A groundbreaking new study conducted by the University of Sao Paolo has found that CBD works as a long-lasting and rapid antidepressant in mice.
This new study, published in the medical journal Molecular Neurobiology in June, found that cannabidiol was successful at inducing rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects when tested on rodents.
Testing Cannabidiol (CBD) for Antidepressant properties
When using mice who had been selectively bred to develop symptoms associated with depression (such as lethargy and immobility), researchers found that CBD treatment was linked to a reduction in immobility during a forced swim test, a commonly used test used to study depressive symptoms.
During the testing, CBD treatment also increased the rodent’s resilience in stress models of depression, which indicated antidepressant like effects.
Researchers found that this antidepressant effect occurred within an hour of a single administration of CBD and was sustained for a week afterwards, which is considerably more effective than with conventional antidepressants.
CBD and Traditional Antidepressants
In another rodent study, the same researchers found that the antidepressant-like side effects of CBD was dependent on levels of serotonin, which indicated that CBD helped to enhance the effectiveness of traditional antidepressants.
Using CBD in conjunction with traditional antidepressants (such as fluoxetine) could result in using smaller doses without reducing their effectiveness. This finding showed that CBD could work to effectively decrease negative side effects of traditional antidepressants without compromising on the desired performance of the drug.
While more research is needed before CBD can conclusively be recommended as a treatment for depression and mental illness – including drug trials on human participants – the findings of these reports point to a future where CBD could be legitimized as an effective antidepressant for mainstream treatment.
CBD is ripe to tackle depression
The author of the study, Samia Joca from the University of Sao Paolo, highlighted the important need for developing innovative treatment in the area of depression and mental health. Joca drew attention to the fact that depression is a serious mental illness that affects more than 300 million people globally, and is considered the first cause of disability in many developing and developed countries worldwide.
Joca also called for more research and a better understanding of depression neurobiology, and stated that while current antidepressant treatments are available, many traditional treatments suffer from partial or slow response even after weeks of treatment.
While CBD has yet to be legitimized as a mainstream medical treatment for depression, it’s been a popular compound in the wellness industry for for some time thanks to its host of beneficial properties (it’s been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, among other things).
The future is CBD-infused products
The non-psychoactive compound can be added to practically anything from tea and coffee to body lotions, and can be used to relax tense muscles and calm frazzled nerves. CBD oil is even becoming a trendy skincare ingredient, thanks to it’s skin-conditioning and anti-inflammatory properties.
Since the FDA approved the first CBD-based epilepsy medication Epidiolex earlier this year, growing interest in CBD and the benefits of medical cannabis is likely to prompt more much-needed research into this field.