Is CBD a Good Treatment For Depression?

There are a number of studies supporting CBD as a possible solution to depression.

People often say that CBD is non-psychoactive. If we’re being honest, this isn’t entirely true. CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning that it doesn’t cause a euphoric “high” it can still influence your cognition and mood in surprisingly powerful ways. In animal studies, CBD is proving to be a natural antidepressant.

CBD for Depression

Research on CBD in human patients is lacking but if recent studies are any indication, it’s safe to say that the cannabis compound is a powerful antidepressant for mice.

In 2016, Spanish researchers found that CBD triggered “rapid and sustained” antidepressant-like effects in rodent models. Amazingly, the scientists found that the cannabinoid produced these effects thanks to engagement with the serotonin receptor.

Cell receptors are like little locks that sit on the surface of cells, awaiting chemical messengers to engage them. In this case, CBD interacted with cell receptors that are normally reserved for serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that is targeted by some of the most common antidepressant drugs, including Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft.

Another paper published in August of 2018 discovered that low doses of CBD paired with low doses of generic Prozac successfully improved depression-related behavior in mice under stress. This research also confirmed that CBD seemed to produce an antidepressant effect by engagement with serotonin. While the cannabis compound may work synergistically with some antidepressants, earlier rodent research suggested that CBD worked just as well as a common antidepressant drug. In 2010, researchers found that the effects of CBD were comparable to the antidepressant imipramine, which is sold under the brand name Tofranil.

But, wait! There’s more. Rats that have been genetically bred to demonstrate depression-related symptoms also responded well to CBD treatment, providing the first suggestions that the cannabis compound may play a role in more than just stress-related depression.

While clinical trials of CBD for depression in humans are currently non-existent, there is some evidence suggesting that some patients find that cannabis medicines improve their symptoms of depression. A 2017 survey of Canadian medical cannabis patients discovered that 63 percent of patients reported preferring cannabis over prescription medications. Of those patients, 12 percent reported preferring the herb over antidepressants.

(read the full article