The CBD industry is booming, and CBD’s natural properties are to thank for it. The cannabinoid helps relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and promote sleep. However, the most talked-about benefit of CBD is for the brain.
Since our brains are the control centers of the body, anything that affects them is bound to have a general effect on every other organ too. Thus, scientists are especially interested in the mechanism of action of CBD in the brain.
Fortunately, CBD does not cause a high. Therefore, it keeps your brain oriented while regulating multiple neural functions. Let’s look at a few of them in detail.
How Does CBD Affect the Nervous System?
Our body is made up of different systems. The endocannabinoid system is one of the most extensive networks of neurotransmitters. It plays a role in controlling different cycles and reactions in the body.
Some common processes that the endocannabinoid system controls are:
- Immune response
- Stress response
All these things regulate our day to day activities and overall well-being. Luckily, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and affects the receptors present in it.
The two major receptors in this regard are CB1 and CB2. Many experts believe that there are some other receptors too. However, these two are the only ones that have been characterized so far.
CB1 is present in the central nervous system and regulates mood, appetite, and pain. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are a part of the peripheral nervous system. They regulate the primary effect of pain, inflammation, and the immune system.
Here’s an interesting fact: THC binds to the CB1 receptors as it resembles anandamide – a compound that is the specialized target for CB1 receptors. Being the ‘bliss molecule,’ it causes inhibition of neurotransmitters that cause pain or anxiety. As a result, the ‘high’ occurs.
However, the CBD products you commonly find online are devoid of THC. Others have a negligible amount of this intoxicating compound. Thus, you won’t get high off these products.
For instance, CBD products at CBDFx have less than 0.3% THC. Here’s a CBDFx online review to help you learn more.
Improves Blood Flow
A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology showed that CBD affects the blood flow in the brain’s cerebral region. Since this region is associated with memory processing, CBD may impact memory storage and creation.
The study also indicated that CBD might change the way your brain deals with emotional memories. These findings can be used to enhance therapies for PTSD and anxiety.
In this study, the researchers took 15 healthy participants without a history of CBD use. All the study subjects were given 600mg of CBD for the duration of the research.
As a result, the researchers found an increased blood flow in the brain – especially in the hippocampus. Additionally, CBD also increased blood flow to the brain’s decision-making center, called the orbitofrontal cortex.
In brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, the blood flow to the memory-processing regions is dysregulated. That’s why the patients lack focus or get confused while doing everyday activities.
Therefore, researchers regard these findings as interesting. They show that CBD might help in managing cognitive decline characterized by memory loss and poor focus.
Lessens Oxidative Damage
Oxidate damage refers to the natural waste your body produces during chemical reactions. Every moment, many reactions are taking place in our brains. Free radicals are produced as a result of these processes.
Moreover, exposure to smog and other air pollutants can also increase oxidative damage in the body. Naturally, our bodies use antioxidants to rid the brain of these free radicals. If they are present in excess, they can damage the DNA.
However, if there are too many free radicals, the body cannot deal with them. An excess of free radicals can worsen atherosclerosis, Parkinson’s, and other brain disorders.
As mentioned previously, CBD binds with the CBD2 receptors. As a result, the oxidative damage slows down. Since CBD has antioxidant properties, it can help reduce oxidative stress in the brain.
A 2014 study showed that CBD stalled the development of memory deficits in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. With further research, we can establish if CBD has similar results in humans too.
CBD Calms the Brain
Like every other organ, the brain needs rest too. However, in a diseased state, the brain is often overactive. Messages are entering and leaving the brain at uncontrolled rates. The common reasons for this include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Brain Injury
- Hearing loss
Mostly, in aged individuals, the excitation in the brain is a result of glutamine. It’s an amino acid that makes multiple important proteins inside the body. Researchers also found a change in glutamine levels in people who have epilepsy.
A 2019 study showed that CBD affects the glutamine levels in the brain. The researchers checked the acute effect of CBD on the brain. They found out that CBD can shift the levels of GABA and glutamine.
However, they suggest further studies to show if the compound has the same results on patients with chronic diseases.
CBD Improves Focus and Concentration
CBD also helps improve your focus by reducing ‘brain fog.’ Do you lose concentration while someone is talking to you? Do you have trouble doing basic tasks?
Well, CBD can help clear up your mind. Normally, the brain gets foggy due to the activation of different compounds.
A study showed that CBD leads to vasorelaxation. Researchers saw that CBD causes relaxation in the brains of diabetic mice. The same effect in humans can lead to better focus and a longer attention span.
Simply put, inflammation results from the excessive activation of the immune system even when not required.
Inflammation can worsen mental disorders and is often the reason behind a disease progressing to the advanced stages. Fortunately, CBD helps reduce inflammation in different ways.
A 2012 study showed the link between inflammation and TRPV1 receptors in the body. CBD binds to these receptors and influences the way they regulate inflammation and temperature.
As a result, the compound can effectively reduce inflammation, a common symptom of brain disorders, and arthritis.
How to Use CBD for the Brain?
Today, you can buy different CBD products online. These include oils, concentrates, topical treatments, etc.
The best way to take CBD for the brain is by using CBD oils. You can either drink a few drops or add CBD oil to your daily food. Alternatively, you can put the drops under your tongue for a quick effect and better absorption.
If the taste is unbearable, you can use CBD edibles instead. Who can say no to brownies and gummies? Although edibles are not as concentrated as the oil, they have a long-term effect.
CBD is definitely helpful in terms of brain health. Further research in this regard will pave the way for new findings. For now, you should only buy pure and unadulterated CBD products to stay out of harm’s way.