As you know if you’re up to date on our CBD series here at 420 Pony, this cannabinoid is a hot topic. People who suffer from a variety of ailments and the medical profession are at attention about CBD. Thanks to science, using CBD for depression and other conditions is the new reality.
We’ve discussed using CBD for nausea, how CBD is different from THC, and gotten you up to speed on using CBD for pain. Now it’s time to jump into how CBD is used to treat depression. Why does it work? What does using CBD for depression do? How do you get you somma that?
What Is CBD?
CBD is a substance in cannabis called a cannabinoid. Cannabis is chocked full of cannabinoids and science is discovering that some work very differently than others. THC works by binding to certain receptors in the brain that control coordination. It also governs short term memory and one’s general perception of reality. When THC hooks up to CB1 and CB2 receptors, it causes intoxication.
CBD, on the other hand, works in a more complex fashion by altering some of the other neurochemicals in the brain. For instance, it prevents FAAH from doing its job. FAAH is a fatty acid that inhibits the uptake of natural endocannabinoids, CBD essentially knee-caps FAAH which leaves more feel good endocannabinoids free to float around and do their thing.
Using CBD For Depression
CBD impacts the chemistry in your brain in a few different ways detailed below.
Endocannabinoids And Mood
Science appears to agree that endocannabinoids regulate mood. Depression, anxiety, and even PTSD benefit from endocannabinoid activity in the brain. These chemicals are naturally a part of your body, and CBD essentially allows more of them to stay active in your brain.
This elevates mood all on its own. That’s not the only mood boosting aspect of CBD, however. Serotonin is also involved in CBD’s mood altering effects.
CBD And Serotonin
High levels of CBD can stimulate serotonin receptors in the brain. One such receptor, the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine), controls several processes like anxiety, addiction, and sleep regulation. CBD slows down 5-HT1A’s uptake of serotonin which creates a calming effect.
Additionally, CBD activates another part of the brain known as the Adenosine receptor.
CBD And The Adenosine Receptor
This receptor is also called A2A. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body and regulates oxygen and blood flow. Interestingly enough, A2A also down-regulates secretion of dopamine and glutamate. Dopamine is a feel-good brain chemical that shows up when you’re in love, when you eat a tasty meal, and even when you consume some mind altering drugs.
The Role Of PPARs
PPARs or peroxisome proliferator activated receptors regulate brain function. Reduced PPAR signaling contributes to some psychotic effects linked to schizophrenia. When PPAR is stimulated, it reduces inflammation in the body and also decreases dopamine. Because CBD increases PPAR function, it can help restore the body’s natural balance and soothe symptoms of some mood disorders.
Dopamine is a confusing substance. Let’s break it down a little. Not only does dopamine increase when we experience something we enjoy, it kicks in beforehand during anticipation. This is why we experience a ‘crash’ feeling when we don’t get what we want. This substance comes into play when people gamble and do drugs. It actually releases at the mere sight of things we associate with the thing we want.
In other words, gamblers may feel the dopamine high when they pull into the parking lot of the casino in addition to during gambling. Dopamine kicks in when our brain perceives something we are compelled to pay attention to.
Conditions like PTSD or schizophrenia are where things get confusing. In these situations, dopamine increases during an episode or onset of symptoms. A person may feel paranoid, anxious, and vigilant. Slowing down the dopamine uptake is actually a good thing in these scenarios.
What’s It All Mean?
That’s a lot of science to get lost in. The basic takeaway is that CBD beneficially alters the chemical climate in the brain without any intoxicating effects. It’s more of a natural boost than a ‘drug,’ per se. People who struggle with mood conditions like depression, PTSD, and anxiety may benefit from a little CBD dominate cannabis in their lives.
Growers are taking that into consideration. A whole new batch of CBD present strains are available for using CBD for depression and other medical conditions. Patients can smoke, eat, drink cannabis, and use it topically in salves. Marijuana as medicine is unfolding in real time.
The more we engage with the politics and medicine of cannabis, the more we can advance its rightful place as a healing plant. We’ll also continue to learn even more about this giving herb, potentially unlocking even more mysteries of our living, growing universe. It’s exciting as well as relieving for many people struggling with chronic health problems.
Using CBD for depression is just one of many promising treatments that make up today’s evolving conversations about cannabis.