CBD is the latest craze, marketed as a dietary supplement and sometimes hailed as more. What is it, where does it come from, and are the claims true? We’ll discover some of the surprising ways that CBD can impact the brain.
What is CBD?
CBD is cannabidiol, a compound that comes from cannabis. It is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in cannabis. Some cannabinoids are found in other plant species around the world, but CBD Is only found in cannabis.
CBD is extracted predominantly from hemp, cannabis sativa, and it is not psychoactive in nature. There is no impact to the brain as a hallucinogenic and will not make you high. Many people assume this because of the association with cannabis indica, marijuana. CBD Is found in both plants but THC is the compound that causes the high in marijuana.
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that creates its own cannabinoids. Mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles all have an ECS. Amphibians have not yet been studied but they likely do as well.
The endocannabinoid system is important to regulating the moods, the immune system, pain regulation and metabolism. When CBD enters the body it seeks out receptors of the ECS and bond to them. It bonds to CB2 receptors located all over the body. CB1 receptors are the other type and they are located only in the brain. THC bonds to those.
Once CBD binds to a receptor, a lipid is formed. This lipid goes into the neural network which is the superhighway that travels to the brain from the body, sending messages and signals back and forth. Thoughts travel the neural network. So CBD ends up impacting the brain and other parts of the body, via the lipid. Get to know more from The Mental Meds.
This lipid coats the neural network and protects it with a coat of armor. This helps you to be more alert, focused and ‘in the zone’ when you need to be. Memories are protected in the short term. Those with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s have been given CBD and found that they can retain visual memories, such as remembering faces, for much longer than patients who do not take it.
Researchers have found that those who have had a stroke and are given CBD directly following in their recovery have been found to heal faster with less loss of brain function. The brain is important to controlling arm movement and body functions of all sorts, as well as holding your memories. Stroke victims are often impaired in motor skills due to the blood loss to areas of the brain during a stroke. CBD use has helped to heal faster for stroke victims and recovery is more complete in many cases than for those who have not taken CBD.
CBD has been dubbed a ‘neuroprotectant’ by researchers and may ultimately open doors to more research advancement in the study of stroke recovery or Alzheimer’s, even Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) victims. Even as a dietary support that may help improve focus and help with short term memory, CBD can play an important role for many people.