An estimated 16 million adults in the United States are currently experiencing the symptoms of depression. The National Institute of Mental Health reported a... CBD and Its Role in Treating Depression

An estimated 16 million adults in the United States are currently experiencing the symptoms of depression. The National Institute of Mental Health reported a staggering 7% of adults suffered from depression in 2017, and sufferers are looking for alternative treatments everyday. One promising option for 2019 seems to be CBD oil, especially with the widespread legalization of cannabis moving throughout the U.S. today.

Depression isn’t just an episode of sadness following a specific event, which is natural to all of us. Symptoms of depression include prolonged periods of apathy, lack of or excessive sleep, decline in cognitive function, social isolation, mood swings, decline in physical health, and more.

Today a wide variety of treatments exist for those experiencing depression, including medication, therapy, and special therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). CBD is on the rise as people continue to look for alternatives to medication and other traditional treatments for depression, and it may produce promising results for those with depression.

About CBD

The two common compounds that contribute to our high from cannabis are THC and CBD (cannabidiol), however THC being the only psychoactive out of the two. CBD is the compound responsible for having the medical aspects of cannabis take place, and is believed to help with various issues such as anxiety, pain, mental disorders, and seizures/spasms. Cannabis enthusiasts recommend consuming CBD regularly whether medical symptoms are present or not, suggesting it as a powerful supplement in one’s daily diet.

The final product of CBD during the manufacturing process is usually a sticky, thick oil-like substance. A few different extraction methods exists, including the CO2 and ethanol-based variations. The CO2 method is supported by many claiming it extracts CBD in a much cleaner, purer procedure versus the high-grain alcohol extraction featured in the ethanol-based method. Other less common methods exist, such as one that uses oils such as olive oil as a carrier for CBD extraction.

CBD’s Cure for Depression

Recent research has shown that CBD causes the brain receptor 5-HT1A, responsible for serotonin production, to work more efficiently. This action on the 5-HT1A receptor results in an increased serotonin output and a more consistent flow of it throughout the body. With the help of CBD, an increased amount of serotonin leads to improved emotional and motor skills, better sleeping and eating habits, as well as a mood stabilizer to fight off anxious feelings. This is crucial for defeating the symptoms of depression.

One toxic effect of depression is the shrinking of the brain’s hippocampus, which is responsible for working with our limbic system to control nerves and emotions such as anger, happiness, and fear. Studies have shown CBD oil may stimulate neurogenesis, allowing the brain to regenerate lost neurons to the hippocampus.

Based on the affect CBD has on serotonin, some believe it is a much safer alternative to antidepressants which work the same, such as Zoloft and Paxil.

CBD Routes of Administration

The most common routes of administration for CBD are topical and ingestion, although other methods exist such as smoking or vaporizing. Topical usually involves a lotion to be rubbed on the spot of treatment, such as for arthritis or a scar. The optimal method seems to be the oral route, by dropping a bit of CBD oil into the mouth via a dropper or swallowing capsules containing the liquid medication. Others like to bake the oil into edible goods like cookies or brownies.

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