Depression is a mental disorder that is affecting millions of people worldwide and is considered to be the leading cause of mental disability globally according to WHO. It is also one of the leading causes of suicide because of the hollow hopeless despair that takes away all the desires inside a person. Many of the prescription anti-depressants used for its treatment have sizable side effects that it becomes difficult to maintain over long-term. Recently pure CBD has been used as an antidepressant due to its positive effect on cerebral functions. So, is it a safer alternative to prescription drugs?
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that results in persistent feelings of hopelessness and sadness. It is due to lower dopamine and many of the treatments focus on increasing its levels. There are other symptoms associated with it like lethargy, sleep disorder or insomnia, reduced appetite, suicidal thoughts, lack of concentration and motivation etc. Above all, you are diagnosed with clinical depression if you have these symptoms for more than two weeks.
Antidepressants For Depression
The antidepressants used for treating depression focus on improving serotonin levels in the brain by selective serotonin reuptake inhibition (SSRI) i.e. they prevent the reabsorption of serotonin back into nerve cells. This results in better mood but they have side effects like dizziness, anxiety, restlessness, sexual dysfunction, weight gain or weight loss, headaches, constipation and others. In many cases the side effects outweigh the benefits of long-term usage.
Pure CBD For Depression
CBD is useful in the treatment of depression due to its effect of increasing serotonin levels by changing the behavior of its receptors in the brain. Besides, it also increases the levels of the neurotransmitter anandamide by reuptake inhibition and thereby results in better mood. Using cannabidiol has the added advantage that it has no side effects compared to prescription antidepressants. All these combined with the CBD health benefits results in improved overall health and mood, culminating in a better quality of life for people suffering from depression.
Side Effects Of CBD
Although CBD health benefits are lauded for positive effects in the treatment of depression, one concern is cannabidiol’s interaction with other medications. It reduces the capacity of liver enzyme CYP450 in metabolising pharmaceutical drugs. It interacts with SSRI’s by increasing serum concentrations resulting in lowering of blood pressure. So you must use cannabidiol for depression only under medical supervision.
So pure CBD appears to be a possible alternative or complementary medicine in the treatment of debilitating mental health condition of depression.