What is depression?

Depression is a complex order, but can be best described as a medical illness that has negative impact on how you feel, act and think.

As well as causing sadness, loss of emotional expression, tiredness and prevents you from enjoying activities your once loved. If depression is left untreated, it can lead to an array of physical and emotional problems, substance abuse, reduce your capacity to function at home or at work and could also result in suicide. For most individuals who have depression usually loss of energy, sleep disturbance and reduced ability to thick or focus.

 

Traditional treatments for depression.

There is a wide range of treatment for depression which have proven effective in improving symptoms. A combination of medications and psychotherapy is effective in reducing the symptoms of depression, and therapy with either form alone is often ineffective. Combination therapy has been found to increase quality of life and improve treatment compliance in patients with depression. Advanced treatment techniques used for the treatment of depression include electroconvulsive therapy which uses high-energy electric stimulation, and bright-light therapy involving exposure of an individual with depression to bright light at an intensity o f 10,000 lux for a period of one hour in the morning.

Psychotherapy is often combined with medications in the treatment of depression. There are different types of therapy for depression and these can be grouped based on their efficacies. A therapy is considered “efficacious and specific” if studies in at least two settings (hospital, home therapy, rehab centre etc.) have proven it more effective than medications.

 Examples of efficacious and specific therapies include cognitive behavioural therapy, problem-solving therapy, and interpersonal therapy which help the individual modify their behaviours and interpersonal relationships. An example of an efficacious therapy includes mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent a recurrence or relapse, and an example of possibly efficacious therapy is continuation cognitive therapy to prevent recurrence by helping the individual develop positive thinking and behavioural patterns.

Medications for Depression

Medications used for treating depression are of different classes, each with a different mechanism of action, characteristics, and side effects. Some of these drugs include Fluoxetine (Prozac), Citalopram, Amitriptyline, Imipramine, and Nortriptyline. These drugs generally increase the concentration of stimulant substances in the brain to improve the depressive symptoms.

 

CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the hemp plant.  It is one of the numerous unique compounds called cannabinoids which naturally occur in hemp. Generally, cannabinoids can be produced in the body (these are known as endocannabinoids) or found in the hemp plant as Phyto cannabinoids. CBD is industrially extracted from the cannabis plant and separated from the other cannabinoids, representing about 40% of cannabis extracts. 

CBD is a Phyto cannabinoid which helps to stimulate the regulation of the central nervous system. CBD, therefore, helps supplement the effects of endocannabinoids in regulating appetite, mood, functions of the immune system, sensation, and keeping our bodies working normally. CBD oil is made from hemp plants and can be purchased legally in the United States. CBD is available in different forms such as tinctures, concentrates, capsules, sprays, tapes, and topicals.

CBD Oil Effects

Although, CBD oil has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of any condition, there have been several studies demonstrating some of its health benefits:

  • CBD has been shown to have anti-oxidant properties which means that it is capable of mopping up toxic substances obtained from food or generated in the body. These substances are often at the centre of inflammatory conditions such as myocardial infarction, inflammatory bowel disease, and stroke.
  • Oxidative stress caused by the release of these toxic substances causes age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and CBD has been found to protect against these degenerative diseases of the brain and reduce their clinical progression in patients suffering from them. CBD may also help in the clinical improvement of some autoimmune disease such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Clinical trials have shown that CBD oils are effective in the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
  • Studies have shown that CBD may have therapeutic benefits for brain disorders such as psychosis, depression, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Other benefits of CBD are currently being investigated, including its effects on anxiety and depression, as well as on social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

How could CBD Help with Depression?

CBD has been found to be effective in the treatment of depression. While CBD does not cure the condition, it has been linked to improvement of the symptoms.

The cannabinoids produced in our bodies (endocannabinoids) help to regulate several functions of the body such as mood, pain sensation, sleep, and appetite. These substances exert their actions by binding to specific points of brain cells called the receptors through which they potentiate the actions of a substance called serotonin which acts to improve mood and reduce stress levels. Serotonin also acts by binding to its receptors in brain cells. When these chemical substances bind to their respective receptors, they trigger a series of events within each brain cell stimulating processes that improve mood and stress control.

CBD has been found to help improve depressive symptoms by modulating the actions of the endocannabinoids and also potentiating the effects of serotonin by enhancing the activity of the receptors unto which serotonin binds.