More and more people are using CBD or cannabidiol products to aid in their recovery from depression. And though there is a lack of clinical trials, there is a substantial number of studies that show that CBD could help in recovering from depression.
While depression is linked to serotonin deficiency, it is also linked to other neurotransmitter imbalances. It is also connected to structural brain changes caused by chronic stress or trauma and conditions like inflammation – all of which could cause imbalances.
A wide range of influence could contribute to whether or not you are trapped by depression, for instance, physical illness, genetics, chronic stress, past trauma, social isolation, physical pain, stressful life events, and other emotional disorders.
Hence, with different avenues that could lead to depression, it’s no surprise that people are looking to do whatever it takes to combat depression, including using CBD oil. However, even so, whatever helps one overcome depression is highly individual, and using a multi-pronged approach is better than a single solution in terms of recovery.
Visit HealthCanal to see CBD’s ability to help with depression and you can see many beautiful Infographics.
How Does CBD Work for Depression
Boosts Natural Endocannabinoids
The human body has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) made up of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Hence, cannabinoids naturally bind to these receptors and activate them. CBD increases the anandamide (the bliss molecule) by preventing its breakdown.
According to the Infographic source, anandamide activates both serotonin pathways and the endocannabinoid system, which helped reduce depressive symptoms. CBD blocks the enzyme that breaks anandamide, which produces the same effect. Hence, by increasing the body’s natural compound, anandamide, CBD oil improves mood.
Enhances Serotonin Activity
Serotonin is famously known as the ‘happiness neurotransmitter.’ When you take CBD oil, 5HT1A, receptors for serotonin, are activated. Depression is caused by low serotonin activity in the brain. This is why antidepressants work to increase serotonin.
CBD works like antidepressants by blocking serotonin removal and enhancing serotonin effects instead. In mice, CBD quickly increases glutamate and serotonin levels in the brain’s thinking hub (prefrontal cortex) and making sense of real emotions. 5HT1A blockers prevent this effect, which is why when 5HT1A is activated, mood improves.
The birth, development, and regeneration of brain cells are promoted by the BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor). People suffering from depression have low levels of BDNF protein in their hippocampus (the hub for emotions and memory) and prefrontal cortex.
CBD works by increasing this protein and strengthening the connections between the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala regions in the brain that affect emotions, thinking, and fear memory.
Depression tends to shrink the hippocampus with time, but CBD will help promote the birth of new cells in the hippocampus, known as neurogenesis, which will improve mood-enhancing effects.
Hence the real reason why antidepressants work is that they stimulate neural regeneration in the hippocampus. However, because brain neurons take time to heal, grow, and form new connections, which is why antidepressants take weeks to work.
Depression is more of a mental trap. Hence, to rewire a depressed brain, time, and patience is required. People suffering from depression are at risk of reinforcing their harmful mental patterns by everything from their own thoughts, to unhealthy neural connections, to imbalanced neurochemistry.
Therefore for a lasting recovery, support in these three categories is needed. Although CBD can help your brain circuitry grow as well as form new cells, you are still in charge of the types of new connections made.
We recommend combining brain-focused treatment with self-help books, psychotherapy, or sources of inspiration to help the brain grown in a new, loving direction. There are other ways you can help the brain grow new neurons other than with antidepressants or CBD.
Although you can use CBD as a long-term recovery plan, know that it isn’t a first-line depression treatment. Therefore, if you are feeling strung down and suicidal, we recommend seeking professional support or calling a hotline.
Before incorporating CBD oil into your self-care routine, we recommend talking to your doctor, especially if you’re on prescription drugs. Antidepressant and CBD can have interactions that could prove detrimental to your health. Your doctor will evaluate and help you establish a dose and delivery method that will work in your favor.