- Can CBD Help with My Anxiety and Depression?
- Trending Articles/Press Releases
- CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression: Pros & Cons
- 1. Depression & Anxiety
- 2. What Is CBD Oil?
- 3. How Does CBD Oil Work?
- 4. CBD for anxiety
- 5. CBD for Depression
- 6. How to use CBD
- 7.Disadvantages of CBD Oil
- They include:
- 8. Other Alternative Anxiety & Depression Treatments
- CBD Oil For Depression? What the research tells us
- Research overview
- The studies
- What the experts say
Can CBD Help with My Anxiety and Depression?
Posted June 2019
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural compound that has gained popularity in recent years. Here are some frequently asked questions about CBD answered by two mental health professionals who are working in this area:
1. What exactly is CBD? Is it the same as Cannabis? Hemp? Marijuana plant?
CBD is cannabidiol. It is one of almost 200 cannabinoids that can be found in marijuana plants. Un many other cannabinoids, CBD is not psychoactive and has a different pharmacologic profile than other psychoactive cannabinoids. CBD can be extracted from both marijuana plants and from hemp.
2. Is CBD (and CBD products) safe to use?
If there are adequate safety studies of a product, it would be considered safe. However, the CBD products flooding the market are not ly to have undergone any safety testing. In fact, the FDA has issued several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain cannabidiol.
As part of these actions, the FDA has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed to contain. It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease.
Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.
3. It seems CBD is now being used in lots of products (shampoos, cosmetics, oils, bath salts, etc.). Does it really help when it is part of a product?
There is no evidence that CBD has beneficial effects as part of various products. Furthermore, the amount of CBD in any of these products is unclear.
4. Does CBD based medication really help with anxiety and depression and has it been scientifically proven to help with anxiety and depression?
- There is evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of medical conditions. However, this research is considerably less advanced than for treatment of epilepsy. For most indications, there is only pre-clinical evidence, while for some there is a combination of pre-clinical and limited clinical evidence. The range of conditions for which CBD has been assessed is diverse, consistent with its neuroprotective, antiepileptic, hypoxia-ischemia, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, and antitumor properties.
- There is insufficient scientific evidence to support the claim that CBD is an effective treatment for depression or anxiety. That does not mean it would not help, but there simply haven’t been properly controlled clinical trials to support an indication of CBD for treating anxiety or depression. Considerably more research is required to evaluate CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety and depression.
5. Is there current research in the US for CBD? Are other countries using CBD?
- There are dozens of current clinical trials that are evaluating the potential benefits of CBD for a variety of disorders, e.g., alcohol use disorder, pain, anxiety, PTSD, etc. Most of these studies are being conducted in the US, but some are being conducted in other countries.
- CBD is also being studied in combination with THC (THC is the main psychoactive compound in Cannabis). The CBD+THC combination product is known as Sativex, which is approved for cancer pain and spasticity in Europe and Asia.
6. Is CBD FDA approved and can doctors prescribe it?
Purified CBD extract (GW Pharmaceuticals) was approved by the FDA in 2018 as a treatment for 2 rare forms of epilepsy – Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome – as a Schedule 5 compound. The brand name is Epidiolex.
7. Are there pricing regulations for CBD?
Only for the FDA approved product.
8. How can I be sure that what I am reading about CBD (articles, etc.) is providing truthful information?
Look for scientific evidence to support any claims – controlled trials, evidence that the product under discussion has been assayed by some legitimate source to verify chemical constituents. Engage in a conversation with a medical professional.
ADAA offers a free online search tool to find mental health professionals from the ADAA member community. Click here to learn more.
The information in this post was graciously provided by Kathleen T. Brady, MD, PhD, Vice President for Research, Medical University of South Carolina, and Christopher D. Verrico, PhD, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Trending Articles/Press Releases
CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression: Pros & Cons
So, you want to know more about CBD for anxiety & depression?
Everyone’s talking about it, so we’re here to help you weigh up the pros and cons, without bias.
1. Depression & Anxiety
With symptoms excessive worry, extreme self-consciousness, chest pain, and panic attacks, anxiety can be a debilitating condition. Depression can be equally destructive—feeling sad, with little interest in the activities you once enjoyed.
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of options for treating anxiety and depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are popular, but they come with a host of side effects. Others have the risk of addiction.
Many people search for a safer, more natural way to treat anxiety and depression, so new options are being developed and researched all the time.
One emerging treatment is CBD oil. It’s becoming more popular with each passing day, but there are still major questions about how effective it is at treating anxiety and depression—and how exactly it helps.
As a fairly new and little-understood product, it’s important to learn as much as you can about CBD oil for anxiety and depression—and speak to your mental health provider—before you decide to try it.
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2. What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a type of cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are chemicals that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is extracted from the plant and made into an oil.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is another type of cannabinoid. It’s the chemical responsible for the “high” one feels after using marijuana. Because CBD is not THC, you cannot get high from using CBD oil.
CBD oil is suggested to have positive effects for people with:
- and other mental health disorders
- in addition to depression and anxiety
- Studies have shown inconclusive results for most of these uses, with the exceptions of epilepsy, anxiety, and depression
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3. How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil for depression and anxiety is still being studied and doesn’t have as much research to back it up as many other treatments do. Make sure you talk to your doctor about whether it’s a good fit for you and how to incorporate it into your treatment plan.
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4. CBD for anxiety
It isn’t known exactly how CBD oil combats anxiety, but it’s thought to work with a receptor in your brain called CB1. Researchers believe the interactions between CBD oil and CB1 alter serotonin signals.
The core problem at the heart of anxiety disorders is low serotonin—a neurotransmitter related to mood and well-being. SSRIs, for instance, work by blocking the absorption of serotonin in your brain, meaning you get more serotonin. CBD oil may do something similar.
Studies have shown that CBD oil can be effective in treating various types of anxiety, including:
Behavioral symptoms of anxiety and physiological symptoms of anxiety, rapid heartbeat, were reduced in some studies. It’s also been shown to be effective against anxiety-related insomnia.
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5. CBD for Depression
CBD oil works similarly for people suffering from depression because depression happens when serotonin levels are low. Increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain has a positive effect on your emotions and motor skills.
CBD oil may also affect the hippocampus, which plays a large role in regulating your emotions. When you have depression, your hippocampus doesn’t function as well. CBD oil may help promote neurogenesis or the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus.
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6. How to use CBD
You take CBD oil by either putting a few drops under your tongue with a dropper or mixing it with food. CBD gummies are also becoming popular.
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7.Disadvantages of CBD Oil
While CBD oil for anxiety and depression holds promise, there are significant disadvantages to its use.
First, it isn’t widely available. You can only buy CBD oil in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Second, no CBD oil products are approved by the FDA for the treatment of anxiety or depressive disorders. Only one CBD oil product is FDA-approved, and that is for the treatment of epilepsy.
Without the oversight and regulation of the FDA, CBD oils vary widely in quality. Manufacturers can more or less put whatever they want on labels.
According to Marcel Bonn-Miller, adjunct assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 43% of CBD oil products contain too little CBD, while about 26% contain too much.
Due to its lack of regulation, approximately one in five CBD products contain THC, meaning they could give you a high. THC can increase anxiety instead of reducing it. The additional risk in taking CBD oil is that even if the product contains trace amounts of THC, you could still test positive for marijuana on a drug test.
Quality CBD oil is considered safe, but it does come with a few side effects.
- Dry mouth
- Sleeping problems
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
More concerning than these side effects is the potential harm CBD oil can inflict on your liver.
About 10% of people taking CBD in studies showed increases in liver enzymes. This increase could indicate potential liver damage.
These concerns were severe enough for 2% to 3% of participants in the study to drop out due to concerns from the people running the study.
There is also the potential for dangerous drug interactions when taking CBD oil with another medication. If you are taking an antidepressant or any other medications, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking CBD oil.
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8. Other Alternative Anxiety & Depression Treatments
Although CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety disorders and depression is a potentially viable option, there are alternative treatments—besides medication—that are safe and effective.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is one such treatment.
It offers hope for patients with anxiety disorders by restoring the neurons in the amygdala—the part of your brain involved in the fight-or-flight response—to a normal level of functioning.
In those with depression, TMS stimulates the thalamus and hippocampus, which work to control the brain’s emotional responses.
TMS does this by stimulating your brain using electromagnetic pulses. It has very few side effects, and results can be felt in just two weeks.
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Many people are searching for natural treatments for anxiety and depression, and it isn’t hard to see why.
It’s always a good idea to be open-minded to new treatments, especially when there is clinical evidence to back them up. The most important things to do are conduct thorough research and discuss any options you’re considering with your doctor.
CBD Oil For Depression? What the research tells us
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.
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 a. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Cannabidiol (CBD), particularly CBD-rich cannabis oil, as a tool in the fight against depression is now a key area of interest for consumers and researchers a.
Numerous animal models have shown that CBD may yield great psychiatric potential, offering anti-anxiety and antidepressant- properties. The effect of CBD on serotonin 1A receptors may influence be key.
A growing body of research suggests that deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may produce depressive responses. Clinical and preclinical data suggest that cannabinoid receptor signaling may be an ideal target for developing new pharmacotherapy options for both anxiety and mood disorders.
A 2018 study stated that available antidepressant medications have a significant time lag in terms of therapeutic response and are often relatively inefficient. Their goal was to study whether CBD could induce rapid, yet sustained, antidepressant- results in male rodents bred to develop depression- symptoms.
After a single dose, acute antidepressant effects were observed within 30 minutes. Also occurring was an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein that plays a critical role in mood disorders. The researchers concluded that CBD offers a promising therapeutic profile as a potential fast-acting antidepressant treatment option.
Studies have shown that CBD offers a promising therapeutic profile as a potential fast-acting antidepressant treatment option. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Another 2018 study, conducted on mice, examined in the mechanisms of CBD-induced antidepressant- effects, investigating the role of serotonin and noradrenaline. Researchers found that CBD ly improves symptoms of depression through the action of serotonin. When CBD was administered with a serotonergic, or any agent that modifies the effects of serotonin, a synergistic effect was observed.
What the experts say
Dr. Bonni Goldstein, medical director of California-based Canna-Centers and a subject matter adviser for Weedmaps, said she knows of anecdotes of people who said they used CBD to treat depression.
“Preclinical animal data reports that CBD can have antidepressant effects.
There are many anecdotal reports of patients using CBD successfully to treat depression but clinical trials in humans are lacking,” said Goldstein, who is also author of “Cannabis Revealed.”
“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.
There is scientific evidence to suggest that CBD has antidepressant- effects.Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
«There is scientific evidence to suggest that CBD has antidepressant- effects,” Rosalia Yoon, Ph.D., a Research Scientist for Apollo Cannabis Clinics in Ontario, Canada, told Weedmaps.
“From a neurophysiological perspective, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is known to modulate functions associated with cognition, mood, sleep, pain, reward, and motivation; and decreased ECS activity has been postulated to account for some of the symptomatology associated with depression, such as low mood, anhedonia, anxiety, and decreased pain tolerance.”
While studies are limited, “Most of the evidence on the mood regulatory effects of CBD comes from pre-clinical studies. CBD has been demonstrated to exert dose-dependent antidepressant- effects in animal models of depression in various rodent species,” Yoon explained.
“Of note, CBD appears to exert acute antidepressant effects, suggesting that it may confer temporal advantages over standard antidepressant medications, for which the onset of action typically occurs 6-8 weeks after initiation of treatment.
Further, research has shown that a single dose of CBD has effects lasting up to one week in rodents, suggesting sustained antidepressant effects.”
Yoon also acknowledged the limits of medical research.
“Admittedly, evidence on the antidepressant effects of CBD in humans remains inconclusive due to a scarcity of randomized, controlled trials, and the evidence comes mostly from anecdotal accounts or evaluation of depression as a secondary measure,” Yoon said.
“In other studies of cannabis, antidepressant effects have been ascribed to THC. For instance, THC and/or synthetic THC has been reported to elicit an elevated mood in healthy subjects, chronic pain patients, and among those living with bipolar affective disorder.
“Considerably more human studies need to be conducted in order to fully understand the benefits of CBD in relation to mood regulation.
Nevertheless, given the positive pre-clinical evidence and the high safety index of cannabis, CBD holds promise as a therapeutic aid in the management of depressive symptomatology.
It should be noted that drug-drug interactions, as well as issues of tolerability and safety with long-term use, are not yet fully understood. As such, CBD should always be used under the care and guidance of a medical doctor, especially when it pertains to the management of mood disorders,» she said.
Overall, anecdotal reports offer insight, as many patients have reported relief following treatment with CBD-rich cannabis products. These products are increasingly being used to treat symptoms of depression, and research indicates cannabinoids may support a more comprehensive, long-term recovery treatment plan.
In preclinical animal studies, CBD has been shown to offer antidepressant- effects, yet clinical trials are lacking. While CBD shows promise as a potential antidepressant treatment, more research is required in humans.