How To Try CBD For Depression?

Marijuana leaves.

Major depressive disorders are the top cause of disability in US citizens aged 15 to 44. Affecting over 16.1 million Americans, the median age for the development of depressive disorders is around 32. 

Owing to these alarming statistics, it’s no surprise that the usage of antidepressants is rampant in the country. But people are now searching for natural remedies to deal with this mental health epidemic. 

Among all other remedies, CBD for depression has recently emerged as a favorite. 

In the past years, we have learned a lot about CBD benefits. While some studies have shown its effectiveness in complementing cancer therapy, other investigations show that it might help against Alzheimer’s disease. 

One of the most notable discoveries in this regard is the likelihood of CBD working against anxiety disorders and depression. 

Part of the reason CBD has become so popular recently is the fact that it does not cause a high – something its fellow compound, THC, is notorious for. 

Before going into detail about CBD for depression, we’d like to preface this article by saying that CBD benefits are not to be thought of as replacements for conventional therapy. The research is still limited, and there’s no confirmation of CBD being a cure for depression or any other ailment. 

Now, let’s discuss if you can use CBD for depression. Does CBD help with depression? Is it better than antidepressants? You’re in for an interesting read. 

Does CBD Help With Depression?

Most of the studies around CBD for depression have been done in animals. Therefore, it’s not 100% sure that we’ll see the same effects in humans. However, the few human trials that have been conducted found that CBD could help people suffering from:

  • Cognitive impairment 
  • Anxiety while public speaking
  • General anxiety 

At the moment, the possible mechanism for CBD’s action elucidated through research is its effect on serotonin release. Research shows low serotonin levels to be linked with depression. 

Although it’s not confirmed that CBD helps raise these levels, researchers speculate that it might be involved in altering the response of brain receptors to the existing serotonin content in the body. 

In a 2014 study, the researchers found CBD to have an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effect by acting on the brain receptors. Additionally, a 2018 review shed light on the anti-stress effects of CBD, hinting that CBD might lower the stress associated with depression. 

As already discussed, the area is still under study, and further investigations will show us the full potential of CBD for depression. 

CBD vs. Antidepressants 

Recent research has shown that CBD might have some advantages over medication for depression. First off, while most meds take weeks, or even months, to show effect, CBD begins working instantly. 

In a 2009 animal study, it was observed that CBD has a long-lasting and fast effect similar to that of an antidepressant. Another benefit of CBD is that it does not have as many side effects as antidepressants. 

Some common risk of antidepressants include:

  • Agitation 
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Sexual dysfunction 

However, it’s important to note that CBD is not a substitute therapy for antidepressants. You should never stop taking the medicinal drugs that a professional has prescribed for you. 

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If you want to quit taking antidepressants, speak to your doctor to gradually leave them. Stopping the medication abruptly can lead to withdrawal effects. 

Does CBD for Depression Cause Side Effects?

So far, there aren’t many known side effects of using CBD. However, some users might experience the following side effects: 

  • Weight change 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Fatigue 
  • Diarrhea

Since there isn’t sufficient research available, it’s hard to tell if CBD could have more severe risks. If you suffer from a depressive disorder, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider before using CBD. 

Keep in mind that CBD interacts with medicinal drugs, including antidepressants. Thus, researchers recommend users get professional advice when using cannabidiol products with meds. 

How to Use CBD For Depression?

Like other ailments, you can use CBD for depression in one or many of the following ways: 

  • Oral: You can purchase CBD oils, capsules, tinctures, and sprays. They have to be taken orally directly through sublingual administration. Plus, you can add oils and tinctures to your beverages and foods. 
  • Vaping: You can also vape CBD oil since it’s the fastest way to experience CBD benefits. But experts debate about the long-term effect of vaping since it could lead to throat irritation, respiratory problems, and coughing. 
  • Edible: Nowadays, you can also buy CBD drinks, food, and gummies online. 
  • Topical: CBD topicals include balm, lotions, creams, and skincare products. You can apply them to your skin for pain, inflammation, and other symptoms that arise due to depression. 

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Other than these products, you might also find some unconventional items, like CBD mattresses, pillows, and toothpaste. However, they won’t help much against mental health issues since they’re more suitable for general wellness. 

Where Can You Buy CBD for Depression?

When buying CBD online, make sure you check the following things:

  • Company reputation
  • Third-party testing 
  • Hemp source
  • Customer reviews

In some states, medicinal marijuana is also legal, and you can use it for depression after getting a prescription from your doctor. Read the Certificates of Analysis for products before purchasing them to check their purity, potency, and contaminant profile. 

Check your state laws before buying or flying with medicinal marijuana. 

Conclusion 

Although CBD is one of the most popular natural remedies for depression, you mustn’t forget that it’s still under-researched. 

That means we still don’t know enough about it to hail it as a cure for anxiety or major depressive disorders. 

When using CBD for depression, consult with a healthcare provider to use the compound safely and effectively. Plus, you may have to use a few different products before finding the perfect formulation for your needs.

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