Using CBD for Depression
Does CBD Help with Depression?
Feelings of depression are more common than you may think. Upwards of 395 million people deal with symptoms of depression.* That’s 5% of the world population. Many attempt to treat their depression with the use of antidepressants. Some find success, others do not. There are several issues associated with antidepressants such as negative side effects, low effectiveness, and it takes a bit of time for them to begin working. So many people try to find healthier alternatives and ask, “Does CBD help with depression?”.
CBD (cannabidiol) has become a popular product people take to help alleviate symptoms of depression because of its safety, ease of use, lack of side effects, and quick effectiveness. CBD is just one of many cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant. The plant species cannabis encompasses both hemp and marijuana.
CBD does not produce any psychoactive “high” effects like that felt when using marijuana. It does produce the same benefits associated with cannabis use. This includes pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, digestion, and sleep management. In this article we are going to cover the research behind using CBD for depression. We will also talk about which products might be best for you and where to find them.
How Can CBD Help Depression Symptoms
What the Research Says
Although there is not much research about CBD’s effects on symptoms of depression, the findings are quite promising. It is generally agreed that, through interaction with the EndoCannabinoid System (ECS), CBD interacts with your body’s serotonin receptor (5HT1A) to increase levels of serotonin in your body.* This is the same way that many antidepressants work. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant that increases levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is, in part, responsible for changing your mood for the better.
CBD was also shown to promote the creation of new neurons (neurogenesis) in your brain.* Stress and depression slow neurogenesis* and it seems CBD can fight against that. Not only does CBD promote neurogenesis, it also promotes something called synaptic plasticity. This fancy word basically means your brain’s ability to adapt to new information.* By promoting synaptic plasticity as well as neurogenesis, CBD shows a lot of promising effects to fight depression. One example of this is found in a study on rodents done in 2020. The rodents, when given CBD, neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity were stimulated. This caused the rodents to increase their engagement of activities they found to be enjoyable.* Another study from 2020 found similar results.*
Is CBD Better Than Antidepressants?
This is a question with a unique answer for everyone and it is best discussed with your doctor. Never stop taking any medications without talking to your doctor first. Some choose CBD over antidepressant medication because the side effects are usually less often and less severe, the effects are felt more immediately, and the effects last. This was demonstrated in a study from 2018 which tracked subjects’ levels of depression before and after cannabis use. A whopping 89% reported a “reduction in depression symptoms”.*
In a case study of a patient with severe depression and substance abuse, CBD use had quite a dramatic effect. During the course of the study, the patient slowly stopped use of his antidepressant drugs. After stopping, with continued CBD use, his depression “improved”!*
Can I Take CBD with Antidepressants?
CBD can alter the speed at which you metabolize some medications. This is similar to the grapefruit warning label you may see on certain medications. If you are taking antidepressants, It is best to ask your doctor before adding CBD to your wellness routine.
The Best CBD for You
What CBD Product is Right for You
There are many different types of CBD products on the market. You could try edibles like CBD Gummies, smokeables like Hemp Flower, or tinctures like CBD Drops. CBD enters your bloodstream through different delivery methods and this has an impact on how long it will take for CBD to begin working, how long the effects last, and how potent a dose it. The effects of a smokeable can be felt almost instantaneously while edibles take a bit longer to set it. On the flip side, smokeables may not last as long as edibles. Take your time choosing the right product for you and ask questions if you need some guidance.
Where to Find High-Quality CBD Products
In a sea of CBD products, how do you find high quality CBD? To begin, always look for lab-test results, known as certificates of analysis (COAs). COAs document the purity and the potency of a product. The COA should show that the levels of CBD are what is advertised and the levels of Delta 9 THC are below the legal limit of 0.3%. If you have any questions, a company representative should be able to provide you with a knowledgeable answer.