We've all felt the “daily blues” at one time or another, but for some people, the feelings of sadness and an inability to enjoy themselves become so intense and so pervasive that they interfere with people's abilities to live a normal life. This issue is known as depression, and it is one of the most prominent mental health issues in the United States today.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 7% of American teens and adults are experiencing depression at any given point in time. Having one episode of depression can also make people more likely to experience it again in the future, especially if they don't treat it. Having more options to treat depression could help people who do not respond to standard medications or therapeutic strategies, so it is an important step that researchers are looking into cannabidiol (CBD) as a possible means of addressing depression symptoms.
We've talked to people who have reported that, after taking CBD supplements, they had more energy, felt less down, and were able to normalize their eating and sleeping schedules, all of which can be problems for people with depression. Other studies have found that CBD could have an impact on a related mood disorder, bipolar disorder. However, these outcomes might not be the same for everybody, which is another critical reason that CBD and depression studies should be conducted.
So far, researchers have found that there is a potential reason that CBD might be able to alleviate the symptoms of depression, at least in the animal models they have used. Parolaro et al. suggested that some cases of depression may be directly due to imbalances in the brain's endocannabinoid system. Among individuals who have levels of endocannabinoids that are too low, CBD could possibly assist in returning those levels to normal, although it is important to note this hypothesis has not yet been tested in humans.
Campos et al. reported that in mouse models of depression, the administration of CBD reduced the animals' physiological symptoms of depression, such as high blood pressure and heart rate. CBD also reduced the animals' behavioral symptoms of stress when exposed to inescapable dangers. In both cases, the changes that followed CBD administration were similar to changes caused by administering drugs that are usually used to treat depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. According to Campos et al., CBD's effects on the endocannabinoid system might trigger serotonin receptors in cells that help to regulate stress responses and mood. These studies will have to be replicated in humans before we can know if CBD can truly treat depression, but the preliminary results show that this is an area worth studying further.
If you are struggling with depression, there is no substitute for professional care. In addition to therapeutic help, CBD may have a place for you as a supplement for the day to day management of life's challenges. We have collected links to several resources about the relationship between CBD and depression in our FAQs section as well. They may help you in making a decision about whether incorporating CBD into your approach to depression is right for you. You might also consider exploring the differing formats of CBD that are available, such as CBD capsules that are convenient for ensuring a standardized level of supplementation each day, or an array of edibles that include soothing teas and even CBD-infused chocolate to help you perk up.
Do you have a question or comment about CBD? Let us know, and we will respond right away. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletters and visit our website DiscoverCBD.com regularly for the latest updates on research, legislation, and other news impacting you and cannabidiol.
Written by Seth B