You have probably already heard of CBD (cannabidiol). This substance is becoming increasingly popular, and—although scientific research has not yet been conclusive—many people are hopeful that it can be used for a wide array of health applications, from relieving pain to boosting energy levels.
As CBD continues to rise in popularity, new potential health benefits of CBD continue to be investigated. One claim is that CBD may affect brain health.
What is CBD? How can it potentially affect the brain? How does it work? In this article, we will explore the relationship between CBD and the brain, along with the potential benefits that CBD may provide for brain health.
CBD Acts on Your Endocannabinoid System
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa. A common misconception is that CBD is derived from the marijuana plant, but the truth is that it is normally derived from the hemp plant. While the two belong to the same plant family, they differ in the amount of THC that they contain.
By definition, to be legal for use in the U.S. hemp must contain no more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This substance is responsible for the psychoactive effects that can be experienced when using marijuana. Since the THC concentration of hemp is quite low, it does not produce the same psychoactive effects. In short, CBD is a non-psychoactive agent. With this discovery, numerous athletic organizations and many states have approved the use of CBD products like oils, capsules, or creams.
The prevailing theory is that CBD delivers its potential benefits by acting on or enhancing the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The Endocannabinoid System is Closely Linked to Your Brain
The endocannabinoid system was discovered during the ‘90s and is considered to be a key player in regulating the function of the brain, immune tissues, and the endocrine system. This system is made up of three essential parts:
- natural endocannabinoids that are found and produced in the body
- receptors in the nervous system and different parts of the body that cannabinoids can attach to
- enzymes that break down both endocannabinoids and cannabinoids.
While receptors and endocannabinoids can be found in different parts of the body, they have only one goal: homeostasis. In short, their goal is to keep the internal environment of the body as stable as possible despite fluctuations or changes in the external environment.
CBD’s potential effect on our endocannabinoid system is the main reason why experts think that there may be a strong connection between CBD and the brain.
CBD and the Brain: Potential Benefits You Need to Know
Since the primary mechanism of action of CBD is on our endocannabinoid system, numerous studies are being conducted to explore the possible benefits that CBD may have on our brain. Here are some of the hypotheses under investigation:
CBD May Reduce Neuroinflammation
Inflammation is one of the first lines of defense of our immune system and is considered to be necessary for our survival. However, too much inflammation can be detrimental to our health, especially to our brain.
Neuroinflammation is thought to be a precursor to different neurological disorders. Research reveals that inflammation in the central nervous system may lead to various neurological issues such as epilepsy, stroke, anxiety, depression, and memory loss. It may also play a significant role in brain fog and fatigue.
These symptoms and conditions may be improved by reducing the inflammation of our brain. It is believed that CBD has potential anti-inflammatory properties since it acts on the ECS, which is one of the systems that regulates inflammation in the body.
CBD May Help with Depression and Anxiety
Depression is a condition that is associated with inflammation and specific structural changes in the brain that may come as a result of stress or injury.
It has been recently discovered that a specific part of the brain may shrink or atrophy when a person is depressed. This region is called the hippocampus, and it is responsible for the memory, learning ability, and emotions of a person.
The good news is that this part of the brain can recover and grow new neurons. Studies are now being conducted to determine CBD’s possible ability to protect neurons in the hippocampus. It is believed that CBD may also have the potential to promote regeneration of the hippocampus.
When CBD enters the bloodstream, it may act on the endocannabinoid system, causing it to produce more endocannabinoids, which can be used to regulate appetite and mood. The substance is also believed to activate the serotonin receptor called 5-HT1A, which can control various neurotransmitters that can inhibit the release of the stress hormone.
Lastly, CBD may bind to the PPARγ receptor, which produces different anti-inflammatory compounds and neuron-protecting substances that can help with the neurogenesis of the hippocampus.
CBD May Lower Stress Levels
One of the main functions of the ECS is to regulate stress and other emotional or mental responses of the body to external stress. CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system, which helps maintain balance in the brain system and also helps regulate stress.
CBD May Promote Good Sleep
Sleep is the most critical activity that can contribute to the recovery and performance of different parts of the body, especially our brain. Unfortunately, many of us are deprived of enjoying a good night’s sleep because of the stress we have at work, or the anxiety and depression that we are suffering from.
CBD is not a sleep aid per se, but it acts on the endocannabinoid system, which regulates stress, anxiety, and mood. When the cause behind these conditions is addressed, enjoying good sleep may be a natural result.
CBD May Prevent Memory Loss and Maintain Cognitive Function
As we grow old, we tend to experience a decline in our ability to remember and comprehend things. While this is a natural phenomenon that most people will experience with age, some things can be done to delay it.
Among its many other roles, the endocannabinoid system plays a significant part in maintaining our body’s learning and memory processes.
It is also believed that CBD interacts with neurotransmitters in the nervous system. These are chemical messengers that brain cells use to communicate. These messengers are used by nerve cells to send signals and information from the brain to the body and vice versa. The interaction may lead to an increase in the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and glutamate. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that helps in regulating learning and memory.
CBD May Improve Focus
Inability to focus may come as a result of different factors such as lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, and conditions like ADHD or ADD.
Our endocannabinoid system is responsible for the regulation of anxiety and stress, which may allow you to sleep better, addressing your focus issues.
However, addressing conditions like ADD or ADHD may be a bit different. Still, it all boils down to one system—the endocannabinoid system. The regulation of the ECS can help calm the nervous system and minimize hyperactivity.
CBD May Have Anticonvulsant Properties
One link between CBD and the brain is its potential ability to reduce seizures. One way that CBD interacts with the body is by antagonizing its CB1 receptors, which may help reduce the frequency of seizures.
CBD is a Potential Neuroprotective Agent
By definition, a neuroprotective agent or neuroprotectant is a compound that can protect the brain and reduce damage to the body’s nervous system. These agents aid in the development of neurons, which are the brain cells that are responsible for the electrical impulses that our nervous system creates.
When our brain is exposed to traumatic injuries, an imbalance in our nervous system occurs. CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system, which has the primary function of bringing balance to different body systems, most notably our nervous system.
Final Thoughts on CBD and the Brain
With the potential benefits of CBD products on brain health, it comes as no surprise that it has become one of the fastest-growing products in the health industry. However, most of the CBD studies that have been conducted were performed on animals. Further human clinical trials are needed to establish a definitive link between CBD and the brain.
While the use of CBD has already been legalized in many states, you should always exercise caution when using CBD products, preferably under the supervision of a medical professional. Additionally, you should ensure that the CBD oil that you buy has been extracted from the hemp plant and not from marijuana to protect yourself from psychoactive effects.
At buyCBDproducts.com, we adhere strictly to laws and industry standards to ensure that you always receive the purest CBD available on the market.