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Alleviate depression with CBD?

Alleviate depression with CBD?

Cannabidiol is not only known for its excellent effect on pain, it can also be used for depressive moods and depression. This has been proven in various studies. It not only lifts the mood, but also gives energy, increases the ability to perform and concentrate and has other positive effects on body, mind and soul. But how can CBD oil help with depression and depressive moods and what are its advantages and disadvantages? 

What is depression? 

Unfortunately, the disease is still a mystery and researchers are far from finished with their investigations. Depression has become a widespread disease and is unfortunately still underestimated. Depression is a mental disorder that is accompanied by various symptoms. These are, for example: 

  • Loss of energy
  • Joylessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sadness
  • Reduced ability to concentrate

Although mental illness often develops in childhood or adolescence, depression can also develop in adulthood. The illness itself can be treated quite well. However, since there is a lack of therapists everywhere, appointments are very difficult to get. Waiting times of up to 3 years are not uncommon. To bridge the time until an appointment, CBD oil can be a good and meaningful helper, which cannot fight the cause, but can alleviate the illness. 

Treatment of depression

Depression is the third most common cause of incapacity for work in Germany. The causes depend on many individual circumstances and can be very different. Therefore, it is also difficult to find a miracle cure for this illness. Up to now, depression has been treated with medication, which should actually be combined with psychotherapy.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of psychotherapists, patients often only receive medication. Disappointingly, the drugs have numerous side effects and can also intensify the symptoms at the beginning, which is why many patients hesitate to take them. Therefore, CBD oil could be a possibility to alleviate the symptoms on the one hand and to bridge the time until the start of the therapy on the other hand. CBD products in particular have no side effects worth mentioning and studies have shown that they can be helpful in depressive moods and depression.

How does CBD oil work for depression?

Drugs against depression influence the effect of neurotransmitters. Taking antidepressants prevents the return of the happiness hormones into the cell and the serotonin level increases. Studies have shown that the hippocampus is significantly reduced in patients with depression. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions, among other things. In addition, it has already been proven that the human brain is always changing, even into old age. As a rule, new nerve cells form and the hippocampus can also regenerate. Antidepressants are supposed to support this process, as they help stimulate the regeneration of the nerve cells.

The protective effect of CBD on the hippocampus

CBD comes into play here. It has been discovered that everyone has an endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. It interacts with receptors that are distributed throughout the body, including in the brain. Therefore, the ECS is involved in many processes and can influence sleep, stress, pain as well as appetite, and mood.
Researchers from Australia, for example, found that CBD can protect the nerve cells in the hippocampus. [1] In addition, CBD has been approved as a medicine for epilepsy in the USA for some time, which is due to the fact that CBD prevents the reduction of the hippocampus by protecting the nerve cells.
A 2014 study [2] conducted by researchers at the State University of Rio de Janeiro also demonstrated that cannabidiol has an antidepressant and antianxiety effect in animals. This study can also be transferred to humans. The same was confirmed in a study from 2020 [3]. Thus, despite insufficient studies, there is an indication that cannabidiol can be a helper for patients with mental illnesses such as depression, stress or sleep disorders.
Unfortunately, many studies and investigations still have to be carried out to sufficiently prove this. Even if there is already scientific evidence, the problem is that most of the studies were conducted in non-European countries and are therefore not recognised in Germany.

Which CBD products are suitable for the treatment of depression?

There are various CBD products. But not all of them are suitable. This is also due to the level of concentration. In tea, sweets or other foods with CBD, the concentration is relatively low. CBD oils, CBD liquids for vaporisation or CBD capsules are better suited here. They are available in different concentrations and can thus be individually adapted.

Dosage of CBD oil for depression

The dosage of CBD oil for depression is very individual and basically every patient has to find out for themselves. Start with a dosage of 1 x 3 drops of CBD oil 5 %. The drops are dropped under the tongue with the pipette, where they should remain for about one minute. In this way, they can be absorbed quickly and effectively by the oral mucosa. This dosage is maintained for three to four days so that the body can slowly get used to CBD.
After that, the dosage can be increased to 2 x 3 drops of CBD oil. Again, the dosage is maintained for three to four days. This way you can see if the dosage is already having an effect. If this is not the case, the dosage can always be increased after three or four days. As soon as the desired effect occurs, the dosage can be maintained.


[1] Beale C, Broyd SJ, Chye Y, Suo C, Schira M, Galettis P, Martin JH, Yücel M, Solowij N. Prolonged Cannabidiol Treatment Effects on Hippocampal Subfield Volumes in Current Cannabis Users. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2018 Apr 1;3(1):94-107. doi: 10.1089/can.2017.0047. PMID: 29682609; PMCID: PMC5908414.

[2] de Mello Schier AR, de Oliveira Ribeiro NP, Coutinho DS, Machado S, Arias-Carrión O, Crippa JA, Zuardi AW, Nardi AE, Silva AC. Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(6):953-60. doi: 10.2174/1871527313666140612114838. PMID: 24923339.

[3] García-Gutiérrez MS, Navarrete F, Gasparyan A, Austrich-Olivares A, Sala F, Manzanares J. Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders. Biomolecules. 2020 Nov 19;10(11):1575. doi: 10.3390/biom10111575. PMID: 33228239; PMCID: PMC7699613.

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