Depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression. Depression affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. The possible causes of depression can include a combination of biological, psychological as well as social sources of distress. Research suggests these factors may cause changes in brain function, including altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide. Treatment options for depression is usually medication (Mayo Clinic).
CBD and depression is still an area that is being actively studies. Thankfully, new research and reviews are being published each year bringing us new knowledge on the topic. Experts believe that the potential benefits of CBD depression are surrounding the positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain. Low serotonin levels are likely connected to depression. While CBD won’t necessarily boost serotonin levels, it may affect how your brain’s chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that is already in your system.” A 2014 animal study found that CBD’s effect on these receptors in the brain produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.A more recent 2018 review of existing studies concluded that CBD has anti-stress effects, which may reduce depression related to stress” (Healthline). In terms of treating depression, CBD appears to have benefits over antidepressant medications. Often times, many antidepressant medications take weeks to notice any changes. Common side effects of antidepressants are insomnia, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and agitation. CBD does not have these same effects. However, a 2019 animal found that CBD has a fast and sustained antidepressant-like effect (Healthline).
As we know, depression and anxiety can commonly occur together, or can have one or the other. CBD does appear to help with both. One study found that people who took 600 milligrams (mg) of CBD experienced significantly less social anxiety than people who took a placebo. Another study used a smaller dose of 300 mg, which still reduced levels of anxiety. Anxiety may also have a link to having low serotonin levels. CBD’s effect on serotonin receptors might partly explain these beneficial effects (Healthline).