Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, and over 16 million Americans of every walk of life suffer from depression every year. Clinical depression can seriously impede your ability to fulfill basic aspects of daily living including work and relationships.
While exercise can reduce your chances of depression, unfortunately it’s not a safeguard. Athletes are not immune to mental illness, with many suffering from depression and anxiety.
Clinical depression can make it seemingly impossible to carry out your life as usual and perform to your expectations. Unfortunately many people don’t seek help for their depression and suffer silently, but there are effective treatments out there.
Anyone suffering from depression should seek help from their personal physician and a psychiatric specialist. For many people, CBD can be an excellent complementary treatment to traditional psychiatric care.
Let’s take a look at using CBD to treat depression: the benefits, what the research shows, and the best CBD products to improve your mental health.
Depression and Athletes
Depression is common in high-achieving people generally, and that includes athletes. In fact, athletes who suffered an injury within the last year are significantly more likely to report high on depression scores.
There are a number of causes leading to depression in athletes. From a high-pressure lifestyle, travel schedule, demands on your body, and the stress of competition, a life driven by high performance can create the right conditions for clinical depression.
For professional athletes whose identity is closely tied to their sports career, career termination can be devastating, and can trigger a depressive episode.
In addition, concussions can also lead to changes in brain chemistry which makes it more likely to experience depression symptoms.
So, in conjunction with appropriate clinical psychiatric treatments, can CBD help athletes prevent and treat their depression?
CBD and Mental Health
One thing to understand about depression is its link to chronic pain. In fact, this 2017 review “revealed that chronic pain, as a stress state, often induced depression and that up to 85% of patients with chronic pain are affected by severe depression”. This isn’t surprising, as chronic pain seriously impacts your life and impedes your ability to carry out and enjoy your daily activities.
Evidence shows that cannabinoids are proven to reduce pain stemming from a variety of causes. This 2018 review found that “Fifteen of the 18 trials demonstrated a significant analgesic effect of cannabinoids as compared to placebo.”
CBD for Anxiety and Depression
How does CBD stack up against treatments for depression and anxiety?
It’s well-known that depression is linked to low levels of serotonin in the brain. CBD does not directly improve serotonin levels; however, it may still interact with your brain’s serotonin receptors. How does this work? Well, CBD may impact how the chemical receptors respond to the serotonin already present in your brain.
A 2014 study on rats found that CBD offered both antidepressant and anti-anxiety benefits on the brain’s receptors. Researchers found that “Seven days of treatment with CBD reduced mechanical allodynia, decreased anxiety-like behavior, and normalized 5-HT activity.”
Another meta-analysis from 2018 found that “CBD was shown to have anxiolytic, antipsychotic and neuroprotective properties. In addition, basic and clinical investigations on the effects of CBD have been carried out in the context of many other health conditions, including its potential use in epilepsy, substance abuse and dependence, schizophrenia, social phobia, post-traumatic stress, depression, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and Parkinson.”
This graph shows the significant difference that CBD had in patients with social anxiety disorder:
In fact, CBD may even have some advantages over pharmaceutical antidepressant medications! A 2019 study found that CBD works to treat depression even faster than prescription drugs, and it has a lasting effect.
This study on rats sought to demonstrate “whether CBD could induce rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects after a single administration”. Encouragingly, “Results showed that a single dose of CBD dose-dependently induced antidepressant-like effect.”
Prescription antidepressants come with many unwanted side effects including indigestion, weight gain or loss, reduced libido, appetite loss, dizziness, flat affect, and shakiness. Plus, they often take at least six weeks to take effect.
People suffering from depression may find that CBD acts sooner and can support their depression treatment without some of the side effects. However, depression is complex and serious, and it’s integral that people talk to their doctor before making any changes to their pharmacological routine. It’s possible that CBD could interact with other medications you are taking. Ceasing antidepressant medical abruptly is dangerous and can cause serious health complications.
Studies on CBD and depression is ongoing, and more human studies are needed. However, animal studies are promising. With few side effects and many people finding that CBD helps their depression symptoms, it is worth a try.
Types of CBD Products
When choosing a CBD product to try, the most important thing is to choose a high quality product. Low quality products are often mislabeled, with the dosing not matching what is on the bottle.
In the case of CBD gummies, for instance, some low quality CBD brands will buy cheap gummies already produced and then simply drop CBD oil onto them. This makes the CBD dosing inconsistent, which negates one of the key benefits of CBD gummies which is reliable dosing.
Brands that properly infuse gummies will blend the CBD and gelatin or pectin together and homogenize it prior to the gummies being cured. This results in consistent dosing between each individual gummy, so you can trust that the gummies actually contain what the label says.
Ensure you choose CBD that has been tested by third party ISO certified laboratory and contains low amounts of THC. All of MojaveRx’s products are third party tested and approved.
There are a variety of ways you can consume CBD products. There is no right one for everyone; the best CBD will depend on your needs and health conditions.
For treating depression, CBD tinctures and CBD gummies may be your best best.
The most effective type of CBD can vary greatly from person to person. Try these CBD consumption methods for yourself, and see what type works best for you.
We recommend using a CBD isolate instead of a full or broad spectrum product. Isolate is the purest form of CBD, so it’s great for first-time CBD users who want to try it on its own without the influence of other cannabis compounds.
With CBD isolate you can take a higher dosage, offering more mental health benefits, without worrying about increasing levels of THC. Plus, because CBD isolate is purified, it contains no taste or odour.
MojaveRX has a variety of CBD products to suit your needs. All of our products can be helpful in treating symptoms of depression, and we also offer specialized formulas to help with sleep, athletic recovery, and pain relief. If you are unsure which product is best for you, our customer service team will be happy to guide you in the right direction.
Depression, CBD and You
Chronic clinical depression is notoriously challenging to treat. However, even short-term and circumstantial depression can be devastating and seriously impact your life. If you are suffering from depression, you deserve to get the help you need.
Often athletes can be highly functional, self-sufficient people who hesitate to ask for help. But untreated depression can become serious fast. Psychiatric care in the form of pharmaceutical intervention, cognitive behavioural therapy, or counselling can get you back on track.
CBD can be an excellent supportive treatment in conjunction with other treatment methods. If you need support finding the right CBD product to suit your needs, reach out to MojaveRx and we will be more than happy to help you.