The summer heatwave feels like a distant memory and the festive season is right around the corner. Autumn is well and truly here in the UK.
For many of us, the clocks going back brings about a sense of excitement. As we pack away the spooky decor and reluctantly embrace the Christmas cheer, we welcome the crisp mornings and cosy evenings. But, for others, the shorter days and colder nights mark the start of something more sinister.
It’s not uncommon to feel a significant shift in our mood as the seasons change. If this is you, you’re not alone. A staggering 2 million people in the UK experience the winter blues. Fortunately, there are things you can do to fight it – and Goodrays is here to offer a helping hand as we face the tough winter months.
Seasonal depression - what is it?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, is a form of depression that is typically only present during the winter months. SAD manifests itself differently in every person affected, but common symptoms include the following:
- A persistent low mood
- Losing interest in things you once enjoyed
- Appetite or weight changes
- Sleep disturbances or oversleeping
- Feeling low in energy
The cause of seasonal depression isn’t fully understood, but it’s likely something to do with shorter daylight hours. It is believed that the resulting lack of sunlight stops our brain from producing enough melatonin (our “sleepy hormone”) and serotonin (our “happy hormone”).
No matter the severity of your SAD symptoms, you don’t just have to accept your fate as an annual inevitable. Support is available for those who need it, and just a few small lifestyle changes could make a world of difference.
What is CBD and can it help fight SAD?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of over 100 natural cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as hemp. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the molecule responsible for the plant's intoxicating properties, CBD is non-psychoactive and cannot get you high.
Researchers have found that cannabinoids can have a profound effect on the system responsible for signalling serotonin and, in turn, may influence our mood. Specifically, several studies have noted that CBD can activate certain serotonin receptors, a similar mechanism to that of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the first-line treatment for depression. For this reason, many people are choosing to incorporate CBD products into their wellness routine as a means to support their mental wellbeing.
At Goodrays, this is exactly what our products are designed to do. From our popular CBD drinks to our oils and gummies, we wanted to create CBD products that could seamlessly slot into any busy routine, offering the natural mood booster that we all need throughout the colder, drearier months.
Several studies have shown positive results for using CBD to reduce anxiety or to alleviate depression. That said, most of this evidence comes from studies using animal models, so it’s not yet known exactly how this could translate to humans.
Although hard clinical evidence is lacking, there is an abundance of data to suggest that CBD could help to alleviate anxiety and support healthy sleep patterns. And since stress, anxiety, and poor sleep are major contributors to the onset of depression, CBD could also have an indirect positive effect on SAD symptoms.
There are many ways to take CBD and, at Goodrays, our wide range of products reflects this. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to dosing and flavour options. With up to 30 milligrams (mg) of high-quality, Colorado-grown CBD per dose, our products contain enough of the good stuff to reap its full benefits.
Keen to learn more? Take a look at our dosing 101.
Other ways to combat SAD
Although scientists are yet to confirm whether vitamin D levels play a role in seasonal depression, low levels of the vitamin have been found in those living with SAD – likely due to low sunshine exposure. Yet, vitamin D is known to be a crucial predictor of energy levels and tiredness, so there is reason to believe vitamin D supplementation could indirectly help to improve our mood.
Luckily, Goodrays CBD drinks contain a daily dose of your much-needed Vitamin D. So not only does this help to keep your immune system, bone health, and blood pressure in check, but it may also help in the fight against those winter blues. It’s sunshine in a sip.
Above all, it’s important to make time for ourselves over the winter months. If there’s ever a time to practice self-care, it’s now. With the well-accepted anxiety-depression link, managing stress levels should be a priority. Either through mindfulness, journaling, or exercise (and CBD, of course), be sure to incorporate a little stress relief into your daily routine. And try to lap up the little British sunshine we get by spending as much time outside as you can.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is talking therapy, light therapy, and pharmacological treatments are available for those who need them. Do not hesitate to contact a GP or health professional if your symptoms become too severe to manage alone.
- Beating the winter blues (2022) NHS inform. Available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing/low-mood-and-depression/beating-the-winter-blues#:~:text=It%27s%20thought%20the%20winter%20blues,depression.
- Russo, E.B., Burnett, A., Hall, B., Parker, K.K., (2005), Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Receptors, Neurochemical Research 30, 8, pp. 1037–1043.
- Silote, G. P., Sartim, A., Sales, A., Eskelund, A., Guimarães, F. S., Wegener, G., & Joca, S. (2019). Emerging evidence for the antidepressant effect of cannabidiol and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Journal of chemical neuroanatomy, 98, 104–116.
- Seasonal affective disorder (2019) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/seasonal-affective-disorder#:~:text=Seasonal%20affective%20disorder%20(SAD)%20is,in%20the%20spring%20and%20summer.