What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is connected to seasonal changes, with most sufferers typically affected during the cold and dark winter months. Although the symptoms usually fade upon the arrival of the summer months, SAD is a serious condition that can have lifelong consequences. In this article we shall be exploring the benefits of CBD for seasonal affective disorder.
Symptoms of SAD
As mentioned above, the symptoms of SAD typically reach their peak during the winter months. With that said, it is possible for some to develop symptoms during the warmer months of the year. These are some of the main SAD symptoms:
- Lack of appetite
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Increased fatigue
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Lack of concentration
- Thoughts of death and/or suicide
CBD for SAD – What does the science say?
With the evidence stacking up that cannabinoids can act as a solution to depression; let’s specifically look at the impact and benefits of CBD for seasonal affective disorder:
Insomnia – You don’t need us to tell you how important sleep is for your health. Unfortunately, some individuals with SAD can suffer from insomnia and irregular sleep patterns. Luckily, supplementing with CBD can help by actively engaging with the brains CB2 receptors that are responsible for sleep regulation. Furthermore, preliminary research suggests there is therapeutic potential in CBD for seasonal affective disorder. the treatment of insomnia.
Anxiety – The effect of CBD on anxiety has been well documented. With heaps of anecdotal claims that CBD has cured anxiety for many people, clinical studies on humans have also been done. This study used neuroimaging to discover the relationship CBD has with social anxiety disorder. The results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.
Concentration – Having higher levels of cortisol, aka the stress hormone, can make it harder to concentrate. Studies have found that CBD can help the body reach homeostasis and balance cortisol levels. Studies have also shown that by interacting with the ECS, CBD can dramatically reduce stress levels. By reducing stress levels and working with a clear mind, it is much easier to concentrate on the task at hand.
Depression – Results of this study suggest that CBD also has antidepressant properties. Another study found that CBD induces fast and sustained antidepressant-like effects in distinct animal models relevant for depression. The data supports claims that CBD has a promising therapeutic profile as a new, fast-acting antidepressant drug.
Serotonin – This study has found that that people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) show significant seasonal differences in the way they regulate serotonin in comparison to the majority of the population. Lower levels of serotonin explain why people with SAD have feelings of sadness and depression. This clinical study on animals showed that CBD may have antidepressant properties due to its effect on serotonin levels.
In short, existing preclinical evidence strongly supports the potential of CBD as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder.
Which form of CBD is best for SAD?
With so many products now on the market, the choice is entirely in your hands. You could even use more than one form of CBD; this dual-approach is exactly how I deal with my back pain. Tinctures, capsules, and edibles are the most popular types of CBD for seasonal affective disorder. Here is a breakdown of each type:
Tinctures – Without a doubt, tinctures are the most common way to administer cannabidiol. Tincture CBD involves dropping the CBD liquid underneath the tongue, then waiting for a few minutes as the CBD absorbs through the mucous membranes in your mouth.
Edibles – What’s better than a chocolate bar that cures your seasonal affective disorder? Ideal for those who like to incorporate CBD into their daily diet, edible products allow SAD sufferers to treat their condition in a discreet manner.
Capsules – By taking cannabidiol capsules for your SAD, you can be confident that you’re getting an exact dosage every time! After making a few administration errors with tinctures, I now recommend CBD capsules. I’m currently using the RAW hemp capsules from Endoca.
Other ways to reduce SAD symptoms
- Staying active – Regular exercise gets the heart pumping and causes oxygen to flow around your body. This can help boost your mood and guard against symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
- Vitamin D – Did you know that not having enough Vitamin D can often be the cause of depressive symptoms? The winter months are typically dark, with the sun only making rare appearances. As such, there aren’t enough sunlight hours to soak in that essential vitamin D! According to health professionals, vitamin D3 can be supplement worth taking.
- Drugs – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are often prescribed for SAD along with bupropion, which is an anti-depressant approved by the FDA. Like most medications, there are negative risks when taking SSRIs. As such, people are turning to medications with fewer side effects, like CBD oil.
Should SAD sufferers use CBD oil? We believe so.
In conclusion, the benefits of CBD for seasonal affective disorder are clear to see. As the research develops, I’m sure we will learn even more about how CBD can benefit sufferers of the SAD condition. We always love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or reach out via one of our social channels.