3 Minute Read
Allie Murphy - November 10, 2020
Does CBD Help Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
As the acronym suggests, this seasonal disorder can make you feel sad. But, it’s much more than feeling sad for a day or two. This disorder could last for months because it’s connected to the change in seasons, cold weather, and moving back the clocks.
Instead of feeling hopeless and scared, we invite you to feel empowered. Because like anything in life, there are always options and choices to assist you on your healing path. Many of the solutions we’re going to share in this article are natural and safe, including the use of hemp-derived CBD.
What are the causes of SAD?
With fewer hours of sunlight during the day and cold weather during the fall and winter seasons, we spend a lot less time outside. Many of us are cuddled up in the house staying warm and getting less exposure and healing energy from the sun. These are two significant causes of SAD.
Another one relates to your circadian rhythm, which could be thrown off due to the change in daylight hours. This rhythm refers to our sleep and wake cycle. When it’s healthy and in balance, the rhythm mimics the pattern of the sun. We wake up when the sun rises and start to wind down our day (i.e. stop working, take rest, minimize activities), and prepare for sleep.
We’ve covered the major macro causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder. But, what about the micro or individual causes that are unique to our personal bodies and health? For example, if your vitamin D levels are low or insufficient it could create a higher risk of experiencing SAD.
According to recent statistics, “about 50% to 90% of vitamin D is absorbed through the skin via sunlight while the rest comes from the diet.” This analysis also revealed that 1 billion people around the world are vitamin D deficient. So, without regular sunlight, it’s easy to see why this deficiency is such a big problem.
Finally, the levels of serotonin (a chemical) and melatonin (a hormone) can fall without adequate sunlight and during a change in season. And both of these play a major role in our mood and ability to get good sleep.
Symptoms of SAD
There are several signs that may occur in someone who’s suffering from the changes in season. Please note, these symptoms don’t automatically mean you have SAD. They’re just potential clues and can provide insights into what’s happening in your body.
- Low energy
- Trouble sleeping
- Change in appetite
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
What vitamin is good for Seasonal Affective Disorder?
IAs we mentioned above, having sufficient levels of vitamin D can help reduce the chance of suffering from this seasonal disorder. Since there’s not a lot of sunlight during the fall and winter months, you can get vitamin D from animal foods like egg yolks, oily fish, liver, and red meat.
This makes it harder for vegans or vegetarians to get adequate levels of vitamin D, but there’s always the option to buy a high-quality supplement.
Other helpful vitamins include B6, B12, and folate. Studies show that these vitamins could decrease the chance of depression and also boost mood and energy levels.
How can I improve my winter mood with CBD?
Because CBD interacts with the ECS (endocannabinoid system), supplementing with it has a positive impact on physiological processes like sleep, mood, memory, and appetite.
These are all areas that people may struggle with if they have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Many people already use hemp-derived CBD oil to help with stress-related issues, or when they want to feel calm and relaxed. So, adding it into the mix to cope better with SAD is something to consider. And the science shows promise because of the positive interaction CBD has with our ECS.
If you’re concerned about SAD this year or any time in the future reach out to family, friends, or consult with a doctor. No matter what route you take, please put yourself first and get the healing you deserve.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Intakes of Folate, Vitamin B6 and B12 and risk of depression in community-dwelling older adults: The Quebec Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Aging
Winter Blues? Natural Supplements for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Role of Endocannabinoid Signaling in Anxiety and Depression