The Anti-Depressant Effects of CBD
Everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is a biological system composed of what are known as endocannabinoids. For the scientifically literate, these are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout our central and peripheral nervous systems. For the rest of us, this essentially means that we have loads of neurological sockets in our brain that only become active after interacting with some of the active compounds in cannabis. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes ranging from fertility to memory, and it’s been shown to have an effect on mood.
According to the WHO, depression is the single largest contributor to disability worldwide. It is often treated with powerful and addictive pharmaceuticals in an attempt to regulate the levels of serotonin released by the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behaviour. This path can lead to a variety of side effects, including addiction, so it is understandable that many people are looking for natural alternatives. (11).
Although the science is still developing in this field, CBD has been shown to have antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies (14, 15). These qualities are linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin.