Whether you or a loved one suffers with depression, you’ll know how difficult this mental health condition can be. If you are looking for alternative methods for helping the symptoms of depression, we’ve put together a guide to CBD for depression below.
Symptoms of depression are complex and vary significantly from person to person. Depending on your individual situation and experiences, you may find that your symptoms include sadness, hopelessness and a loss of interest in the things you used to enjoy.
Other common symptoms can include:
- Non-stop feelings of low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling guilt-ridden
- Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
- Finding it difficult to make decisions
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Feeling suicidal or thinking about harming yourself.
You may also find that you experience physical symptoms with depression. These could include:
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Debilitating fatigue and lack of energy
- Changes in your appetite (either increased or decreased)
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of libido
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression worldwide. This shows that the mental health condition is extremely common and that people from all walks of life can experience the associated symptoms.
If you or a loved one does suffer from depression, you may be interested in finding out how CBD can help alleviate symptoms. In fact, CBD has been found to be a quick and effective alternative to antidepressant medication in the treatment of depression. While CBD by no means cures the condition, it has been linked to the improvement of the symptoms.
Below, we’ll discuss how CBD for depression works and how the cannabinoid interacts with associated symptoms.
CBD and depression: how does it work?
The cannabinoids produced in our bodies (endocannabinoids) help to regulate several functions of the body such as mood, pain sensation, sleep, and appetite.
Cannabinoids work by binding to specific points of brain cells (called the receptors), through which they potentiate the actions of a substance called serotonin. Serotonin is an important chemical within the body, which acts to improve mood and reduce stress levels. Serotonin also acts by binding to its receptors in brain cells. When these chemical substances bind to their respective receptors, they trigger a series of events within each brain cell, stimulating processes that improve mood and stress control.
CBD is a type of cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. While this plant is usually associated with recreational marijuana, CBD does not give you the psychoactive effect (the ‘high’ feeling) associated with the illegal drug. As such, CBD is a completely legal and safe product to use.
Cannabinoids mimic the behaviour of endocannabinoids and interact with the cannabinoid receptors to augment the endocannabinoid system in your body. As the cannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors, they stimulate various physiological responses.
CBD has been found to help improve depressive symptoms by modulating the actions of the endocannabinoids and potentiating the effects of serotonin by enhancing the activity of the receptors unto which serotonin binds.
Is CBD for depression effective?
Remember that CBD oil can’t cure depression. It can only help with the common symptoms associated with depression. It’s also worth speaking to your doctor before using CBD for depression, particularly if you already take other medication for your depression (or any other health condition).
If you do decide that CBD is right for you, you may find that CBD has a positive effect on your depression symptoms. While research is still underway for how CBD and depression are linked, initial results show that CBD can be beneficial for those suffering from depression.
Of course, its effectiveness will depend on your individual situation. It’s also worth bearing in mind that CBD for depression is not a ‘quick fix’ or ‘magic wand’ when it comes to this mental health condition. Often, a multi-faceted recovery plan is necessary to fully treat or improve symptoms. This could include medication, therapy or other brain-focused treatments. We urge you to seek advice from your doctor or mental health professional if you haven’t already done so.
If you are in a crisis or considering suicide, we strongly advise that you seek professional help or call a hotline like Samaritans (Freephone 116 123).
How to take CBD for depression
There are a variety of CBD products out there that work in different ways. From pure CBD oil designed to be taken sublingually to topical products like massage balms, it’s important to choose the right product to suit your individual needs.
In terms of CBD for depression, many choose to ingest their chosen CBD product. This is often an easy way to incorporate CBD into your self-care routine and often allows you to control the amount of CBD you are taking.
At Greenlife, we have a variety of ingestible CBD products available for purchase. These include CBD oils in different strengths, capsules and vitamin supplements. We also have CBD-infused teas and coffees for those who prefer to ingest their CBD in this way.
Whichever product you choose, it’s important to start taking CBD slowly. Too much too soon could give you undesirable side effects. It is often better to begin with a lower strength product and work your way upwards as necessary. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and stop taking your CBD product if you notice any adverse effects.
It’s also important to choose your CBD supplier carefully. Good quality retailers (like us!) will clearly state the strength of the CBD product you choose and have lab reports available regarding the chemical makeup of the products.
We hope that our guide to CBD and depression has helped you understand how CBD could be beneficial if you suffer from this mental health condition. If you do think that CBD products could work for you, remember that it might take a little while for you to figure out how much CBD is right for you. You might need to trial different dosages before you find the best one for your needs.
Don’t forget that the products we sell are intended to be supplements and are not designed to treat, cure or prevent any diseases. Before using, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor or a medical professional to ensure they’re safe for you (especially if you’re taking other medications). It’s usually best to avoid using our products if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding too.