Warning—CBD can make your depression worse

Don’t let the hype fool you. Using CBD isn't without risks.

Everything was great, and then it started to go very badly. Nearly ten years after I got my depression under control, it came out of nowhere and pinned me to the ground.

I was taking all the right actions—things like working out, eating well, and thinking positively. So what had changed?

When I first started taking CBD, I was taking 25-40 milligrams per day. By the time my depression resurfaced, I was taking 80-100 milligrams of CBD every single day.

But it wasn’t just depression that seemed to be a problem, several other things felt off as well. Here’s what I experienced, what you can look for, and what to do about it.

Feeling low

Depression wasn’t the reason I started taking CBD, but it did help—until it didn’t. I was doing everything I knew I had to do to keep it under control, but it was tearing me down.

I tried to exercise more and be more positive. It just didn’t help the same way it had in the past. No matter what I did, I still felt down.

Mood swings

I was ready to snap at just about anything:

  • An old lady not using turn signals in the parking lot.
  • My girlfriend sneezing weird.
  • Babies looking right at me and then completely losing interest.

It didn’t take much to get angry, and that’s not like me. I also haven’t ever struggled with anxiety. But that was also no longer the case.

I had all the usual symptoms, my heart would race at the thought of confrontation and I worried about things that really weren’t a big deal. I was one moody bastard.

Low energy levels

In the beginning, CBD didn’t seem to make me feel any more tired or awake. Perhaps a side effect of the depression, I felt sluggish from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed early.

Physical pain

Joint pain was the reason I started taking CBD in the first place. I wanted to get back to the gym more often but was frequently too sore to do so. CBD worked almost immediately—and had been working for months.

Running, cycling, leg day… they all got easier because I wasn’t in as much pain.

At the height of my CBD use, my joints ached worse than before I started taking CBD.

Why it happened

Cannabinoids can produce opposite effects at low and high doses. Meaning that consuming a small amount might give you energy but taking a large amount might make you tired.

This is called the biphasic response.

Because humans have been shown to tolerate CBD doses into the thousands of milligrams, I hadn’t considered that 80 milligrams could possibly be too much.

But that’s precisely what I believe happened. I think I experienced a negative biphasic response resulting from taking too much CBD.

Getting back into CBD

The lows got bad, but I didn’t hit rock bottom. When things were going well with CBD, they were going very well, and I wasn’t ready to give up.

After taking a month-long break, I began to re-introduce CBD slowly. This time, I switched from tinctures to vaping—and that made all the difference.

What I lost in the ability to measure out the dose to the drop, I gained the ability to feel a more immediate reaction to the CBD.

This is what worked for me but if you’re not comfortable vaping, another option is to start low and gradually increase your dose over time to find:

  1. The minimum dose at which you feel the effects of CBD.
  2. The dose at which you no longer feel any additional benefit over the last amount.

Despite the 99% of the information out there that glorifies CBD as the perfect compound, if your side effects are bad enough or if the cons outweigh the pros, the obvious thing to do is to stop taking CBD.

The products I used—before and after

At the peak of my problems, I was using the Lazarus Naturals High Potency tincture. This is still a great—albeit skunky—product, but as I learned a little bit can go a long way.

Without thinking about it, I had increased my standard dose beyond what I originally determined was optimal.

When I decided to give CBD another try, it was with the Bio CBD Plus I AM PEACE CBD Vape Cartridge.

This was my first introduction to any sort of a vape product and it was a fantastic experience. It’s super easy to use, has fantastic taste, isn’t harsh and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.

Learn from my mistakes

Here’s the truth—there’s no resource out there that can tell you what dose will work for you. Everyone has different reactions at different doses.

The only way to know if CBD can work for you and how much to take is to experiment.

  1. Start low.
  2. Use products that have been rigorously tested.
  3. Try different delivery methods.
  4. Use a journal to record your dose and feelings before and after.
  5. Stop taking CBD if you feel worse or don’t feel any benefit.

Don’t let the hype fool you—CBD works for a lot of people, but doesn’t work for everyone.

And there is a possibility that if you take too much, it will have negative consequences on your health and wellbeing.