It’s estimated that 16 million Americans suffer from severe depression. Worldwide, depression affects some 300 million people. Antidepressants are widely prescribed, so much so that they’re some of the most popular pills in America. Almost 13 percent of the US population takes an antidepressant, a number that has steadily continued to climb over the past couple of decades.
Prescription medication however, doesn’t always work. And not everyone wants to be subject to Big Pharma for the rest of their lives. For those looking for alternatives to treating symptoms of depression, CBD has shown to have a significant impact. According to countless people, as well as several studies, CBD can treat depression…and provide serious improvements to overall feelings of wellbeing.
How CBD Works for Depression
CBD is believed to work for depression by activating certain parts of the brain responsible for the way a person feels. At high concentrations, CBD has shown to target the 5HT1A receptor, better known as the serotonin receptor.
Serotonin is responsible for several different functions, including regulating mood, social behavior, sleep, and memory. Prescription antidepressants target 5HT1A, increasing postsynaptic signaling of the receptor. CBD has been shown to do the same, offering a natural alternative to prescription meds.
Studying the Effects of CBD on Depression
Human studies on CBD and depression are slowly increasing. Because cannabis is a Schedule I substance however, studying the effects of CBD on humans with depression has been difficult. Studies on mice however, paint a picture that several scientists believe show just how effective CBD can be for those battling depression.
One study done on mice (surgically modified to test depression medication) showed that those treated with CBD displayed improvements in their condition approximately 30 minutes after CBD was administered. Researchers of the study believe that their findings “indicate that CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism.”
The objective of another study with CBD was to “further examine” the properties of CBD using a genetic animal model of depression. Results found that CBD could be beneficial for the treatment of clinical depression, as well as in those who experience the inability to feel pleasure.
These are but a couple examples of studies done regarding CBD and depression. While it’s clear more research is needed, these pioneer studies all point to the effectiveness of CBD to treat depression.
Because cannabis (CBD included) is a Schedule I drug, studies on human subjects are difficult to come by. Those who have used CBD to alleviate feelings of depression however, find it helps considerably. It’s a natural way to treat depression with no adverse effects. And many are finding CBD to help encourage a positive mindset, lifting them out of those dreaded mundane moods depression is famous for.