When we talk about suicide, the first thing which crosses our mind is depression. As a result of depression, suicidal thoughts kick in. Suicides are common in people irrespective of their age, demographic profile, or gender. Childhood abuse or mental pressure could be possible causes for people to consider suicide. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that 129 suicides happen in America on an average daily. Since there are no well-known methods to prevent these, the only way you can take care of depressed people is by being there for them. 

Recently, a group of researchers in Canada have predicted the possibility of using cannabis to heal depression and help people undergoing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Today, this article will help you know whether CBD can be an option for the treatment of depression or not. We know that cannabidiol is one of those compounds of the marijuana plant which supports a person to get rid of pain, anxiety, and nausea. CBD has therapeutic effects that can help in reducing anxious thoughts. Generally, CBD comes in various forms like oil, creams, lotions, balms, or gels. You can also check out the Sunday Scaries brand if you want to take CBD in the form of chewy gummies.

How can CBD help?

Reports published in the journal Depression and Anxiety have hinted towards a relationship between anxiety and suicidal attempts. A review made in 2015 has given conclusive proof that CBD is efficient in preventing anxiety, linked to multiple disorders. As a result of excessive tension, stress or worrying, panic, feeling overwhelming, and fear of specific objects, these anxiety-lined disorders are caused. 

CBD is the complete opposite of Tetrahydrocannabinol (TBD) and is one of the hundred compounds in the marijuana or hemp plant. CBD does not cause a person to get high and has a sedative effect. TBD is the active compound of the marijuana plant which has visible consequences on the body and mind. Despite its alleged benefits on mental health, there is very little evidence about this, as scientific research on this topic is lacking. 

However, some studies have suggested that CBD may help in moderating depression and suicidal thoughts by communicating with the serotonin receptors located in the brain. But what is serotonin? These are small neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for performing a wide variety of functions, including regulation of mood. They contribute to our feelings and are responsible for our wellbeing and happiness. CBD helps in balancing the levels of serotonin in the body. It is a significant therapy for people suffering from depression. 

In 2018, a study published that cannabidiol does not increase serotonin levels. Instead, it influences how the brain reacts to serotonin. Another study concluded that CBD had anti-stress effects. It helps in reducing stress levels that lead to emotions of anxiety and depression. 

Have a look at some facts by researchers – 

Researchers have tested CBD on animals and have come out with possible explanations that CBD could somewhat help with depression and suicidal thoughts. In the 2014 review, researchers have mentioned that CBD acted as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety element for those animal models suffering from depression. Another study conducted in 2018 also approved of the same. It concluded that CBD helped in reducing depression among rats. The authors found that CBD did not activate the brain receptors. Hence, we can infer that it is not addictive in any way.

CBD also has the potential to curb cravings for opium for the ones taking them. Since most of the research regarding CBD’s effects on the body has been done on animals, some researchers call for research on the direct influence of CBD on the human body.

Some studies have also shown the ability of CBD to fight panic attacks, which is also a cause of depression. Almost 5% of the world’s population faces recurring panic attacks, as claimed by scientists. A review in 2017 has shown a positive response to CBD for curing panic attacks. A group of researchers carried out a simulated public speaking test. They found out that 300 milligrams of CBD were enough to reduce the anxiety levels to a significant range during the event. Another group found 600 milligrams of CBD doses to reduce anxiety to a great degree in people suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).

Schizophrenia is said to be a cause of suicide or suicidal thoughts. Some scientists used CBD on a patient suffering from schizophrenia and found that it improved the psychotic symptoms. They have published their findings in The Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry.

Side Effects of consuming CBD

Consuming CBD in any form has not shown any possible side effects. But, if a person is sensitive to any of the CBD compounds, he may experience nausea, fatigue, and weight changes. CBD can harm the liver and make it toxic. In the journal titled Molecules, researchers have shown that high doses of CBD on mice caused them to develop acute liver problems. Though it was tested on a rodent, it did not mean its use could be safe on a human body.

CBD is gaining worldwide popularity as a medicine. Though some research has shown promising evidence and a good future of CBD as a medicine, whether it is safe or detrimental for use by humans is still a big question yet to be solved. Anyone who wants to use CBD should first seek professional help and then use it. 

Meanwhile, if you are someone suffering from depression, then talk to your loved ones. Depression can lead to negative consequences on physical and mental health. Also, it is important to note the fact that one should buy CBD-infused products from reputable channels and not obtain them illegally. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve non-prescription CBD drugs as they might be wrongly labeled or misrepresented. We hope that the article has been useful for you to decide whether undergoing CBD treatment is the right option for you or not.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Can CBD Help You Fight Suicidal Thoughts?," in Medicalopedia, April 17, 2021, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9675/can-cbd-help-you-fight-suicidal-thoughts/].