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24 Apr 2023

The Latest Research on CBD and Depression

While CBD-based products aren't anything new to the world, we're now in a period of intersection where modern scientific studies are beginning to support certain age-old natural-based health claims. Studies around CBD and depression are among the studies.

CBD is being studied for it's anti-stress effects, and, in turn, reducing downstream depression due to stress for many. CBD is a as cannabidiol - essentially a non-psychotomimetic form of Cannabis sativa. CBD users are using it in many forms, seeing benefits from creams, drinks, edibles and oils and for aid in reducing pain, inflammation, anxiety and insomnia, among other things.

Its benefits have been shown to work in as little as two weeks, and results are showing to have fewer side effects when compared to popular antidepressant prescription medication. While agitation, mood swings, insomnia and sexual dysfunction are common side effects of common antidepressants, CBD has not shown any issues, making it a potentially strong addition to any treatment plan. 

It should be said that at Orenda Botanicals we always recommended to speak to a doctor about treatment plans before changing current medications. 

“CBD, on the other hand, is purported to have a wide range of health benefits without these psychoactive effects. Some research suggests that CBD has antidepressant-like effects, which means it may hold promise in alleviating symptoms of depression.” -What is Cannabidiol? (CBD)

CBD has been shown in clinical studies to have antipsychotic, anxiolytic and neuroprotective properties. Thus, making its use potentially beneficial for treating depression, among other conditions such as epilepsy, substance abuse and dependence, schizophrenia, social phobia, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder, Parkinson and sleep disorder. It can also be used to treat nausea and vomiting or increase appetite. 

When it comes to depression, CBD could act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behaviour.

In a Brazilian study, 57 men received either an oral CBD or a placebo pill 90 minutes before participating in a simulated public speaking event. The research showed that the 300-mg dose of CBD was significantly effective at reducing anxiety during the test. It was the first test conducted in February 2019 after observing a U-shaped dose-response in animals. Since depression and anxiety are typically the two sides of the coin for mental health, a positive to note is that CBD appears to help with both issues. 

A study found that participants who took 600mg of CBD experienced a significant drop in social anxiety compared to people who took the placebo. Furthermore, successful studies have replicated the results with lower doses. This is excellent news for anyone with social anxiety and may be seeking a low-impact, natural way to combat these challenges.  These beneficial results are partly due to anxieties linked to low serotonin coupled with CBD’s impact on serotonin receptors.

The four standard formulations for CBD are:

  • Oral

    • Including tinctures, capsules, oils and sprays. Often they can be taken directly as they are or used in baking, smoothies, food and coffees or teas.
  • Edible

    • Drinks and various foods such as CBD-infused gummies or chocolates.
  • Vaping 

    • The market now has pure extract CBD-only vape pens available to feel the benefits quickly.
  • Topical 

    • Incorporating CBD into products that you apply directly to your skin, topical products are typically reserved for pain and not mental health usage. However, as some mental health issues such as depression can have headache side effects, topical solutions may be something for sufferers to look into.

CBD can only be labelled as such when it is -  Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC)

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