Depression is a mood disorder that affects 350 million people in the world. Earth has an estimated 7.6 billion people, the percentage that is affected by depression is pretty significant.
One of the signs of depression is suicidal thoughts, more than 800 thousand people die from suicide every day. A global pandemic that has led to a lot of research into anything could put a dent in that number.
It is important to lay some groundwork, to understand the nitty gritties of depression, to dispel some myths, and to discuss the effectiveness of using cannabidiol (CBD) to treat depression.
Depression’s Impact on Your Brain Function
Three integral parts of your brain are affected when you’re depressed. The first is the hippocampus, which is responsible for memories and production of cortisol.
This hormone is produced during periods of high stress and depression, and is also responsible for everything bad that could happen to the brain when you are depressed.
Your brain generates fresh neurons as deemed fit. However, exposure to excess cortisol can cause slow production and damage to the existing neurons, leading to memory problems.
The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decisions among other functions, will shrink due to excessive cortisol.
The same problem will affect the amygdala by enlarging it. The general result will be an inability to control your emotions and function properly as a human being with respect to decision-making and reaction to situations.
The Different Types of Depression
There are different types of depression classified by cause and other factors.
Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) is a long-standing condition that is characterized by episodes of extreme sadness with milder episodes between them. If the symptoms last for two years, you can stop assuming it is a mere mood swing and get help.
Another type of depression is known as psychotic depression, also known as major depressive disorder with psychotic features. This is an extremely serious condition that requires immediate treatment that should be closely monitored. Some form of psychosis accompanies psychotic depression in addition to to symptoms of major depression.
Seasonal affective depression is brought on by the dark seasons. That is, seasons that are synonymous with little to no sunshine.
Bipolar disorder, although it is not the same as depression patients will usually suffer periods of extreme depression.
Hiding Symptoms of Depression Behind a Smile
Symptoms of depression vary from patient to patient. Some experience constant sadness for long periods. Others withdraw from the society, while others will seem normal in the eyes of the public but come apart behind closed doors.
The worst happens when you start having suicidal thoughts. At this point, it becomes a matter of life or death.
There are risk factors or triggers, if you may, that could lead to exacerbation. Unemployment is attributed with being one of the major causes of depression. Others are bereavement and psychological trauma.
Dispelling Some Myths of Depression
Depression is very highly and often misunderstood, meaning it is subject to some very ridiculous myths.
Myth 1: Throw Yourself Into Work
What? Absolutely not! Working more will not make a difference. In fact, in some cases, workaholism is considered a symptom of depression especially among men.
Working more to mask the symptoms will do nothing to alleviate depression. It might work for a bad week or day or even the blues but ever for depression.
Myth 2: Buck Up, There is Nothing Medically Wrong with You
Wrong again! Depression is a medical condition that has been a disease for eons. In fact, it is a major contributor to the global disease burden. Some may term this condition as self-pity and nothing could be further from the truth!
Myth 3: A Depressed Person Will Walk Around with Tears in Their Eyes
This is ridiculous. Like people do not know how to mask their sadness? Ever heard of those suicide cases that come out of nowhere? Well, they do not.
Suicide will have been a long time coming. No one notices because the person is happy as a lark at all times when really they are in tatters inside. Many of the most depressed people are the happiest.
Myth 4: A Relative Committed Suicide, The Same Fate Awaits Close Family Members
Well, this disease can be passed down in families. However, with early detection it is possible to escape the noose.
So just because a family member committed suicide, it does not necessarily mean that the rest of the family is doomed to wallow in depression. But if you know that depression runs in your family, you should speak with your doctor about getting tested so you can begin treatment as soon as possible.
Treatment varies from patient to patient. A specialist will diagnose and prescribe a proper and effective course of treatment that can range from antidepressants to psychotherapy to brain stimulation.
CBD has recently entered that list and deservedly so, let’s now discuss the efficacy of CBD for treating depression as well as how effective cannabidiol oil is for combatting the symptoms associated with depression.
Efficacy of CBD for Treating Depression
In 2014, a study was conducted on the efficacy of CBD against depression and anxiety. Animals were subjected to swim tests, conflict tests, and a maze. There were fewer instances of depression and anxiety in the presence of CBD.
In 2009, a study on mood and mental health disorder produced evidence that the endocannabinoid system is crucial in mood disorders.
The endocannabinoid system has receptors that interact with serotonin and dopamine receptors. These are mood-enhancing tools in the brain. CBD is also very effective for the management of cortisol levels.
Some studies and research have shown presence of cytokines in depression patients. This means that there is inflammation, therefore the brain tries to attack like it would an infection.
This calls into action the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
Is CBD Effective for Combatting Symptoms of Depression?
CBD is also very potent against symptoms and side effects of depression like sleep, and Insomnia is common in depressed people.
With CBD, you will sleep like a baby and give your body a chance to heal and repair itself, this will work to reduce irritability and attention deficit.
There are pains that occur as a result of depression, such as headaches, joint pains, upset stomach and other forms of pain are prevalent in depressed people.
And guess what, CBD is excellent in combating these!
Another common accompaniment of depression is social anxiety, and studies have shown that CBD will ease this problem.
CBD Products to Use for Treating Depression
Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil
This product can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used in recipes, you can rub a little oil on you temples to relieve a headache, you mix it with beverages, or you can also put a few drops of the oil under you tongue. There really is no limit to the ways in which CBD oil can be used!
CBD oil comes in a variety of different concentrations that should be clearly displayed on the packaging. Additionally, most product packaging will have directions for use and dosage.
The bottle might come with a calibrated dropper, such as the Wellicy CBD Hemp Oil Tinctures, for easy adjustment of dosage. One should start with the smallest possible dose.
The method of extraction of CBD matters. This is because some methods leave toxin residue, which then goes to complicate things in you body. A CO2 extraction is best and it produces a pure product!
Herbs like rosemary and lavender go a long way in helping CBD perform its duties. For the management of depression plant fibers, onion, garlic, leek and artichoke are great additions to CBD edibles for enhanced results.
For example, fermented foods like yogurt and chamomile tea also help with the production of serotonin.
CBD Vape Juice
This is best for already established vapers. There are CBD vape juices in the market that would work well. However, there are concerns that since vaping involves heating it might affect the composition of the CBD. You should do your research for this before deciding to use vaping as your mode of CBD delivery.
However, to help you with your research, vaping CBD is one of the most popular and quickest acting forms of CBD consumption. But if you do not currently vape, you should take the money you’d spend on hardware and use it for trying the other types of CBD products.
And if you later decide that you would like to try vaping cannabidiol oil, then you can progress to this method.
CBD capsules are very easy to dose, since they come in specific doses in varying concentrations. It is easy to execute measured adjustment of the dosage with this mode since each capsule contains a specific amount of cannabidiol.
There is no risk of spillage unlike tinctures and oils, however, these specific types of CBD products are said to be the most expensive of all CBD products.
This is a pretty new product, but CBD crystals are CBD in its purest form with nary an impurity. CBD crystals can actually contain up to 99% CBD.
It is so pure, it can be dosed by weight alone and just like the oil, these crystals have a myriad of uses. They can be used in recipes in place of the CBD oil, can be used to make CBD tinctures and e-liquid. The tincture should be stored in an amber or dark bottle and kept in a cool dark place.
You can also dab it. But what is dabbing exactly? Dabbing is a form of smoking that uses an oilrig or wax vaporizer.
Smoke a CBD Rich Cannabis Strain (Light Up a Blunt)
A marijuana strain is a variety or hybrid created with one or more amplified cannabinoids. Some strains have been found to be helpful with depression, these are mostly sativa dominant strains.
This is the kind of strain that provides invigorating and uplifting effects. Sativa dominant strains are best for social anxiety, and depression among other mental and mood disorders.
It is important to note that the strains will have degrees of other cannabinoids like THC, so this may not be a legally accessible option depending on where you live in the United States or the world for that matter.
Harlequin has a ratio of 5:2 CBD to THC. It gives happiness, relaxation, uplifting, focus, and energy.
ACDC is among one of the most CBD dominant strains, which has a ratio of 20:1 CBD against THC. It is a favorite among users for medicinal use, due to its effectiveness against pain, anxiety and for relaxation.
Sour tsunami is almost a super strain. It is a combination of two very sativa dominant strains: NYC diesel and sour diesel. The NYC diesel gives your a deep full body relaxation, and is famed for freeing the you from paranoia. This on its own can be very effective for psychotic depression.
While the sour diesel is a fast acting strain against stress, pain, and depression, its effects are also very long lasting.