Does it work? What experts say| the healthy one

Does CBD work for depression?

Anxiety is one of the main reasons people say they use cannabidiol (CBD), so it makes sense that many people would consider trying it for the frequent companion of anxiety: depression.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 17.3 million American adults had one or more major depressive episodes in 2017, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the country.

“Anecdotally, you very often hear that depression is one of the reasons to use CBD,” said Martin A. Lee, co-founder and director of Project CBD and author of Smoke signals: a social history of marijuana – medical, recreational and scientific. “There is a significant gap in terms of clinical information, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that CBD has antidepressant properties.”

There is a popular class of antidepressants known as the serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and more. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate emotions, feelings of well-being and happiness. An imbalance in serotonin levels in the brain is believed to be the cause of depression.

The SSRIs help increase serotonin levels in the brain, but they have several side effects, such as insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and mood swings. (Here’s why your antidepressants may not be working.)

There is anecdotal evidence about the benefits of CBD for depression, but what do the science and medical experts really think? First, CBD is generally considered safe, but it is in a gray area of ​​law and regulation. In addition, CBD has its own side effects, including liver problems, fatigue and diarrhea.

Here’s what you need to know about CBD and depression.


CBD is one of many cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, found in the cannabis plant. Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is found in the same plant and in marijuana products, CBD won’t get you high.

Most CBD in the United States comes from hemp, which contains little or no THC. The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to grow hemp as long as it contains no more than 0.3 percent THC. (Read more about the differences between CBD and THC.)

What scientists know about CBD and depression

Most research on CBD and depression is limited to animal studies and personal reports. “There really hasn’t been any significant human research done,” says Bonni Goldstein, MD, medical director and owner of Cannacenters and author of Cannabis is medicine: how medicinal cannabis and CBD heal everything from anxiety to chronic pain.

Laboratory animals given CBD as part of research studies behaved in ways that suggest CBD had an antidepressant effect, according to a review of animal studies published in CNS & Neurological Disorders: Drug Targets.

Usually, however, this type of preliminary study is not proof that something works, but rather provides the basis for more studies in humans, which experts hope will be conducted.

Can CBD Reduce Depression?

Although there is no proof yet, it makes sense that CBD can help depression. Published in a review in CNS & Neurological Disorders: Drug Targetsscientists reported a link between depression and dysfunction in the endocannabinoid system in the brain’s hippocampal region (which plays a role in memory), Lee explains.

The endocannabinoid system is one of the many pathways through which neurons communicate. There are naturally occurring, or endogenous, cannabinoids that play a role in that communication.

Some clinical studies have found low endogenous cannabinoid levels in women with chronic depression, Lee adds. And the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which opposes the use of cannabis for medical treatment, notes in a 2019 study in Psychiatric Services, CBD does indeed interact with the neurotransmitter serotonin, a lack thereof is associated with depression.

(Here are some vitamins for depression to boost your mood.)

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Is CBD safe?

While CBD is generally considered safe, it is important to remember that commercially available products are not well regulated.

In a 2017 study published in JAMA, researchers tested 84 CBD products and found that only 30 percent were accurately labeled.

Even if the label is correct, you should be aware that CBD can interact with certain other medications. Visit the National Library of Medicine for a full list of possible interactions.

Is it legal to buy CBD?

Epidiolex, a drug that treats two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, is the only drug containing CBD approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). CBD products found online and on store shelves occupy a legal gray area. Where your CBD comes from – hemp or marijuana – makes a difference.

Thirty-six states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have legalized medical marijuana (which contains CBD), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The US Drug Enforcement Administration still considers marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance. In other words, CBD that comes from marijuana is still illegal as far as the federal government is concerned.

CBD from hemp is regulated differently. With the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp products, including CBD, that contain no more than 0.03 percent THC are not considered controlled substances under federal law. (Some states restrict buying hemp-based CBD products.)

(Here’s everything you need to know about CBD for seizures.)

CBD and Depression Medications

While there is some preliminary evidence that CBD may play a role in alleviating depression, the best way to treat depression with CBD products is another question, Lee says.

A priority: If you’re already on medication, don’t stop. “My general rule of thumb is always to leave your medication as is and add the CBD,” says Dr. Goldstein. “Always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure there are no drug interactions.”

So if you do decide to try it, do so only in consultation with your doctor.

The APA opposes the use of cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder or as a drug, with the exception of the FDA-approved Epidiolex.

The association has not made a specific statement about CBD (which is just one component of cannabis), but has expressed concerns that there are no dosing guidelines for CBD and that people may delay conventional treatment, which could worsen an existing condition. .

Types of CBD Products

There is a bewildering array of CBD products available. They include CBD edibles (such as chocolate), CBD capsules, CBD oils and tinctures, skin creams, teas, and even sunscreen. Each has its own pluses and minuses in terms of how long it takes to trade and how long the effect lasts.

Some people like to use CBD vape oil, but keep in mind that this practice can come with risks, such as EVALI (lung damage from using e-cigarettes or vaping products) – lung damage associated with unregulated vape products.

CBD products come in three main forms:

Full spectrum CBD: This contains all the components of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa), including CBD and small traces of THC and terpenes, which are plant compounds.
Broad spectrum CBD: This includes all components except THC.
CBD isolates: This is the purest form of CBD and contains only CBD.

Because full-spectrum products contain many ingredients, Lee says they seem more effective.

How to select a CBD product?

If you are considering using CBD for any reason, it is best to work with a licensed medical professional or licensed pharmacy to help you find the right product and dose. Either way, you’ll increase your chances of success and lower any risks if you follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure that the products come with a Certificate of Analysis. That’s proof that a third-party lab has conducted independent testing and verified the ingredients on the label.
  • Beware of claims that a product can treat a specific condition.
  • Only buy products grown in the USA.
  • Make sure there is a way to contact the company if you have any questions or need more information.

it comes down to

While there is limited evidence that CBD can help with depression, the clinical research is not there yet. If you decide to try CBD for depression, do not stop taking any other medications you are taking and always consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action.

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