Approximately 17.3 million adults experience at least one major depressive episode per year. Major depression can be debilitating – causing sufferers to miss work, lose sleep, lose interest in things that once brought them happiness, overeat, undereat, and experience aches, pains, and cramps that won’t go away.
Most notably, those who suffer from depression may feel persistently sad, anxious, or in the most extreme circumstances, suicidal. Unfortunately, many antidepressants have negative effects including nausea, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, dry mouth, and weight gain. Thankfully, there are a few (natural) alternatives, including CBD oil.
What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym that stands for cannabidiol – the second active ingredient in cannabis other than THC. It’s an element found in marijuana but it’s also found in hemp plants, from which CBD oil is derived. Cannabidiol is only one of 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. CBD differs from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in that CBD produces a more palliative, mellowing effect rather than the “high,” that THC produces. In hemp, there is a very low amount of THC present. Though it is minimal, it has the ability to create psychoactive effects.
How does CBD work?
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t create a hallucinogenic experience. However, it does create a sense of well-being and positivity in patients who use it. It does this by interacting positively with the endocannabinoid system and with serotonin receptors in the brain. The endocannabinoid system is a system in the central nervous system that is made of cannabinoid receptors that interact with endogenous (naturally occurring) cannabinoids as well as cannabinoids that are introduced from external sources (i.e. CBD oil).
Exogenous cannabinoids such as THC or CBD produce their effects by interacting with these receptors. Serotonin assists in the regulation of pain, cognition, and mood. The endocannabinoid system is closely tied in with monoamine neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Some cannabinoid receptors are expressed directly in serotonergic neurons and help enhance their firing. When these receptors are activated, more serotonin is released, helping to elevate mood.
Where can I purchase CBD?
The first step in finding the right CBD oil is to read reviews. Just like you might conduct research on an antidepressant, you should research your CBD oil. Look for oils that use the hemp plant’s flowers as their source, as this is the part of the plant that is richest in cannabinoids and terpenes. These oils are more potent and therefore, more effective.
You should also source your oils from companies that have a certificate of analysis for their products. This certificate shows that the product has been tested for CBD and THC levels, as well as contaminants. For the right CBD oil you should make sure that the THC levels are 0.3 percent or less. In order for the THC to be this low, the hemp will have had to undergo an extraction method. The safest method used is ethanol extraction. High quality oils such as Receptra Naturals have undergone such a method and have the authentication to prove it. Such transparency is vital to sourcing the best oil for your needs.
While the CBD oil industry is still in early days, there is evidence that CBD oil can have a positive impact on the symptoms of depression and anxiety in mental health patients. In some cases, CBD oil can have a faster effect than antidepressants due to the endocannabinoid system’s close relationship with the brain’s serotonin receptors. Making sure, however, that you’ve purchased the most high quality oil is the key to receiving the best positive outcome.