CBD for Depression: Does it help? Learn About its Benefits & How To Use

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CBD for depression
December 13, 2021
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Depression is a common mental health condition affecting people from all walks of life. Left untreated, for some people, it can suck all the joy out of life. The good news is there are many treatment options available, including CBD for depression. 

Many are preaching the wonders of using CBD oil for depression but does it actually work? Keep reading as we unpack studies on CBD benefits, potential side effects, and ways to use it for relieving depression symptoms. 

Class is in session; let’s begin! 

Taking cannabis CBD oil inside tea cup
Taking cannabis CBD oil

Does CBD help with depression?

CBD products have received increasing attention in recent years for their health benefits but is CBD oil good for depression? Before we answer that question, let’s unpack what is CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 400 chemicals derived from the cannabis sativa plant. Scientific studies show it has many medicinal properties, such as: 

  • Relieve pain 
  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Ease cancer symptoms and may have cancer-fighting properties
  • Neuroprotective properties to strengthen memory and reduce Alzheimers symptoms
  • Relaxing effects that help insomnia and sleep disorders

Using CBD for depression helps treat the main symptoms of the illness. It also relaxes anxiety, a common comorbidity—a condition often present with another disease. 

Most people who use CBD for anxiety and depression report feeling happier, calmer, and more focused. Even those who grow CBD strains such as CBD White Widow autoflower report relief of symptoms like pain. It’s evident that CBD does help some people feel better. 

What recent studies say about CBD for depression and anxiety

Studies show that CBD raises serotonin levels in the brain. This increase is why using CBD oil for depression may be an effective treatment. Serotonin is a vital hormone with many essential functions, including: 

  • Mood-stabilizer
  • Stimulates motivation, happiness, and feelings of well-being
  • Helps form melatonin which aids sleep and relaxation
  • Increases appetite and aids digestion

Animal model testing in various studies shows a link between CBD and depression. Researchers noted that CBD showed anti-stress and antidepressant properties. They also found that it has the potential of passing as a fast-acting antidepressant. 

One CBD depression study gave some participants a CBD treatment and the others a placebo. Researchers found that the CBD treatment group had lower anxiety levels than the placebo group. These findings label CBD as a possibly effective treatment to reduce anxiety with minimal side effects. 

A 2018 study on the link between CBD and depression found that CBD reduced the participants’ symptoms. Those who used CBD reported a 50% decrease in their depression, stress, and anxiety symptoms. This study also found that lower THC and higher CBD content provided better results. 

In 2020 researchers experimented with rats, testing the effects of CBD depression treatments for anhedonia. Anhedonia is the lack of pleasure or motivation for various activities, including typically enjoyable situations. Researchers found that low THC/high CBD oil increased motivation and pleasure.

CBD for depression: does it really work?

Depression can manifest in complex ways. Three common symptoms are : 

  • Feeling sad, hopeless or empty
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia) or sleeping too much (hypersomnia) 
  • Loss of interest in activities and inability to plan or find motivation for goals 

Most people benefit from therapy and medication. Traditional antidepressants may cause adverse effects and long-term damage. Using CBD for depression may be a healthier treatment option.

A CBD oil depression treatment is an effective and convenient way to relieve depression and anxiety symptoms. A few drops of CBD oil under the tongue allow for fast absorption into the bloodstream—quicker absorption equals speedier relief. 

Here’s how using CBD oil for depression may help with the four main depression symptoms: 

  • Sadness: mood-stabilizing properties neutralize extreme sadness and balance it with a serotonin boost of happiness. 
  • Insomnia: high in melatonin which is a natural sleep aid.
  • Hypersomnia: regulates the circadian rhythm, which is the body’s clock. It’s the key to maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. 
  • Lack of interest: CBD depression treatments show an improvement in motivation and goal-planning.

Using CBD for depression works to relieve symptoms and generate a positive outlook on life. Currently, there aren’t enough studies to determine if it works for everyone. So far, most studies determine that CBD is an effective, fast-acting treatment option for depression. 

Depression manifests differently, and people should stick to what works for them. Typically a combination of therapy and medication works best. For example, a CBD oil depression treatment may ease your symptoms, while therapy may put you back on track. Give it a try and if it works for you, stick to it. 

Medical cannabis oil
Medical cannabis oil

How to use CBD oil for depression?

Using CBD oil for depression is as simple as placing a few drops under your tongue. You could add it to your morning smoothie or tea – check our complete report on CBD tea.

CBD oil is also suitable for vaping but may not be the healthiest option. 

Aside from oil, CBD for depression and anxiety can come in other forms, such as edibles like brownies and gummies. Topical CBD products like lotions and patches are great for sticking to your diet and provide fast pain relief.

Compared to antidepressants, CBD for depression poses no threat of addiction. Antidepressants may become addictive, and patients are typically weaned off them over a long time. So far, CBD hasn’t shown the risk of addiction in users. 

How long does CBD for depression and anxiety take to work?

Depression and anxiety symptoms come on fast sometimes. Traditional medication like antidepressants take anywhere from 4–6 weeks for the patient to feel an improvement. These medications also have lingering side effects, unlike using CBD oil for depression.

CBD oil can work in as little as 10 minutes or up to two weeks. The efficiency of a CBD depression treatment depends on CBD bioavailability, which is: 

Absorption rate 

The absorption rate refers to how fast CBD is absorbed into the blood. Vaping and sublingual consumption (under the tongue) are the fastest. It takes around 10–30 minutes to feel the effects. 

Oral consumption refers to CBD depression products you eat or drink, like edibles, powder, and tinctures. These products can take 1–6 hours to take effect but have long-lasting effects. 

Topical applications such as patches and creams are absorbed within 5–20 minutes. These products are more practical in treating pain. It’s unlikely that topical items produce antidepressant effects. 

CBD availability 

When using CBD for depression, bear in mind that not all products are created equal. Buds from high-quality cannabis seeds produce the best consumables. CBD oils with carrier oils and additives may affect absorption

A higher CBD content means a greater bioavailability (easy absorption+stronger effects). If you use a high CBD oil for depression, your body stores excess CBD in the fat cells. Over time this is released, resulting in long-term effects. 

CBD brownies
CBD brownies

Are there any side effects associated with cannabis oil for depression?

Any treatment has the potential to cause adverse reactions in some people. Most reactions are mild since CBD is easily digestible and accepted. Here are some potential side effects of using CBD oil for anxiety and depression:

  • Dry mouth 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fatigue 
  • Drowsiness 

Severe side effects are rare with CBD depression treatments. It can interact with certain medications and may cause liver toxicity when taken in extremely high doses.

Using CBD oil for depression with common medications may increase their side effects. For example, if you use CBD for pain with drugs that cause drowsiness like opioids, it may intensify the fatigue. 

Generally, using good-quality CBD for depression and anxiety won’t cause extreme side effects. To ensure your products are of excellent quality, you could grow medicinal marijuana seeds with high CBD content and create your own consumables. 

Using CBD oil for depression vs. antidepressants 

How do CBD depression treatments differ from traditional antidepressants? It isn’t easy to compare the two options. Antidepressants have a long history of research and human-based studies. Unfortunately, CBD studies are lacking, and most are done on lab rats instead of people. 

The studies on cannabis oil for depression so far show promising results. Both antidepressants and CBD treatments have helped people with depression and anxiety. Let’s compare these two options: 

Antidepressants CBD
Approved by the FDANo FDA approval (except EPIDIOLEX for seizures)
Likely to experience side-effects including long-term effectsMild side-effects and long-term or severe side-effects are unlikely
Can take 4–6 weeks to feel a differenceCan relieve symptoms in 5–30 minutes and long-term relief within 2 weeks
May be addictiveNo addictive properties 
May cause adverse reactions when stopped, such as fatigue and loss of coordinationCan be stopped immediately with no severe withdrawal symptoms

Remember that you should never stop taking antidepressants or try a new treatment without consulting your doctor first. Quitting cold turkey can cause severe reactions. It may worsen your symptoms and cause anxiety.

If you want to stop antidepressants, talk to your doctor about weaning you off them. Replacing antidepressants with a CBD depression treatment has worked well for many. CBD may also help relieve the withdrawal symptoms from stopping antidepressants. 

CBD isolate oil
CBD isolate oil for depression

Best CBD oil for depression: how to choose the right product for you?

CBD products are available everywhere, especially since they’re gaining popularity. 

Not all CBD depression products are created equally. It isn’t easy to find reliable products as they typically aren’t FDA approved. 

You generally have three options for buying CBD oil for depression: 

  • Buy from a dispensary (maybe expensive)
  • Purchase online (you must check for third-party lab testing for safety)
  • Make your own (most affordable long-term option) 

Using CBD for depression can be a highly effective treatment, but getting excellent quality products may be challenging. Make sure you purchase from a reputable seller and opt for only lab-tested products.

Alternatively, you can make your own CBD oil. Growing high CBD strains will give you medicinal-use buds for a long time. Making cannabis oil for depression is easier than it seems, and you can leave out harmful chemicals. 

What is the average CBD dosage for depression?

There are many variables to consider when it comes to selecting a suitable amount of CBD for depression. Here are four main factors to find the correct dosage for you: 

  • Weight 
  • Medical condition 
  • Individual body chemistry (General functioning level of everything in your body)
  • The concentration of CBD in the product

It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the best CBD oil depression dosage for you. If you’re taking other medications, you should get advice on dosage and timing of treatment. For example, with Epidiolex (CBD for seizure treatment), it’s critical to stick to your prescription dosage. 

If you’re new to using CBD oil for depression, it’s best to start with small amounts. Between 20–40 mg a day is a good starting quantity

Once you feel comfortable with this amount (typically after a week), increase it by 5 mg. Raise the dosage steadily until you find an amount that works for you. 

Take a higher dosage for more severe conditions such as chronic pain or moderate to severe depression. If symptoms worsen, you should also start taking higher doses of cannabis oil for depression.

Certain CBD depression products are easier to dose. For instance, CBD gummies come with the quantity attached, which makes it easier to dose. CBD oil is also easy to dose and gives you more flexibility than other products.  

Dosing cannabis oil for edibles
Dosing cannabis oil

What are the best strains of CBD for depression?

Knowing the best CBD for depression strains is crucial if you buy buds from a dispensary or grow pot seeds. 

There are many high CBD strains that’ll ease your mind without the intoxicating effects of THC strains. Here are some of our top picks: 

Cannatonic 

Coming in strong with a CBD level of 17%, this strain has the perfect level of CBD for anxiety and depression ailments. If you grow Cannatonic feminized seeds, you can expect a bountiful harvest. These buds have a refreshing sweetness and sweeten your mood too. 

Cannatonic Feminized
Cannatonic Feminized

CBD Strawberry Kush 

Release all your tension and stress with this fruity treat, perfect for CBD depression treatments. CBD Strawberry Kush feminized is easy to grow and smooth to smoke. The trichome-rich buds pack a CBD content of 15% to uplift your mood even on the hardest of days.

CBD Strawberry Kush
CBD Strawberry Kush

CBD Harlequin 

The CBD Harlequin feminized is one of the oldest high CBD strains, with a potent CBD level of 18% to release all your tension and relieve pain. These uplifting buds are an excellent choice to make CBD oil for depression. It’s perfect for all occasions and won’t bring you down on action-packed days.     

CBD Harlequin
CBD Harlequin

FAQs

Is CBD an antidepressant?

No. CBD is not an antidepressant, but it may have antidepressant properties. CBD is one of 400 compounds extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. Using a CBD oil for depression may uplift negative moods, ease anxiety and work similarly to most antidepressants.N.B.Never stop prescribed antidepressants without talking to your doctor first.  

Is CBD better than antidepressants?

CBD may help soothe depression symptoms but cannot replace antidepressants. Antidepressants may have long-term side effects. Using CBD for depression has fewer side effects and may work faster than traditional antidepressants. Further research is needed to determine whether CBD is better than antidepressants. 

Does CBD oil improve your mood?

Yes. Using cannabis oil for depression does improve your mood. It relieves tension, stress, and negative emotions and uplifts your spirits. CBD stimulates serotonin which stabilizes your mood and makes you feel happy. It also helps you get a better night’s sleep, so you wake up with a smile on your face.

Does CBD give you energy?

Yes. CBD oil depression treatments can boost serotonin which results in more energy. Research shows that it improves motivation which can give you the power to smash all your daily goals. You can also add CBD oil to your morning coffee for an added boost.  

CBD isolate tinctures
CBD isolate tinctures

Final Points about CBD and depression

Studies show that using CBD for depression may help relieve symptoms both short and long-term. There’s a need for more research to find definitive conclusions about the treatment of depression with CBD. 

Using CBD oil for depression is generally safe and has fewer side effects than antidepressants. CBD products are available at dispensaries and online. Growing high CBD seeds saves you money and enables you to create your own consumables. Shop our selection of the finest cannabis seeds now.