Health is a general concern. Every human wants to lead a healthy lifestyle. But, most times, some challenges may come in between our desired long-lasting health. From chronic conditions to mental illnesses like depression, there's a likelihood that the aftermath may not be favourable to the overall wellbeing of the body. Therefore, it’s essential to seek help in time.
The numbers of people battling depression grew in recent years. The increase is not unconnected to the different life challenges that humans face. Besides, depression ranks
as one of the most common forms of anxiety. So, individuals suffering from this are continually exploring new ways of treatment to improve the condition. Interestingly, many kinds of research are pointing out that CBD could be the latest approach to improving the symptoms of depression.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural plant-based oil that contains plant chemicals called Cannabinoids. The latter (Cannabinoid) are commonly found in Cannabis Sativa plants, which are the same plants that produce marijuana.
It’s worth mentioning that Cannabinoids are famous for being “feel good” molecules, which are released by the body when involved in something that makes you happy. They’re also naturally made when you're asleep and relaxing. Interestingly, it has been asserted that Cannabinoids gotten from CBD can help the body retain more anandamide, which, in turn, helps the body to feel more relaxed.
What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?
Worthy of note is that a considerable difference exists between Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although they’re derived from the same plant that produces marijuana, they still have specific features that set them apart.
For instance, CBD does not cause the same level of euphoria that is characteristic of marijuana. Instead, the psychoactive effects are low because it does not have the same amount of “high” produced by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It might also interest you to know that CBD has many health benefits, with many types of research hinting that it can be beneficial for the symptoms of depression.
CBD and Depression: Is CBD Effective for Mental Health Challenges?
Mental illnesses are one of the most tragic things that can happen to anyone. Aside from the disorganized thoughts, patients are also likely to develop suicidal thoughts. That informs the reason why early diagnosis would help the sufferers to get help before it gets late. It’s on that note that research studies have been conducted on both humans and animals to unearth the efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) in relieving mental health challenges like depression. From the outcome of the researches done so far, it’s getting clearer that CBD could help in lending support to the hippocampus, which is an area in the brain that triggers healthy emotion.
Experts believe that CBD may be useful in relieving the symptoms of depression. In light of that, we would look at some of the researches to understand the depth of their inputs to that regard.
First, 2012 double-blind, randomized clinical trial was able to prove that CBD could help in relieving the effects of psychosis. The study, which was conducted on 40 patients, showed that the group of patients that took CBD had lower psychosis symptoms, such as weight gain and movement.
Later on in the year 2014, another research was conducted, this time, on animals. The outcome of the study showed that CBD could relieve the symptoms of depression in animals by acting as an antianxiety and antidepressant compound.
Four years later, in 2018, a review was made, which revealed the postulation of many studies in that regard. From the report, it was deduced that Cannabidiol (CBD) has anti-stress effects, which are a key to reducing the depressive state attributed to stress.
From these indications, it is clear that the roles of Cannabidiol (CBD) in relieving the symptoms of depression are not in doubt.
What Should be Expected?
Ideally, the positive effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) are staring us in the face. It has been established through different studies that it can act as an antidepressant and an antianxiety compound that triggers an anti-stress effect after a short or long term of use, depending on the nature of the anxiety.
It’s no news that depression is steadily on the increase and is now amounting for about 2% of the global deaths. That is tenable because of the suicidal tendencies it spurges on the patients. Moreover, sufferers are more likely to be given to negative thoughts, which often lead to their taking the wrong moves when it becomes severe.
On the other hand, the fame of Cannabidiol (CBD) is increasing because of the flexible and idealistic tendencies of offering relief to depression symptoms.
First, it has been asserted to have a positive interaction with the serotonin receptors in the brain. It’s worth noting that the serotonin receptors help in balancing the human and animal emotional states. Therefore, a balanced serotonin level, as triggered by CBD is one of the significant ways of helping people suffering from depression.
It would also interest you to note that CBD may not become an addictive relief for depression after a short or long term use. Ideally, the functions of the antianxiety and the antidepressant compounds in Cannabidiol (CBD) are to reduce stress and anxiety in both the human and the animal models of depression. To bolster that, the 2018 study also posited that these compounds worked in isolation without activating the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. To that end, chances are higher that CBD users may not take it up as a habit in the future after constant use.
CBD vs Antidepressant Medications
There’s growing concern about the potentialities of Cannabidiol (CBD) in relieving the symptoms of depression. The proponents of this inquest have made a comparison between it and the conventional antidepressant medications. So, what makes CBD a better option? Would it replace the former/antidepressant drugs?
The first point to note is that the clamour for CBD as a facilitated method of relieving the symptoms of depression is buoyed by the outcomes of the various researches conducted to that end. Ideally, the continued discovery of potential side effects in the regular antidepressant medications lends more votes to the paradigm shift towards CBD as a depression-relieving solution.
The quest to adopt CBD into the mainstream options for relieving depression is driven by some of the side effects associated with antidepressant drugs. Notable among these downsides are irritability, nausea, agitation, loss of sexual desire, and insomnia. Other side effects are fatigue, weight gain, agitation, erectile dysfunction, constipation, anxiety, and decreased orgasm. Besides, the conventional antidepressant medications have been found wanting because of their delayed therapeutic response. Hence, the regards extended to CBD as an alternative antidepressant and antianxiety solution is well-informed.
On the other part, despite the efficacy and higher therapeutic responses gotten from Cannabidiol (CBD), it’s also essential to note that it shouldn’t be taken as the replacement to the regular antidepressant medications. That is because CBD hasn't been thoroughly scrutinized to decipher the potential dangers that come with it. Also, porting from the prescribed antidepressant medications without your healthcare provider's consent may turn out to be a wrong move because the side effects may kick in sooner than you expected.
So, Cannabidiol (CBD) is never a replacement for antidepressant medications. But, if you must take it, then consult your healthcare provider for guidance.
The Downsides to Cannabidiol (CBD)
While CBD may offer some great benefits for depression over the traditional antidepressant medications, you must also note that it has some adverse effects, no matter how few they can be. Although these are not side effects (consumption of CBD in the form of inhaling and oral haven’t been proven to cause some side effects), you should also note that being sensitive to the compounds can create some unpleasant experiences.
Therefore, if you must use Cannabidiol (CBD) as a way of reducing the symptoms of depression, and you’re sensitive to the compounds in it, then you should expect these potential experiences that come with it:
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Dry mouth
The fact that CBD does not supposedly cause any side effects doesn’t mean that there may not be any. It merely means that researches have not been extended to that end to discover the potential long-term effects. Always liaise with your healthcare provider before you decide to use CBD for depression.
How Do I Use CBD?
If you’ve gotten your healthcare provider’s approval, then it’s time to look for the best way to consume Cannabidiol (CBD). You have many options to choose, such as Topical, Oral, Vaping, and Edible.
You can choose to take CBD as an Edible, which comes in the forms of foods and drinks. You may also get them in CBD-infused gummies.
The Topical format comes in the forms of CBD-infused beauty products, such as creams and lotions. That way, you get to apply the Cannabidiol (CBD) directly to the skin. However, you must note that this variation is ideal for people suffering from pain.
The Vaping formulation has to do with the intake of CBD oil, which is reputed to be one of the fastest ways to ingest the compounds.
Finally, Oral consumption remains the darling of many users. You can take CBD in this format in the forms of oils, tinctures, sprays, and capsules. You may want to consume them directly or infuse them into other preparations, such as coffee and smoothie.
Getting Your CBD For Depression
Buying Cannabidiol (CBD) can be stressful. The clampdown/regulations in many regions have made it impossible to get it. However, with the current relaxations that are ongoing on the laws, you may be able to get CBD in some States where it has been legalized.
Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to regulate and approve of any nonprescription CBD products. Therefore, ensure that you look for reputable sellers and dispensaries to get your favourite form of Cannabidiol (CBD) for depression.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining widespread popularity as a leading remedy for many health issues, such as depression. Although it is yet to obtain the certifications, you must ensure that you get in touch with your healthcare provider regarding your plans to use CBD for depression.
Hopefully, the active and non-psychoactive compounds could turn out to be the antidepressant option you've been looking for. While at it, note that CBD is and can never pass as a replacement for the conventional antidepressant medications.
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