How to Try CBD for Depression | HBE CANADA

How to Try CBD for Depression

How to Try CBD for Depression

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of natural compound known as a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants are sometimes called hemp or marijuana, depending on their level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid.

THC is associated with a “high.” CBD, however, does not cause psychoactive effects like marijuana does.

CBD can be derived from the hemp or marijuana plant.

CBD has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, as new research explores its potential health benefits. Some research suggests that CBD oil and other CBD products may be beneficial for symptoms of depression.

How can it help?

If you’re looking into using CBD for therapeutic purposes, it’s important to understand that the research around CBD is limited. There have been a lot of studies in the last decade, but most of them were done using animals.

That means the possible benefits of CBD for depression in humans are mostly speculative right now.

Still, CBD does appear to have some benefits for depression, especially for dealing with:

  • anxiety
  • cognitive impairment
  • discomfort before public speaking

THC and CBD may also be helpful for conditions potentially related to depression, such as chronic painTrusted Source.

What does the research say?

Experts believe that CBD’s potential benefits for depression are related to its positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain.

Low serotonin levels are likely connected to depression. CBD doesn’t necessarily boost serotonin levels, but it may affect how your brain’s chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that’s already in your system.

A 2014 animal study found that CBD’s effect on these receptors in the brain produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.

A more recent 2018 reviewTrusted Source of existing studies concluded that CBD has anti-stress effects, which may reduce depression related to stress.

As mentioned, this is an area that’s still being actively studied, and new research and reviews are published every year. As researchers begin to better understand CBD and its potential benefits or concerns, information about how to most effectively use the product will continue to change.

How does it compare to antidepressant medications?

When it comes to treating depression, CBD does appear to have some benefits over antidepressant medications.

Most antidepressant medications take weeks to start working. However, a 2019 animal studyTrusted Sourcefound that CBD has a fast and sustained antidepressant-like effect.

CBD may also result in fewer side effects than antidepressant medication. Insomnia, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and agitation are common side effects of antidepressants. CBD has not shown similar issues.

Caution

While CBD may offer some benefits over antidepressant medications, it isn’t a replacement. Never stop taking prescribed medication, especially antidepressants, without talking to your healthcare provider first.

Abruptly stopping medication that’s been prescribed to you can cause serious side effects. If you want to stop taking medication, work with your healthcare provider to come up with a plan for gradually decreasing your dosage.

What if I also have anxiety?

Depression and anxiety commonly occur together, and people with one are more likely to have the other. CBD does appear to help with both.

One studyTrusted Source found that people who took 600 milligrams (mg) of CBD experienced significantly less social anxiety than people who took a placebo. Another studyTrusted Source used a smaller dose of 300 mg, which still reduced levels of anxiety.

Anxiety may also have a link to low serotonin, so CBD’s effect on serotonin receptors might partly explain these beneficial effects.

The bottom line

CBD is becoming an increasingly popular remedy for a range of health issues, including depression. If you’re interested in trying CBD, talk with your healthcare provider.

While studies show the compound is generally safe, it may interact with medications. It’s a good idea to review medications and other supplements you’re taking before you begin using CBD.

 

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