7 Effects CBD Has on Your Brain
CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid related found in marijuana and hemp plants, has a number of benefits for the human body. We all have an endocannabinoid system, with receptors in our brain.
Research shows the endocannabinoid system plays a role in several functions within the body including appetite, pain response, sleep, and immune system response. That’s why it can be helpful for a variety of conditions. All of the benefits associated with CBD relate to the way it affects your brain through its interactions with other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
This document - CBD Oils 101: The Difference Between Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum & Isolate - explains the distinct characteristics of each type of CBD oil.
1. Neuroprotective Effects
CBD has been shown to help treat various seizure disorders and multiple sclerosis (MS), however, CBD offers neuroprotective properties beyond this. Studies have shown CBD has properties similar to Valium without the sedation effect. Other studies have shown CBD has improved the quality of life and sleep quality for people with Parkinson's disease.
Animal and test-tube studies show CBD may increase inflammation and aid in the prevention of neurodegeneration that comes with Alzheimer's disease. Mice who were genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's disease were treated with CBD and found it helped prevent their cognitive decline.
2. Pain-Suppression and Relief
A meta-analysis of numerous studies and reports show there is substantial evidence that using cannabis helps treat chronic pain in adults. But for those of us who cannot legally use cannabis, or do not want to deal with the high that comes with it, there’s good news. Another separate study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine supports these results and suggest that using CBD reduces pain and inflammation.
For those of us who want to know exactly how much CBD we’re ingesting as part of our pain management, there are CBD capsules for pain that provide a set amount. This allows users to control their dose and monitor results before making adjustments.
3. Anti-Tumor Effects
Though it has yet to be tested at a large scale with human subjects, early animal and test-tube studies suggest that CBD may be able to prevent the spread of brain, prostate, colon, lung, and breast cancer.
Because they are animal and tested studies, at this point, they can only suggest what might work in people. Additional studies using human subjects are necessary before formal conclusions can be made.
4. Anxiety Reduction
Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders. Generally treated with the use of pharmaceutical drugs which cause a number of side effects, it can lead to dependence and even addiction and substance abuse. Though not all classes of medications used to treat anxiety have substance abuse potential, the side effects tend to make life uncomfortable.
CBD oil has shown positive results as a potential treatment for anxiety. One small-scale study showed that a 300 mg dose of CBD oil was the most effective at reducing anxiety. using Placebo, a 150 mg dose and a 600 mg dose had little to no effect on the anxiety. This lets us know that using more CBD doesn't always equal that are results.
A clinical trial started in the United States in July 2019. Though the study isn't expected to be completed until October 2020, the available three clinical evidence conclusively demonstrates that CBD you can reduce anxiety behaviors relevant to a number of disorders.
5. Aids in Depression Treatment
Often coupled with anxiety, depression is also one of the most common mental disorders. Whether situational and short-lived or major and recurring, CBD oil has shown promise working in conjunction with antidepressants and other treatment methods such as therapy.
Several animal studies have indicated CBD has antidepressant-like effects suggesting that it acts on the brain serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
The conventional treatment for lowest serotonin is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or an SSRI. These are more commonly known as Zoloft or Prozac and are available by prescription only. These drugs cause the number of side effects such as weight gain and changes in libido. CBD may provide the same result without the side effects. However, before making any changes to your treatment plan it is important that you speak to your doctor.
6. Stress Reduction
80% of Americans are affected by stress. Some stress in life is normal, but when it becomes chronic, it affects more than just your mental stability. Stress can cause anything from high blood pressure and headaches to heart palpitations and chest pain. While there are anti-anxiety medications available to help you deal with the symptoms, CBD provides a natural way to help address the situation.
Though CBD is still in its infancy, research suggests that using CBD oil on a regular basis can dramatically reduce your stress. A 2010 study showed that using CBD helps to reduce anxiety in people with a social anxiety disorder. The study found that the CBD not only help reduce current anxiety levels but also changed the way the brain reacts to the anxiety. Brain scans revealed there was a chance in blood flow patterns in the regions of the brain associated with anxiety and stress.
To understand how CBD can help with stress, it is important to be able to distinguish the difference between Stress and Anxiety. Stress and Anxiety may share some of the same emotional and physical symptoms and both of them can take a heavy toll on the body. However, stress is what your body does in response to a situation where it feels threatened. Anxiety is a reaction to stress.
7. Stops Cravings for Nicotine and Other Drugs
A 2013 study published in Addictive Behaviors found that using CBD reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers. Though it was a small-scale study using only 24 participants - where half received a CBD inhaler and half received a placebo to use for one week, the results indicate that those treated with CBD reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by 40% during treatment. Results also showed some maintenance of this effect at follow-up. Additional research is needed to confirm these results at a larger scale, however, the initial study produced results warranting further research.
In animal studies, CBD has been shown to alter circuits in the brain related to addiction. One study, in particular, found that using CBD reduced heroin seeking behavior and morphine dependence.
According to a recent review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, experimental studies indicate that CBD usage reduces the overall level of alcohol drinking in animal models by reducing ethanol intake, motivation for ethanol, anxiety, impulsivity, and relapse. In addition, CBD reduces alcohol-related fibrosis in the liver by slowing fat accumulation and modulating inflammation while also reducing oxidative stress. CBD also appears to reduce alcohol-related brain damage by preventing neuronal loss with its anti-anxiety and immunomodulatory properties.
The great thing about CBD is it is available in a variety of forms and strengths so you can choose the option that works best for your lifestyle and the condition you’re seeking to treat.