Cannabis has long been controversial when it comes to mental health, and depression in particular. Research on the issue has been mixed, with some studies showing that cannabis is beneficial for depression, while others show the opposite. Check out our article for CBD vs THC for depression below:
It’s possible that both can be true; after all, cannabis is made up of many different substances.
Known as cannabinoids and terpenes, these substances can produce very different effects in the body. The most dominant cannabinoids, CBD and THC, could both be responsible for the varying effects of cannabis.
So does CBD help with depression, and what about THC? And is CBD or THC better for depression?
Keep reading to find out the differences, and what potential benefits each of these well-known cannabinoids has to offer for depression.
Depression: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
There are many types of depression, such as:
- Major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Persistent depressive disorder (formerly known as dysthymia)
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Postpartum depression
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
The causes of depression are often unknown, but can include hormonal changes, chemical imbalances, genetics, and environmental/lifestyle factors. Common symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of emptiness, sadness, hopelessness, or guilt
- Irritability or agitation
- Trouble sleeping or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Fatigue and low energy
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
Typical treatments for depression vary based on the type of depression, but lifestyle factors are often examined first.
If depression is the result of a vitamin deficiency, hormone problem, or stress, these issues need to be addressed first.
Exercise and a healthy diet are also essential in treating depression. A combination of talk therapy and medications, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, may also be used.
The Endocannabinoid System and Depression
The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors found throughout the body that help regulate mood, pain, sleep, digestion, and more. Part of the endocannabinoid system includes neurotransmitters,
called endocannabinoids. One such endocannabinoid is anandamide, which is involved in mood, fear, anxiety, and stress.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD can not only help to correct endocannabinoid deficiencies, but they also interact with endocannabinoid receptors, which in turn can produce antidepressant effects.
CBD vs THC For Depression: Which is More Effective?
A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that both high-CBD and high-THC strains of marijuana were effective at reducing stress, while high-CBD marijuana was extremely powerful for reducing symptoms of depression.
However, the researchers also found that long-term medical marijuana use may worsen depression. Yet, another large Swedish study found no association between long-term cannabis use and mental health problems.
There aren’t many studies comparing the effects of CBD vs. THC, with most research focusing on cannabis use as a whole. Since CBD and THC ratios can vary depending on the strain, further research is needed before we know for sure which cannabinoid is best for treating depression.
How to Use CBD or THC for Major Depressive Disorder and Other Types of Depression
If you’re already taking antidepressants, it’s important to know that supplements, including cannabinoids, can potentially interact with medication.
CBD, for example, affects the metabolizing of certain drugs, similar to the effects of grapefruit. Always consult with a medical professional before taking any new supplements.
Wondering how much CBD oil or THC to use?
There’s no standard dosage guidelines, and dosing can depend on many factors, including genetics and weight, so it may take some trial and error to find your optimal dosage. Start with a low dose, such as 10-20mg taken 1-2 times daily, and increase gradually every few days.
With CBD, there is no high, so the effects are much more subtle than with cannabis; it may take a few weeks to notice a difference.
Combining THC and CBD for Depression
It’s still unclear whether or not CBD or THC is best for depression relief, but many people opt to combine them, whether in the form of medical marijuana or full spectrum CBD oils.
Taken together, CBD and THC enhance one another in many ways; this is known as the entourage effect, and applies to all cannabinoids.
Ultimately, while we don’t know whether CBD or THC is best for easing the symptoms of depression, one thing is clear: cannabinoids have a lot to offer for major depressive disorder and other types of depression.
All our products are tested by 3rd party labs to ensure quality and potency, and our products are free of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other toxic chemicals. Our hemp-derived CBD products include tinctures, capsules, gummies, and even chewing gum.
FAQ- CBD vs THC For Depression
- Will THC’s psychoactive properties negatively affect depression?
Both high-THC and high-CBD strains of marijuana show promise in relieving stress. Combining THC and CBD may also be more beneficial as opposed to taking CBD oil or THC oil alone, due to the entourage effect. This can be obtained through full spectrum CBD oil, which only has trace amounts of THC and won’t cause psychoactive effects for most people.
- How effective is CBD oil in treating depression?
Some studies show that CBD oil may be very effective for relieving certain symptoms of depression, but further research is needed.
- Which CBD oil is good for depression?
Since everyone is different, the best CBD oil for you may not be the same as what works for someone else. Therefore, any kind of CBD oil may help with the symptoms of depression, including full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate CBD.
- Does THC or CBD worsen depression?
Research is mixed on whether cannabis can worsen depression. Some studies show that long-term use of cannabis can worsen depression, while others show the opposite. This could also depend on the strain, since the amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids can vary widely. However, there is no evidence that CBD worsens depression.
- How long does it take for CBD or THC to work for depression?
There is no standard amount of time for CBD or THC to help relieve symptoms, but many people report experiencing mood changes almost immediately. One study found that CBD showed rapid antidepressant effects in mice within 7 days of administration.
- Can CBD and THC be consumed together to treat depression?
Yes, CBD and THC can be combined, and this may enhance the benefits of each cannabinoid due to the entourage effect. Full spectrum CBD oil contains both CBD and THC. Many people experience symptom relief from taking CBD oil alone without additional cannabinoids as well.
- Does CBD interact with antidepressants?
CBD oil may interact with antidepressants and other medications. It’s possible that CBD oil may have benefits for depression if combined with antidepressants as well. However, CBD oil can also affect how your body metabolizes medications. Always consult with your doctor before taking any new supplements, including CBD.