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The majority of people alive today have, at one point or another, been a victim of depression, with varying levels of severity. While doctors have been prescribing pharmaceutical anti-depressants to their patients since the 1950s, their effectiveness on a case-by-case basis can also vary. Over the last 20 years, however, numerous scientists have been researching the effect of CBD on those who suffer from depression, often in the form of CBD oil. So, is CBD oil a worthwhile candidate for depression treatment?
The use of CBD oil for depression has been considered a worthy treatment by those who have tried it, although much further research is needed. Studies have shown that it is capable of forcing the neurotransmitters in the brain to release larger amounts of serotonin and dopamine, raising the patient’s mood and lowering stress levels.
Depression itself can be devastating on many different levels. Those who suffer from the condition are more than aware of the symptoms, including perpetual sadness; an inability to enjoy anything; a loss of sex-drive; as well as excessive fatigue. It can not only drive an individual to self-harm, but at its most serious, can easily lead to suicide.
Knock-on social effects from depression often involve a lack of social interaction, along with the breakdown of relationships with friends and partners who are unable to deal with the worrying personality traits presented in the patient themselves.
The most common prescribed medications for individuals with depression are SSRIs, or serotonin-specific re-uptake inhibitors, which increase the rate at which the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine bind to their respective receptors, alleviating the symptoms of the condition.
Common side-effects felt by users of SSRIs vary wildly, and while they do not pose a risk of toxicity within the body, the effects can be so over-bearing that many patients find it hard to deal with higher dosages and often stop taking them.
In a similar fashion to how CBD has been found to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, CBD helps to mimic the effects of traditional medication but in a completely natural way.
One of the key studies – carried out in 2006 – found that patients who used cannabis either occasionally or on a daily basis had reduced their symptoms of depression when compared with a control group who remained cannabis-free. Further studies found that CBD itself, without the famed effects of THC, can not only reduce anxiety and insomnia, but also aided in the recovery of PTSD in children.
The CBD that is ingested by the patient manipulates the brain into increasing the rate at which both serotonin and dopamine are released into the body, helping to relieve the persistent low mood that they are experiencing.
While CBD is not a cure, neither are SSRIs. All they do is inhibit the patient’s natural response to their symptoms, or stimulus. The potential benefit of CBD oil for depression treatment, however, is that the number of side-effects felt are minimal when compared to those experienced while taking a prescribed SSRI.