The CBD industry has seen a massive growth surge in the last couple of years. Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is now a staple ingredient that is infused into a variety of food and healthcare products. From skincare to edibles and CBD oil, the usage of this magical ingredient is infinitely vast. However, as the popularity of this supplement rises, misconceptions are also being raised surrounding CBD and the effects it has on cognitive function.
In this article, we are going to examine the base composition of CBD and how it really affects the brain and how we think.
But first, let us look at what CBD really is, and why there is so much fuss surrounding it.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the over 100 chemical compounds that can be found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. Yes, I know, the word cannabis is associated with an out of this world experience, but CBD is an entirely different thing. How?! Let’s find out.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. THC is the reason behind the ‘high’ feeling you get after ingesting marijuana. CBD on the other hand is a non-psychoactive, non-addictive compound.
Because it lacks this mind-numbing effect that its counterpart possesses, CBD is a very popular choice among people suffering from a variety of ailments.
The most popular derivative of CBD is CBD oil. This form of CBD is usually made by extracting it from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.
What Does CBD Do to the brain?
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding CBD is that it is not a psychoactive compound. CBD can actually cause changes in moods and general behavior, therefore it can technically be categorized as psychoactive.
Here are some of the ways in which CBD can alter the brain and how the mind works;
1. CBD’s effects on anandamide
Anandamide is one of the neurotransmitters of the brain that is responsible for improving mood and reducing sensitivity to pain.
Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is an enzyme whose job is to break down anandamide. Research has shown that CBD can inhibit the functions of the FAAH enzyme, thereby increasing the effectiveness of anandamide and reducing symptoms of psychosis.
2. Pain Relief
The body possesses a natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS’s job is to regulate natural functions like sleep, appetite, pain, and the immune system. The ECS also produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors within the human body’s nervous system.
Scientists have proven that CBD actively reduces chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters.
3. Managing Anxiety and Stress
CBD changes the way the brain responds to anxiety. This is directly linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
Serotonin has 14 different receptors, but CBD specifically binds to 5-HT1A which plays the biggest part in anxiety disorders. Apart from these preventive effects, CBD can also counteract brain damage caused by chronic stress, by stimulating the growth of new neurons.
Finally, CBD is definitely one of the most popular health supplements in the world right now. The vast benefits it offers only goes to further prove that it is a worthy alternative to Feel Better, Naturally.