The effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) products in reducing the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments have made them popular among people. Because of this, the market for cannabidiol products is growing at an extraordinary rate. This was made possible with the US Farm Act of 2018 that legalized the cultivation of hemp plants for research and medical uses. CBD is considered safe because it has no mind-altering effect like THC which is another major cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. In this article, we will investigate how CBD affects our brain.
The Effect Of CBD On Brain
The cannabinoids naturally found in the hemp plant, including CBD and THC, affects the brain because they are similar in function and structure to the endocannabinoids produced by our body. Cannabidiol imparts its effects by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a network of endocannabinoids; this consists of neurotransmitters and chemical messengers. They are spread throughout the body and affect homeostasis. Because of this, cannabidiol (CBD) influences important physiological and cognitive processes like appetite, metabolism, pain, memory, and stress response.
CB1 receptors are found in the central and peripheral nervous systems, while CB2 receptors are mainly associated with the immune system. CB1 receptors are involved in pain perception, regulating mood, pain, appetite, coordination, and other functions that fall under the CNS. CB2 receptors affect inflammatory response and the pain due to it. One of the major effects of CBD on our brain is that it increases the levels of two major neurotransmitters serotonin and anandamide, and this is the main reason consuming it reduces anxiety.
The Different Ways CBD Affects Our Brain
CBD benefits like its anxiolytic and stress-reducing effects are due to its impact on neurological functioning, and listed below are the major ways in which CBD affects our brain.
- Decreases Blood Flow: Studies have shown that the anxiolytic effect of CBD is because it reduces the blood flow to the regions of the brain associated with anxiety.
- Analgesic Effect: Consuming CBD reduces pain and helps to effectively manage chronic pain. This is because it binds to CB2 receptors of the immune system, as well as stimulates the body to produce more of these receptors.
- Reduces The Excitation Of Neurons: Seizures are caused due to the hyperexcitation of neurons, and this can damage them. Consuming CBD inhibits the molecules responsible for this and thereby protects them. Due to this, CBD is found to be useful in the treatment of drug-resistant forms of epilepsy in adults and children.
- Reduces Oxidative Damage: Oxidative damage due to free radicals is one of the major precursors of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, and Parkinson’s. CBD’s effect on CB2 receptors reduces oxidative damage to neurons and slows down the progress of these diseases to a certain degree.
More researches are conducted to better understand how CBD affects our brain so that it can be used as part of regular treatments.