Antidepressant drugs constitute a category of drugs that are widely circulated all over the world at present. They help to reduce the manifestations of depressive disorders by rectifying chemical disparity of neurotransmitters within the brain.
They are available in varying compositions and carry their own side effects. With the emergence of CBD as a mood and anxiety reliever, can it be possible for it to match up with the prescribed antidepressants? Let us take a detailed look.
What are Antidepressants?
These represent psychiatric drugs that can be procured on prescription and approved as a treatment for depression. Certain antidepressants are also certified to treat medical conditions like anxiety, eating disorders like bulimia and various physical states.
The general antidepressant that is often prescribed is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). These are termed as “selective” because they primarily influence serotonin and avoid the other neurotransmitters. Brain neurotransmitters that target depression besides serotonin are dopamine and noradrenaline.
Undesirable Side Effects
Antidepressants are linked with numerous side effects, that differs from one individual to another. Some of the general problems that its users experience is weight gain, lack of sleep and sexual maladjustment. There are various categories of antidepressant medications, but physicians generally prescribe SSRIs like Prozac or Lexapro initially as they have the best tolerance level.
Neurotransmitters And Depression
Harvard Health has mentioned that depression does not generate from an excessive or limited amount of brain chemicals. In fact, there are numerous factors that contribute to depression like defective mood management by our brain, stressful lifestyle, genetic factors, medications and health issues. A combination of all these factors merges to initiate depression.
Scientists have held neurotransmitters like Dopamine, Serotonin, Acetylcholine, Norepinephrine, Glutamate, and GABA, responsible for depression. Moreover, brain cells generate neurotransmitters that maintain the momentum in our senses, motions and also our moods. But in certain individuals who are excessively depressed or psychotic, the complex structure that maintains such momentum can be thrown out of gear.
Like for instance, receptors can be over-reactive or unresponsive to a particular neurotransmitter that makes their reaction to its transfer either excessive or deficient. Further, the various categories of antidepressants function to impact one or various of the above-mentioned neurotransmitters.
CBD For Depression
CBD being an anxiolytic, makes a person feel less stressed and anxious. This is due to the fact that CBD curbs the enzymes that disintegrate anandamide and permits the person to have more of the feel-good factor all over his body. Like the antidepressants, CBD can also communicate with various similar receptors inside the brain and nervous mechanism. In fact, CBD can help in the communication and formation of chemicals that aids in mitigating symptoms of depression in the way antidepressant drugs do. This plant compound performs all this without any adverse side effects.
The healing molecule CBD works on a cluster of sites inside the brain that get triggered by serotonin which is the molecule that antidepressants and hallucinogens also target. What’s better is that CBD has shown a quicker onset, compared to antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft in increasing serotonin. Serotonin often is linked with well being, self-care and socialization. Moreover, CBD also has nil side effects. Hence, CBD is the best option if you are looking for a safer alternative option to conventional antidepressants and anxiety relieving substances.
Effect Of CBD On GABA And Hippocampus
Researchers have mentioned that CBD has the potential to alter the form of GABA receptors and positively affect the hippocampus. GABA constitutes the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of our nervous mechanism. More the presence of GABA, less is neuronal excitability.
Hippocampus, on the other hand, is a small organ inside our brain and forms an important part of the limbic system that regulates emotions. The shrinkage of hippocampus inside the brain is said to result in depression. CBD thus improves the volume loss of hippocampus and leads to fewer depression tendencies. This is amazing as we now have an antidepressant as well as anxiety lowering substance that has nil harmful side effects.
The quick antidepressant action of CBD and its anxiolytic influence can help to resolve the constraints in present-day antidepressant treatments. CBD can well emerge as a novel drug that could treat depression promptly by enhancing the serotonin as well as glutamate distribution. Furthermore, CBD has steadily become a viable option to the prescribed medications for depression as it can also communicate with similar receptors to deduce the same type of neurochemical effects.
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