High Functioning Depression - Can CBD Treat it? | cannabisMD

High Functioning Depression – Can CBD Treat it?

Can CBD treat high functioning depression?

The signs and symptoms of high-functioning depression are similar to those caused by major depression but are less severe. Image Credit: By DODOMO on Shutterstock

High functioning depression is one of the most isolating mental illnesses. The appearance that the person has it all together, that everything is fine, their lives are perfectly good and they are able to do everything expected of them, but feeling utterly depressed despite of it is hard to deal with. If nobody spots the signs, it can be because there weren’t any signs. High functioning depressives can look and sound fine, until they aren’t. It isn’t uncommon for those suffering with high functioning depression to commit suicide. By then it can be too late. Even major depression can look like someone is just struggling a little from the outside.

Many people suffer from this type of depression but because it is a form that does not readily reveal itself, it is hard to spot. Sometimes, if nobody offers help, it can be almost impossible to go and get help for yourself. For the person with depression themselves, they can feel totally cut off from their friends and family, feel like nobody understands them, they wonder why nobody can see the pain they are suffering.

Read about the symptoms of depression here.


Cannabidiol, CBD, is an extract of the cannabis plant. CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. This is a large array of receptors on the brain and body’s neurons. The exact role CBD plays in this little understood part of the brain is not well understood, but it appears to help regulate the interactions of other cannabinoids. One study published recently shows that CBD is a potentially effective treatment at treating depression. Another study has shown that THC and CBD (THC is the chemical in cannabis that gets the user “high”) are far safer to come off after treatments than many antidepressants or opioids.

High Functioning Depression and CBD

The relationship between high functioning depression and CBD is not well understood. The lack of evidence is a concern to many who would prefer a sound scientific basis for the treatments they use, however, what is known about the effects of CBD makes it an ideal candidate for experimentation.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant in the world, but they only have a 50% success rate and the side effects on mental health can be extremely severe, especially when they are withdrawn from or the treatment is ended. This can produce a dependence on the drugs and cause side effects that are more severe than the condition itself.

This is where CBD can help. CBD provides antidepressant like effects without the side effects. The safety record of CBD is well known, as is for cannabis in general. While there is a slight increase in the incidence of schizophrenia and psychosis for heavy users, in general cannabis has a very high tolerability, is not addictive, can be consumed in a variety of safe ways, and seems to be effective for a number of different conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

CBD is especially hopeful for treatments for depression because it has no psychoactive effects. This means it does not produce the high that legislators around the world have been so afraid of for years. It has an effect on the brain but not one that is noticeable immediately. CBD has been shown to have a mood stabilizing effect on people with some forms of mood disorder such as clinical depression and high functioning depression. There are a number of drugs that have similar effects, but none with such an exemplary safety record.

Because of the relative safety of CBD, it is being explored for their benefits like never before. Cannabis strains high in CBD are being developed for the growing market in CBD products. The quality and purity of the drug has increased to the point where 100% CBD oil is more easily available in some places than black market stuff.

The availability, purity, increasing scientific evidence, and safety of CBD all combine to make it a drug that is worth exploring.

The Legality of CBD

Unfortunately, CBD and cannabis are illegal in many parts of the world. CBD is being recognized for its medicinal uses but remains illegal in most of Europe and in America at the federal level. This stifles research and drives people who want to access the benefits of this drug underground. It is not recommended that the reader obtain CBD in any state where it is illegal. It is also not recommended that CBD be used in any situation other than on the advice of a qualified doctor.

For people with high functioning depression, the >a href=”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29656267″>safety record should reassure them enough that they can use CBD experimentally. When using the drug, always use pure, independently verified doses. By measuring the dose, the effects can be compared over time and whether it is effective or not can be established.

CBD can be taken safely and people can do things like operate heavy machinery, drive cars, look after children, and continue with their high functioning life while taking it as a treatment for their illness. The mood stabilizing effects and the subtle perceptual shift that CBD can bring to some people seems like an ideal way of treating this often overlooked condition.

Depression is serious, and if you think you have any form of the condition, you should seek help. There are many different forms of therapy available and they do work for many people. If you are thinking seriously about taking CBD, consult your doctor and read all the available evidence before proceeding.

Click here to read more about how CBD can treat depression.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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