Can CBD Treat Symptoms of Depression & Anxiety? | cannabisMD

The 6 Main Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety – Can CBD Treat Them?

main symptoms depression anxiety

Anxiety and depression are medical disorders and, like any illness, require treatment. Often when patients, with both or just one, describe their symptoms, they express that they feel like they’re drowning. They feel like they’re struggling to remain at water’s surface and are splashing frantically to stay afloat, and many feel they will eventually end up sinking to the bottom. In order express your condition to your doctor, it can be helpful to understand what the main symptoms of anxiety and depression are.

Depression Symptoms:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Oversleeping or undersleeping
  • Anger or irritability
  • Self-loathing
  • Unexplainable body aches

Emotional Emptiness or Emotional Negativity

Often people misunderstand the melancholy of depression as a relatable, general feeling of sadness. If a depressed person feels sadness, the sadness is pervasive, long lasting, irrational, untriggered, and stronger than your average sadness. There is situational depression that can be triggered, but clinically depressed people often have no direct triggers are see the world through lethargic, detached, occasionally sad eyes.

Many depressed people report feeling zero emotions–not sadness–as a majority of their depressed phase. Some people when they are able to experience emotion, experience anger more than sadness. It varies case by case. It is offensive to clinically depressed people to use sadness as equatable to depression

Something you may have found interesting before may seem not interesting at all. Social interactions can seem distant, you might struggle to focus on others, the things that you used to enjoy doing may not seem worth bothering with. Depression causes a forced isolation. It’s common to feel alone even when in a room surrounded by others. It’s common for depressed people to feel trapped in their own mind so much they believe no one else could possibly understand their predicament–whether professionals, other mentally ill people, or loved ones.

If you think you are depressed, you can talk to a doctor to set up a treatment plan.

If you are feeling suicidal, please call an emergency hotline:

United States: 1-800-273-8255 or online chats on their website

Canada: Differ by province but available here.

UK: Contact Samaritans at 44-(0)-8457-90-90-90 or visit the hotline website.

Common Anxiety Symptoms:

  • Panic, fear, or general uneasiness
  • Unable to sleep
  • Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling* hands or feet (which can lead to fainting*)
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Nausea.

Anxiety and depression are commonly diagnosed in the same people. Though it isn’t impossible to have one and not the other, similar chemicals can impact the formation of both. The impact of anxiety disorders is different depending on the type(s) you have. There are quite a few anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s not uncommon to experience symptoms from more than one type of anxiety disorder, however, classifications differ.

Panic (Anxiety) Attacks

Panic attacks are a bodily and physical response to anxiety and can often feel like a different health complication. Panic attacks can be triggered or untriggered. A panic attack isn’t similar to average stress or worry. A panic attack is the bodies response to life or death situations, called fight or flight, and people with panic disorder have this bodily response at irrational times their life isn’t technically at risk. It is very common for those with panic disorder and GAD to develop specific phobias and triggers, and some people have specific triggers and untriggered panic attacks. Untriggered panic attacks are thought to connect to the concerns of the subconscious or suppressed memories.

Using CBD to Treat the Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

Using CBD for the symptoms of depression and anxiety is a relatively low risk strategy but there have been minimal scientific studies to assure it’ll work. Until very recently, CBD had been a prohibited substance because it was found in the cannabis plant.

There had been some research into it but only on a small scale and with dubious scientific value. This changed in the last 10 or 20 years, depending on the state or country. Now CBD is available to be studied relatively easily in the scientific world–lots of work is currently being done on it. But currently the evidence shows that it is quite a safe drug with a number of beneficial uses.

Cannabis has been used to treat depression symptoms for thousands of years, or so historians think. It is only relatively recently that CBD has been isolated and used for treating mental health issues, and it shows some promise. Conditions like obsessive compulsive disorder, major depressive episodes, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and PTSD are all being explored with CBD. One paper has found that cannabidiol has “CBD exhibited an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in animal models discussed.” That is for animals, not yet humans, but it does point to a potential use.

CBD has mood stabilizing effects, that much is known. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence and not very much scientific evidence, but the sheer weight of people’s anecdotal testimony is heartening to anyone who is investigating CBD for use regarding depression and anxiety.

If you are thinking of using CBD for treating your depression and anxiety, you should talk to your doctor. They are in the best position to help you with your condition, and if they explore the use of CBD with you, they can show you why it might be successful or not.

CBD is not for everyone. It is, however, highly tolerable. Most people do not experience any side effects, and when they do occur, they are generally mild and short-term. There are no psychoactive effects from CBD, it does not produce a “high,” and when treatment is over, there are no withdrawal symptoms for most people.

Most of the studies on CBD have been very small and of little use for representing large populations, but they all conclude that it is a generally safe and tolerable drug. Long-term effects have not been well established, and the exact mechanisms for CBD’s action in the brain and central nervous system are not completely understood. The Psychiatric Association of America has published work on CBD as a treatment for anxiety.

Many people take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and engage in cognitive behavioural therapy to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety. These drugs can have some serious side effects, including psychosis, violent behaviour, and higher risk of suicide. Because some people do not react well to SSRIs, alternatives like CBD are being explored, which can have some of the same benefits without the brutal side effects.

For the moment, treating depression and anxiety with CBD remains a relatively low risk treatment, but further research will reveal its true potential.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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