Have you been hearing a lot about CBD (cannabidiol) oil lately, but are apprehensive to try it? Its popularity is spreading rapidly as more people are discovering the wide-spanning brain benefits of CBD. While some are confident in the benefits of CBD, others have a bit more trepidation about the effects of CBD on the brain.
Different from THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive drug, meaning it does not cause users to feel that intoxicated, “high” feeling. CBD does impact your brain, but in a beneficial way that can elevate mood, reduce stress, ease depression and minimize seizures in pediatric patients with epilepsy. CBD targets specific regions in the brain to alleviate overactive areas, stimulate crucial receptors and maintain homeostasis. Here is a breakdown of the top 4 ways CBD affects your brain.
Recent studies reveal CBD can quickly target and raise serotonin levels, which helps to boost mood and reduce anxiety. Antidepressants target the same areas in the brain, but possess a lot more side effects than CBD, which is relatively side effect free. In a recent study, researchers found CBD caused a reduced amount of blood flow to the areas in the brain that are linked to anxiety, like the hypothalamus. CBD can actually calm the regions that are usually overactive in people with anxiety. Additionally, CBD stimulates activity in the hippocampus (a crucial part of the brain’s limbic system that helps to regulate emotion) by increasing the amount of calcium within the mitochondria. While antidepressants may take 6-8 weeks to reveal therapeutic effects, CBD works quickly to help the brain reach a healthy homeostasis.
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years to help reduce pain and inflammation. CBD oil and CBD salve can help manage both physical and neuropathic pain by working with the CB2 receptor. By working with the receptors that control the inflammation response, CBD has a significant effect on pain and inflammation signals. Researchers have been studying CBD for years to analyze the magnitude of the painkilling and anti-inflammatory response, and are examining how CBD can block pain signals and prevent them from traveling to the brain. An effective tool for exercise, CBD helps reduce muscle spasms and inflammation, along with targeting pain management responses so athletes and yoga practitioners can get the most out of their workout.
Increase Brain Function
Oxidative stress occurs when the body is unable to detoxify the harmful effects of free radicals. Long term effects of oxidative stress can lead to damaged regions of the brain that are responsible for neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s, ALS, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and certain cancers. CBD is a natural antioxidant, which helps to restore optimal cell function as well as promoting the immune system. As CBD helps to neutralize the effects of free radicals, it protects against neurodegeneration and changes in brain chemistry. CBD can help people with varying levels of pain ranging from minor headaches to chronic body pain.
Studies have shown CBD to be a powerful anti-seizure medication for pediatric patients. Cannabis has been documented since the late 1800s as being an effective resource for people suffering with epilepsy. Researchers believe that CBD can help restore disrupted lines of communication within the hippocampus and encourage neurogenesis. CBD can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in both children and adults who suffer with conditions such as epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
Vastly different from THC, CBD benefits the brain without users feeling “high” or intoxicated. CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system (a group of cell receptors that help regulate body functions) and help to regulate body processes. When you ingest CBD, it travels through the bloodstream and attaches to these receptors to help your brain regulate chemical levels. While CBD is busy helping your brain manage important neurotransmitters, the body is returning to homeostasis to regulate sleep, appetite, digestion, mood, memory, body temperature, motor control and immune function. These are just some of the benefits of CBD; as researchers continue to study the effects we are sure to learn more about the positive impact CBD has on brain health.