In this article, let's review everything there is to know about CBD associated with depression. At the end of the article, we will conclude on how CBD can help with depression.
Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a medical illness affecting the mood, thinking, and behavior of the sufferer. Depression causes a deep sense of sadness, often coupled with a loss of interest in normally enjoyed activities. Depression causes many emotional and physical problems and can diminish the ability to function properly at work but also in the social or love circle.
The symptoms of depression
General depressed mood, deep sadness
Loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyed activities
Changes in appetite, weight loss or gain without reason
Difficulty sleeping or conversely, sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Significant increase in physical activity for no reason, or conversely, slowing of movement or speech rate (such that those around notice)
Loss of confidence, low self-worth, low self-esteem
Difficulty focusing or making decisions
Suicidal thoughts, desire to harm self
Symptoms become concerning when they last more than two weeks. A diagnosis of depression is made when these symptoms interfere with the normal daily functioning of the person subject to them.
Depression in France
Depression is an illness that affects a significant portion of the French population. Inserm estimates that about 20% of French people will be affected by depression at least once in their lifetime.
Today, 3 million French people suffer from depression (300 million worldwide) and in France, the consumption of antidepressants is very high compared to other European countries.
Depression can occur at any time in an individual's life, but on average, it first appears between the late teens and mid-20s. Statistics show that women are more likely to suffer from depression than men. In fact, some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.
Depression has a high degree of heritability, up to about 40%. An individual is more likely to suffer from depression when their first-degree relatives (parents/children/siblings) suffer or have suffered from depression.
Depression is not depression
Grief after the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or the end of a romantic relationship are difficult experiences in an individual's life, and can bring a sense of deep sadness or grief. This state is described as being depressed. It is not to be confused with depression which includes more symptoms as described above.
Depression is one of the best managed mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% of people with depression respond positively to prescribed treatments and experience a reduction in symptoms.
The two main solutions proposed by health experts are psychotherapy and drug treatments with the well-known antidepressants.
These two treatments are often offered together for better results and longevity in those results.
To date, no natural medication has been scientifically proven to be effective on advanced states of depression. Yet CBD is a natural substance that stands out thanks to recent discoveries of its effects on mental disorders.
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many components of the cannabis plant. It is non-psychoactive and considered harmless by the World Health Organization. CBD is known to have uncommon therapeutic properties.
It is notably anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-depressant, analgesic and provides even more medical benefits that are being discovered as research advances.
CBD is a legal product in France and marketed in CBD e-shops as 321 CBD.
Now that we know what CBD is, let's see how it works on depression and if it may have the potential to replace antidepressants.
How CBD can help with depression
Research regarding the topic is definite, CBD is not yet considered an effective treatment to eradicate depression from an individual's life. It is, however, an excellent way to alleviate the symptoms that can affect the daily life of the sick individual: insomnia, state of malaise, general mood, fluctuation of appetite...
In addition, CBD is a cannabinoid that acts on the human body's endocannabinoid system, a system whose major function is to regulate the body and bring balance, particularly at the chemical level of our brain.
In the case of depression, CBD can affect levels of serotonin, the "happiness" molecule that affects mood and appetite and that we naturally produce. This is the main molecule that undergoes dysregulation during depressive episodes.
By increasing serotonin receptor activity, CBD acts as a natural antidepressant, to a lesser extent. More studies are needed to confirm the extent of CBD's effects on depression and anxiety-related illnesses.
Cannot CBD replace antidepressants?
But then can CBD be compared to antidepressants, or even replace drug treatments with cannabidiol?
A Brazilian scientific study from 2018 has drawn some very promising conclusions about CBD and mental disorders in general. The results of their tests done on animals confirm the fast-acting antidepressant effect of CBD.
While traditional antidepressants typically take some time to begin to be effective, the rodent research revealed that CBD exhibited antidepressant effects, and what's more faster and longer lasting over time than conventional antidepressants. This news is a real breakthrough regarding medicine and the field of psychology.
Also, CBD has relatively few side effects whereas antidepressants can cause changes in appetite and side effects on sexuality.
CBD is therefore a very promising natural product that needs more research to confirm the effects on humans, and over the long term.
Important: If you suffer from depression and are already on medication, we strongly advise you to consult your doctor's advice before consuming CBD. He or she will be best able to advise you on the dosages to be respected according to your situation.
Where to buy CBD
In order to consume quality CBD, you need to get products that are organically grown, made in Europe and delivered by local stores.
Before choosing your CBD, make sure the composition of the products is clearly stipulated. Stores have a legal obligation to be completely transparent about the composition of their products.
Check out our e-shop for quality CBD oils as well as other CBD products (CBD flowers, CBD resin, CBD wax...).