How CBD Can Help Your Brain
CBD is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids derived from the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. Because of its low levels of THC, CBD can be used for medicinal purposes for patients who need legal and effective treatment. Recently the FDA approved an anti-seizure drug containing CBD, a milestone for scientific research and more clinical trials, which is pretty exciting.
CBD affects several systems in your brain including the dopamine system which helps regulate cognition, behavior and motivation and the serotonin system which affects anxiety and depression. CBD also affects the opioid system to reduce pain and chronic inflammation. What this means for recipients is that CBD can help with anxiety, stress, mood, depression, cognition, nausea, pain, and more.
On-going scientific research continues to be done regarding CBD and neurodegenerative disorders, which are essentially deterioration of nerves in the brain. Specific studies have shown that CBD does have neuroprotective effects on conditions that include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Glutamate toxicity
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alcohol abuse
In this following study, we see that CBD inhibits anandamide reuptake and breakdown. Anandamide, which comes from the Sanskrit word ananda which means “joy, bliss, delight,” is a fatty acid neurotransmitter whose effects are mediated by cannabinoid receptors in the brain. In lab rats, anandamide is shown to help improve memory and studies are being done on how it affects human activity. Anandamide plays a role in the neural generation of motivation and pleasure. Interestingly, it is also found in chocolate. This increases CBD’s neuroprotective effects regarding seizures and it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Although studies are generally in their infancy, there is a lot of optimism that CBD not only helps and reduces neurodegenerative disorders, it also protects the brain from further nerve degradation.
So What Does This All Mean?
While medical claims are immature at this stage of FDA regulation, there seems to be a lot of verified evidence that suggests that safe consumption of CBD can possibly help prevent nerve damage that can happen with age, and it can help protect the brain from inflammation that can lead to nerve damage.
Maroon, Joseph & Bost, Jeff (2018). Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surgical Neurology International, v 9. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/
Volkow, Nora (2015). The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol. National Institute of Drug Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2015/biology-potential-therapeutic-effects-cannabidiol