Updated on April 1, 2024

CBD for Depression

Fact Checked

Key takeaways

  • Depression is a serious mental condition affecting over 280 million people globally.
  • The risk of committing suicide is 20 times higher in people who are battling with major depression.
  • CBD can control several pathways linked to depression. This control improves sleep, deals with anxiousness and swelling.
  • CBD protects the nerves against inflammation from diabetes.
  • CBD has antidepressant properties.

How bad is depression?

Depression is a common and widespread mental health issue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 280 million people around the world experience depression. This includes about 5% of all adults globally and 5.7% of adults aged 60 and above.

Depression is the second leading cause of suicide after anxiousness. Out of every 100 men diagnosed with depression, about 7 may eventually commit suicide. For women, the number is 1 out of every 100. Compared to the general population, the risk of suicide is approximately 20 times higher for those dealing with major depression.

What are the common causes of depression?

Depression is caused by a combination of several factors some of which are listed below;

  1. Family history: Sometimes, depression can run in families. If your parents, siblings, or other close relatives have experienced depression, there might be a higher chance that you could be at risk.
  2. Personality: People with certain personality traits might be more prone to depression. For example, if someone tends to worry a lot or be really hard on themselves, they could be at a higher risk.
  3. Serious Medical Illness: If you have a severe health condition, it can sometimes contribute to depression. Dealing with a long-term or serious illness can affect your mood and well-being.
  4. Drug and Alcohol Use: Using drugs or alcohol excessively can increase the risk of depression. These substances can affect the brain and interfere with its normal functioning.
  5. Life Events: Certain life events, especially challenging ones like the loss of a loved one, a breakup, or financial struggles, can trigger depression in some people.
  6. Changes in the Brain: Sometimes, changes in the brain's chemistry or structure can contribute to depression. It's like the brain's communication system experiencing disruptions.

What does research about CBD and depression?

  1. Regulating Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are like messengers in the brain that help nerve cells, or neurons, talk to each other. Imagine them as little couriers carrying important messages between different parts of your brain. These messages control things like your mood, thoughts, and even how your body functions. Some well-known neurotransmitters include serotonin, which affects mood, and dopamine, which plays a role in pleasure and reward. Keeping these messengers in balance is crucial for a healthy and well-functioning brain.

CBD may interact with receptors in the brain involved in mood regulation, such as serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of well-being, and many conventional antidepressant medications target serotonin activity. By regulating this neurotransmitter, CBD can help people with depression have a better brain activity that reduces the severity of depression.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Effects:

Chronic inflammation might start or make depression worse, especially in people dealing with ongoing health issues like autoimmune conditions. Depression is a common mental health challenge with various potential causes, and inflammation, especially in those with autoimmune or chronic health problems, can be one factor that adds to it.

Some studies suggest that CBD can produce anti-inflammatory properties that promote mental health. This effect can help keep the brain and its cells in balance to tackle any possible sign of depression. Information from a 2022 study shows that CBD, besides affecting the immune and inflammatory systems, might influence other pathways linked to depression. First, it can impact 5-HT1A receptors, creating calming and antidepressant effects in rats. Second, in mice, CBD may inhibit the cortisol axis, showing antidepressant-like effects. Third, using CBD might bring about lasting antidepressant effects by changing how brain connections work in the prefrontal cortex through a pathway called BDNF.

  1. Anxiolytic Effects

It is almost impossible to separate anxiousness from depression. The two mental conditions work hand in hand. The anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects of CBD may also help people battling with sadness. CBD may have calming effects by working with a natural compound called anandamide in the brain. CBD doesn't directly activate cannabinoid receptors; instead, it boosts endocannabinoid levels, indirectly affecting the activation of these receptors. The increased concentration of anandamide in the brain will produce a calming effect on CBD users.

  1. Sleep Improvement:

Not getting enough good sleep can make it hard for you to control your emotions, which might make you more likely to feel depressed later on, even months or years down the line. Also, depression itself is linked to problems with sleep, like not getting enough of the deep, restful sleep your body needs.

CBD has properties that supports the reduction of anxiousness. By easing feelings of anxiousness, it can lead to better sleep. Stress, anxiousness, sadness, and mental health conditions, in general, can affect your sleep. Recall that pure CBD produces a calming effect on users. This effect can help them sleep better thus allowing them to exercise more control over their emotions and reducing anxiousness. 

Frequently asked Questions

Can CBD really help with depression?

Yes, CBD has some excellent medicinal properties that can help in dealing with depression. These properties are; anti-inflammatory role, anxiousness-reducing effect, neuroprotection, and regulating the activities of neurotransmitters. 

How does CBD work for depression?

CBD impact the endocannabinoid system and other pathways related to mood regulation. It could influence factors such as serotonin levels and swelling. 

What is the right dosage of CBD for depression?

There is no one-size-fits-all dosage for CBD, and the optimal amount can vary from person to person. It's recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase while monitoring your response. 

Are there potential side effects of using CBD for depression?

While pure CBD is generally well-tolerated, some people may experience side effects such as fatigue, changes in appetite, or digestive issues. 

Can I use CBD along with my prescribed antidepressant medication?

No, this may lead to some side effects. It’s crucial to inform an expert about any supplements or medications you are taking, including CBD. CBD can potentially interact with certain medications.

Want to Learn More?

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García-Gutiérrez MS, Navarrete F, Gasparyan A, Austrich-Olivares A, Sala F, Manzanares J. Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders. Biomolecules. 2020 Nov 19;10(11):1575. doi: 10.3390/biom10111575. PMID: 33228239; PMCID: PMC7699613.

Wieckiewicz G, Stokłosa I, Stokłosa M, Gorczyca P, Pudlo R. Cannabidiol (CBD) in the Self-Treatment of Depression-Exploratory Study and a New Phenomenon of Concern for Psychiatrists. Front Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 22;13:837946. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.837946. PMID: 35392393; PMCID: PMC8980587.

The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

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