Depression goes beyond sadness, and is a chronic condition that can leave one feeling overwhelmed, guilty, fatigued, or hopeless. It can interfere with sleep and strip away the ability to focus, which then interferes with work and daily activities. And it may eventually lead to physical problems like digestive issues, loss of appetite and headaches.


Some physical characteristics, like low serotonin levels, trauma and inflammation are linked to depression, but there are many other factors that influence the disorder including genetics, alcohol, lifestyle, and physical pain. No matter what the source of depression is, one thing for sure is that treatment is highly individual. But due to the side effects and long term implications of mainstream antidepressants, many people are turning to holistic sources for relief.


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one natural product that may show promise. One reason is that low serotonin levels are just one symptom connected to depression. While it may not increase serotonin levels, some research shows that CBD oil has an effect on the brain receptors that interact with serotonin. And while we cannot claim that cannabidiol is an effective treatment for depression, it may be an alternative that provides relief for some.

While antidepressants take time to work, sometimes up to three months, cannabidiol is showing promise as a compound with therapeutic potential and possible antidepressant-like effects. In one study, a single dose of CBD induced anti-depressant like effects in mice just 30 minutes after administration with sustained results of up to seven days.

A review from the Institute of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil found that CBD may have a positive effect on anxiety. Studies using healthy human volunteers and animal models suggested CBD had an anti-anxiety effect and helped reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder. This may be promising news for those with co-occurring anxiety and depression or clinical depression linked to anxiety disorders.

Other studies show CBD as a potential treatment for epilepsy and comes with additional improvements in sleep and behavior. These studies have led to the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of epileptic seizures and are now widely accepted as a treatment for epilepsy. While epilepsy is not depression, the same studies show that cannabinoids affect the hippocampus and may help brain cells regenerate in this area. It just so happens that patients with depression show atrophy in this same brain area. Future studies may show exciting promise in this area.

It is interesting to note that in the early 1990s, researchers discovered what is now referred to as the human endocannabinoid system, which is present in all vertebrates. Within the system are endocannabinoid receptors and molecules that act much like the cannabinoids of the plant. It is unclear exactly how CBD reacts within the system, but it could open doors for exploration of the future potential of CBD oil for a host of conditions like depression, anxiety and more.


CBD is a natural plant extract, is generally well tolerated and considered safe.

We know from studies that side effects experienced by CBD consumers are very few to none at all, and users showed even with heavy use of CBD (participants using 300mg of CBD daily for 6 months) no signs of side effects.

That being said, some side effects have reportedly been experienced by CBD users during initial use, such as, dry mouth, loss of appetite and sleepiness, which may indicate the dose needs adjusting, or the timing of the dose may need adjusting, for example, closer to bedtime if CBD is making you sleepy.


If you decide to try CBD oil for depression, always consult with your health care professional if you are taking medication, as CBD can interact with some medications and may alter the livers’ ability to break them down and flush them out.


Although studies are still in their infancy, early evidence does indicate that CBD oil may help some people with depression. Much of this is considered pre-clinical evidence, but many users love the benefits they experience when using CBD oil, and anecdotal evidence shows that many people use CBD oil to successfully ease depression and improve their lives.

Using CBD oil for depression could help reduce symptoms of depression naturally by supporting your endocannabinoid system, rather than relying on man-made medications which can often leave us feeling out of balance.

For more information on how CBD Oil works naturally to support your endocannabinoid system, read our beginners’ guide here.

We hope we’ve helped answer some of your ‘CBD Oil for Depression’ questions in this post, but please get in touch if you need further assistance with anything, we’ll be happy to help.


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