Depression is one of the leading psychiatric disabilities in the world, and its incidence is higher among the younger generation. Usually, it is treated using antidepressants, but due to the undesirable side effects of these medications, many people are looking for alternative options. One such option is cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from the hemp plant. Read on to know whether CBD can replace antidepressant medicines.
What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD?
The potential use of cannabidiol (CBD) for treating depression is due to its health benefits which it produces by stimulating the ECS. Listed below are some of the health benefits of CBD:
- Relieving pain
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Helps to reduce high blood pressure
- Protecting the neurons and thereby the nervous system
Antidepressants are pharmaceutical drugs help to treat or manage the symptoms of depression. Studies show that cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) can be useful for treating depression because they are like the endocannabinoids produced by our body. Also, unlike antidepressants, they do not produce adverse side effects even when they are used for a long time.
What Is The Link Between ECS And Depression?
The ECS is a network of chemical messenger signaling systems. The receptors of this system are found throughout the body, and they help to regulate homeostasis, i.e. maintain the internal equilibrium of the body. This also includes maintaining the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and anandamide. Moreover, studies show that people suffering from this condition have lower levels of these neurotransmitters.
How Is CBD Useful For Treating Depression?
One of the potential CBD uses is treating depression; research is carried out to know more about this. When cannabidiol is ingested in the form of oil or edibles, it interacts with CB1 receptors of the ECS. Studies show that this can lead to increased growth of nerve cells in the hippocampus region of the brain. Also, it has been found that cannabidiol inhibits the action of FAAH; this enzyme breaks down the neurotransmitter anandamide. Due to this, anandamide levels in the brain increases. It is assumed that these are the two major reasons why CBD can be useful for treating depression.
As of now cannabidiol (CBD) is not used as an alternative for conventional antidepressant medications. But, with a better understanding of the therapeutic effects of this cannabinoid, this can change.