Symptoms of SAD, or seasonal anxiety disorder, usually start to show up in fall with the waning of sunlight. It’s a seasonal depression that can start in autumn and last throughout the winter. It can be especially problematic during the dark, gray days so often associated with the season.
Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Having low energy
- Having problems with sleeping
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
In summer, when you’re exposed to more sunlight, your body creates melatonin, which in turn increases your serotonin production. Seratonin, a neurotransmitter found mainly in the brain, bowels and blood platelets, is thought to be the chemical that maintains mood balance. A low level of serotonin is associated with depression and anxiety. So it’s no wonder that treatment for SAD includes light therapy, as well as a healthful diet with exercise and plenty of rest.
Recent studies indicate, however, that cannabis may be a more effective treatment for SAD. In fact, those who have used CBD in clinical settings, show lower rates of blood pressure and heart rates. Signs of depression have also diminished.
The positive effects of using CBD are believed to be because of the endocannabinoid system already present in our bodies. The CBD binds to the main endocannabinoid receptor, known as CB1, which is found throughout the nervous system and also in the brain. Seratonin, also found in the brain as noted earlier, is highly receptive to cannabinoids, blossoming in its presence. So it stands to reason that adding CBD to your therapy may improve your mood, relax you, help you sleep—you get the picture. Plus, and this is huge, CBD has few known side effects.
Studies on animals show many positive effects of using CBD for depressive disorders. As the body of evidence grows and studies are conducted on humans, what people who rely on CBD already know, will become evident to the larger medical community as well. Time will tell. It’s good stuff and using it can’t hurt and often helps.