If you battle depression and are looking for an all-natural option, cannabidiol (CBD) may be helpful. While cannabis has CBD, a majority of the strains are low in CBD content. Hemp has higher concentrations of CBD and very low THC (less than 1-percent). Can CBD help with depression? Research indicates that it just might.
Anxiety is a common symptom of depression. It can come on suddenly, manifest from triggers or build up throughout the day. CBD may be helpful in calming the mind and body so that anxiety reduces.
When using CBD for depression and anxiety is a factor, pay attention to the ingredients in the product. Some companies add terpenes to CBD. Terpenes, typically derived from plants, have accepted health benefits with several working to reduce anxiety. You’d want to look for terpene inclusions like beta-caryophyllene, alpha pinene, limonene and linalool. These all help reduce anxiety and aid in calming the body. If you have pain along with your depression, you should notice some reduction in severity with these terpenes as well.
Anxiety can make you irritable, have mood swings, seclude yourself from the world and, in severe cases, can make you afraid of social settings. When the symptoms come on suddenly, a tincture is your best bet. As you hold the liquid under your tongue, your body starts to absorb the CBD and terpenes so that they can get to work calming you down.
Endocannabinoid System Regulation
We’ve talked about the endocannabinoid system a lot, but it’s what controls your mood and emotions. When it isn’t producing the cannabinoids your body needs to regulate mood and emotion, signals get crossed. Depression is triggered from imbalances in the nervous system.
As the nervous system is impacted, disruptions in sleep and abrupt shifts in mood can occur. You may also notice a change in your eating habits – those with depression tend to make poor food choices as unhealthy foods are often comforting. You may also notice that you don’t’ seem to have any energy. Depression makes the body feel tired, even after you’ve had a full night’s sleep.
CBD is an important cannabinoid for the body. When the endocannabinoid system isn’t able to produce enough itself, an outside source of cannabinoids is needed. Hemp and cannabis are the ideal ways to give your body the cannabinoids it needs to regulate itself.
Just as your depression didn’t happen overnight, fixing your endocannabinoid system isn’t going to happen after just one dose. It takes a little bit of time to notice changes (just as you would when starting a medication). It may take a couple of weeks for your body to regulate itself and realize it has enough cannabinoids to send the right signals.
It can be hard for some people to acknowledge their depression. Excuses or justifications are often used to explain a mood or change in personality. A common excuse is stress.
When confronting someone about their depression, choose your words carefully. Getting defensive is a common response. Anger and defiance are common reactions as well. There may be some strong words used, or a lot of emotion being shown. It’s important to maintain your support for your friend or loved one so they can see that you’re not bringing this up to be mean, you want them to be happy and care about them.
CBD’s Potential for Aiding Depression
Some studies have been conducted regarding CBD and depression. In animal studies, when stressers were applied and CBD was administered, stress and anxiety reduced in animal tests.
The U.S. Government holds a patent on CBD for its antioxidant and neuroprotectant properties. It remains on the Controlled Substances Act, although CBD derived from hemp is typically overlooked since it is not cannabis and contains minimal THC.
Some antidepressants can be addictive, CBD is not. The withdrawal symptoms can make depression worse. Medications may also damage the body by not allowing the kidneys to properly clean the blood running through it from the chemicals used to make the antidepressants.
CBD may help you stop the use of anti-depressants as evidence shows that it may have the potential to help those addicted to opioids and other medications/drugs. It helps the mind relax, emote happy feelings and reduce stress. The calming properties may help stop misfires in the nervous system and may help your responses to depression-triggering situations to be more rational.
Choosing the Right CBD Product for your Depression
Depression is tricky. For some, it’s felt all of the time and for others, it comes and goes. It may be ideal to have a couple of different CBD products available. Capsules are ideal for daily use. One capsule a day may be enough. It should be taken after a meal.
If you have digestive issues or your stomach has been sensitive due to depression, consider a capsule that uses dry CBD oil because your body can digest it easier.
Vape is a good option when you need to find relief multiple times a day and a single capsule isn’t quite enough. Vape is portable, has no unpleasant odor and can be used discreetly just like an e-cigarette. If vape is your choice, consider having a backup battery or two. Nothing is worse than needing to take in some CBD and the vape pen not working.
Tinctures are another option, and are rather easy to use. Tinctures start working fast and may work for several hours at a time. Typically, one dropper is a dose. Droppers hold about 13mg of liquid. If your depression is severe, you may need one dropper in the morning and one in the evening.
CBD flower is a good choice for those that are medical cannabis users. High CBD strains are available in most markets. The ones you’ll want to look for are Cannatonic, Harlequin and ACDC. ACDC has the potential to be 23-percent or more CBD.
Your dose may change. On days where your depression is worse, you may need a little more CBD, and that is okay. It may also take a little time to find out what your ideal dose is. Start with small doses under 25mg at first. Increase minimally (such as a milligram or two more at a time) until you feel relaxed, calm and like you are able to complete some tasks from a dose.
CBD won’t make you high and larger doses are okay if you need them. It won’t hurt you. Remember, some relief may be noticed right away, but it’s not something you can take once and be cured. Daily use for chronic depression is ideal.
Depression is more common than you may think. If you know you have depression and are afraid to talk about it, you can start doing something about it with CBD. If you choose to purchase your CBD products online, make sure it is a full spectrum hemp CBD product that does not include artificial ingredients, preservatives, plant material and isn’t a diluted product. CBD without terpenes may not be as beneficial to you as products that include depression-fighting terpenes.