The Neurological Effects of CBD: How Does CBD Affect the Brain?

The Neurological Effects of CBD: How Does CBD Affect the Brain?

The neurological effects of CBD have given rise to the rapidly growing popularity of this cannabis compound. CBD oil has grabbed the wellness industry by the throat. The health benefits of Cannabidiol are well-documented, but we still have a way to go in terms of examining how this cannabinoid interacts with the brain.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active compound whose largest amounts can be found in hemp, a subvariety of the cannabis plant and a close relative of marijuana. CBD has no intoxicating properties, so it doesn’t make people feel high.

Yet, it allows them to revel in the sea of health benefits CBD has to offer. Studies suggest that CBD can help reduce anxiety, inflammation, alter pain perception, stave off stress, and alleviate skin conditions.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the neurological effects of CBD.

What Is the Difference Between THC and CBD?

Unlike other cannabinoids, such as THC, Cannabidiol doesn’t directly interact with two cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CB1 and CB2. Other active compounds from hemp tap to these receptors, changing a person’s way of thinking, memory processing, and concentration.

CBD, on the other hand, stimulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce more of the body’s natural cannabinoids. In addition, it slows their breakdown by inhibiting the work of certain ezymes. Thus, scientists often refer to Cannabidiol as the ECS modulator. The cannabinoid works on more than 60 molecular pathways, affecting multiple receptors in the brain.

More interestingly, CBD can also counter the intoxicating effects of THC, reducing anxiety and paranoia induced by the latter.

What Are the Neurological Effects of CBD?

neurological effects of cbd

CBD comes with an astonishing number of health benefits. However, because the field of hemp research remains in its infancy, we still need more studies to discover the full potential of Cannabidiol and other active compounds of the hemp plant.

Balow, you will find the list of proven neurological effects of CBD that may help you improve the quality of your life.

Neuroprotective Effects

CBD could help alleviate a range of neurological conditions due to its neuroprotective qualities. Simply put, CBD protects neurons from damage, which can help maintain the brain in a better shape.

Analgesic Effects

Researchers suggest that CBD can work as a natural pain suppression. Cannabidiol inhibits neuronal transmission without causing analgesic tolerance or substance abuse. On top of that, CBD doesn’t cause toxicity regardless of the dose, which makes the cannabinoid entirely safe for human consumption.

CBD has found advocates in athletes, who are often exposed to muscle inflammation and other pain-related issues.

Anti-Anxiety Effects

One of the most commonly reported neurological effects of CBD is its ability to reuce anxiety. A 2011 study tested 24 patients who were struggling with social anxiety disorders. The researchers divided their subjects into two groups. One of them was given placebo, and the other received CBD oil. As it turned out, patients who took CBD oil reported a significant drop in the anxiety levels, social discomfort, and cognitive impariment – contrary to the placebo group.

How Does CBD Work On the Brain?

Like we said, CBD acts through over 60 molecular pathways. This is why the neurological effects of CBD are so abundant. Although the cannabinoid doesn’t tap to any of the cannabinoid receptors, it modulates the ECS through a couple of different receptor-independent routes.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all systems affected by CBD:

CBD And Serotonin Receptors

Serotonin receptors are responsible for controling a wide range of bodily and brain functions. For example, they affect a person’s mood, pain perception, cognition, and appetite. Moreover, serotonin receptors determine how we react to stress by regulating the release of cortisol.

CBD acts on the serotonin 1A receptor. This is why scientists believe that cannabinoids can prove useful in reducing pain, anxiety, and even obesity. On top of that, the interaction between CBD and serotonin 1 receptors has been linked by many studies to CBD’s potential in alleviating nausea from chemotherapy while elevating one’s mood.

CBD And Vanilloid Receptors

CBD taps to vanilloid receptors, also called TRPV1 receptors, to produce certain beneficial effects. TPRV1 is an ion channel and thus helpsthe body control the temperature, inflammation, and pain perception.

CBD And Orphan Receptors

Orphan receptors are named this way because scientists still don’t know whether they belong to a larger receptor family. Also known as GPR55, orphan receptors are responsible for regulating blood pressure, maintaining decent bone density, and controling bone reabsorption.

When the orphan receptor is overactive for a long time, it may eventually cause osteoporosis and the multiplication and migration of tumor cells. Since CBD blocks GPR55 signalling, it shows a great promise for further research on CBD and tumor growth inhibition.

CBD And Nuclear Receptors (PPARs)

Nuclear receptors and their activity are linked to antitumor effects. CBD can activate PPARs. When the PPAR-gamma receptor shows signs of increased activity, it produces antiproliferative effects that can cause cancer to regress in lung cancer patients.

CBD Is Anandamide’s Best Friend

According to a 2016 study from the Frontiers of Pharmacology, the neurological effects of CBD can block the breakdown of anandamide. This, in turn, boosts endocannabinoid levels in the brain’s synapses.

Because anandamide and THC are much alike in their chemical structure, people often call anandamide the “bliss molecule” or the “human cannabis.” Both andndamide and THC have similar qualities, including mood elevation, pain reduction, body temperature control, and appetite stimulation.

CBD acts on the same intracellular particles that transport anandamide and THC to different areas inside the cell. Further, Cannabidiol shares a strong bond with three types of fatty acid binding protein (FABP).

Once endocannabinoids enter the cell, the body begins their breakdown. Cannabidiol reduces anandamide’s access to transport FABP. As a result of the lack of anandamide’s access to transport FABP, it stays in the body for much longer.

Health Benefits of the Neurological Effects of CBD

neurological effects of cbd

Okay, we’ve already said much about the way CBD acts on the brain, but it’s high time we shed light on the health benefits provided by the neurological effects of CBD oil.

Stress & Anxiety

While THC, the intoxicating cousin of Cannabidiol, can increase anxiety in some people (especially in high doses), studies show that CBD can help reduce this sensation.

A study conducted by Neurotherapeutics has found that CBD blocks CB1 receptors in the brain’s areas that are effected by THC, which is the possible explanation behind the relationship between THC and CBD.

Neurological Disorders

A study in Epilepsia showed that CBD exhibits strong anti-seizure properties, and it can potentially alleviate a range of neurological disorders. Not only CBD can benefit the nervous system big time, but it also comes with a low risk of side effects on people who already suffer from neurological ailments.

Sleep Deprivation

Due to Cannabidiol’s relaxing nature, it may prove an effective natural sleep aid. Moreover, CBD controls the sleep-wake cycle. Low doses of cannabidiol induce wakefulness and reduce daytime sleepiness. But on the other hand, large doses of Cannabidiol before bedtime can produce sedating effects, resulting in a good night’s rest.

The Truth About the Neurological Effects of CBD

The truth about the neurological effects of CBD is that we still need more research to learn how exactly CBD interacts with the brain. The large share of the research available today concentrates on THC and its impact on humans. Nonetheless, the rapidly growing popularity of Cannabidiol will soon bear fruits, as scientists conduct more and more research on this particular cannabinoid.

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