- General Health
CBD Oil for Mood Disorder
In our modern world, we have found treatments for a myriad of conditions that have plagued humanity for millennia. We have treated serious infections, rampant diseases and have even succeeded in making our world the easiest it’s ever been to simply survive.
However, the relaxed pace and advanced technology comes at a price – humanity as a whole is currently in a mental health crisis, dealing with a huge proportion of people worldwide with some form of mood disorder that makes their daily lives difficult and results in an alarming number of suicides.
How could we be better at treating mood disorders? Is there a good option in CBD Oil?
What are Mood Disorders?
A mood disorder is a general classification for mental illnesses that create a serious change in your mood.
The most common of these disorders – Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Seasonal Affective Disorder – affect up to 20% of people in America alone*.
People experience a variety of symptoms depending on the condition, but all the disorders affect your mood in some way. In some cases, as such as Major Depressive Disorder, you experience profound feelings of intense sadness, loneliness and worthlessness, whereas Bipolar Disorder can create intense fluctuations in your mood, changing from ecstatically elated to crushingly dispirited.
More and more research has been done to diagnosing and treating such conditions, but these conditions are still shockingly misunderstood and poorly treated.
Conventional Medications That Treat Mood Disorder
Generally speaking, mood disorders are treated in two ways: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Antidepressants.
Certain conditions affected by specific phenomena, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that is caused by an extreme mental reaction to the lack of sunlight, are treated by countering the phenomena. Continuing the SAD example, patients are often given regular doses of UV light to help their body’s production of Vitamin D and mental health.
For conditions like Major Depressive Disorder, more medicinal treatments are necessary.
Antidepressants as a whole are drugs that seek to alter your brain chemistry to compensate for the mental disorder that’s affecting you.
For example, one of the most commonly administered medications for depression is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs. SSRIs work in seemingly mysterious ways but are believed to increase the amount of serotonin your brain can utilize. Low levels of serotonin is one of the chief causes of depression, so this drug seeks to alter the way your brain creates and processes serotonin and stop your nerve cells from rejecting it.
The problem with many forms of antidepressants is the side effects they can create. Studies* have shown that patients with Major Depressive Disorder, or other similar mood disorders, can suffer severe side effects from antidepressants, including significant weight gain, a lack of sex drive and even mild flu symptoms.
These might seem negligible, but weight gain and diminishing sex drive can cause problems in an individual’s life with regards to mental well-being; treating depression by making you have less sex and put on more weight can only serve to make you feel worse about yourself.
Alongside these conventional symptoms, many types of antidepressants also “mellow out” your feelings, often making it difficult to feel extreme highs or extreme lows in mood. This means that, while you won’t suffer bouts of depression and intense sadness that you otherwise would were you not taking the medication, you also won’t get to enjoy feelings of happiness or elation either.
Those who suffer from mood disorders have a bad lot in life – they suffer from a condition that they didn’t catch from someone else, but merely developed it as a result of random brain chemistry or through a series of bad experiences in their lives.
The medications to treat the conditions aren’t anywhere near as effective as they need to be and people struggle every day with their own mental well being.
Is there another way? Could we be using CBD Oil to help those with mood disorders?
CBD Oil & Depression
CBD, the non-psychoactive cousin of THC that exists within cannabis, has a number of health benefits, all of them to do with the Endocannabinoid system within the human body.
This system works by regulating the health and regrowth systems throughout your body, as well as playing a hand in your brain chemistry.
One study* discovered that the serotonin system, the system in the body responsible for serotonin dispersion and production – a key component in how you feel throughout your day – is able to be modulated by CBD.
As the CB1 and CB2 receptors are distributed through your central nervous system, the receptors play a role in a variety of different interactions in your body. The study showed that, through administration of CBD oil, patients could have their improper serotonin levels balanced, allowing for an effective treatment against depression.
This comes without any of the same possible side effects associated with antidepressants, as well as without the loss of emotional highs and lows.
All this means that the use of CBD oil can be used to effectively help treat depression through the encouragement of proper serotonin release. This is essentially the same function of SSRIs, allowing for a more consequence-free medication than when using conventional antidepressants.
The use of CBD isn’t just limited to those with depression, however.
CBD Oil & Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder causes people to swing widely between in intense lows and highs, characterized by periods of depression, followed by mania. These periods can sometimes last weeks at a time, meaning that sufferers of Bipolar Disorder can only rarely feel “normal”.
Both directions of mood swings can cause problems in everyday life: when in a depressive state, feelings of self-loathing and defeatism can seriously hamper your ability to lead a full life; whereas in a manic phase, people can sometimes overspend on ambitious plans, act out of character or otherwise push people away.
This, obviously, isn’t helpful for leading a healthy life.
CBD has only been recently researched as a way to treat these episodes, and research has been favorable.
One study* found that, when ingesting cannabis, the wide spectrum of mood can be effectively dealt with, allowing for a controlled mental state.
The study found that it was CBD which allowed a person to control their manic episodes, as the Endocannabinoid system also affects the way that the human brain releases chemicals. When the CB1 and CB2 receptors were activated by CBD, the periods of mania were abated.
The reason this occurs is due to the way that the CB receptors in the Endocannabinoid system interact with the parts of the brain responsible for mood. Through proper release of the right hormones, manic episodes are able to occur without such a strong intensity.
Another possible effect of Bipolar Disorder is psychosis, which results in difficulties in being able to tell what is real and what is not.
CBD helps with psychosis tremendously, as it has already been discovered in numerous studies* that CBD acts as an antipsychotic. In fact, one of the main drawbacks of THC in cannabis – that it can lead to the development of psychosis – is countered by CBD.
This means that CBD not only acts as a way to help control manic episodes, but it can also combat the increased risk of developing psychosis, helping you remain grounded in reality as you battle your condition.
More research is being done every day into the benefits of CBD for Bipolar Disorder, but even just from what we know so far, CBD oil can be extremely helpful in treating and dealing with Bipolar Disorder.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Mood Disorders
Mood disorders are a very wide category of conditions – people can suffer severe depression, manic episodes or even feel depressed due to a lack of sunlight.
What’s consistent throughout all the conditions is that they affect your mood in a way you didn’t plan. No one likes feeling as though they don’t have control of their own emotions, so it’s important to try and find some way to deal with such significant conditions.
CBD has been proven to affect the body in positive ways to treat a myriad of conditions. From back pain to psoriasis, CBD has been demonstrated by multiple studies to have innumerable health properties.
Now that we know about the way CBD, and cannabis in general, can be used to help treat mood disorders, consider speaking to your doctor about the potentials of CBD to help treat your condition.
It’s entirely possible that CBD could help control and stabilize your mood disorders, making it easier than ever to live your life to its fullest.
- Brain effects of antidepressants in major depression: A meta-analysis of emotional processing studies: http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(10)00613-0/abstract
- Modulation of the serotonin system by endocannabinoid signaling: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21354188
- Cannabinoids in bipolar affective disorder: a review and discussion of their therapeutic potential: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15888515
- The Potential of Cannabidiol Treatment for Cannabis Users With Recent-Onset Psychosis: https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/schbul/sbx105/4080751/The-Potential-of-Cannabidiol-Treatment-for?redirectedFrom=fulltext