How CBD Can Help Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal disorder and CBD treatment

Seasonal disorder is a very common disorder, especially around Scandanavian countriesImage Credit: By Pandum on Shutterstock

Seasonal affective disorder impacts countless people. Read here to get more information on how CBD can help treat seasonal affective disorder.

For decades, what we now know as Seasonal Affective Disorder was just known as the winter blues. While not everyone had it, everyone understood it. Now that we can diagnose it, we know that upwards of 25% of people deal with it every year.

While some people have depression issues throughout the year, people who are affected by seasons are uniquely vulnerable. They may not create the same kinds of boundaries and support networks that people who have consistent depression create.

Without the right medication or an understanding of how things like CBD can help, they might have a hard time bouncing back.

Because of the recuperative ability of cannabinoids and CBD, people suffering Seasonal Affective Disorder can avoid typical meds. The side effects of traditional medication can exacerbate the feelings of isolation and loneliness.

To really understand how CBD can help SAD, let’s get to understand the disorder first.

Understanding The Disorder

People who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder deal with a unique set of anxieties and depressions that stem from seasonal changes. The combination of a change in weather, temperature, and the amount of sun will directly affect their happiness.

While many people display the typical symptoms of depression, some people will begin to behave in unique ways. For some people, the reaction to changes causes them to form new patterns and break other, healthier daily routines.

They will begin to take new paths home, change their diet, or quit doing things that they profess to enjoy.

It can sometimes come with anxiety-like symptoms. For some people who don’t normally deal with depression, they could think that they’re treating the disorder but just be changing conditions for their symptoms.

It’s uniquely difficult for people who don’t suffer from depression outside of one particular season, usually winter.

Knowing The Causes

There’s not a lot of research that has completely explored all of the causes of this disorder. One of the most obvious considerations is the change in the amount of sunlight that people dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder get.

Since symptoms typically arise during the darker and colder months of the year, the correlation makes sense. Since light from the sun activates melatonin in our bodies, the lack of sun means the lack of that chemical that produces positive feelings. This low supply of melatonin means there’s not a lot to go around when we need it.

The release of serotonin is impacted by low melatonin. Serotonin is necessary for the active and regular function of the brain and the ability to alleviate anxiety. Depression disorders are often based on a lack of serotonin.

Some people who deal with SAD might have a mutated gene that only releases serotonin in the presence of the sun. There is an equally important body of research around how sleep affects the body’s relationship to serotonin.

While sleep is important for many of the brain’s function and the daily cleanup of dirty receptors and “frayed connections”, many people don’t get enough.

Understand The Feeling

Seasonal Affective Disorder looks a lot like anxiety to the untrained eye. There can be lots of patterns of cyclical thoughts, repeated negative thinking or insecurity.

Low serotonin can make the anxiety worse. Losing control over your anxiety or your emotions is difficult for anyone. For anyone who has responsibilities to work and family throughout the year, it can be deeply upsetting to be unable to perform for one whole season.

Knowing The Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are difficult to parse from other types of depression. The important thing to look for is whether or not they occur concurrently with any seasonal changes.

People might feel low energy or hopeless with SAD. They might lounge around all day and seem disinterested in typically interesting activities to them. If you or someone you know seems too easily irritable during colder winter months, they might consider getting tested for SAD.

If there is an inability to concentrate or a newfound major change to appetite or weight, you should recommend testing.

During fall and winter, the symptoms might look similar to what’s going on during the rest of the year. The major differences during fall and winter to look out for are appetite changes, major weight gain, or the urge to oversleep. If it gets out of hand, you might need medical care.

For Spring and summer, if someone is losing weight unnaturally, aka not through exercise or diet changes, find a way to talk about it soft and gently. When you notice someone is easily defeated all the time, you should talk to them about whether they have SAD or not.

Fighting Back Against SAD

There are lots of ways to use CBD and other medications to fight against Seasonal Affective Disorder. One of the best reasons to choose CBD is that you’ll have total control over your medicinal intake without the usual psychoactive elements of cannabis. Here are 6 ways that you can fight against SAD with the help of CBD.

1. Focus On CBD

If you’re interested in using cannabis, find a strain higher in CBD. If you’re focusing on using CBD oil, you’ll be able to use it at any time of day without impairing your ability to drive, work, or do anything else.

The psychoactive element of THC can help to add to the anxiety and paranoia that comes with Seasonal Affective Disorder so you’re better off skipping it.

CBD offers the pain relief, stress relief, and relaxing aspects of cannabis without getting you “high” or giving you any of the related effects of smoking.

2. Take Your Exercise Up A Notch

Exercising is a proven method for combatting depression. For the able-bodied among us, a rigorous run, bike, or swim can push our body to a point where it overcomes anxiety. It is also a great distraction from whatever thoughts are causing anxiety.

Using CBD when you exercise can be a great idea. Before you hit the gym, a few drops of CBD will help your muscles with any inflammation from lifting weights or exerting yourself.

Put on your favorite music and get into your routine. You’ll be able to push yourself a little harder with the help of CBD.

3. Dump Alcohol

Even though there might be a bar on every corner, alcohol can get in the way of our goals. Alcohol is an expensive vice, can diminish the impact of our workouts, and fundamentally is a depressant.

If you’re already feeling down, alcohol doesn’t down your sorrows. It puts your problems on the center stage.

Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep cycle and impact your overall well-being. CBD oil does none of that and if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder, you won’t miss any of it either.

4. Get Some Good Lights

Light therapy boxes have been clinically proven to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder. While they can be a little pricey, for under $100 you can get a good quality light to help you feel better when you sleep and wake up.

Combined with CBD, you can treat your room like a grow room, where your happiness is what you want to cultivate. During these dreary months, give yourself the kind of light you’re missing and you’ll feel better fast.

5. Get To Know Products

You can take some of your anxious energy and research the kinds of CBD products that other people have used and what seems to work. You can also see what other people are using to by with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Checking out the corners of Reddit, YouTube tutorials, and product reviews can give you insight. The process of searching might be enough of a distraction for you to get over some of your anxiety as well.

6. Be Social

During colder and drearier months, it’s tempting to stay inside, come up with excuses why you can’t make it, and avoid social interactions. While it might seem like a comfort, your home can quickly feel like a trap.

If you don’t feel comfortable on your own, call up your best friends and plan a game night or karaoke. Go out dancing for someone’s birthday and with a few drops of CBD, you’ll feel loose and ready to have fun.

Be open with the people around you and tell them you’re dealing with SAD. They’ll respect your honesty and appreciate that you opened up to them.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Doesn’t Have To Trap You

If you haven’t tried treating your SAD with CBD, you should start using it today. Its ability to relax the body and mind while keeping your alert for your daily tasks and routines makes it a unique treatment for anxiety and depression.

If you’re ready to explore the possibilities of CBD for your SAD, contact us for how to get started today.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
At cannabisMD we aim to provide you with all the information and knowledge you need to take the next step in your personal cannabis journey! Read about our team

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