What is the first thing that comes to mind when you say the word “Marijuana.”? Most people immediately associate it with THC, getting high and having a good time.
Despite what you might think marijuana has some amazing therapeutic properties thanks to the other compound that is found within the plant.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive chemical produced by the cannabis plant. CBD come into the spotlight over the last couple of years, thanks to its healing properties, helping people with all different medical conditions, such as seizures, epilepsy and even day to day medical issues such as migraines.
How Does CBD Affect Your Brain?
THC and CBD have completely different effects on the brain. The endocannabinoid system consists of a group of molecules and receptors that occur naturally in the body. Most people are familiar with two receptors CB1 and CB2.
When you smoke marijuana, CBD and THC compounds travel through the bloodstream to the brain and activate the endocannabinoid system. Unlike THC, which latches onto the CB1 receptor causing your brain and body to experience psychological effects, CBD does two major things:
1) It regulates the level of chemicals in the brain by increasing anandamide levels
2) It interacts with CB1 receptors preventing other compounds from binding to the receptors
CBD plays a major role in regulating important neurotransmitters which in return assist with numerous medical conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Now that we understand what CBD is, let’s understand
How CBD Affects our Brain?
1) CBD Reduces Blood Flow
Not all strains work our body and mind the same way, but recent research has found that specific strains (those that are CBD dominant) can cause a reduction in blood flow to particular regions of the brain, linked to anxiety. This CBD was found to help reduce the overall anxiety scores of the study’s participants.
2) CBD Works to Manage Pain
We all know that THC has a positive effect on helping pain, but so does CBD. CBD helps with pain by acting on the CB2 receptor. These receptors are responsible for controlling important cellular functions such as suppressing the inflammation response, which sends a direct message to your brain of pain. CBD blocks that signal reducing the level of pain.
3) Reduces Oxidative Damage
Oxidation stress which contributes to brain damage seen in conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease is a condition of imbalance or malfunction in the balance of reactive species and their generating mechanisms with antioxidants and antioxidant mechanisms. Studies have shown that CBD acts on the CB2 receptor to reduce oxidative damage. This means that CBD can help minimize this type of stress and allow the brain to function normally.
4) CBD lowers the Degree of Excitation of Brain Cells
When brain cells don’t function normally and begin to work rapidly through excessive stimulation, the damage is known as excitotoxicity. Over the past couple of years, CBD has become a popular form of medicine for those that suffer from epilepsy.
It has been found that CBD tends to lower the degree of excitation and minimize excitotoxicity in epilepsy patients, contributing to the protection of brain cells in the disorder. A disorder that often leads to convulsions and seizures.
5) CBD has Significant Antipsychotic Properties
To understand this, we, first of all, have to understand what is anandamide. Anandamide is a recently discovered neurotransmitter that plays a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory, and fertility. Its name originates from Ananda, the Sanskrit word for “bliss.”
The antipsychotic effects of CBD are related to the way it has an impact on anandamide. In general, higher levels of anandamide have been connected to a decrease in psychotic symptoms. Furthermore, CBD is known to increase anandamide in the brain. This has led researchers to believe that CBD can assist with pain management, depression, and appetite.
Final Thoughts About CBD
Very little is still known about CBD, but from what we are seeing, CBD is grabbing researchers attention and looks to be a key element in helping a variety of medical conditions.