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CBD for Depression: Benefits and Uses


Feb 29, 2024

The market for products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, has exploded in recent years. Surveys show that 14%-33% of U.S. adults have used CBD at some point. People take it for all kinds of health issues, including pain and insomnia, without much hard science to show whether it works. Depression has become one of the most common forms of mental health conditions that possibly have a lasting effect on a person. In a survey conducted in 2015-16, it was revealed that 1 out of every 20 people in India are suffering from depression. This figure accumulates to around 5% of the world’s adult population.

Depression is a crippling disorder that can be indicated by symptoms like excessive concern, intense self-consciousness, chest pain, and panic attacks. Feeling depressed and having little interest in the things you used to enjoy can be rather concerning.

Thankfully, there are numerous methods available for treating this mental health condition. SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are widely used yet have numerous negative side effects. Others run the risk of becoming addicted.

Does CBD work?

Many medical experts often prescribe heavy medication to manage depression. However, these heavy doses have many side effects like drowsiness, mood swings and even sexual dysfunction. The good news is that CBD oil has shown promising results for people who are dealing with depression and that too, with minimal to no side effects.

According to research, CBD appears to have antidepressant-like properties, which implies it may be effective in reducing the symptoms of depression.

CBD oil affects the hippocampus which regulates the emotions in the body. It also helps in increasing the serotonin levels in the body to promote a positive effect on your emotions. The result? Buy cbd oil products reduces stress levels, giving the mind a sense of positivity.

How to use CBD oil for depression?

Experts have time and again recommended that the most effective way to take CBD oil is by taking it orally. They use various tinctures, capsules, and oils to achieve the best result. However, CBD oil is the most effective when consumed regularly.

If the pungent taste and smell of CBD oil tend to bother you, you can mix it with your food, tea, or coffee. Alternatively, you can also choose to have CBD gummies if you want an easy, tasty and milder dose of CBD in your daily routine.

One can continue to take it on a long-term basis as it is not addictive in nature and is approved by the Ministry of Ayush in India. However, it is mandatory to get a prescription for it as most CBD oil products in the market are prescription-based. One must also make sure that you purchase your CBD oil from a trusted source that provides third-party lab results to indicate the level of CBD in a product and its authenticity.

What’s the Evidence for CBD in Anxiety and Depression Treatment?

You may have heard from a friend or read online about people who swear CBD helped with their mental health issues. But there have been very few scientific studies comparing the effects of CBD to the effects of another medicine or a fake medicine called a placebo.

Anxiety: More than a dozen studies have been done on lab animals over the past 3 decades that showed that depending on the dose, CBD could reduce behaviour similar to anxiety in people. A handful of studies have been done with people that had similar results.

Two studies from 1974 and 1982 found that CBD lowered anxiety caused by taking THC.

A 1993 study found less anxiety in people who took CBD and then performed a public speaking test.

People in a small study published in 2003 reported feeling less anxious after taking CBD than those who took a placebo.

Two studies published in 2011 found CBD reduced symptoms in people diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.

A study published in 2019 showed CBD worked better than a placebo for teenagers with social anxiety.

Young people whose regular anxiety medicine wasn’t working well showed improvement after adding CBD in a study published in 2022.

Results from the first phase of an ongoing trial using CBD and other cannabis compounds published in 2022 found the medication could ease symptoms over 4 weeks.

The Drug Enforcement Administration changed its rules about CBD in 2015, making it easier to use it for research. More than a dozen studies are going on now or are being set up to test the effect of CBD on anxiety. Some involve people diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Others are looking at anxiety in people with cancer or other diseases.

Depression: Anxiety and depression are often treated using the same drugs, showing they may be influenced by the same brain processes. So it makes sense that if CBD works for anxiety, it might also work for depression. However, there have been even fewer studies focusing on depression specifically. Almost 2 dozen animal studies found CBD can have an antidepressant effect. Also:

A study of people with cancer and chronic pain published in 2012 found an improvement in symptoms of depression. The drug tested contained CBD and THC.

Two studies published in 2018 found CBD reversed depression symptoms brought on by marijuana use.

In a survey of more than 2,000 people, more than 1 in 6 reported using CBD to manage depression. Almost two-thirds of them said it worked very well or moderately well.

The study published in 2022 on young people that showed a benefit for anxiety symptoms also found significant improvement in depression symptoms.

In addition to one study planning to test CBD for treating anxiety and depression in people with bipolar disorder, another study on CBD for chronic pain is measuring whether it also improves depression symptoms.

Doctors aren’t exactly sure how CBD might improve anxiety and depression symptoms. It acts on more than 65 receptors in your brain, some of which affect your levels of serotonin. That’s a brain chemical that helps control your mood. Several drugs already used to treat anxiety and depression focus on boosting your levels of serotonin. But other receptors and brain pathways may also be involved.

Is CBD Safe for Treating Anxiety and Depression?

Right now, CBD is only approved to treat certain seizure disorders. A report by the World Health Organization found it to be generally safe and not likely to be abused.

  • Companies aren’t allowed to market them as medicines, dietary supplements, or food additives, although they do.

Here are some things to consider before you buy CBD oil for anxiety or depression:

  • The amount of CBD in the product could be more or less than what the label says.
  • The product might have ingredients that aren’t listed, including the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana, THC.
  • Without government oversight of the manufacturing process, the product could be contaminated.
  • Doctors don’t know how much of the CBD you eat, inhale, or rub on your skin actually gets into your system.
  • Studies have tested CBD in different doses, but scientists don’t yet know how much you’d need to take for it to help you, or how often or for how long you’d need to be treated.

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