CBD for Depression

cbd in depression effect
Written by Susan Pratt

One of the most common mental illnesses in western civilisations is depression. The clinical picture can be characterised by a reduced drive, listlessness, increased brooding or a generally depressed mood. If the mood of the person affected tends towards zero, so to speak, self-esteem, empathy, the feeling of joy and pleasure as well as professional performance can also be affected.

Depression – CBD oil as an opportunity

Depression often manifests itself as reduced stress resistance, eating and sleeping disorders. At these points CBD can be taken for depression, because the non-psychoactive hemp product cannabidiol can have an illuminating effect on the mind of those affected, as well as calming and stimulating the appetite.

Depression can be a burden not only for those affected, but also for the economic performance of a country. As the number of sufferers has risen in recent decades, there has also been an increase in cases resulting in incapacity to work, inpatient treatment and people who have had to take early retirement.

Causes of depression

The causes of depression are divided by specialists into biological and psychological.

Biological influences include factors such as:

  • a genetic predisposition,
  • a body imbalance in monoaminergic neurotransmitters
    • such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine,
  • fluctuations in the vitamin D balance,
  • inflammatory processes in serious diseases,
  • side effects of medication or drugs,
  • a hormonal imbalance,
  • socio-cultural overload,
  • pregnancies or even after birth (postnatal depression).

Psychological factors

Can also lead to depression:

  • a feeling of absolute helplessness,
  • cognitive distortion of the perception of reality,
  • insufficient positive reinforcement in certain behaviour patterns,
  • social trauma,
  • a considerable lack of affirmative social recognition,
  • reflecting parental depression and depressiveness,
  • putting one’s own interests to the back of the queue.

CBD can help against depression, especially when the neurotransmitters in question are imbalanced. The effect of CBD on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) can balance the level of the affected neurotransmitters.

How antidepressants work

Often the source of depression is not easy to identify, especially because, as already mentioned, there are many different causes. That is why there are so many ways of counteracting depression. In addition to drug treatment, there are specialists who focus on:

  • meditation,
  • sleep hygiene,
  • exercise,
  • the stimulation process,
  • light therapy
  • in-patient treatment and psychotherapy.
 Meditation is prescribed as therapy for many people with depression.


I.e. medication against depression, can, for example, have a mood-lifting and stimulating effect. However, there are also antidepressants that have a sedative or calming effect. Some of them relieve anxiety. Pharmaceutical drugs for depression can also have side effects. They usually affect the nervous system, sexuality and the cardiovascular system.

So far, there have not been any noticeable adverse effects when CBD has been used for depression. As a matter of principle, the opinions of the treating specialists should be obtained before taking CBD for depression.


CBD oil for depression – studies, experiences & effect

CBD is derived from the hemp plant. In contrast to THC, which is related to the species, CBD is not psychoactive, does not trigger intoxication and does not cause dependency. Many studies prove that CBD has an anxiolytic effect. This means that CBD has an anxiety-relieving and antipsychotic effect on depression and other diseases. Researchers attribute this effect of CBD to the ECS that was mentioned earlier. CBD works like the body’s own CB1 and CB2 receptors. A recent study [1], in which a placebo control group was also involved, shows that CBD oil can relieve anxiety.

It should also be mentioned that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for the release of the “happiness hormone” serotonin in the body – especially the CB1 receptor. 5-hydroxy-tryptamine, the correct scientific name for serotonin, acts as a messenger and is a control element for human emotions. Serotonin also influences our appetite, our sleep-wake rhythm and our mood in general. Thus, CBD can have a positive effect on exactly these properties via the ECS.

Apart from influencing ECS, CBD can also help with depression if the disease is caused by inflammation. The reason why CBD helps is that it has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Side effects or very high doses of certain drugs can also trigger depression, or at least make it worse. If this is caused by painkillers, CBD can help regulate it. On the one hand, CBD also relieves pain, or in some cases it can also reduce pain, meaning it can replace this kind of medication. However, if the pain is so severe that pharmaceutical painkillers are indispensable, the additional administration of CBD oil or CBD liquids can at least ensure that the doses of “hard” painkillers can be significantly reduced. This can lead to the prevention or improvement of depression.

What applies to painkillers also applies to those forms of depression that are triggered by psychoactive drugs, for example. Researchers now agree that CBD, as a counterpart to THC, can compensate for its psychoactive effects on people. Researchers also believe that other drugs that affect the psyche have a similar effect.


  • People who suffer from depression can rely on the mood-lifting effect of CBD.
  • Through the influence of the ECS, CBD can considerably promote the release of the happiness hormone serotonin in depression.
  • Depressive people often suffer from loss of appetite – but taking CBD helps to regulate it, as cannabinoids can stimulate the appetite.
  • The effect of CBD on depression, which is the main benefit of taking it, is that CBD has anxiety-relieving effects



  1. Can CBD help with depression?

    CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system and can thus balance the levels of the neurotransmitters concerned. Thus, CBD can help well with depression.

  2. Which CBD oil for depression?

    When buying, always look for a high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil. Read reviews & ratings on

  3. What dosage of CBD for depression?

    Start low for example with a 5% full spectrum CBD oil 3x daily. You can find a more precise dosage recommendation here.

  4. Are there any side effects when taking CBD for depression?

    In comparison to the frequently prescribed antidepressants, CBD oil has a small spectrum of side effects. You can read more about this here: CBD medication-interactions.

[1] – 18.09.2019

Other studies

When taking products containing cannabinoids, interactions with various medicines may occur. If you are taking medication yourself, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed in advance with your doctor.

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About the author

Susan Pratt

Susan Pratt