For anyone who suffers from depression or who has a loved one who has bouts of depression symptoms, millions of people will agree that this disorder is one of the most debilitating conditions people can face. Luckily, each year, more people who are diagnosed with some form of this disease are discovering that CBD oil is a natural option for alleviating some of their symptoms. To be clear, CBD cannot 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 sleep, appetite, mood, pain, and pleasure among other things.
What Is Depression?
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 sad, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, loss of energy, feeling worthless, and difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions.
While human neurochemistry plays a vital role, it is commonly debated that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Rather, Psychology Today argues, “regarding 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. As previously mentioned, it is common for someone experiencing a bout of depression to feel sad, have a lack of interest in activities, have difficulties sleeping, and loss of energy. Because levels of serotonin and dopamine are affected by things like diet, exercise, mental state, and stress levels, research supports the idea that some depressed people have reduced serotonin and dopamine transmission. This is where the use of CBD products can come into play.
CBD And Depression
CBD has been found to be effective in the treatment of depression. While CBD does not cure the condition, it has been linked to improvement of the symptoms. The cannabinoids produced in our bodies (endocannabinoids) help to regulate several functions of the body such as mood, pain sensation, sleep, and appetite. These substances exert their actions by binding to specific points of brain cells called the receptors through which they potentiate the actions of a substance called serotonin which acts to improve mood and reduce stress levels. Serotonin also acts by binding to its receptors in brain cells. When these chemical substances bind to their respective receptors, they trigger a series of events within each brain cell stimulating processes that improve mood and stress control. CBD has been found to help improve depressive symptoms by modulating the actions of the endocannabinoids and also potentiating the effects of serotonin by enhancing the activity of the receptors unto which serotonin binds.
CBD is one of the naturally occurring chemical substances found in the cannabis plant and though the stigma associated with the psychoactive counterpart, THC, has rubbed off on it, it has been shown to have immense health benefits in treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and inflammatory diseases. CBD oil helps to significantly improve depressive symptoms and the individual’s quality of life. However, it should be noted that CBD does not provide a cure for the disorder, but leads to a better quality of life for the patient.