CBD or Cannabidiol is a natural compound derived from the cannabis plant (either hemp or marijuana). However, CBD itself does not cause the feelings of being “high” that THC offers. When extracted from the plant, the THC level has to remain below 0.3% to be legit CBD, and this amount cannot get anyone high.
Recently, advocates for CBD and research have been going on about the potential health benefits it offers. CBD and depression have been one such topic, so below we will be going through whether or not there is some truth to these claims or if it is just another fad.
The first thing to note is that CBD is still undergoing research and every day more testing is done to verify whether or not CBD is a good method of treating these symptoms. However, based on research that has been done so far, there are positive indications that CBD can help with cognitive impairment, nervousness, and anxiety. These are all symptoms of depression and have seen some improvement among test subjects. Chronic pain, which can be a catalyst for depressive episodes has also seen some improvement through diagnosed uses of CBD.
Studies have shown that CBD can alter serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can regulate emotion, stress, and overall mood. With the correct dose, these levels can be altered to act as an antidepressant. However, when CBD is taken with other medications, there can be further complications. So, if you’re planning to take CBD, please consult your doctor before consuming it.
What research has been done?
The last decade has been the most promising time for CBD research. This is not a very long time period but enough to promote some potential health benefits through the research done already. There were a few done recently that suggested that CBD can help reduce depression, but again, more research needs to be done before it can be said 100% for certain.
Some studies are:
- 2018 study – It found that high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC together produced the best improvements in treating depression.
- 2019 study – CBD effects were tested on rats. They found out that having them consume CBD before a test, helped reduce helplessness (which is a common symptom of depression).
- 2020 study – Rats were exposed to multiple stressors while consuming CBD for a 28-day period. When tested for depression, they found that the CBD had helped reduce the symptoms after the test.
Is CBD better than using antidepressants?
CBD has been compared a lot to common antidepressants and there are a couple of ways where CBD comes out on top.
- CBD causes fewer (recorded!) side effects than antidepressants. These medications tend to have side effects such as insomnia and mood swings that come along with them. Until now, no such side effects have been noted with the use of CBD.
- For antidepressant medications to show results, a few weeks will have to pass. However, with CBD the effects can be felt almost immediately or within a short time period. People can allegedly feel relief much faster than on antidepressants.
What are the side effects of CBD?
In comparison to antidepressants, the side effects that sometimes occur from CBD use are less severe and common. These side effects can vary between people depending on their sensitivity to CBD.
Some common side effects are:
- Dry Mouth
So far, we only know the short-term effects on the body due to our limited research. This is one of the main reasons CBD is not being actively promoted yet. We don’t know the long-term effects on our body completely, so we cannot assure that it is 100% safe.
The WHO has deemed CBD safe for consumption back in 2017 if it is taken alone. However, with other medications, there is a possibility for adverse reactions to occur. Therefore, you have to consult a professional before consuming anything because you need to know how much CBD you should be taking or if you can take it in the first place.
Why CBD isn’t great for depression right now
Though CBD is definitely a viable treatment for depression, it cannot be confirmed until more time has passed. Right now, there are a few problems that show it may be a bad idea to treat depression with CBD without a proper diagnosis and medical help.
- CBD cannot be purchased everywhere or in every country, therefore not everyone has access to it.
- No CBD oil product has been approved by the FDA. If these regulations are not placed on the products, the suppliers can put a tag on anything and call it CBD.
- CBD is extracted from cannabis using multiple methods. Sometimes, CBD oil can contain more THC than 0.3% which will change the effects of the CBD.
Over time, we may see that CBD can actually help depression, with evidence! CBD has other health benefits that may interest you until then. Or if you are looking for THC products instead of CBD, check out our Delta 8 disposable carts. You won’t regret it!