Since the laws changed to allow hemp products to be sold, we’ve been hearing a lot about CBD and how it can help with so many conditions. We’ll attempt to cut through the noise and present some clear information to help you decide whether you might want to try CBD for depression.
What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, which is a natural constituent of the industrial hemp plant. It can also be sourced from cannabis plants, but the hemp form is most common. CBD has no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive component of cannabis, so it cannot get you high.
The body naturally makes two of its own endocannabinoids which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Everyone has an endocannabinoid system, even if they’ve never used any kind of hemp or cannabis. CBD is a phytocannabinoid that has enough affinity to interact with the CBD1 and CBD2 receptors in the body.
How can CBD Help with Depression?
While there is no proof that it can cure depression (and no claims), CBD can alleviate some of the symptoms that plague depression sufferers and reduce their quality of life. CBD stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine. Dopamine is what triggers motivated behavior while serotonin influences mood, appetite, sleep, and inhibits pain. Relief in any of these areas can be a significant quality of life improvement for sufferers. The energy boost CBD provides, via the release of dopamine, can brighten the outlook and provide some motivation for getting through the workday or doing self-care activities.
Chronic pain is a significant contributor to many cases of depression. The pain relief aspects of CBD will doubly improve sleep, outlook, mood, and anxiety for these sufferers.
It’s important not to treat CBD as if it isn’t a supplement with real impact. If you are taking antidepressants, or even some migraine medications, it’s important to discuss your intention to try CBD with your doctor. Supplements can interact with certain prescription medications, causing them to work too well or not well enough. This is particularly a concern since CBD increases serotonin. If you have ever had serotonin syndrome (too much serotonin), it’s critical to talk with your doctor so adjustments to your medication can be made. Your doctor will want to monitor your serotonin levels to make sure you stay within a safe range.
CBD supplementation can be a very positive step toward improving the outlook and motivation for people suffering from depression. It influences some key areas that affect the quality of life such as sleep, appetite, and mood. The pain relief component of CBD can significantly improve the daily lives of those whose depression is linked to chronic pain. If you see yourself in any of this, you may want to give CBD for depression a try.
Learn more about CBD vs THC here.