Various systems explain how a wide range of CBD brain effects come into play
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant cannabinoid that’s found in the cannabis plant, and it’s known for its wide range of potential effects. And behind the boom is the research community’s fascination with this remarkable compound and the CBD brain effects.
Writing in the Harvard Health Blog, Dr. Peter Grinspoon asserts that “the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating … childhood epilepsy syndromes,” including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. There’s even an FDA-approved seizure control drug (Epidiolex) that contains pure CBD.
But epilepsy isn’t the only condition researchers are looking at. As of 2020, here is just a sliver of the published CBD research on a wide variety of conditions:
- Repeated CBD treatments had anti-anxiety and anti-panic effects in a 2012 study using rats
- CBD reduced the monthly frequency of seizures by a median of 36.5% in a 2016 study of adults (humans, this time!) with epilepsy
- CBD had a pain-relieving effect in mice with inflammatory and neuropathic pain in a 2012 study
- CBD had anti-inflammatory effects and effects on sebocyte proliferation in a 2014 human study that suggests “CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne”
Much of the research involves preliminary studies and some of them are still done on animal models. Nevertheless, the intense scientific interest in CBD and some promising results show that it is an active substance—and has potential in many applications.
Don’t conflate the possible CBD brain effects with those of medical marijuana, however. When you use medical weed, the THC (that’s tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound that makes up most of the plant’s cannabinoid profile) definitely affects your sobriety.
Plenty of people are wary of marijuana’s potential benefits because they worry that they’ll get high, feel too anxious (a common side effect of THC), or look like they’re under the influence.
With CBD alone, however, that’s not an issue. CBD is nonpsychoactive—as long as you’re using a reputable, tested product that is what it says it is, you don’t have to worry about getting stoned.
Article Reference: What Does CBD Feel Like?
CBD brain effects: why it doesn’t get you high
Even though they’re both cannabinoids—chemicals that act on the endocannabinoid system in your body—you don’t have to worry that CBD will make you feel the way THC does. THC activates the CB1 receptor in the brain, which can cause:
- Extreme relaxation
- Short-term memory impairment
CBD can actually block that receptor, decreasing the side effects of THC when they are taken together. It also avoids the euphoria and way-too-drowsy feeling that you’re hoping to avoid when CBD is taken alone. Instead, you can get cool, calm relief that shouldn’t affect work—and won’t give you the weird side effects of marijuana.
How can CBD affect so many systems?
Your next question is probably “How the heck might CBD have effects on pain, anxiety, seizures, and other conditions that are being researched?!” There are a range of different studies—and potential CBD brain effects— but it’s only one substance.
Pure CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD that contains various cannabinoids are believed to have a direct or indirect effect on some of the body’s important systems, including:
- The dopamine system, which affects drug cravings, motivation, reward-seeking behavior, and more
- The serotonin system, which plays a role in wellbeing, pain, depression, anxiety, nausea, and other conditions
- The opioid system, which mostly affects the way you perceive pain, but also reward-seeking behavior and addiction
- The endocannabinoid system, which affects everything from appetite and digestion to sleep to pain to mood and memory … we could go on, but you probably don’t have all day!
CBD brain effects and neurotransmitters
Your brain is full of neurons, brain cells that contain neurotransmitter receptor sites. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that signal your cells to do things. Certain substances—including CBD, a plant-derived cannabinoid—can influence these cells by binding to neurotransmitter receptors.
Your body naturally produces cannabinoids that interact with your system—these are called endocannabinoids. CBD is a phytocannibinoid (from a plant) that, when taken, produces similar effects. These substances have varying impacts on the different systems mentioned above, which is why they work!
What else does CBD do when it’s in your body?
Dopamine, serotonin, and opioid receptors are all important parts of how CBD works, but there are also a few other neurotransmitters it affects, such as:
- Anandamine, which regulates mood, memory, and making new brain connections
- 2-Arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), which regulates the immune system, pain, and brain-cell health
- Glutamate, which regulates brain function, memory, and gut health
- Adenosine, which regulates heart health, inflammation, pain, and sleep
- GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which regulates mood and sleep
With so many chemicals that make up your neurochemistry, it’s pretty interesting that CBD has the ability to influence so many of them. There’s less research available about the effects of CBD on the above chemicals, but research is ongoing.
Get the relief you crave with Sunday Scaries
At Sunday Scaries, we focus on CBD’s benefits that many of our customers enjoy—relief from self-doubt, internal darkness, difficulty concentrating, and more. Future research will outline exactly how this substance does what it does and possibly expand the list of benefits, while disproving others. But today, many people take CBD products just to chill out and avoid excessive worry!
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