Maya Turner - July 3, 2020
CBD for Depression
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network made up of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and cannabinoids. Cannabinoids act upon the receptors found throughout our nervous systems to stimulate or inhibit pain signals. When the endocannabinoid system is functioning properly, nerve cells increase pain only when there is an injury that needs attention. The endocannabinoid system is a homeostatic regulator, which means it is constantly working to bring about a state of balance to our bodies and minds. Our moods and ability to endure stress are regulated by this system. Out of wack anandamide levels are associated with things like depression.
Anandamide and CBD
Unbalanced anandamide levels are associated with things like depression.
Anandamide is a type of endocannabinoid discovered in 1992 and named after the Sanskrit word for divine joy. It plays an important role in the regulation of appetite, pleasure, and reward. It is produced by the body and then broken down by the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase enzyme (FAAH). CBD actually inhibits the FAAH enzyme, keeping it from breaking down anandamide. Less FAAH means that more anandamide stays in the body for longer. Anandamide will hang around for a while in the body and promote the beneficial effects that the molecule is known for.
The Hippocampus and CBD
The hippocampus is a section of the brain that has a significant impact on the limbic system. The hippocampus has a role in the formation of new memories. It has also been associated with emotions and learning. When people suffer from depression, the hippocampus can atrophy and even shrink, but it is also capable of recovering. In a process called “neurogenesis” or “neural regeneration”, it can grow new neurons and form new connections. Most antidepressants stimulate neural regeneration in the hippocampus, which is why they take several weeks to kick in. CBD actually helps prevent neuron atrophy and shrinking.
Serotonin and CBD
Studies suggest that CBD may also help alleviate symptoms of depression by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in a range of functions in the body including the regulation of mood. It may help contribute to feelings of happiness and well-being. It is also often implicated in the onset of depression, and many types of antidepressants work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. CBD can mimic serotonin by binding and activating your body’s serotonin receptors.
CBD is exciting because it introduces the possibility of a natural remedy rather than pharmaceutical drugs. Our endocannabinoid system is very easy to throw off balance. Stress levels, diet, and exercise all affecting your ECS. Taking CBD is a wonderful way to regulate it.
Start Feeling the Benefits
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