neurons in the brain from damage due to aging deformities and diseases. Damaged neurons can lead to loss of basic functions like balance, locomotion, talking, memory and breathing.
The neuro-protective agents in CBD are due to anti-oxidants present in its composition. These include ascorbic acid also known as vitamin C and a-tocopherol (vitamin E).
Another benefit of using CBD is its ability to boost cognition so that the brain is working at optimal conditions avoiding mood swings, trauma and anxiety.
Epilepsy and Seizures
In 2018, the FDA approved a CBD-based drug to treat seizures, which was a huge step in making this natural medicine more available to the public and to patients who need it to survive. To date, of all the reported health benefits of CBD oil, this has been the most researched (and proven) use.
Patients suffering from seizures and epilepsy attacks can benefit greatly from the use of CBD. In a recent study on children with treatment resistant-epilepsy, doctors found that there was a reduction in the number of attacks in about 80% of the children.
Here’s an article from the European Pharmaceutical Review showing significant reduction in the the number of dangerous seizures in patients with a severe form of epilepsy.
The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology also reported CBD as a suitable treatment for conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia.
Patients diagnosed with diabetes need to be vigilant in selecting diet and supplements for better living. CBD oil is a supplement that could benefit diabetic people. It helps in blood sugar regulation among other imbalances related to diabetes of all types.
CBD has low sugar content and thus considered a suitable food additive for diabetic persons. Additionally, it contains a proper ratio of the fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 that are essential to lowering cholesterol. This will reduce the deposition of cholesterol in the inner walls of blood vessels reducing the risk of vascular disease. Daily dosage of CBD can help to prevent stroke and heart attacks.
People using CBD for diabetes report positive results without the side effects often seen with diabetic treatment.
As it is an anti-inflammatory, you may find CBD skin-care products helpful when applied topically.
Some research even points to CBD being effective as an acne treatment, since it may limit inflammation in the sebum-producing glands that can lead to breakouts. If you’re not having luck with traditional acne-fighting treatments, it may be worth giving CBD a shot.
Application of the oil topically on skin could help combat acne due to its antimicrobial properties. CBD also regulates sebum production which prevents acne.
As for anti-aging beauty products, there are anti-aging CBD products such as creams and cleansers. Owing to its numerous nutrients and vitamins, CBD promotes healthy beautiful skin and hair growth.