According to the World Health Organization, the available evidence suggests that CBD is relatively safe. However, the long-term effects are not entirely clear.
So how does CBD compare to traditional antidepressants? True comparisons of the effects are not yet possible simply because there is not enough research on CBD’s effects.
CBD products are not subject to regulation because they are marketed as supplements, which means that you don’t know if you are really getting what is described on the label. Because these products are not regulated, you have no way of knowing for sure what you are getting in terms of purity, safety, and dosage.
Possible Side Effects
Another study found that CBD had a “clear anti-stress effect,” which might play a role in reducing stress levels that contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
Despite claims about CBD’s purported mental health benefits, it is important to understand that the research on its use is still limited. There have been studies done, but many of these have limitations and further research is needed in order to fully understand CBD’s therapeutic potential.
CBD, on the other hand, is purported to have a wide range of health benefits without these psychoactive effects. Some research suggests that CBD has antidepressant-like effects, which means it may hold promise in alleviating symptoms of depression.
It is also important to note that CBD is available in isolate (only CBD), broad-spectrum (contains other cannabinoids but not THC), and full-spectrum (contains other cannabinoids, including THC).
Numerous animal models have shown that CBD may yield great psychiatric potential, offering anti-anxiety and antidepressant-like properties. The effect of CBD on serotonin 1A receptors may influence be key.
Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability among Americans aged 15 to 44. It affects approximately 7% of Americans per year, as well as more than 300 million people worldwide. While this condition can develop at any age, the average onset is 32 years old; it is more prevalent in women than in men.
“For example, one middle-aged man who found the side effects of antidepressants to be intolerable, experiencing insomnia and decreased sexual function, started using low doses of a 4:1 CBD:THC tincture. He self-reported a 90% improvement of his depression symptoms with no side effects,” she said.
Since antidepressant medications first became available in the 1950s, many other options have become available, including talk therapy and relaxation techniques. Medication continues to be a leading course of treatment but non-pharmaceutical treatment is important as up to 40% of patients with depression are “treatment-resistant” — meaning their symptoms do not improve after trying a minimum of two antidepressant medications.
CBD as a tool in the fight against depression is now a key area of interest for consumers and researchers alike. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps