Toke up to Defeat Seasonal Depression
Seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a condition that plagues many individuals when the days grow shorter, and sunlight becomes scarce. This mood disorder is characterized by heightened feelings of depression or anxiety that tend to flare up in response to seasonal changes, most commonly in the fall and through the winter. But what causes this condition, and why is getting enough sunlight so important for our mental well-being?
Seasonal affective disorder is often more prevalent in regions farther from the equator, where daylight hours significantly decrease during the winter. Several factors contribute to the development of SAD, including vitamin D deficiency, low serotonin levels, and disruptions in the body’s internal clock due to shorter daylight hours.
The Importance of Sunlight and Vitamin D Deficiency
When we are deprived of sunlight, some of us begin to experience feelings of depression and listlessness. Exposure to natural sunlight is essential because it provides us with much-needed vitamin D. The sun’s ultraviolet rays stimulate a chemical reaction in our skin cells that produces vitamin D, a vital nutrient for our overall health.
Most people should be exposed to the sun for at least six minutes during the summer and for about 15 minutes during the winter months to meet daily vitamin D requirements. On cloudy and overcast days, however, it can be challenging to get the minimum daily recommended amount of sunlight.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a range of health issues, including:
- Brittle bones
- Muscle weakness
- Mood changes
- Getting sick often
- Hair loss
Serotonin Levels Decline During the Winter
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates a variety of physiological functions, such as mood and hunger. The reduction of sunlight during the winter months can contribute to a decrease in the level of serotonin, which has been linked to depression. People with seasonal affective disorder can have trouble sleeping because the body is not making enough serotonin to convert melatonin. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and usually improve in the spring when the days start to get longer.
Symptoms of SAD
While not everyone that has seasonal affective disorder will exhibit all symptoms, they may include:
- Problems sleeping
- Irritability or agitation
- Difficulty focusing
- Loss of interest in activities
- Social withdrawal
- Reduced energy levels
- Decreased libido
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
Anyone who is having worsening feelings of depression, thoughts of self-harm, or suicide should consult with a healthcare professional immediately and/or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.
Dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder
There are various ways to cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Physical activity, such as a brisk 10-minute jog, can help boost natural endorphin levels. Light therapy, using specific lamps that emit broad-spectrum light, can simulate sunlight exposure. Additionally, vitamin D supplements have shown promise in alleviating the symptoms of SAD.
But what about holistic and natural remedies that have the potential to ease the stresses experienced by sufferers of SAD without risking the potentially damaging side effects of prescription drugs? Cannabidiol (CBD) is commonly found in the cannabis plant and is known to provide many therapeutic effects. High CBD strains of cannabis are often used for medicinal cannabis purposes.
Cannabinoids and Their Effect on the Human Brain
cannabinols are compounds found in the cannabis plant and have garnered interest in recent years due to their many therapeutic effects. The human body contains an endocannabinoid receptor system (ECS) that plays a crucial role in regulating various processes, including mood. When these receptors are stimulated by cannabinols, they can help balance functions like mood, sleep, and energy levels.
CBD for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Research has shown that CBD, one of the main active compounds in cannabis, has the potential to boost serotonin and dopamine levels by interacting with the ECS. Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters closely associated with mood and emotional well-being. Many studies show that CBD has the potential to ease the symptoms experienced by people suffering from SAD, such as reported in this article about CBD for seasonal affective disorder.
CBD may offer a natural and holistic approach to managing the symptoms of SAD, potentially providing relief from anxiety and depression. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before considering CBD as a treatment option, especially if you’re already taking other medications.
Seasonal Affective Disorder can be a challenging condition to endure, but there are various strategies to cope with it. While traditional treatments like light therapy and vitamin D supplements are valuable, the potential of CBD as a natural remedy offers hope to those seeking alternative solutions. Speak to your medical provider about CBD for SAD, or consider growing your own medical garden with high-CBD strains.
The Seed Cellar offers a wide selection of high-quality cannabis seeds proven for therapeutic medical use. We offer high CBD and high content strains in feminized and autoflowers for your growing convenience. Check out The Seed Cellar now for the best medical cannabis seeds to treat a variety of conditions, including seasonal affective disorder.