Written by Kandi Neal
In recent times, we have seen a dramatic rise in popularity with the use of CBD, due to its many health benefits. From oils to ointments, to treating skin conditions and epilepsy, many wonder what else CBD can be used for. While CBD does not cure depression, it has been linked to improvement of the symptoms.
How CBD can help with depression
The cannabinoids that our body produces assist in regulating many functions of the body such as sleep, pain sensation, appetite, and mood. These substances bind to specific points of brain cells known as receptors, through which they potentiate the actions of serotonin. In turn, this results in a reduction of stress level and an improvement of mood. CBD has been found to help improve symptoms of depression by activation of the endocannabinoid system and also amplifying the effects of serotonin receptors in the brain. When these chemical substances bind to their respective receptors, they trigger a series of events within each brain cell, stimulating processes that help to control stress and elevate mood.
What exactly is depression?
To keep it brief, depression is a mood disorder that can cause a persistent feeling of sadness, worthlessness, and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think, and behave, potentially leading to a variety of emotional and physical problems. It can stem from a variety of reasons, including trauma or an unfortunate event. Symptoms may also include sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and trouble concentrating. It is a widely known fact that during a depression, the serotonin levels in our bodies decrease. To tie this all in together, the ultimate goal of a person dealing with depression is to increase their levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Benefits of Cannabidiol CBD for Depression
Although CBD oil is used for a wide variety of reasons, the improvement of mental health is a great reason to consider it. Although it can be used to treat symptoms of depression and its related disorders, research has shown that it can be especially effective for depressed patients dealing with extreme stress, dementia, thyroid problems, cancer, and heart disease.
CBD can help to reduce depression amid stress
Stress is a huge factor in contributing to depression. In fact, many stress and anxiety disorders are caused by day-to-day worries. The good news is that there have been several studies linking CBD to showing improvement for stress-related depression. Because CBD possesses both anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties, it is able to enhance the chemicals in our body that produce that “happy” feeling, making it a great supplement for fighting anxiety and depression. The effects of CBD come from its ability to stimulate the system involved in the regulation of several bodily functions. This organic system is found in all mammals, meaning that many animals also possess it. In fact, in an animal study, one report revealed that continuous exposure to CBD yielded positive results. This system is something that we share with our pets, and differences are minimal enough that the effects of CBD on a human and the effects on an animal are remarkably similar. In summation, CBD’s effect on both people and animals has been overwhelmingly positive in its ability to release chemicals that reduce both anxiety and stress.
CBD can lessen depression brought on by dementia
Various symptoms of cognitive decline can fall under the term “dementia.” It is not a single disease; it’s a broad term that describes symptoms of impairment in thinking, memory, and communication. It becomes the result of various underlying issues and brain disorders, causing a decline in mental ability serious enough to hinder day-to-day life. Of the almost 24 million people affected by dementia, 78% also show signs of depression. That being said, there is encouraging research pointing to CBD as an effective treatment for dementia, in turn providing some relief for depression. In 2010, an analysis of several medically reviewed preclinical & clinical studies concluded that CBD oil can be used with patients experiencing dementia, as well as other brain disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, due to its relaxant effects.
CBD can assist in depression reduction for patients with thyroid conditions
A properly functioning thyroid is critical for the body to function optimally. It produces the hormones that regulate many processes, such as metabolism, mood, reproduction, and growth. When the thyroid functions abnormally, it can cause moodiness and depression. That’s where CBD comes in. The reason CBD works to help depression subside for thyroid patients is because of the presence of cannabinoid receptors on the thyroid gland. These are the areas where the CBD attaches, causing a chemical reaction. Therefore, CBD can be a great tool to help reduce depression caused from thyroid dysfunction, due to the presence of the receptors in the thyroid gland that bind to CBD and cause a change in the metabolism of the body.
CBD can assist with depression in cancer patients
It is not uncommon for cancer patients to suffer from depression, as they have many things to deal with, potentially including radiation and chemotherapy. Many of these treatments will cause physical ailments, such as pain, nausea, and insomnia. These changes in their bodies can have an emotional effect, oftentimes leading to depression. Medical marijuana has been used for quite some time to relieve pain caused by cancer because of its ability to release the “feel good” hormones that reduce anxiety and block stress hormones, while CBD can assist in the releasing of serotonin.
Heart patients suffering with depression can benefit from CBD
Heart problems and depression can go hand in hand. Both are interrelated according to a professor at Johns Hopkins University. Studies have shown that CBD reacts positively with the heart because it directly affects the arteries to invoke responses of relaxation. Hemp derived CBD products also aid in protecting against damage to the arteries caused by inflammation or high glucose levels. Since CBD influences the arteries and causes relaxant responses, it can be used to alleviate depression in heart patients. So, when it comes to treating depression, CBD oil has once again shown to be a promising treatment.
Doses of CBD
While there is no FDA approved dosage of CBD, the rule of thumb is to start off with a lower dose then work your way up. One of the reasons many people choose CBD over its cousin THC, is that there are no psychoactive side effects. Since every body and body chemistry is different, the best dosage per individual can only be determined through trial and error. The standard recommendation is 25 mg of CBD two times per day. Studies have shown that CBD dosage for depression can range anywhere from 40 mg to 1280 mg a day when distributed to patients displaying psychosis. If you’re not sure, be sure and talk to a health professional first.
Consider giving CBD a try
The Cannabis plant provides many therapeutic benefits, of which its CBD oil has shown to do, as many people can tolerate it long term as a supplemental aid for healing. Keep in mind, it is always wise to consult with a medical practitioner before using CBD for depression, just to be cognizant of any other health concerns. In summation, if you are feeling down in the dumps or depressed and looking to uplift with something natural, CBD is a great choice!