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CBD and Mental Health: Depression

Is CBD ok for mental health: Depression? These terms are often searched for together and it a topic of interest.  If you’re dealing with depression, you’re not alone. Depression is a complex mental disorder, whether it’s situation-induced or clinical. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, about 14.8 million adults in America suffered from some form of depression in 2020.Symptoms of depression can include (but are not limited to):
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Sudden emotional outbursts
  • Decreased mood
  • Lack of enthusiasm for past favorite activities
  • Slowed thought, movement, or speech
  • Disturbances in sleep
If you believe you are experiencing depression, please consult a medical professional.There are many treatment routes for depression. Medication is one, and that’s a good solution to fixing the chemical aspect of depression. But many choose to supplement medication with treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy, regular exercise, and CBD.Yes, CBD can play a part in healing from depression. CBD is not and should not be regarded as equivalent to medication. But it can be a helpful “cheerleader” for a depression treatment regimen, helping to ease symptoms on a day-to-day level so you can take steps toward long-term healing.If this seems a little out there for you, you’re not alone. Many people are skeptical about using a natural substance like CBD for treating something as complex as depression. Everybody’s got a friend that swears by a natural treatment (that somehow never works when you try it).But CBD is markedly different from most natural tools for helping combat depression. Here are answers to some of the top questions about CBD and depression, and why it might end up being the best cheerleader for your mental health.

How do people use CBD for depression? Does it relieve it?

There are multiple methods for consuming CBD to support depression treatment. Many users will take it orally (such as in gummies) or topically (using a lotion or gel).But no, CBD doesn’t cure depression. It’s important to remember that depression is not a one-size-fits-all condition. This condition is highly complex and treatment varies from person to person. It’s best to talk with a medical professional and develop a holistic approach to treat depression and help cope with the associated symptoms.

How does CBD compare to other depression treatments and medications?

CBD is not intended to take the place of prescribed medications, or treatments prescribed by a doctor. It is meant as a lifestyle aid (like a sun lamp or running shoes) to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing.In reality, more research is needed to understand how and why CBD works to support those with depression.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work on depression symptoms? 

How effective and fast CBD works within your body depends on a lot of factors. Body size may affect how fast CBD acts if it is taken orally. But CBD used topically likely won’t be affected by body composition.Unlike alcohol and cannabis (i.e. “pot” that contains THC), CBD works within the endocannabinoid system in the human body. It works to help alleviate inflammation within the body. It isn’t filtered through the liver the same way alcohol is, nor does it interact with body fat like cannabis. It should not be compared to these substances in the same way.

I want to use CBD to help with my depression. What should I know before I buy CBD products?

First, consider your CBD options and how you would like to use it in your routine.Softgels are a good option if you’re looking to use it just once and then go on with your day. Oils are just as easy to take, but they and CBD gummies are often of a lower dose and can be taken more consistently throughout the day. If you want an inconspicuous solution that’s lower dose and easily accessible, mints may be your best bet. Topical treatments are great for gentle support that doesn’t linger (and smells great!).But when it comes to CBD as a whole, the important thing to look for is purity. Before CBD was popular, it wouldn’t be uncommon to buy a CBD product with absolutely no idea how much CBD was actually inside it.Things are much different now! Look for brands that conduct rigorous testing of their products and use a third party service for testing. Bonus points if they provide a way for you to read lab results yourself.A quality CBD product will also only add ingredients to enhance the CBD, such as adding additional terpenes to create the entourage effect (it makes everything work better!). Typically, anything added to CBD should enhance its effectiveness and overall performance. If you see a product with 3% THC or lower, don’t worry! That’s to activate the CBD so you can enjoy all the possible effects. It’s not enough to get you high.Don’t believe any CBD product that says it can “cure” depression. It is illegal in the United States to make that claim about a product that is not medicine. CBD helps the body via the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. Some products like our Full Spectrum Plus RELAX CBD oil, interact with the serotonin receptors of the nervous system to help calm the body.All in all, it helps to shop for CBD with realistic expectations for what it can do for your body. CBD can help ease pain and discomfort, help the body calm down, and help to alleviate inflammation (which can help with pain and overall mood). But it typically doesn’t produce a mood uplift. Go in expecting CBD to be your cheerleader, not the quarterback.

What are the side effects of using CBD to treat depression?

Overall, there aren’t many documented side effects to consuming CBD for the sake of aiding depression recovery. As we discuss more deeply in our CBD FAQs post, it’s been documented that CBD side effects don’t usually present themselves until someone has consumed far, far more than is typical. That’s if they appear at all!The more imminent danger in using CBD as part of a depression treatment regimen is trusting it to do more than it actually will. CBD can be excellent help for someone battling depression (especially if pain management is an underlying issue). But it should not be used as a primary method of treatment.

What does current scientific research say about the use of CBD for depression?

Research is still limited on the  effects of CBD as a treatment support for depression. Most studies to this point have focused solely on using cannabis (what most people refer to as “pot” or “weed”)  for mental health — with mixed results.But don’t let that stop you from trying CBD! Cannabis undergoes a much different process than within the body and brain when consumed. The small amounts of THC that may be in a CBD product are to activate the CBD into producing maximum effects. You won’t get the munchies or feel high just from one CBD gummy.

Do I really have to talk to a doctor before using CBD for depression? Is it really important?

If you intend to incorporate CBD as a regular part of an anti-depression regimen, you should absolutely consult with a health professional before doing so. This especially applies if you want to incorporate higher amounts of CBD on a regular basis.CBD is largely considered safe for use in tandem with other depression treatments. But harmful interactions between medications are always a risk. It’s important to inform your regular healthcare professional of any substances, supplements, adaptogens, or proteins you may be taking. Ask whether or not incorporating CBD makes sense for you. You don’t want to find out too late that CBD isn’t a good option. It’s all about you getting well![Find Your CBD Solution Today – SHOP NOW!]