According to the national institute of mental health (NIMH), approximately 17 million adults in the US have experienced at least one major depressive episode. Given these statistics, it is no wonder that antidepressant addiction is rampant within the borders of the United States. Patients battling depression will usually have other accompanying diseases because depression lowers immunity; this means that at any given time they may be taking a cocktail of drugs. CBD is a natural remedy that comes with minimal side effects. But does it have anything to offer to such patients? This article reviews the role that CBD plays in the treatment of depression.
What Is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the hundreds of phytochemicals that are present in cannabis and hemp plants. Interest in this compound sparked after the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which maintains physiological balance in the body. Thereafter, a lot of research has been conducted to determine the extent to which CBD affects different disease processes. So far, areas of interest for CBD include the treatment of seizures, nausea, pain and inflammation, sleep, and anxiety. CBD has also attracted the attention of medics because of the good safety profile it affords, unlike comparable pharma drugs. In fact, the federal drug administration approved a CBD based drug for the treatment of childhood epilepsy in 2018.
Can CBD help Depression?
Research on the therapeutic benefits of CBD is not comprehensive; we still have a long way to go with this. In the area of depression, there are a few pointers that offer hope and warrant further research.
Depression is defined as a mental health condition that is characterized by persistent low spirits and a loss of interest in issues of life. In severe cases, depression may lead to suicide. Depression needs a medical diagnosis from a professional as this will guide the treatment course. Traditional treatment of depression usually combines antidepressants and psychotherapy.
The neurotransmitter serotonin has been closely linked to the onset of a major depressive disorder. Other possible triggers for depression include psychological and social factors and a genetic predisposition.
Research has shown that CBD has a positive effect on serotonin receptors that are located in the brain.
A study conducted in Brazil in 2014 showed that cannabidiol affects how the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin. In this way, CBD delivers antidepressant effects. A subsequent study in 2018 showed similar results. While a different study conducted in 2019 by Mc Gill University showed that CBD modulates serotonin to reduce anxiety in patients with neuropathic pain. Lastly, another study conducted in 2019 showed that CBD has antidepressant effects that act rapidly and give a sustained response.
The results mentioned above are largely based on preclinical studies. Apart from this, there is also anecdotal evidence from depressed patients who have used CBD for depression with great results. It is no wonder that post-war veterans, ex-athletes, moms, and many other people are turning to CBD as a rescue from toxic pharma drugs.
Apart from affecting the serotonergic system, CBD can also reduce factors that trigger depression. Stress and pain may induce or worsen depression. CBD can help to relieve these symptoms.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
Compared to traditional antidepressants, CBD has minimal side effects and a low risk for addiction. Some users, however, have reported a few side effects associated with CBD use. Some of these side effects include lightheadedness, stomach issues, and mood swings.
One study found that high doses of CBD can cause liver toxicity in mice. However, other studies have given conflicting results in this area. In 2018, the world health organization (WHO) declared that CBD is safe for both human and animal consumption. Due to these conflicting results, medics are pushing for larger clinical trials to give clear direction on safe dosages for CBD.
How To Buy CBD For Depression
If you suffer from depression and want to try CBD, you should first consult your physician. Should you be given the go-ahead to try CBD, the next thing will be to find a reputable CBD brand.
When it comes to buying CBD cheap is not always ok. The process of getting a pure and potent CBD extract takes money and time. CBD should be extracted from hemp through supercritical carbon dioxide filtration to eliminate impurities such as heavy metals and microorganisms. Legitimate CBD companies will have their products tested by a third-party lab. You should ask to see a copy of these results before committing to buying CBD from any seller.
CBD should also be extracted from hemp which contains less than 0.3% THC. Cannabis-derived CBD is only legal in states where cannabis has been fully legalized. You do not want to get on the wrong side of the law. To avoid this you need to find a reputable brand.
There is a lot of hope in the area of CBD for depression. But given that research is still in the preliminary stages, there’s still a long way to go. If you want to try CBD, a CBD product reviews platform is best placed to guide you on where to start.