Does CBD interact with the chemistry of the brain to potentially reduce the symptoms of depression?
This debate has gone on for almost as long as CBD has existed. The FDA has not approved CBD to treat depression, but many people claim CBD helps with their depression. Additionally, some independent studies have shown that CBD may help with depression.
This article will explain how depression works, when to treat it, and the different treatment methods available for depression.
What is depression?
Depression is one of those words that the general public will often use, but no one seems to know the exact definition. Some will claim depression simply means feeling sad about something, which is a simplistic way to view depression. It goes much further than that.
In reality, depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals and their receptors in the brain. The most notable of these chemicals is serotonin. Most people with clinical depression will have lower serotonin levels than those without clinical depression.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depression has a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms will vary depending on the person and their way of life. However, the most common symptoms of depression are recurring sad and anxious feelings and suicidal thoughts or attempts. This does not mean that those are the only two symptoms of depression. These are simply the most common symptoms of depression that appear in people that suffer from depression.
Other symptoms include trouble concentrating, insomnia, and irritability. Depression has even more symptoms than that too. However, most of the symptoms of depression are fairly normal for people to experience. Depression is different because the feelings will chronically appear for no apparent. If you only have sad and anxious feelings after sad events, then you likely do not suffer from depression.
Unfortunately, diagnosing depression is a difficult task for most psychiatrists. Most must rely on the patient expressing their past emotional state. The psychiatrist then makes a diagnosis from that information.
Pharmaceutical antidepressants may not be the best option
The most common medications used to treat depression are Zoloft and Prozac. These drugs fall into the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) category. SSRI pharmaceutical drugs work to treat depression in some people.
However, the negative side effects of SSRI drugs are quite severe, and an increasing number of scientists are questioning the efficacy. Scientists do not even know why exactly SSRI drugs work nor do they know the long-term side effects of these drugs on the brain. Also, every person has slightly different brain chemistry, which could mean different effects for different people.
Some of the negative side effects that concern scientists and the population, in general, include suicidal thoughts, drowsiness, insomnia, and sexual impotence. The problem with SSRI drugs is that often they cause a depressed person to commit suicide. For that reason, doctors are sometimes reluctant to prescribe antidepressant drugs to people suffering from depression. Sexual impotence, drowsiness, and insomnia are other negative side effects of SSRI medication. Those side effects, especially sexual impotence, can further compound the effects of depression on patients.
Other negative side effects include potential birth defects if taken while pregnant. In some states, a doctor will only provide an SSRI prescription if proof that birth control of some form is taken.
Many people suffering from depression want to avoid taking SSRI drugs because of the reasons listed above. In the past, this meant people had no other alternative to treat their depression. This meant suffering through depression without any form of help. Thankfully, times have changed, and alternate methods to treat depression have appeared.
Can CBD treat depression?
People searching for alternate depression treatments discovered that CBD offers a viable alternative. At first glance, many might think marijuana would only cause more depression. And that is true, marijuana may cause more depression because it has THC, which has psychoactive effects on the brain. However, CBD contains an insignificant amount of THC and therefore has no psychoactive effects on the brain.
CBD provides all the positive benefits of marijuana, but none of the negative side effects typically associated with recreational marijuana. One of these benefits is that CBD can cause positive emotions and a positive mood.
This occurs in a similar manner to an SSRI because CBD increases the amount of serotonin freely floating in the synapse of the brain. Increased serotonin makes it easier for positive signals to jump across neuron receptors. This works in the short-term for treating depression. However, the positive effects of the CBD disappear once the body filters out all the CBD.
However, CBD can help with depression in the long-term too. Researchers have discovered that CBD increases the size of the hippocampus and can regenerate neurons within the hippocampus. This is important because studies have shown that those suffering from depression have a much smaller hippocampus and much less neurons in the hippocampus. Unfortunately, this research has only occurred on animals due to funding restraints on a full clinical trial.
All in all, the large amount of research conducted on CBD in animals combined with a large amount of patients claiming it works to treat depression look good for CBD. It also has zero negative side effects and is 100% natural. Those two factors alone make it more worthwhile than pharmaceutical SSRI medication that is synthetically created in a laboratory and has a wide range of negative side effects.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Depression
CBD is an excellent way to treat the symptoms associated with depression. It has zero negative side effects, is 100% natural, and can help cure depression in the long term. No dependency issues have arisen with CBD either, which makes it a promising alternative solution to SSRI medication.
The CBD gummies available from Sunday Scaries have all the benefits of CBD. These gummies also taste and feel like regular sugar gummies. You can ingest your CBD without having to smoke an e-cigarette or ingest any kind of oil.