Depression is a very real and very prolific problem in our modern society. Each week, it affects as many as one in six individuals and causes such debilitating symptoms as low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt, low self-worth and helplessness, disturbed sleep, poor concentration and loss of appetite. These issues often seep into other aspects of a person’s life, causing problems at work or school and affecting personal and professional relationships.
With so many individuals affected by the blight of depression, the inevitable strain on the NHS becomes ever-more prominent and medications to treat the disorder are extremely in-demand.
Anti-depressants such as Fluoxetine (Prozac), Citalopram, Amitriptyline, Imipramine, and Nortriptyline are all available on prescription to combat the mental and physical symptoms of the illness, but rather than address the root cause of the depression they tend to work by increasing chemical levels in the brain which are linked to mood and emotions – such as serotonin and noradrenaline. The issue with antidepressants is that they do not come with a guarantee of success and can sometimes even worsen the negative feelings associated with depression. In other instances, the use of antidepressants can cause rapid weight gain, loss of sexual desire or sexual function, insomnia, constipation and many, many more unwanted effects which could negatively impact an individual’s attempts of recovery.
This is where the prospect of CBD as a natural alternative comes in to the conversation. A 2014 review titled Antidepressant-Like and Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Cannabidiol: A Chemical Compound of Cannabis Sativa, appears to suggest that CBD has effective antidepressant and antianxiety properties based on a series of studies using animal models. Although the review states that more research is required, it does conclude that “the results have been very promising” and that “CBD can become a new drug for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.”
These encouraging results have been reinforced further still by the 2018 review Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age, which states that “we have also shown that the inverted bell-shaped dose-response curve produced by CBD in several animal models of anxiety/depression is related to the activation of TRPV1 receptors that occurs at higher doses. These receptors could increase glutamate release, which would oppose 5HT1A- or CB1-mediated anxiolytic/antidepressant effects.”
Another factor which makes CBD a desirable option for combatting depression is that its use is not associated with any severe side-effects, with fatigue and diarrhoea being the most likely and most serious reactions an individual might experience. There is a chance, however, that CBD may interact with certain medications, so it’s important to consult your doctor before you start using any type of CBD product – be it topical, edible, inhalable or otherwise.
CBD is most effective when used regularly, so don’t become disheartened if you use CBD in an attempt to combat depression but don’t experience immediate results. Give it time and be patient, and if necessary increase your dosage slightly until you notice a change in your mood, your energy and your general state of mind.
Ways to Take CBD
There are many different ways to take CBD and most of which are extremely palatable and enjoyable to consume. There are oral drops such as Green Stem’s CBD tinctures in delicious flavour profiles like Seville Orange, Peppermint and Black Cherry which are placed under the tongue and absorbed by the sublingual gland. When a substance is administered to this gland, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and the effects are felt far quicker than with other methods of consumption. You can also get your daily dose of CBD from inhalable e-liquids and topical skincare products like Green Stem’s decadent CBD-infused bath bomb with jasmine, lavender and aromatic sandalwood. Topical / cosmetic CBD products are often infused with other herbs and essential oils which promote relaxation and peace of mind, making the attack against depression even more effective.
CBD positively impacts the endocannabinoid system in our bodies – a system responsible for the regulation of mood, pain sensation, sleep and appetite – which is what makes the compound much more promising and all-encompassing as an antidepressant than prescription medications which work by chemically increasing serotonin levels in the brain. CBD is holistic in nature and depression is an ailment which requires a holistic approach to tackle. It is not as simple as taking a pill and experiencing immediate happiness: there are many other factors like diet and lifestyle which also need to be considered and addressed. Because CBD does indeed affect a broad spectrum of mental and physical functions, it serves as a more complete treatment with high potential for success. CBD is also a natural compound, making it a great option for anyone looking to avoid synthetic chemical medications in their pursuit against the dark grip of this disorder which makes no discrimination against who it affects.
Anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of differing and distressing ways. It can be specific to a situation or object, such as a phobia or irrational fear, or associated with social performance or situations.