As a nation as well as globally, we are seeing an exponential rise in cases of depression. This generation is, without doubt, enduring a much greater depressive burden than any other in all of history. There seems to be a distinct lack of peace of mind and genuine joy despite all the trappings of modernity and technology that we flaunt. In the US, depression has become such a common phenomenon that people assume it is an ordinary part of life.
Depression is a mental condition that is associated with feelings of intense despair, hopelessness, and despondency. Every waking thought is dark and your life seems like it is spiraling from one crisis to another. With all the problems and stresses that we face on a daily basis, such as rising costs of living, strained relationships, broken families, crime, and drug dependencies, it is clear that rates of depression will not be going down anytime soon.
One of the worst things about depression is that it doesn’t just occupy one area of your life. It totally encapsulates your entire life so much that it quickly becomes a second skin. No matter what positive things are happening around you, all you can think of and see is hopelessness, negativity, and failure.
Yes, there are occasions where you may feel sad and low for a while, but this is normal. Most people who experience this kind of depressive state are able to overcome it by talking it out or simply getting a good night’s sleep. Then life goes back to normal.
However, when depression becomes this never-ending deep and dark hole that sucks all the light and life out of you, it then becomes a mental disorder that requires medical treatment. If you feel that you are unable to snap out of your continually depressed state despite your best attempts, you may be in need of treatment that gets to the core of the issue. This article will explain how CBD can help you treat depression.
Causes of Depression
Depression doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. There are specific factors that trigger this mental condition. The main thing to remember is that these factors don’t elicit the same response in every individual in exactly the same way. In other words, a trigger that may cause depression in one person may not do so in somebody else.
Some of the causes of depression include:
- Self-preoccupation – This is where you become extremely absorbed in yourself in an unhealthy or negative way, and you literally lock out the rest of the world.
- Extreme stress – The stresses of the modern life can strain your mind, especially considering its fast pace, technology, traffic, and other forms of urban chaos. Work-related stress can also make you feel overwhelmed.
- Social pressures – Failure to achieve a high social status within the time frame you had set can trigger depression. This gets worse when family and friends place heavy expectations on you to get a better job or settle down in marriage.
- FOMO – This stands for “Fear Of Missing Out” and is a phenomenon linked to our crazy infatuation with social media. We all want to be liked and followed on Facebook and Twitter, just to appear popular and achieve some semblance of fame. If this doesn’t happen, depression can set in. People have also become addicted to their smartphones and are always engaging in some online activity just to keep abreast with the latest gossip and news. Just watch what happens when someone loses their phone. A panic attack is imminent!
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression can be grouped into two categories – Emotional symptoms and Somatic symptoms. Emotional symptoms include:
- Obsessions and compulsions
- Depressed moods
- Lack of interest in pleasurable activities
- Suicidal tendencies
The somatic symptoms include:
- Lack of energy
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
- Lack of concentration
- Difficulty in sleeping
Current Mode of Treatment
Most people who go to the doctor for treatment of depression will be prescribed some light antidepressants to help them in the short term. If the doctor sees that the patient’s mental condition hasn’t improved, they then prescribe much stronger medication.
If antidepressants are working so well, why then do we need CBD to treat depression? Well, the truth is that antidepressants are not an effective solution. These drugs don’t actually solve the causes of depression and they bring about many negative side effects in the long term.
Antidepressants are able to reduce the feelings of depression, but once you stop taking the medication, the depression simply returns with disastrous effect. Antidepressants can be addictive, and some of the symptoms of withdrawal include nausea, agitation, insomnia, headaches, hallucinations, bipolar illness, anxiety, and dizziness.1http://www.cchrflorida.org/ssri-withdrawal-effects-are-brutal-and-long-lasting/
The side effects of antidepressants are also of major concern. The chemicals found in antidepressants tend to place a heavy strain on the kidneys when the organ tries to clean the blood. Considering the fact that some antidepressants stay in the bloodstream for up to 4 months, it is clear to see that daily use of these drugs can have negative effects. These drugs change the balance of chemicals in the brain, which can lead to dry mouth, weird dreams, jitteriness, reduced sexual desire, blurred vision, irritability, suicidal thoughts, and fatigue.2https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/what-are-the-real-risks-of-antidepressants
Treatment Using CBD
CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is the major non-psychotomimetic element found in the marijuana plant. We all know that people have been using marijuana to “get high.” However, this plant contains two active ingredients – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD. Out of these two Cannabinoids, it is the THC that makes you high, but the CBD does not have any psychoactive reactions with the body. In fact, the CBD works to neutralize the psychoactive tendencies of THC. That is why CBD is currently being used to treat depression and many other ailments.
According to studies performed in mice, CBD is able to induce antipsychotic and anxiolytic effects in animals. The study concluded that CBD activates the 5-HT (1A) receptors in the body which then triggers an antidepressant effect on the brain.3Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20002102
Another study conducted on rats also revealed that CBD has the capacity to effectively and safely act as an anxiolytic agent and antidepressant.4Geha Mental Health Center, Petah Tiqva, Israel. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27010632 Adult Wistar-Kyoto rats, which are known to be very sluggish and depressive-like, were given CBD and placed in a maze to see how they would react. It was discovered that CBD increased their motivation to explore and move around. This proved that CBD can have a beneficial impact in treating clinical depression and prominent anhedonia. Though studies are still ongoing to better understand CBD and its healing benefits, all this research indicates that CBD can be successfully used as a treatment for depression.
Why CBD is a Better Option
Research conducted on CBD shows that this naturally occurring chemical works very fast within the body to create a prolonged antidepressant state.5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860 In other words, it can be used to relieve depression quickly and its effects last much longer than conventional drugs.
By simply examining the results of the studies conducted on the effects of CBD, it is clear to see that Cannabidiol is able to treat depression very effectively. Apart from depression, it also has many other healing benefits such as treatment for epileptic seizures, anxiety, chronic pain, and many other ailments.
Some people are apprehensive about its use because it is sourced from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis has over 70 different active ingredients, with one of them being THC, but as we mentioned earlier, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects on your mind.
Another fact to ponder is whether CBD has any negative side effects compared to conventional antidepressant drugs. So far, the side effects have been minimal.
Is CBD For Everyone?
The truth is that CBD is safe for anyone to use. It will intoxicate you and it has no negative side effects. However, it is always a good idea to consult your medical practitioner before you use CBD to treat depression. This is very important especially for those who may be suffering from any other ailments or conditions. Let your doctor inform you on whether you should combine CBD with your current medication. In case you are pregnant, you should definitely consult first.
Your doctor should be able to tell you how to transition from conventional antidepressants to CBD Oil. There are also legal issues that you need to consider. In some states in the US, you must get your CBD Oil using a prescription from your personal physician.
With regards to the legality of CBD in the USA, all states have approved its use as long as you are above 18 years of age. However, you will have to check whether your state has placed any restrictions on CBD as treatment for depression.
While there are tests and studies still being conducted, the results so far are very promising. CBD is a much better way to treat depression because it doesn’t come with all the negative side effects of regular antidepressant drugs. It won’t take a toll on your kidneys and works very fast to treat depression. As long as you consult your doctor and follow the legal guidelines, you can effectively use CBD to successfully treat depression.
Thanks for reading!
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References [ + ]
|3.||↑||Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20002102|
|4.||↑||Geha Mental Health Center, Petah Tiqva, Israel. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27010632|