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CBD and Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s about that time of year again—and no, we aren’t talking about Christmas. For many people, we are approaching the time of year when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) begins to set in. According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is a subtype of depression categorized by a seasonal pattern. It typically begins and ends at around the same time each year. This usually happens in the winter months, but in some rare cases, it can happen in the spring or early summer. Individuals who experience SAD may feel depleted of energy and feel especially irritable. Individuals can pursue treatment options such as traditional therapy, light therapy, or medication. However, using CBD is also an option.


Seasonal affective disorder is categorized by symptoms that increase in severity throughout the duration of the season. In addition to feeling less than energetic and irritable, individuals typically feel depressed most of the time and are no longer interested in activities they normally find enjoyable. They may struggle to sleep and concentrate and their diet may change. They may feel hopeless and have thoughts of suicide. SAD that is specific to the winter months is categorized by weight gain, oversleeping, overeating, and a decrease in energy. Spring and summer SAD is the opposite; individuals may lose their appetite, struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep, and they may experience anxiety.


Light therapy is commonly used to treat SAD because it can regulate brain chemicals. Medication and psychotherapy is also used, and a combination of all three can be beneficial for some. CBD can be helpful to individuals dealing with SAD due to its anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. Some studies show that CBD has antidepressant effects, but how it works is still unclear. People with SAD often struggle to regulate serotonin, and CBD could help by targeting brain receptor’s that regulate serotonin. Reports show that individuals with SAD that struggle with insomnia have benefitted from taking CBD as part of their bedtime routine.

If you notice symptoms of SAD, it’s important that you don’t just brush it off. Sure, the symptoms of SAD may fade once the seasons change again, but you should not have to face these tough feelings at any time during the year. Get the help you need as soon as you notice the rise in symptoms. Because individuals respond to treatment differently, supplementing CBD may be beneficial for treating your SAD. Talk to your doctor to see if this is an option for you.

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