The cannabidiol industry has been garnering huge popularity at a rapid pace. After its legalization in some countries, it caught all the attention of researchers and it has been investigated several times to uncover its impact on human health. However, there is misinformation leading people to make mistakes when it comes to purchasing them.
The common misinformation pertaining to CBD products is the idea that they are non-psychoactive. CBD alone can be considered non-psychoactive, but the majority of the CBD products advertised by the best CBD companies contain a small percentage of THC in them which is a psychoactive chemical that alters brain function.
Nonetheless, the THC percentage used in CBD products should remain under 0.03% per container which prevents any CBD products from providing a mind-altering “high” effect like marijuana. Keep on reading to discover how CBD works and affects the brain.
CBD: Cannabinoid Receptors
CBD affects the brain and impacts the mood and behaviors of human beings by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. The ECS or endocannabinoid system consists of several endocannabinoids which are neurotransmitters. It binds to the receptors present throughout the peripheral system and central nervous system.
ECS regulates a wide range of physiological and cognitive processes in the human system including stress response, memory, pain, and appetite. CBD, one of the hundreds of chemical compounds loosely binds to one of the primary receptors CB1 and inhibits the anandamide degradation, a naturally occurring cannabinoid.
3 Ways CBD Affects the Brain
Clinical trials and studies conducted have shown the impact of CBD on the human brain. Generally, it impacts the brain in specific ways.
Here are the three specific ways how CBD affects the brain:
1. Helps to Reduce Oxidative Stress
There is a possibility that CBD could reduce oxidative stress that occurs at a cellular level. As the cell produces free radicals while generating energy, an environmental toxin is released as a waste product. Still, the body has its own antioxidants to stabilize the free radical production and make sure that minimal damage is caused to the DNA.
The way the body manages this oxidative stress plays a critical role in terms of keeping up good health. Since the antioxidants that the body naturally produces aren’t enough to deal with these free radicals and environmental toxins, the waste products start damaging the DNA particles. This may result in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
Nevertheless, CBD could help to decrease oxidative stress as it has strong antioxidant properties. Researchers have a strong notion that cannabidiol may have the neuroprotective antioxidant capacity that can be similar to vitamin E or C. Therefore, it may reduce the oxidative damage caused at the cellular level.
2. Balances the Process of Excitotoxicity
The process of excitotoxicity plays a key role in neurodegenerative diseases. The term is used for describing the level of damage caused due to overactive brain cells. Excitotoxicity can occur due to traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis, or even hearing loss.
Recent research has been investigating the influence of CBD as a medical treatment for these neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD or autism spectrum disorder. A study conducted in 2019 and published in the Neuropsychopharmacology Journal showed the impact of CBD on the inhibition system and brain excitation.
The research was conducted on 34 volunteers half of them were dealing with an autism spectrum disorder. When analyzed researchers observed that CBD could shift the Glx metabolites, and GABA+ to help to ease the symptoms of ASD. Yet, further clinical trials and research are required to conclude anything further.
3. Boosts Anandamide Production
Anandamide is a natural neurotransmitter discovered in 1990. It helps to elevate the mood by reducing pain sensitivity. Naturally, anandamide production is stimulated as the FAAH or fatty acid amide hydrolase breaks down. As people age, the production of anandamide slows down, reducing the bliss molecule in the system.
Nonetheless, CBD could inhibit this fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme and help the bliss molecule to stay active for longer than the normal standard. Researchers link the higher amount of bliss molecules with the decrease in psychotic symptoms. A study conducted showed the impact of CBD on increasing anandamide production.
In addition, researchers stated that the increased anandamide production is inversely correlated to psychotic symptoms. The research team also conducted randomized clinical trials to check the influence of CBD as compared to a potent antipsychotic drug. Finally, it showed CBD could alleviate a psychotic symptom by boosting anandamide.
The Benefits of CBD for Brain
Cannabidiol is garnering the attention of researchers due to its possible medicinal benefits that could entirely change how the medical world operates. Several studies have indicated the possible benefits of CBD in terms of managing oxidative stress, reducing excitotoxicity in the brain besides reducing chronic pain and other symptoms.
Although more human studies are required before concluding CBD impacts the brain positively. Still, cannabinoid’s effects on the human brain seem to be profound. In fact, consumers are trying a range of CBD products to manage brain fog, depression, anxiety, migraines, chronic pain, and several other symptoms of health conditions.