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Can CBD Help Treat Depression?

To those suffering from depression, even waking up in the morning can be a struggle. Maybe you are already taking CBD for depression or are considering trying it out. But can CBD help treat depression? A growing body of research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may be useful in treating CBD. Let’s go over what you need to know before giving cannabidiol a try.

What is CBD?

Within the Cannabis sativa plant, there are over 100 cannabinoids, or compounds, that occur naturally. Among these cannabinoids are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Although CBD and THC are present in Cannabis sativa in far greater amounts than the other cannabinoids, they are not the same. CBD does not influence the body the same way as THC, meaning it does not make you high.

Instead, CBD is thought to have a far more therapeutic effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Exactly how CBD works within the human body is not fully understood, but research has uncovered that CBD binds to receptors in the body, inhibiting them. What happens then? Possible outcomes include: anti-inflammation and antioxidative effects, reduced stress and improved sleep, and enhanced focus [1, 2, 3].

 

What Does Research Say About CBD and Depression?

As you may be aware, depression can cause issues with pain, stress, sleep, and even wakefulness and concentration. Because CBD is thought to assist with all those things to the same degree, scientists have started looking at cannabidiol as a treatment for depression. One key piece of research for 2014 suggested that CBD may help with depression in animals, because it was found that there was positive interaction between CBD and serotonin receptors [4]. Serotonin is crucial in combating depression.

Another animal study from 2018 backed up these previous findings, suggesting that CBD exhibits short-term effects on the brain as an antidepressant [5]. Furthermore, the researchers found that CBD worked without stimulating the endocannabinoid receptors directly, indicating that CBD is less habit-forming than other depression treatments available.

In a 2020 review of previous animal and human studies, researchers concluded by saying, “All of the presented results show that CBD plays a significant role in the regulation of anxiety- and depressive-related behaviors, cognition, and locomotion” [6].

An observational study from 2021 looked at anxious and depressed youth in Canada [7]. Upon receiving a CBD-rich treatment, the participants (279 in total) would report back their symptoms and changes. The scientists found that symptoms improved greatly with CBD, but it was only in those with moderate to severe depression and anxiety symptoms. THC was also given to the youths, but it did not have the same effect as CBD.

 

What About CBD For Anxiety?

It is known that there is a connection between depression and anxiety [8]. Therefore, you could potentially be diagnosed with one or both conditions. Individuals who have an anxiety disorder and clinical depression may also be benefited by CBD oil. Studies point to CBD having some effect on anxiety and panic disorders. For example, a 2017 literature review stated that CBD may have a positive effect on panic disorder [9]. The researchers stated that 300 mg of CBD brought about a decrease in anxiety levels prior to speaking publicly.

A study from 2019 noted that when teenagers diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder and social anxiety disorder (SAD) received CBD, it was found that CBD significantly reduced the anxiety experienced by the participants [10]. Each participant in the CBD group (12 in total) were given 600 mg of CBD.

Recently, the results from a clinical trial were published in 2022 [11]. A full-spectrum, high-CBD oil was used on 14 participants with either moderate or severe anxiety. The results showed that anxiety was significantly reduced after 4 weeks, but most patients saw a decrease in anxiety-related symptoms within a week. The trial will be proceeding with a double-blind, placebo-controlled stage soon.

 

How to Use CBD For Depression

Cannabidiol is available in many forms and three formulas. You can tinctures, capsules, edibles, topical creams and salves, and more. Additionally, there is CBD isolate (100% CBD), broad spectrum CBD (contains no THC), and full spectrum CBD (contains less than 0.3% THC) to consider. Depending on the individual, one CBD product or formula may work better for them than others.

Presently, there appears to be a very low risk of developing any kind of addiction or dependency to CBD, so you can use it for the long-term safely. Plus, most individuals experience few symptoms.

However, since CBD behaves like grapefruit, you should avoid using CBD if you are taking any medications with a grapefruit warning on the label. If you are unsure whether CBD is safe for you, ask a medical professional before trying it.

Please keep in mind that, while CBD is legal, it is not regulated. It is crucial to purchase CBD for a trustworthy source, particularly ones that have their CBD assessed by independent third-party labs for purity.

 

Are There Any Side Effects?

With depression, there are medications and other treatments that may result in unfavorable side effects. That is one benefit to CBD—oral, topical, and inhaled products do not have many, if any, side effects.

Some people have experienced weight changes, diarrhea, and fatigue when taking CBD.

 

Ready to Give CBD a Try For Your Depression?

CBD is a highly potent compound that may be able to combat some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. While more research needs to be done on cannabidiol to fully grasp its interaction with depression, results have been positive this far. Perhaps one day, CBD will be prescribed as an antidepressant. Until then, there is no reason not to try CBD for yourself.

Sugar Bottom Hemp has a full line of CBD products, so you’re bound to find something that you love. Our CBD is as close as farm to table as it gets, and it has been thoroughly analyzed by an independent, third-party lab as well. Check out our shop today, and if you have any questions, feel free to send us a message.

 

Bibliography

  1. Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants, 9(1), 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9010021
  2. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/18-041
  3. Batalla, A., Bos, J., Postma, A., & Bossong, M. G. (2021). The Impact of Cannabidiol on Human Brain Function: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.618184
  4. Schier, A., Ribeiro, N., Coutinho, D., Machado, S., Arias-Carrion, O., Crippa, J., Zuardi, A., Nardi, A., & Silva, A. (2014). Antidepressant-Like and Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Cannabidiol: A Chemical Compound of Cannabis sativa. CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets, 13(6), 953–960. https://doi.org/10.2174/1871527313666140612114838
  5. Crippa, J. A., Guimarães, F. S., Campos, A. C., & Zuardi, A. W. (2018). Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age. Frontiers in Immunology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009
  6. García-Gutiérrez, M. S., Navarrete, F., Gasparyan, A., Austrich-Olivares, A., Sala, F., & Manzanares, J. (2020). Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders. Biomolecules, 10(11), 1575. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10111575
  7. Rapin, L., Gamaoun, R., El Hage, C., Arboleda, M. F., & Prosk, E. (2021). Cannabidiol use and effectiveness: real-world evidence from a Canadian medical cannabis clinic. Journal of Cannabis Research, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-021-00078-w
  8. Kalin, N. H. (2020). The Critical Relationship Between Anxiety and Depression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 177(5), 365–367. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20030305
  9. P. Soares, V., & C. Campos, A. (2017). Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol. Current Neuropharmacology, 15(2), 291–299. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159×14666160509123955
  10. Masataka, N. (2019). Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02466
  11. Dahlgren, M. K., Lambros, A. M., Smith, R. T., Sagar, K. A., El-Abboud, C., & Gruber, S. A. (2022). Clinical and cognitive improvement following full-spectrum, high-cannabidiol treatment for anxiety: open-label data from a two-stage, phase 2 clinical trial. Communications Medicine, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43856-022-00202-8