Because of its potential in the treatment of a variety of illnesses, CBD has grown popular in the past few years. Many studies are now conducted to explore CBD’s potential benefits on health, one of which is for the treatment of depression. So far, the preliminary results in these studies have been very promising.
CBD is just one of over a hundred compounds classified as cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant. Together with THC, these two are the most known compounds derived from cannabis. Although the two are similar, they act differently when they enter the body. While THC gets you ” high” while CBD doesn’t.
CBD for depression
Depression is a mental health condition that’s becoming more prevalent in the country. It can affect one’s health, capacity to work, social life, and more. Generally, doctors prescribe pharmaceutical medications to counter the threat of depression. Unfortunately, a lot of these medications produce difficult side effects including sleeplessness, mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and more.
An alternative treatment is the use of CBD. In the initial studies conducted on its benefits, the compound has shown potential in the treatment of this condition. It’s a natural compound which causes fewer, minor side effects in very few people. CBD proves effective because it has a positive interaction with the brain’s serotonin receptors.
Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter that impacts the body in different ways including feelings of happiness and well-being, and your emotional state. Obviously, maintaining the balance of serotonin levels is key for people suffering from depression.
The effects of CBD
CBD oil hasn’t received approval from the FDA for treating any medical condition yet. However, there have been a number of studies conducted that demonstrated some of CBD’s health benefits.
- CBD has antioxidant properties
This means that the compound can destroy toxic substances from food or produced within the body. Such substances are often the cause of many inflammatory conditions.
- CBD has protective effects
The presence of toxic substances in the body can bring about oxidative stress which causes age-related disorders. The use of CBD can provide protection against degenerative disorders and can also slow down progression in persons who suffer from them. Moreover, CBD can also prove helpful in the improvement of autoimmune diseases.
- Other benefits
Other CBD benefits include therapeutic benefits for brain disorders, effects on depression; effects on PTSD and other social anxiety disorders.
How does CBD differ from anti-depressant medications?
For the treatment of depression, CBD does have an edge in benefits over pharmaceutical antidepressant medications. For one, the use of CBD yields fast and sustained anti-depressant-like results, whereas antidepressant medications usually take weeks before they start working.
With CBD, there are fewer side effects. Using antidepressant medications can lead to side effects like sexual dysfunction, Insomnia, agitation, and mood swings. Using CBD hasn’t shown such issues.
However, you must remember that although CBD may offer some benefits that antidepressant medications cannot, it still shouldn’t become a replacement. Just continue with your prescription medications, especially antidepressants. For any questions on this, consult with your doctor.
There can be very serious effects if you abruptly stop taking prescribed medications for depression. Your doctor can help you design a plan for slowly decreasing your dosage if you want to stop the medication and take CBD instead.
Is it safe?
To test the safety of CBD, researchers have also conducted tests to determine if CBD has toxic potentials. So far, the reports have shown that the toxicity of CBD is relatively low. It’s proven safe with very minimal potential for side effects. Furthermore, it was also found that it had no effect on the development of the fetus in pregnant women.
Compared to THC and cannabinoids with psychoactive effects, CBD doesn’t produce any adverse effects. However, some reports have shown that some reactions might occur when CBD interacts with other medications taken with it.
The bottom line
CBD is one of over a hundred naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Because of the stigma caused by THC, another cannabinoid with psychoactive properties, people had shunned CBD use.
But recent studies have shown that CBD has immense potential benefits in treating various conditions including depression. It can help improve depressive symptoms and a person’s quality of life. Of course, CBD isn’t a cure for the disorder but may offer several health benefits for the patient.