Over the last few years, physicians and researchers alike have become more aware of the benefits of CBD for depression.
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 some of their symptoms.
CBD For Depression
CBD is one of the 60+ naturally occurring compounds found in all cannabis plants. In the human body, endocannabinoids are the molecules that act as chemical messengers in the “endocannabinoid system,” the parts of our nervous system containing cannabinoid cell receptors which 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, but the same receptors bind to the compounds found in CBD.
Research shows that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a collection of cell receptors and the corresponding molecules in the human body, which helps to regulate essential human functions such as sleep, appetite, mood, pain, and pleasure among other things.
Unlike THC, the cannabinoid associated with causing marijuana’s “high effect,” CBD has a different, more indirect interaction with these cell receptors.
CBD has the unique ability to directly interact with other cell receptors, including serotonin and dopamine receptors. Thus, when ingested, CBD influences brain activity and one byproduct is the release of serotonin and dopamine throughout the body.
Studies Show CBD To Be Effective
Two studies uncovered these benefits of CBD oil with symptoms of depression. In one study, conducted in 2011 while studying the modulation of the serotonin system through endocannabinoid signaling, 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, Jose Alexandre Crippa and his colleagues at the University of San Paulo in Brazil and King’s College in London have conducted pioneering research into CBD as an anti-depressant. At high concentrations, CBD directly activates the serotonin receptor, thereby resulting in an anti-depressant effect.
When ingested, CBD directly interacts with serotonin and dopamine receptors, influencing brain activity and the release of serotonin and dopamine throughout the body.
A 2016 study reported, “Our results demonstrate that CBD exerts fast and maintained antidepressant-like effects.”
Another 2016 study concluded, “These findings extend the limited knowledge on the antidepressant effect of CBD, now shown for the first time in a genetic animal model of depression.
The results coming out of Brazil support many of the other preliminary studies into the compounds of cannabis for treating depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
It’s striking how cannabis compounds seem to have benefits for a wide range of mental health issues, especially considering mental health issues overlap for many patients. For example, people who suffer from one anxiety, also tend to suffer from depression as a secondary condition.
In an extensive literature review, covering CBD for use as an antidepressant and as an anxiolytic, surveyed 15 separate studies. It’s clear from this review, that CBD can subdue fear response, reduce anxiety, and soothe symptoms of depression, at least so far as in animal studies.
In one example, a small trial showed CBD to be just as effective at soothing anxiety as a common anti-anxiety medication – diazepam. Another study demonstrated the antidepressant-like effects of CBD was comparable to that of imipramine, a pharmaceutical. These are just a few examples, among many, of the potential of CBD to become a novel new tool for addressing mental health issues.
CBD case studies show a very clear connection between CBD and its use as an antidepressant.
Can Anybody Use CBD For Depression?
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.
Although there is still much research that needs to be completed, the early signs of CBD for depression are good. To date, there is no evidence that CBD is addictive or dangerous.
The fact that CBD could be used as an effective treatment for depression while helping patients feel better within an hour of starting treatment, is amazing. Antidepressants can be dangerous, addictive and expensive for life-long treatment, but CBD oil is safe and almost instantaneously effective.
Imagine a scenario where the world’s most effective antidepressant is growing naturally all around us. For the countless thousands of people who already use CBD for depression on a daily basis, this scenario is a reality.
How To Find The Best CBD Oil
The most important thing to remember is to purchase CBD from a certified company. Also, make sure that the company uses the highest quality raw materials and their products are produced with organic methods.