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During harsh winter months, it isn’t uncommon to experience seasonal depression. The holidays are long over, the days are grey, and your hands can’t seem to stay warm, making joy seem like a thing of the past. Luckily, there might be a natural remedy for your winter blues. Can CBD help with seasonal depression? Let’s find out!
What is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal Depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD), affects about 3 million Americans per year. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, seasonal depression is “a type of depression displaying a recurring seasonal pattern.”
To be diagnosed, this pattern must be noted for at least 2 years, and occur during the same season. Winter SAD is most common, however, some individuals experience Seasonal Depression in the summer.
There are a few categories that might make a person more prone to experiencing Seasonal Depression. Risk factors include:
- Family history of SAD
- Living far from the equator (according to this study)
- Being a female
- Having another mental health disorder
Symptoms specific to SAD include:
- Low energy
- Problems maintaining your normal sleep patterns
- Social withdrawal
- Fluctuations in anxiety levels, or sudden anxiety
Even if you have not been formally diagnosed with Seasonal Depression, you could very well be experiencing it. SAD can impact your work, relationships, and quality of life, making it something you shouldn’t ignore.
Can CBD Help With Seasonal Depression?
For many reasons, CBD can help to naturally relieve seasonal depression. By examining the avenues which CBD uses to alleviate SAD, we can understand the variety of ways in which it can provide relief.
If you are experiencing Seasonal Depression, you may experience increased levels of anxiety. Luckily, research has found that cannabinoid receptors play a critical role in anxiety disorders. Using the CB1 receptors, which influence anxiety levels, CBD increases CB1 transmission and therefore decreases anxiety. Overall, numerous studies have found that CBD can help to alleviate symptoms associated with a multitude of anxiety disorders, making it a natural choice for Seasonal Depression.
Using the endocannabinoid system’s presence throughout the body, CBD can also help to maintain your regular sleep patterns when you’re experiencing Seasonal Depression. Research suggests that CBD cannot only help to maintain sleep patterns but can actually help REM sleep. According to the same literature review, CBD potentially helps with “excessive daytime sleepiness.” When Seasonal Depression strikes, upending your sleep schedule and affecting your energy levels throughout the day, it seems as though CBD can help.
For quite a while, it has been known that the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate mood. While SAD does not often manifest as severely as many mental health disorders, studies agree that it does help to regulate stress responses and overall anxiety. Mental health disorders often impact energy levels, which is characteristic of Seasonal Disorder specifically. Research also shows a tie between a regulated endocannabinoid system and energy levels. With CBD, the endocannabinoid system can be regulated and help to restore your energy when Seasonal Depression strikes.
Turn that Frown Upside Down With CBD
Rather than writing-off those dreary and grey winter months, let CBD help to bring you joy again. With CBD, Seasonal Depression doesn’t have to impact your everyday life. According to the research, CBD can help activate the endocannabinoid system to provide benefits to Seasonal Depression naturally, providing you with a new outlook during your least favorite time of the year.