What Is Depression and How Can CBD Help? | cannabisMD

What Is Depression and How Can CBD Help?

What's depression and how CBD can help

Many people are turning to CBD as an alternative treatment for depression.Image Credit: By goodstudio on Shutterstock

The American Psychiatric Association defines depression as a human status or a condition where the affected individual reflects sadness, loss of energy and exhibits a sense of hopelessness. The concerned person also shows a loss of interest in most of the activities which were once enjoyed and can experience suicidal thoughts. They often experience either insomnia or hypersomnia, a complete lack of drive, motivation and focus. They isolate themselves from friends and family and become reclusive.

These are just a few of the many symptoms of depression which can be very difficult to spot. It is one of the most serious medical conditions facing individuals today and unfortunately, also one of the most difficult to diagnose and cure. This is because people with depression often go to great lengths to hide their illness from others, and current antidepressant medications can cause very serious side effects and be highly addictive.

Common Types of Depression:

Major Depression Disorder ( MDD ) also known as Clinical Depression
Persistent Depressive Disorder ( PDD )
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Psychotic Depression
Postpartum Depression
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Social Depression
Bipolar Disorder

The classic treatments for depression include antidepressants, ECT or electroconvulsive therapy and meditation and mindfulness. Sometimes a combination of therapies is also put into practice for those suffering from severe depression.

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One of the most common antidepressants prescribed by the doctors is SSRI or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Interestingly more than 41 million people in America alone have taken antidepressant tablets at least once. Sadly, the percentage is growing by more than 10% year on year. It is a clear indication that SSRI is ineffective in treating these depressive individuals completely.

Moreover, these medicines have adverse risk factors and side effects such as nausea, vomiting, tiredness, lack of focus and dry mouth. In a way, long term use of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors can actually defeat the whole idea of getting an individual out of depression because it can just aggravate the symptoms further. Some of the other medicines frequently prescribed by health professionals include mood stabilizers and tranquilizers.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy is a psychiatric treatment which induces electrical shocks in patients. The seizures produced by electrical impulses provide instant relief to those suffering from depression and mental disorders. This option is mostly used on people who react negatively to traditional medicines and cognitive therapies. ECT is 100% safe and often provides positive results. However it is one of the least used treatment options.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are synonymous with mental health. In fact, these practices clear the brain from several mood disorders and can have an enormously positive impact on depression without a single side effect. Derived from Buddhist mindfulness meditation, it is an exercise of the brain. And the award is tranquility. A calm mind and relaxed nervous system rids a person from unwanted thoughts and thereby keeps depression at bay. Mindfulness has be designed to prevent relapse and also for assisting mood regulation and healing of mind.

Can CBD Oil Help With Depression?

In spite of the above mentioned treatments, many people still reel under the influence of depression. While some do not find solace in medicines there are others who fall prey to relapse. Even as researchers are frantically searching for alternate medicines, CBD oil has come as a boon in disguise.

Cannabidiol oil occurs naturally within marijuana and hemp. It’s just one of the several chemical constituents of cannabis which have attracted the focus of medical fraternity across the world.

Incidentally, this oil is non-psychoactive in nature but rich in other therapeutic properties. Click here to learn about the difference between THC and CBD. Calming and decreasing anxiety is one such virtue of CBD oil without causing the well known ‘high’ associated with marijuana use, making it an ideal option for anyone suffering from mental illness.

How Does it Work?

Our bodies naturally produce their own variants of cannabinoids (the main ingredient in CBD oil). These typically react with receptors which are present throughout our bodies. While cannabinoids produced by human body latch on to these receptors directly. Cannabidiol can influence certain receptors, making them release the necessary triggers that stop the activity of neurons in an excessive way.

However, its therapeutic benefits are not limited to calming the anxiety. It also reduces pain, regulates posture, movement and sensory perception, and cognitive functions depending on what it was intended for.

However, due to its limited study and equally limited clinical observations, the use of CBD oil has been restricted thus far and is still a very new idea to many people. Moreover, the legal status of Cannabis is also under constant debate in several states which makes Cannabis based products a difficult proposition to manufacture, sell and buy. Nonetheless, CBD is available in 29 American states, where production of CBD oil is legalized and strictly monitored.

For more information on Depression statistics, symptoms and treatment options, you can find all the information you need on the website of the National Institute of Mental Health here.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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