Can CBD be used to treat depression?
Cannabis has been used by spiritual healers since the beginning of time, yet it is only now (after a long legal detour) that mainstream medicine has embraced the miraculous plant. We are currently witnessing a medicinal revolution, with the multi-healing plant deserving a universal award for “debut of the decade.” There are numerous theories as to why governing authorities banned the plant in the first place, yet the answer remains as mysterious as the magical properties that cannabis contains.
When it comes to depression, cannabis in blunt-form is not a practical solution for most of us, but fortunately we can now reap the full spectrum of medicinal benefits in the form of CBD. I am among the millions who have used marijuana to “self-medicate” (with dosages in the form of bong hits) on a near daily basis. However this practice was often frowned upon, and I have to admit, people could tell I was stoned. While CBD extracted from hemp is not the same as marijuana, the hemp and marijuana plants contain similar healing properties in the form of CBD. The key difference between these two cousins of the cannabis family lies in the THC (intoxicating content).
Essentially the Hemp and Marijuana each contain CBD and THC, but Hemp doesn’t make you high as it has less than 0.3 percent of the fun stuff. While I was never addicted to weed I used it to manage my depression, because I couldn’t afford anti-depressants or regular psychiatric checkups. The spinoff was that I had to put up with the intoxicating side effects during work hours, which lowered my productivity and occasionally scared off clients. I didn’t realize at the time that the key medicinal ingredient was actually the CBD, but now that I’ve made the switch I can maintain emotional stability, without distractions or any form of social stigmas.
The evidence for CBD is promising, with animal studies indicating that CBD is an anti-depressant.
What is CBD oil? How does it affect your brain?
CBD, as a member of the cannabis family, is known for its uplifting attributes and soothing capabilities. The multi-healing medicine is an extract of the hemp plant, and contains a number of natural properties that have been scientifically hypothesized to significantly reduce depression. Research has revealed that CBD induces a positive mood by stimulating receptors in the hippocampus (the emotional switchboard of the brain) which causes the release of comforting chemicals.
CBD has a soothing effect on emotional conditions such as anxiety, depression and general stress, which is reported widely in the form of qualitative data. From capsules and tinctures, to edibles and drinks, there are a variety of CBD products on the market. Each one offers a unique CBD experience, and as long as the CBD is pure and high in quality, any form of CBD (maybe with the exception of a vape) is good for the mind, the body and the soul.
Is CBD good for depression?
According to Medical News Today, “CBD appears to act as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety compound in animal models of depression.” This statement is based on two studies, one from 2014 and another from 2018, which both point toward CBD having a positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is pretty much the “happy chemical” and anti-depressants are designed to boost abnormally low serotonin levels in individuals suffering from depression. While CBD may not cure depression, it is predicted to play a major role in the treatment of mental health within the next five years. Scientists have noted it’s anti-depressant effects and are working on including the plant-extract in up and coming psychiatric medicines.
In my opinion, CBD has completely changed my life and I no longer feel sad without a particular reason. For the sake of qualitative data, I took to Reddit to see what others have experienced within the futuristic realm of CBD and depression. One user had an experience very similar to my own, and on a thread titled “CBD seriously helped me so much” she wrote, “I started vaping CBD oil last week. It’s amazing and helps my anxiety/depression symptoms and I think I can do this instead of antidepressants.” She also perfectly described the sensation as “your body (still )feels wrapped in a heavy, calming blanket.” I did not come across any negative stories about CBD’s effect on depression within the forum, and all in all the plant medicine offers a promising solution to millions who can’t afford to pay for mental health.
Is CBD an antidepressant?
CBD is not an official antidepressant as of yet, and using the substance to treat mental health issues should ideally be discussed with a knowledgeable doctor. There are many psychiatrists and general practitioners who have read up on CBD, and depending on the severity of your condition, they may even approve of supplementation or complete substitution. If you are currently weening yourself off anti-depressants, it would be a very good time to begin supplementing with CBD, to maintain an optimal state of health.
However, CBD should not be used to replace antidepressant medication unless recommended by a psychiatrist. In my case I simply replaced weed with CBD, so there were no chemical withdrawals to be considered and the process was an upgrade in terms of physical health. If you are currently un-medicated and struggling with depression, it isn’t necessary to see a doctor as long as you aren’t taking any other meds or supplements.
It’s important to check that the CBD doesn’t react with your other medications, so please don’t overlook this or you could end up with unnecessary complications. While CBD will likely be administered as an anti-depressant in the future, patients suffering with severe depression should simply use CBD as a supplement. Once the depression has stabilized and the antidepressants are being reduced, switching to CBD can be monitored incrementally, ensuring an adequate dosage for a healthy and happy life.
Can you take CBD oil with antidepressants?
There are a wide range of antidepressant medications on the market, and it is best to consult with an experienced health practitioner to check about adverse reactions. CBD can react with certain chemical-based medications, as well as herbal supplements, so it is super important to do the research first. Even if your doctor gives the go-ahead, remember to keep this in mind whenever you try a new medication.
How does CBD oil make you feel?
It took a few months before I found the right dosage of CBD, but after that I experienced a deep sense of peace and general well-being. I no longer burst into tears inappropriately, or walk around feeling as though I am trapped in a living hell. I feel as though I can get through anything, even if I am upset. CBD doesn’t take away your emotions completely, but it promotes a sense of calm inner strength. In a way I feel normal for the first time in years, as if this is the emotional state I have been trying to reach all along. Even better, I no longer notice my mood dropping like it did with marijuana, as the dosage provides consistent emotional balance, instead of highs and lows.
CBD oil side effects
CBD has been approved not only as safe, but as “safe to consume in large doses” by the World Health Organisation. According to Medical News Today, CBD has no known side effects, although there is always the possibility of an allergic reaction. Cannabis allergies affect only 1 percent of cannabis users, and this statistic reflects a combination of marijuana and CBD users. If you happen to discover you have fallen into the 1 percent, please know that it is super rare for the allergy to evolve to a point where it is life-threatening.
Serious allergies manifest in the form of swelling, which can be noticed several hours before critical organs swell too. If your face begins to swell (and continues to swell rapidly) it is best to seek treatment ASAP as it could lead to anaphylactic shock. If the thought of this rare possibility scares you away from trying CBD, there are cannabis-allergy tests available on from your local doctor. However, to be fair, the likeliness of allergies from CBD is exactly the same chance as it would be with any medication, including anti-depressants.
The best CBD oils for depression
- Elixinol 900mg CBD Capsules (read my Elixinol review here)
- CBDfx CBD Gel Capsules 750mg (read my CBDfx review here)
- Endoca 1500mg Raw CBD Capsules (read my Endoca review here)
Final verdict: Can CBD oil help depression?
CBD can one hundred percent help with depression, however it should be treated with caution alongside other medications. There are specific methods for switching from chemical anti-depressants to CBD, which will assist in maintaining an optimal level of mental health. Be careful to check with a doctor before beginning supplementation, as CBD can react quite unpleasantly with some meds. CBD has been a turning point in my life, and I hope it can do the same for you.
Now it’s your turn
The mission of Cannabis Tutor is to create an educational forum where people seeking information on cannabis, can benefit from unbiased user reviews. If you have a story about CBD or cannabis that you’d like to share, feel free to comment below and add your voice to the movement. You never know who may read your review, and embrace your words as a starting point for happier, healthier life!