When it comes to treating mental illnesses – especially depression – the options are unfortunately extremely limited. Most of the time pharmaceutical drugs can take weeks, if not months, before the patient notices a difference and oftentimes antidepressant medications are extremely addictive with a long list of potential side effects if you quit taking them suddenly. The worst part is that antidepressants only work for some people – at least 1 in 3 people with depression are unable to find relief through current antidepressant drugs.
There are, however, alternate courses of treatment. Since medical marijuana has been around, we’ve been hearing about more and more cases of people who are able to find relief through cannabis – and we’ve often associated the relaxing effects that it provides with the compound THC. However, recent research shows that CBD has many of the same effects as THC without the psychoactive reactions.
On the contrary, CBD is a completely non-psychoactive cannabinoid that works to counteract the effects of THC and other psychoactive compounds. CBD has been researched more and more in recent years and is being considered somewhat of a miracle compound due to its amazing success rate when it comes to treating epileptic seizure conditions of all sorts. Now it appears that CBD is also an extremely effective antidepressant.
A study done on OBX mice (mice which are surgically modified to act as a stand in for testing of depression medications) found that the mice that were treated with CBD showed an almost instant improvement in their condition – around 30 minutes after the CBD injection the mice were observed having a noticeable decline in hyperactivity, which is a symptom of anxiety and depression in humans.
“Our findings indicate that CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism,” researchers wrote.
Unfortunately, due to the schedule I status of cannabis it has been difficult to do studies on the subject of CBD and depression until recently. However, this could soon change if congress were to pass the CARERS Act, which would successfully remove cannabidiol from the controlled substances act all together, while also rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II – which is something scientists, doctors, and advocates of reform have been hoping to see for years now.
The fact that CBD could be used as an effective treatment for depression – and that it could start helping patients feel better within an hour of starting treatment – is simply incredible in and of itself. There are millions of people suffering from depression in the United States alone – antidepressants can be dangerous, addictive and expensive for life-long treatment; but CBD oil would be a safe and almost instantaneously effective.
It likely won’t be long before some sort of human study is done – whether controlled or purely observational for those already medicating with CBD. If all the results come out with as much success as this first study on mice, then we could be looking at the best antidepressant ever…and it’s been growing around us for thousands of years.