cbd depression
4 min.

✓ Evidence Based

4.2/5 - (8)

Last updated on 3 September 2021

For some years now, CBD has also been the subject of research and animal testing, as well as studies on humans to see how CBD could help with depression and anxiety disorders12

What is Depression?

Depression is a serious and common mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, think, and act. It can be a predisposed disorder or the result of a trauma or unfortunate even. Regardless of the causes, the symptoms are basically the same, including loss of pleasure or interest in activities, feeling sad, change in appetite, loss of energy, trouble sleeping, feeling worthless, and difficulty making decisions, concentrating or thinking. Fortunately, depression is curable.

Most scientists agree that depression is caused by the reduction in the level of neurotransmitters in our brains such as dopamine and serotonin. This imbalance affects most normal activities such as feeling, exercising, and dieting.

Why Does CBD Work for Treating Depression?

In some studies done by German researchers, the active chemicals in CBD target and increase the transmission of serotonin receptors in our brain, including the 5-HT1A receptors. By reducing the absorption of serotonin, your brain would communicate more positive signals to aid in alleviating symptoms of depression3

In addition, evidence from some clinical studies shows that CBD can stimulate the growth of the hippocampus, thereby triggering the creation of new neurons. This condition, also known as neurogenesis, can be a powerful method to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

What are the Benefits of Using CBD to Treat Depression?

Increased Serotonin Levels

Some scientific studies have shown that CBD oil might impact the levels of serotonin our body in some ways4. When suffering from depression, the natural chemicals in the brain might be reduced due to environmental or physical factors, which eventually affect mental health. Once the serotonin level is increased, it will also boost the number of chemicals to alleviate depression and anxiety.

Restful Sleep

Since Insomnia is a common symptom of depression, another way in which the CBD oil can help with this mental condition is to aid in getting restful sleep. Research has indicated that CBD can have a symbiotic relationship with the body and strain the mental health of a patient.


An effective way to alleviate the effects of depression is to reduce neurological inflammation. By applying CBD oil to treat inflammation, some scientists5 report that it would stop the loss of dopamine, thereby slowing down the condition’s progression6.

What are the Side Effects of Using CBD to Treat Depression?

While CBD is generally considered safe, some people will experience some side effects. They can include nausea, diarrhoea, drowsiness, change of appetite, and a dry mouth. To learn more about the possible side-effects of CBD, please read our CBD side-effects article. 

How much CBD should you take?

The recommended CBD dosage can vary greatly from product to product, leading to confusion. It is best to consult your doctor for a more accurate assessment.

Based on the guide in the book CBD: A patient’s guide to Medical Cannabis by Leinow & Birnbaum7, we recommend the Step-Up Method, where you gradually increase the dose until the desired results are achieved.

Leinow & Birnbaum recommend to start with a microdose for depression and slowly increase to a standard dose if needed. For more details on how to take a microdose correctly, read our article on CBD dosing.

What do studies say about the use of CBD in depression?

Laboratory testing

A study carried out in Spain in 2015 investigated the antidepressant effects of CBD and its influence on certain neurotransmitters8 in mice. The results demonstrate a very rapid antidepressant effect. Serotonin and glutamate levels were increased depending on the mood of the subjects. The researchers propose to take a closer look at the possibilities for CBD as an antidepressant.

Clinical trials

The respected researcher, Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane, senior neuroscientist at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addiction, writes that cannabis and its components help alleviate depression and stabilize moods, particularly induced by chronic stress, by activating paralimbic and limbic areas in the patient’s brain.

CBD for Depression– Customer Reviews*

I would have to do it another 2 weeks… ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I’d have to take it another two weeks and then re-evaluate it. It definitely has a very relaxing effect because I am a nervous type. Try to get my menopausal depression better under control. Maybe I have to increase the dose again. So wait and see. Friendly greetings and your service is super!! U. Schlömer”
Trustpilot review by U. Schlömer

Completely satisfied! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Unfortunately, I am a person who gets nervous very quickly and always thinks far too much. For this reason, I am often quite tense both physically and mentally. In my search for solutions, CBD was recommended to me and so I ended up at Nordic Oil. The site is very appealing and clearly arranged, the ordering process uncomplicated. My 5% CBD oil arrived very quickly, including a laboratory report from the batch of my oil and a little surprise (thanks for that!). Since the oil provides me with relief with my problems, I have meanwhile already the second bottle in use (also here a fast and uncomplicated supply took place) and I will gladly continue to order with Nordic Oil”

Trustpilot review by Nadine B.


  1. Grotenhermen, Franjo. „Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids.“ Clinical pharmacokinetics42.4 (2003): 327-360. []
  2. R de Mello Schier, Alexandre, et al. „Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa.“ CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders)13.6 (2014): 953-960. []
  3. Ledgerwood, C. J., et al. „Cannabidiol inhibits synaptic transmission in rat hippocampal cultures and slices via multiple receptor pathways.“ British journal of pharmacology 162.1 (2011): 286-294. []
  4. Blessing, Esther M., et al. „Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders.“ Neurotherapeutics 12.4 (2015): 825-836. []
  5. Iffland, K. and Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal StudiesCannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), pp.139-154. []
  6. Nagarkatti, Prakash, et al. „Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.“ Future medicinal chemistry 1.7 (2009): 1333-1349. []
  7. Leinow,, L. and Birnbaum, J. (2017). CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books. []
  8. Linge, R., Jiménez-Sánchez, L., Campa, L., Pilar-Cuéllar, F., Vidal, R., Pazos, A., … Díaz, Á. (2016). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology, 103, 16–26. []


CBD Expert | View posts

With close to two decades of successful stint in the Media industry, I felt I was surely missing a piece in my life puzzle. I took a break and set out to seek the purpose of my life. I travelled, lived out of a suitcase, let things flow into life without resisting, and after five challenging years, I found my rhythm. I love to write about Cannabis and Health and try my best to simplify esoteric concepts into simple ideas for life.

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