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The use of CBD oil to alleviate symptoms caused by depression is safe and, according to user experiences, also effective. Depression is a very common state of mind and when it becomes chronic, it makes life difficultugh.
In this article, we look at the factors behind depression and whether CBD oil or CBD capsules could help with the symptoms caused by it.
Depression causing low energy
Depression is at the same time one of the most underrated and the most common mental health disorders. Many depressed people must have heard that they are just a lazy, tired or boring guy who never goes anywhere. In fact, he is really exhausted and down, and may not even be able to cook, let alone go to the store. In Finland, there are approx. 6% of the population and the main symptoms are similar; the person experiences a strong decrease in interest and the feeling of pleasure, as well as deep feelings of depression (1).
Chronic depression is often a co-morbidity
Chronic depression is often a co-morbidity, but it also affects people who do not have any underlying long-term illness. Studies show that depression is partly hereditary, especially in those cases where a person comes from challenging circumstances (1,2). Despite numerous studies, the origins of depression have not been reached, it is only possible to assess which factors influence its origin and what happens in the body when a person experiences depression.
The endocannabinoid system plays a role in the background of depression
Depression, like everything else that happens in the body, is influenced by the endocannabinoid system. That important system balances all body functions and tries its best to keep us healthy! The background of depression is especially affected by the CB1 receptor and endocannabinoid anandamide (2,3). These components of the endocannabinoid system play a direct role in anxiety-like behavior and stress susceptibility and are considered important pathophysiological contributors to depression (2).
Chronic stress contributes to anandamide deficiency by increasing the production of FAAH fatty acid amide hydrolase, which is responsible for the breakdown of endocannabinoids. Anandamide is the so-called happiness molecule, which is central to the experience of the feeling of pleasure.
The CB1 receptor plays an important role in the treatment of depression
In particular, the CB1 receptor has been found to play an important role as a mood regulator. Disturbance in the regulation of the CB1 receptor leads to a reduced ability to enjoy pleasure, a passive tolerance to stress and a higher susceptibility to develop depression-like symptoms (2). The CB1 receptor has a clear role in terminating the stress response mediated by the HPA axis (2,4).
The HPA axis and glucocorticoids
Dysfunction of the HPA axis, one of the key factors in depression, is strongly regulated by the endocannabinoid system. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis regulates the action of the steroid hormone glucocorticoids in the body, and these steroid hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s stress response to internal and external threats. (2,4)
Depression triggers the symptoms
In addition to low mood, depression is also associated with other symptoms related to feelings and moods. A depressed person often feels feelings of inferiority and worthlessness, guilt and, in cases of severe depression, also thoughts related to death and suicide.
As depression is a disease that affects the mood very strongly, it also has physical symptoms. Depressed people often struggle in one way or another with weight and appetite. Sleep-related challenges are common, as are weakness and constant fatigue. The flow of thought may slow down and concentration may be difficult, sometimes body movements also become slower.
What causes depression?
The actual cause of depression is not known, and therefore the development of antidepressants also has its own challenges. Depression is almost always caused by stress. It can also be triggered by the death of a loved one or a pet, or some other traumatic life experience that causes deep sadness. There are often different degrees of depression anxiety. Postpartum depression is also common.
Of the Finnish parents, approx. 10-20% experience depression after giving birth. Depression occurs most within three months after giving birth and it usually gets better within a few months. Postpartum depression can range from mild to moderate to severe depression. The symptoms of depression vary from person to person. (5)
At its worst, postpartum depression may trigger anxiety in addition to chronic depression, and episodes of depression may recur later. After the first birth, the risk of recurrence of depression for subsequent births is around 50-60%. (5)
No exact reason for the depressive phase of the birth mother is known yet, but it is estimated that it may be related to a general tendency to depression, thyroid gland dysfunction and overload. The young age of the mother, previous traumas, domestic violence, changes in hormone function and complications during pregnancy may also increase susceptibility to depression. (5)
The use of substances significantly increases the risk of developing depression. Regarding bodily functions, depression is associated with a lack of serotonin, as well as a malfunction of the HPA axis. Endocannabinoid normal production of anandamide prevents excessive release of serotonin from platelets. Full-spectrum CBD oil can help with depression, as it promotes the functioning of the endocannabinoid system by making cannabinoids available to the body.
CBD protects the nervous system
CBDThe mechanism of action of ) is still largely a mystery. It is known that it responds to CB receptors rather poorly, but it is also known that it has more than 60 other receptors in the body that it positively affects. Related to depression, it inhibits the activity of FAAH fatty acid amide hydrolase. FAAH is a molecule that breaks down cannabinoids and its overactivity causes a deficiency for anandamide .
CBD has been found to have protective effects on the nervous system, as well as anti-inflammatory effects in the body (2). CBD has been found to weaken physiological and behavioral reactions in stressful situations (2,3). It inhibits the activity of the HPA axis and activates the serotonin receptor.
Depression can be caused by inflammation
Silent inflammation is low-grade inflammation in the body that occurs slowly over a long period of time. It is different from, for example, an infection caused by bacteria. In recent years, theories related to depression have been turned in the direction that the underlying cause might be inflammation and therefore also a disturbance in the immune response. The reason for this change in direction is the ineffectiveness of serotonin-related drugs and the assumption that the actual cause of depression is somewhere other than the reuptake of serotonin, although that disorder is also usually found in the background of depression. (6,7)
Silent inflammation is affected by diet, stress, amount of exercise, etc., exactly the same things that seem to be behind all imbalances in the body. Cannabinoids CBD and cannabigerol (CBG) produce anti-inflammatory effects and have a broad effect on all kinds of skin inflammation, including inflammation of the nervous system, which is thought to be the cause of depression…
CBD has been shown to calm key inflammatory mediators, free radicals and nitric oxide production.
Both depression and CBD are so multidimensional and challenging in their actions that it is difficult to give direct answers to how CBD oil helps depression. According to user experiences and research, supporting the endocannabinoid system with CBD oil can be an effective and versatile aid for various depressive symptoms. The endocannabinoid system also plays a significant role in the underlying physiology of depression.
- Duodecim ; depressive state, i.e. depression. 2022. https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/dlk00389. Referred on 5/15/2022
- Gallego-Landin I., Garcia-Baos A., Castro-Zavala A., Valverde O.. 2021. Reviewing the Role of endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of depression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Gallego-Landin 20I %20I% %5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=34938182. Referred on 5/15/2022
- Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Sala %20F% 5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=33228239. Referred on 5/15/2022
- Viinamäki H., Lehto SM, Palvimo J., Harvima I., Valkonen-korhonen M., Koivumaa-Honkanen H., Hintikka J., Honkalampi K., Niskanen L.. Duodecim ; The connection of glucocorticoids to the origin and symptoms of depression. 2012. https://www.duodecimlehti.fi/duo10282#s2. Referred on 5/15/2022
- Thl.fi. 2022. Postpartum depression. https://thl.fi/fi/web/lapset-nuoret-ja-perheet/sote-palvelut/aitiys-ja-lastenneuvola/neuvolatyon-sisallot-ja-menetelmat/synnytyksen-jalkeinen-masennus. Referred on 31/05/2022
- Pure ; Low-grade inflammation can underlie many diseases. https://www.puhti.fi/tietopaketit/matala-asteinen-tulehdus/. Referred on 5/15/2022
- Duodecim ; Depressive symptoms possibly related to inflammation. https://www.duodecim.fi/2022/01/05/masennusoireet-mahdollisesti-yhteydessa-tulehdukseen/. Referred on 5/15/2022