CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a compound naturally found in the cannabis plant (in much higher concentrations in hemp extract than in marijuana) that is quickly becoming well-known for it’s anti-inflammatory healing powers in humans and animals. With that in mind, CBD has naturally become a target for research and observation in the medical community. Today let’s take a look at the research around CBD oil for depression and anxiety.
CBD Depression and Cannabis Research
Depression is a symptom. It is a manifestation of inflammation and stress on the body, that causes chemical imbalances leading to feeling of despair, low well-being, and lethargy. Western medicine treats depression as though it is a disease in and of itself, which is the incorrect way of going about things. No wonder antidepressant medications are some of the most prescribed, yet least effective drugs on the market.
When you understand that depression is actually just a symptom of a systemic stress on the body, it becomes a much easier problem to solve. Much of the time it can be caused by mere vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
CBD has recently become the subject of a fair amount of research with regards to alleviation of depression symptoms.1
The endocannabinoid system can be found in tissues throughout the body, and is thought to play a major role in the regulation of mood disorders2 like depression.3 In animal models, CBD has been used in a wide range of different stress tests to ascertain its ability to help with anti-depressant and anxiolytic benefits, such as the Forced Swimming Test, the Elevated Plus Maze, and Vogel Conflict Test, and in every one of them it has passed with flying colors.4
CBD And Depression Research
Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: possible involvement of 5-HT1A receptors5
Key Takeaway: CBD induced an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effect in mice during different stress testing protocols when compared to the control group. The researchers think the 5-HT1A receptors are the modulation site for this benefit.
Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L.6
Key Takeaway: CBD (cannabidiol) exerted a significant anti-depressant effect at dosages between 20 and 200mg/kg body weight.
Circulating endocannabinoids and N-acyl ethanolamines are differentially regulated in major depression and following exposure to social stress.7
Key Takeaway: This is the first collection of data to demonstrate that the peripheral endocannabinoid/NAE system is responsive to exposure to stress and a potential cause of major depression in humans.
The therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system for the development of a novel class of antidepressants.8
Key Takeaway: Limbic endocannabinoid activity is increased by both pharmacological and somatic treatments for depression, and, in turn, appears to contribute to some of the neuroadaptive alterations elicited by these treatments. These preclinical findings support the rationale for the clinical development of agents which inhibit the cellular uptake and/or metabolism of endocannabinoids in the treatment of mood disorders.
Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors.9
Key Takeaway: The results demonstrate that CBD exerts fast and maintained antidepressant-like effects as evidenced by the reversal of the OBX-induced hyperactivity and anhedonia. In vivo microdialysis revealed that the administration of CBD significantly enhanced serotonin and glutamate levels in vmPFCx in a different manner depending on the emotional state and the duration of the treatment. The potentiating effect upon neurotransmitters levels occurring immediately after the first injection of CBD might underlie the fast antidepressant-like actions in OBX mice. Both antidepressant-like effect and enhanced cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission induced by CBD were prevented by 5-HT1A receptor blockade. Moreover, adaptive changes in pre- and post-synaptic 5-HT1A receptor functionality were also found after chronic CBD. In conclusion, our findings indicate that CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signalling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism.
All in all, the limited body of research on the subject of CBD oil for depression seems very promising, with some researchers claiming that it “could represent a novel fast antidepressant.” The awesome thing about this whole thing is that this provides people with an all-natural homeopathic alternative to traditional anti-depressant medications peddled to us from Big Pharma like SSRIs and MAOIs, which don’t actually solve any problems, and usually make people feel worse or have adverse side effects.
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