Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting so many people. It is characterised by mood disorders, loss of interest and satisfaction in previously enjoyed activities, and persistent feelings of sadness. It usually stems from a combination of several factors like environmental, social, and individual factors.
Depression does not have a single cure because multiple factors cause it. This condition is typically treated with medication and psychological therapies like CBT. However, conventional anti-depressants have numerous undesirable side effects.
This has caused a lot of people with depression to seek alternative treatments. One of the most commonly considered and applied alternatives is CBD but can it be used alongside Anti-depressants?
The short answer is yes, but there are a lot of things to consider before making this choice.
What is a CBD Oil Supplement?
CBD, known in full as Cannabidiol, is a chemical found in the Cannabis sativa plant. This plant is also known as hemp.
CBD is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis. Marijuana is also a member of the cannabis plant family. Therefore, CBD is often compared to marijuana and people assume this is where CBD supplements come from. This is not true!
CBD is always made using hemp sources. THC is the chemical component in cannabis that causes euphoria. Marijuana contains large quantities of THC while hemp does not. Unlike marijuana, it does not cause a ‘high’ as it has very low amounts of THC; trace levels in fact!
CBD products have been tested in small scale research trials and clinical studies and proven to have some therapeutic properties. Cannabidiol supplements typically comes in oils, capsules, edibles, vapes, and patches.
CBD Oil & Depression
There is some scientific evidence that CBD can be used to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. However, these results are yet to be replicated in large-scale clinical trials.
Regardless, there are high-quality studies that have proven its ability to help patients come with the symptoms of mental health problems associated with depression. CBD oil can also be used to treat secondary conditions associated with depression.
Doing so, it indirectly helps improve depression management.
Read More: Using CBD Oil When Breastfeeding
GABA Receptor Activation
CBD works by activating the GABA receptor in the body. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the body. In simpler terms, it functions as a brake for the brain, preventing neuro excitation.
Therefore, activating the GABA receptors and increasing their levels provides the body with better stress response and reduces anxiety.
Interaction with Serotonin
This is a vital neurotransmitter in the brain that controls emotions, moods, and happy feelings. Depression is typically linked with low serotonin levels. Through interaction with serotonin, CBD can block serotonin re uptake so the body can use it efficiently. This results in an elevated mood.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a vital regulatory system in mammals. Its role is to help the body achieve and maintain a state of homeostasis, which is a balance between all vital functions performed by the body’s organs and processes.
The Endocannabinoid system regulates mood, memory, pain, perception, fertility, and sleep cycles, among others.
CBD can help with depression symptoms by interacting with anandamide, a major Endocannabinoid for regulating mood and pain threshold. Low anandamide levels result in poor stress responses and low mood, leading to depression.
CBD also helps improve anandamide signaling and slows down its breakdown through FAAH enzyme inhibition. This allows the body to achieve higher and more stable levels of anandamide for better mood and reaction to stressors.
Finally, CBD has also been proven effective in stimulating neurogenesis. This means that it helps prompt the formation of new neurons in the brain.
This helps improve the plasticity of the hippocampus, the region in the brain responsible for cognitive performance, mood, and emotions. Better neuroplasticity helps relieve some symptoms of depression.
Can you take CBD oil with Anti-Depressants?
It is generally safe to use CBD products with anti-depressants. However, it would be wise to be aware of some effects of combining the treatments. For instance, combining the treatments can lead to blood pressure drops. However, this is not a fatal effect.
Regardless, it may cause dizziness and fainting. Additionally, while it is not dangerous to mix cannabinoid oil with anti-depressants, if you are undergoing a strict medical regimen, the addition of CBD can create a chemical imbalance.
It is also worth mentioning that some adverse interactions occur between CBD and anti-depressants. There are also interactions between CBD products and other medications.
Interactions between CBD oil and Anti-Depressants
One of the reasons CBD is used as an alternative medicine for depression is its lack of side effects. However, CBD can create adverse reactions when used with some medications.
The interactions between CBD and anti-depressants usually occur because of the inhibition of the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system. This system is responsible for breaking down medications into small substances for easier processing.
It is worth mentioning that the liver usually metabolises anti-depressants before they start working. The liver contains enzyme systems that facilitate chemical reactions. The primary system is the cytochrome P-450.
Therefore, the inhibition of the system causes some medications like anti-depressants to remain in the system for longer. This increases the chances of unpleasant side effects. Therefore, combining these depression treatments can increase the risks of adverse side effects of anti-depressants.
So, Should I take CBD with Medication for Depression?
If you must combine anti-depressants with CBD, it would be wise to speak to a doctor first. Your doctor will recommend specific dosage and usage frequency to avoid adverse side effects. The doctor may also advise you about using CBD alongside other prescribed medications.
In a nutshell, CBD is generally safer if it is taken alone. However, you can still combine it with other treatments like anti-depressants and psychological therapies. The CBD oil Ireland industry is quite thriving because of the recognition of its benefits in treating depression symptoms.