No one knows for sure if CBD optimizes brain health, but the cannabinoid interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system’s (ESC) receptors that control the central nervous system. The marijuana plant contains around 60 cannabinoids, but CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most abundant. THC acts as a psychoactive on the brain, but CBD does not. CBD balances out the ‘high’ caused by THC. In recent years, CBD dominate strains and hemp have taken center stage for individuals seeking health benefits and a brain boost without experiencing any psychoactive effects.
CBD’s Therapeutic Brain Applications
CBD has many therapeutic applications. However, the cannabinoids ability to treat drug-resistant forms of epilepsy has pushed CBD to the forefront of medical research. Most researchers believe that CBD may have neuroprotective, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties that all have a direct effect on the brain. CBD is now being used to treat not only epilepsy but depression, anxiety, and even addiction.
Cannabinoid Receptors in the Brain
Many highly specialized neurons reside within the brain. The neurons connect using structures called synapses. The arrangements are tailored for the neurons to communicate with each other by chemical neurotransmitters. The overly sensitive neurons contain receptors that are part of the body’s ECS system. The receptors, known as CB1 and CB2, respond to the cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. The CB1 and CB2 receptors not only react to dopamine and serotonin but also the THC and CBD of marijuana. Any time you ingest a marijuana cannabinoid, the receptors immediately start to interact with the cannabinoid. The interaction lets cannabinoids influence the brain’s activity.
CBD and Brain Receptors
Unlike THC, CBD does not directly interact with the CB1 and CB2 reactors but instead affects the signals between the receptors. Many scientists theorize the unique relation of the CBD to the receptors is why the user does not experience a ‘high’ reaction as they do with THC. CBD spurs the body to produce its own naturally-produced cannabinoids which are known as endocannabinoids.
Non-cannabinoid Receptors and CBD
CBD also influences non-cannabinoid receptors within the brain. Cannabidiol appears to have the ability to interact with receptors that are often sensitive to other drugs or neurotransmitters. Receptors such as the opioid receptors respond well to CBD which is why the cannabinoid reduces inflammation and pain. CBD also affects the body’s dopamine receptors which regulate behavior and cognitive thinking within the brain.
- Cannabinoids, such as CBD, correct imbalances within the brain’s receptors to relieve symptoms. CBD triggers the body’s natural endocannabinoids to optimize brain health.
- CBD interacts with the body’s opioid receptors to reduce pain perception similarly as an opioid drug but without the danger or addictive tendencies. Some researchers are studying if CBD can help an addict recover from opiate addiction.
- A flow of dopamine is released by the interaction of CBD in the ECS system. The dopamine creates a feeling of bliss and peace.
- Serotonin receptors that often require treatment with SSRI drugs like Prozac respond well to CBD and alleviate depression.
- CBD effectively treats many aspects of Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis.
- Cannabidiol has become a favored treatment for many forms of epilepsy, especially those found in children.
- The neuroprotective and neurogenesis properties created by CBD help to treat Alzheimer’s disease, stroke damage, Parkinson’s disease, and neurodegeneration from alcohol.
- CBD treats loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting from the use of chemotherapy, cancer, or HIV/AIDS.
- Researchers have also found great promise in CBD’s ability to slow the growth of certain malignancies.
Cannabidiol and the other cannabinoids of the marijuana plant are starting to grab the attention of the medical community and researchers. CBD and the plant’s other cannabinoids all interact with the brain’s ECS system and receptors. In many cases, the mind indeed does experience optimization after ingesting cannabinoids. Further research is needed to determine additional benefits, but so far there is a great deal of hope that CBD can and will change the brain health of many individuals.