A piece of research published in the Journal Molecular Neurobiology has found that CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, may prove beneficial in fighting depression.
For the study, researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark used CBD on mice and rats and studied the effects induced by the compound.
The researchers were surprised to note that only a single dose of CBD helped rats and mice experience “acute antidepressant effects” due to increased levels of proteins in their brains’ medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.
“The primary finding of the current study is that CBD induces not only a robust acute, but also sustained, antidepressant-like effect in different species and distinct animal models.”
The dire need to study CBD for depression
Anti-depression medications, though effective, take a toll on a patient’s body, because of the numerous side-effects that come along. Thus, there has always been a dire need to shift to natural methods of keeping depression at bay.
Some common side-effects of anti-depressant drugs include increased appetite, weight gain, nausea, loss of sexual drive, insomnia, constipation, fatigue, anxiety, etc.
Furthermore, it has been seen that the present day anti-depressants take a considerable amount of time before showing any benefits.
“The development of drugs that address these limitations is critical to improving public health,” the authors wrote along with their findings.
What the study found
After feeding mice and rats with CBD, the researchers put them through a few tests, the most significant one being the Forced Swimming Test (FST).
For those who aren’t aware of the term – under FST, researchers put animals in a container filled with water to analyze their behavior. The test works on the assumption that animals will make efforts to escape but eventually accept their defeat, which researchers think reflects behavioral despair.
Once the results from the FST and other tests were compiled, researchers found that animals showed less depressed behavior, maybe due to enhanced levels of proteins and the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.
A previous study
A 2014 study, conducted by researchers at the Laboratory of Panic and Respiration at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, had also hinted that CBD interacted in a beneficial way with the serotonin receptors in the brain. Notably, Serotonin is believed to impact a person’s emotional state and feelings of happiness.