If you believe the hype, cannabidiol (CBD) is the ultimate panacea. It could help with everything from insomnia to chronic pain. It’s one step away from tying your shoes and putting your kids through college. It’s all a little exaggerated, and it’s a shame, as this misleading information muddies the waters where CBD is concerned. It distracts from the actual health benefits, and there are a lot of those.
One of the seemingly genuine benefits concerns CBD’s impact on mood. It could help to lift your mood, albeit temporarily, and may be beneficial in the treatment of depression.
What Does the Science Say?
There have been very few human trials using CBD and the ones that do exist have yet to draw any concrete conclusions. After all, for many years CBD and CBD products existed on the same legal spectrum as THC and the substance was often overshadowed by its psychoactive counterpart, so data has been limited.
However, there have been a few animal studies, and these have drawn some interesting conclusions. A 2018 review suggested that CBD could possess anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties while also helping with everything from substance abuse to neurological conditions like Parkinson’s.
A similar study conducted in 2017 suggested that CBD could be used to help with panic attacks, noting that the compound displayed an anxiolytic effect in both human and animal subjects.
It is believed that CBD interacts with serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin is the hormone responsible for mood stabilization and feelings of contentment. Many chronically depressed subjects have an imbalance of this hormone and it’s a problem that anti-depressant drugs try to remedy.
The problem with these drugs is that they produce a long list of side effects, including depression and suicide, and while they can be very effective and life-changing, they can also cause more problems than they fix.
If CBD is able to have a similar effect without triggering all of those side effects, then it would be a revolutionary compound, and that’s why it has generated so much interest in the scientific community.
What do Users Say?
CBD has changed the lives of many users. It’s easy to dismiss some of those claims as exaggerated or even outright lies. You could even argue that they are just trying to promote the product and have an ulterior motive. The placebo effect also plays a role, but what about the thousands of others that use this product every day and swear by its efficacy?
There’s clearly something to their claims and if you try it for yourself, you may understand where they are coming from. CBD has a way of cheering you up and putting a smile on your face, especially when it is consumed in the form of whole hemp flowers, in which case you’re benefiting from the combination of other cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as high levels of cannabidiol.
Can CBD Help with Depression?
The answer to the question of whether or not CBD can cure depression—like so many questions involving this substance—isn’t black and white. It’s a little from column A and a little from column B.
In some individuals, it certainly seems to have a mood-altering effect and if they are prone to mild depressive episodes or simply need something to uplift and stabilize, it could be ideal.
However, for individuals with chronic depression, ones for whom even strong medication doesn’t work, it’s unlikely that CBD will have an effect.
That doesn’t mean that you should give up hope, though. This substance holds a lot of promise and as it has very few side effects, it’s always worth trying it for yourself. Maybe you’ll feel great, maybe you won’t feel anything at all—regardless of its effects, it shouldn’t produce any worrying adverse reactions and it doesn’t cost much to try it out!