Depression is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness or emptiness and a loss of interest in things you once enjoyed. While many of us might experience these feelings now and then, depression is a persistent and serious condition. In order to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, a person has to show signs of depression for at least two weeks. These might include (but aren’t limited to) decreased energy or fatigue, changes in sleep or eating, loss of interest in activities, and feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, or emptiness.
It’s a common disorder, affecting 300 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organization. Anyone can experience depression, though major depressive episodes are most prevalent among adults ages 18 to 25. You’re more at risk for depression if others in your family have had it, if you’ve lived through trauma, if you’re experiencing stress, or if you have a chronic illness. Some types of depression are connected to particular life events or periods of time, like postpartum depression after giving birth or seasonal depression that sets in as the seasons change.
Treatment is tailored to each case, but typically involves therapy or medication, like antidepressants, or both. Cannabis, particularly CBD, may be useful for treating depression because of its interactions with the brain’s serotonin receptors. Some studies have shown that CBD can act as an anti-depressant, because inflammation may play an important role in depression and CBD is anti-inflammatory. As our understanding of cannabis as a treatment for depression evolves, cannabisMD will ensure you’re up to date with the latest research on depression, CBD and cannabis treatments.