Depression is a mood disorder that results in a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest that goes a long way to interfere with a person’s day to day activities. This condition, which is alternatively known as depressive disorder or clinical depression can affect how an individual feels, thinks or behaves, thereby resulting in a variety of physical and emotional problems. People who are depressed are likely to face problems in carrying out their daily activities and sometimes, they may also feel as if life is not worth living.
Depression isn’t a weakness that someone can just snap out of and even though the condition usually begin in the teens, 20s and 30s, it could happen to anyone at any age. The cause of depression is not yet known, but as with many mental illnesses, a variety of factors could be involved. Some of such factors include hormones, inherited traits, brain chemistry as well as biological differences. Also, there are a number of risk factors that could increase the chances of depression in an individual. Some of such risk factors include the abuse of alcohol/recreational drugs, serious or chronic illnesses like cancer or stroke, being a lesbian, gay or transgender, certain personality traits like low self-esteem, traumatic or stressful events like physical or sexual abuse, having blood relatives with a history of depression as well as certain medications.
Some of the common symptoms of depression include the feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness, unnecessary angry outburst, irritability or frustrations, anxiety, agitation and restlessness, sleeping disorders, loss of interest in most normal activities, slowed thinking, speaking or body movements, suicidal thoughts/frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, as well as unexplained physical problems like pain or headaches.
Of course, depression can be treated with methods like psychotherapy and prescribed medications. However, these treatment options have been largely criticized. For instance, it may take weeks for patients on antidepressants to notice an improvement. Similarly, it has been statistically proven that one in every three people suffering from depression are unable to find relief, even after using antidepressants.
CBD has been reported to be an alternative effective treatment of depression. A few studies have shown that CBD is capable of healing many diseases including depression. Even though the exact cause of depression isn’t yet known, most scientists have agreed that depression is a result of the reduction of the level of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin in our brains. Of course, this imbalance affects most normal activities such as exercising, dieting and feelings.
According to a study that was conducted by German scientists, in 2011, the active chemicals in CBD target and increase the transmission of serotonin receptors in our brain, including the 5-HT1A receptors. The researchers therefore argued that by reducing the absorption of serotonin, the brain would be able to communicate more positive signals to aid in alleviating symptoms of depression. Besides, evidences from some studies have also shown that CBD can stimulate the growth of hippocampus, thereby triggering the creation of new neurons. According to researchers, this condition which is also known as neurogenesis, could be a powerful way of reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In 2012, a study that was conducted at the Chicago University endorsed the claim that CBD could reliably treat depression. The results of this study indicated that injecting CBD oil into a rat could stimulate the hippocampus area, thereby creating new neurons in the brain. Of course, this is one of the most effective ways to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Clinical trials have also shown that using CBD to treat depression has zero or minimal risk of the psychological conditions of patients. Moreover, according to a notable researcher from Maine’s Research Institute, the use of CBD oil will ease depression and stabilize mood by activating paralimbic and limbic areas in the patient’s brain.
Even though more research is needed on this subject, patients should endeavor to consult with their doctors before self-medicating with CBD.
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