Depression is a serious condition that affects the physical and mental health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is one of the most common conditions worldwide.
It is estimated that 350 million people are affected by depression. The causes of depression is a complex combination of factors that include genetics, biological changes in neurotransmitter levels, environmental changes, and psychosocial factors. Depression can happen to anyone and also can affect people of every age. The symptoms can vary on each person but generally include tiredness and loss of energy, angry outbursts, sadness, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, impaired ability to think, to concentrate or to make decisions, long-term anxiety, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, insomnia, sexual problems, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, loss of appetite, physical aches and pains, thoughts about self-harm, suicide and death.
There are many different types of depression, such as mild depression, major depression, unipolar and bipolar disorder, postpartum depression and seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Depending on each person’s characteristics and symptoms, there are several strategies for treating depression. There is a range of effective treatments, mainly psychological treatments, medical treatments or a combination of both. For medical treatment, many types of anti-depressants are often prescribed but the negative effects cannot be ignored. The anti-depressants can be addictive, they also have severe side effects, and demand a strict intake schedule. Furthermore, not all the patients get relief from the currently available antidepressant medicines. However, recent studies have shown that CBD is a very effective antidepressant.
Cannabinoid (CBD) is a chemical compound in cannabis plant which is completely a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. CBD works to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. Recently, a range of animal studies have shown that CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties and can be used as an anxiolytic and antidepressant agent. The most common reasons people use CBD are to treat insomnia, depression and anxiety. So how does CBD work for treatment of depression?
Recent studies have shown that CBD has a good interaction with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor and that CBD enhances both serotonergic and cortical signaling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism. In particular, the results showed that there is a good connection between CBD and the 5-HT1A neuroreceptor. This is endogenous neurotransmitter serotonin. Similar to SSRIs, CBD may boost signaling through serotonin receptors. In other words, it increases the hormone of happiness and well-being.
Furthermore, people with depression typically have a smaller hippocampal, which is a major brain area that is in charge of a variety of brain functions. In particular, it plays a critical role in cognition and memory formation. Successful treatment of depression is associated with the birth of new neurons called neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Recent evidence demonstrates that CBD treatment with repeated administration of CBD also stimulates the hippocampus, and triggers neurogenesis, constituting another method by which CBD may target symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Last but not least, we should always keep in mind that CBD is antidepressant in a way that it improves and normalizes dysfunctional endocannabinoid system in our bodies, caused by depression.
Therefore, CBD is considered an excellent alternative to the SSRIs. Unlike anti-depressants, CBD does not have negative side effects. CBD is completely safe and the effects of CBD on the human body are quick. The use and sale of CBD products is legal in Europe and also in US. CBD can be used by anyone to manage depression. However, it is good to consider other characteristics such as pregnancy or other diseases. Thus, it is always better to talk with your doctor.
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