CBD for Depression
CBD for Depression
General perception is that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance - a Serotonin deficiency, however this is nothing more than a myth proliferated by pharmaceutical advertisements. It would certainly enrich my sales pitch, if I were to play along with the “Serotonin conspiracy”, as CBD is proven to activate a type of Serotonin receptor (5-HT1A). Don't get me wrong, Serotonin is a big part of the picture, but depression is linked to many other neurotransmitter imbalances.
When someone is suffering from depression, a specific region of the brain, known as the Hippocampus can deteriorate, or even shrink. The importance of the Hippocampus cannot be stressed enough, as it is the area of the brain responsible for memory, learning and emotion. Its wonderous aspects only continue, as it also has the capability to grow new neurons and form new connections, a process known as ‘neurogenesis’. Antidepressants work by stimulating the process of neurogenesis within the Hippocampus.
Here is where CBD enters the fray...
Cannabidiol, the only FDA approved CBD product on the market, is used to treat seizures. The major reason it has such great success against seizures, is that CBD protects neurons in the Hippocampus!
CBD could protect or regenerate the Hippocampus via;
- Serotonin receptors - as previously mentioned, CBD activates the type of Serotonin receptor, which control a variety of other neurotransmitters.
- Endocannabinoid system – CBD’s impacts on the endocannabinoid system is complex, however it appears to increase the brain's natural level of endocannabinoids
- Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in animal test models - CBD increases BDNF levels in the Hippocampus, while simultaneously reducing its depressive symptoms.
Very much like the evidence supporting CBD against anxiety, clinical trials involving CBD and depression are at infancy stages. All tests and trials involving rats and mice have produced extremely positive results, and as research continues and technology advances, we envisage CBD becoming a major component in the battle against depression.
Note; although CBD might be useful as a long-term recovery plan, it should not be used in place of your current medication. Please consult a medical professional before incorporating see CBD alongside or instead of prescribed drugs.