Depression affects an estimated 1 in 15 adults every year and one in six people at some time in their life. Until you have felt depression or cared for a loved one, it can be hard to understand how debilitating depression can be.
Luckily, people who are diagnosed with some form of this condition are discovering that CBD is a wonderful natural option for alleviating some of their symptoms. To be clear, CBD does not necessarily cure depression. Rather, studies show that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a collection of cell receptors and the corresponding molecules (agonists) in the human body, which helps to regulate essential human functions such as pain and pleasure as well as sleep, appetite and general mood.
So, how do CBD Oil products interact with the human body to treat some of the side effects of depression?
What causes Depression and how does CBD help?
Depression can be a predisposed condition (something you were born with) or brought on by an unfortunate event or trauma. Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of depression are often the same: feeling down, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, loss of energy, feeling worthless, and difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions.
Some doctors think that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. But to say depression as ‘just’ a chemical imbalance wildy misconstrues the disorder. Scientists agree that levels of neurotransmitters (i.e chemicals in our brains) are reduced during depression, but this reduction is a symptom of depression rather than a cause.
Two of the neurotransmitters affected during depression are serotonin and dopamine. Decreased levels can make us feel sad, have a lack of interest in activities, have difficulties sleeping, and loss of energy or ‘joie de vivre.’ And because the levels of serotonin and dopamine are affected by things like mental state, and stress levels, research supports the idea that some depressed people can be greatly impacted by CBD and the way it interacts with our Cannabinoid System to improve mental state, reduce stress and promote a better mental and physical balance. This is where the use of CBD and Phytocanabinoids products can come into play to produce dramatic results.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 60+ naturally occurring compounds found in all cannabis plants. In the human body, endocannabinoids are the molecules that act as chemical messengers in the “endocannabinoid system,” the parts of our nervous system containing cannabinoid cell receptors which respond to cannabinoids and tell the body to do certain things. The human body naturally produces its own cannabinoids (endogenous or endocannabinoids) with the help of fatty acids found in foods such as nuts, seeds, fish and MCT coconut oil, but the same receptors bind to the compounds found in cannabis.
Unlike THC, the cannabinoid associated with causing marijuana’s “high effect,” CBD has a different, more indirect interaction with these cell receptors. At the same time, CBD has the unique ability to directly interact with other cell receptors, including serotonin and dopamine receptors. Thus, when ingested, CBD influences brain activity and one byproduct is the release of serotonin and dopamine throughout the body, producing an anti-anxiety effect.
Researchers have found evidence that endocannabinoids are important regulators of stress responses. They think that, during depression, plant cannabinoids such as CBD have the ability to regulate one’s response to stressful situations.
While there are many testimonials and independent studies that give those suffering with depression hope for a natural alternative, more research needs to be conducted before it should be considered as an alternative to prescription medication. Any changes to treatment should always be made with the advice of a medical professional.