Since hemp products like cannabidiol (CBD) have become federally legal, many people have turned to CBD to treat a variety of health problems. CBD has been known to treat inflammation, reduce the likelihood of seizures, combat anxiety, and in some cases prevent cancer. Mental health issues are one area that CBD can help, that has gained widespread popularity and recognition recently. In particular, current research shows that CBD has potential to help combat survivors and sufferers of PTSD with the symptoms of depression.
To grasp how CBD can treat depression, one must first understand the nature of depression and how it works. Depression is defined as a mood disorder characterized by severe feelings of sadness or emptiness. For many years, the prevailing narrative surrounding the cause of depression has been that it is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. While there is some validity to this, the exact cause of depression is unknown. However, there are many factors that are believed to induce symptoms of depression. Genetics, certain medications, major life events/transitions, trauma, abuse, and chronic illness are typical factors that have been known to cause depression. Our biological understanding of depression is that there is a correlation between those who have a smaller hippocampus (the region of the brain associated with memory) and who report a history of depression. Similarly, an imbalance of neurotransmitters can play a role in depression. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that transmit messages and are responsible for regulating mood, among other functions. Depression can also run in families, which means that genetics can play a role in depression as well.
The traditional approach to treating depression is by using antidepressant medication. The most common form of antidepressants are “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” (SSRIs), and include brands such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro. SSRIs ease symptoms of moderate to severe depression by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. However, they can also include a wide range of potentially dangerous side effects. Common side effects include nausea, drowsiness, insomnia, reduced sex drive, diarrhea, and dizziness. While SSRIs are safe for most people, they can have much more serious side effects for some. For example, SSRIs have been known to cause abnormal heart rhythms, harm babies when taken by pregnant women, and even increase the amount of suicidal thoughts for some patients. CBD, on the other hand, provides a much healthier alternative to antidepressants.
Though research on CBD and depression is still somewhat limited, CBD use has been linked with mitigating the symptoms of depression. Much of this link has to do with the endocannabinoid system, which is a network of receptors in the body that help regulate numerous physiological functions. Cannabidiol Pain Cream like CBD activate cannabinoid receptors, which in turn help manage functions such as temperature, appetite, and mood. CBD can activate receptors that influence and regulate serotonin levels, which in turn can make someone feel less depressed. Moreover, studies found that CBD also helps protect neurons and shrinkage in the hippocampus, which is the region of the brain associated with depression. Thus, CBD can mimic antidepressants in a completely organic and risk-free manner. As with any treatment for depression, one should consult a medical professional prior to using CBD Products, especially for help determining proper doses and frequency.