Depressions occur in many different forms. Some people suffer from mild or severe recurrent depression, while others encounter seasonal episodes. Antidepressants are one of the most prescribed medicines in the world, but unfortunately, most of the patients become addicted to these meds, despite their lag of inducing therapeutic effects.
In order to avoid the side effects given by these pills, researchers oriented their efforts to finding natural remedies, less harmful. Lately, their attention is caught by the effects cannabinoids may have on treating various psychotic diseases, among which there is also depression.
Due to the healing effect this extract, many cannabis-based products have appeared on the market, taking the form of concentrates, waxes, tinctures, and even sweets. CBD oil gained particular attention as it provided several ways of consumption, each with a different rate of absorption.
For maximum results, it is important to understand how CBD oil helps depression and which is the best way to consume it.
But first, what is depression?
Depression is characterized by a sad, depressed mood, loss of interest and joy, along with a reduction in energy that leads to it increased fatigability and reduced activity. For the diagnosis of depression, a minimum of two weeks is required, but shorter times may be accepted if the onset is fast and severe symptoms appear.
Common symptoms of depression onset are:
- Sadness, anxiety, lack of inner peace;
- Slow and exhausting thinking accompanied by developing obsessions;
- Reduced self-esteem;
- A sad and pessimistic view of the future;
- Thoughts or acts of self-harm or suicide;
- Sleep disturbance (more often insomnia);
- Lack of appetite.
In some cases, depression may be masked by additional common symptoms like:
- Excessive alcohol consumption;
- Histrionic personality disorder;
- And somatic symptoms like muscle pain, headaches, cardiac, renal disorders.
The endocannabinoid system, or natural cannabinoids in the body, is responsible for regulating our moods. Endocannabinoids are neuroactive lipids that are produced and found in the human brain. These affect the motor function, emotions, and behavior. Endocannabinoids are exactly the same as cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.
Stress can rid your body of natural cannabinoids, leading to depression or anxiety. This is one of the reasons why using CBD oil can help relieve symptoms of depression.
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How CBD Oil Helps Depression
Cannabidiol (CBD), found abundantly in CBD oil, is one of the 80 cannabinoids naturally present in the cannabis plant. CBD and THC are two of the most active components, found in the cannabis plant, and are also the most studied. Unlike THC, the CBD has no psychoactive effects, even playing the role of an “antidote” in THC intoxication, as it is a very good anti-psychotic.
Unlike THC, the CBD-based products have shown promising results as a potential treatment for several conditions, some of which are considered untreatable. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that CBD oil is not toxic.
However, the experts mentioned that the lack of harmful effects is given by pure CBD oil, otherwise, chemicals contained by this oil may produce unpleasant side effects and may also interact with other medicine an individual is taking.
What Happens When You Consume CBD Oil?
The CBD oil helps in fighting against depression as it diminishes its symptoms, which are extremely damaging for the human body. When people suffer from depression and stress, the immune system reacts, producing inflammatory and painful substances. These indicate that the body needs to stop and rest.
When unable to cope with stress, people become more vulnerable to diseases and infections. There is a risk for infection because the adrenal glands release a significant level of cortisol or glucose in the blood. Active adrenal glands also release hormones that increase blood pressure, which results in narrowing blood vessels.
The heart tries to compensate the narrow blood vessels, so it increases the pumping rate to provide more oxygenated blood to the organs. This inflammation can lead to damaged autoimmunity.
In this case, the consumption of CBD oil activates a subtype of serotonin receptor (5-HT receptor) which leads to decreased anxiolytic and panicolytic effects. Basically, within our bodies, when activated, this receptor decreases the blood pressure and heart rate along with all the effects triggered by modifications in these two.
A strong body of evidence demonstrates that CBD is more efficient than antidepressants as its consumption releases rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects, thus minimizing the action time of damaging effects mentioned above.
Other studies performed on mice, involved periodic administration of doses containing CBD (7 – 10 mg/kg), FLX (5 – 10 mg/kg) and DES (2.5 – 5 mg/kg) which strengthened the outcome that CBD enhances antidepressant-like effects a lot faster.
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How to Consume CBD Oil for Depression or CBD Oil for Anxiety
Studies reveal that there is a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system in people who suffer from mood disorders and depression. The challenge here is to adequately combine the analgesic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, antipsychotic and antidepressant properties of CBD found in CBD oil.
Currently, some of the substances have been identified as having the ability to control pain and discomfort among users. CBD oil can be consumed in several ways:
- Through ingesting beverages and foods containing CBD oil;
- Through sublingual administration (under the tongue) of tinctures or drops containing CBD oil;
- Through vaping;
- With the help of topical administration involving CBD oil-based ointments;
- And transdermal, with the use of skin patches containing CBD oil.
The absorption and lasting effects of CBD oil differ from one method to another. The fastest method to absorb CBD, and feel its effects, is through vaping. However, in the case of vaping CBD the effects will last for a short period of time.
In the case of patches, the effects can last up to 6 hours and are rapidly felt once the patch is applied to the skin. In the case of ingestion, the effects of the CBD will be felt after digestion, which happens differently from one individual to another.
Many studies demonstrate the beneficial effects CBD oil consumption has on depression and its damaging actions. However, when deciding to consume CBD oil as an alternative treatment to antidepressants, this shall be a process made gradually and under the supervision of a doctor.