Does CBD Help Protect the Brain?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is derived from the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is themost common chemical produced in most cannabis plants, with CBD being the second. THC is  what creates the psychotic highs associated with marijuana. However, it’s essential to note CBD does not have this effect and consequently doesn’t cause the unhealthy (and dangerous) drug abuse or substance dependence often associated with marijuana. Instead, CBD is becoming increasingly popular for its numerous health benefits.

CFAH is your go-to resource for accessible, trustworthy, and up-to-date health information, and here we’ve outlined some examples of how CBD can help protect our brains.

The Relief of Anxiety, Stress and Depression

The symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression all overlap with one another. It’s very typical for
people to experience these symptoms to some extent in everyday life, often in response to daily
stressors and significant life events. The THC in marijuana has been known to make some individuals feel calmer, whereas, in others, it has been known to increase their anxiety levels due to its psychotic effect. In contrast, CBD has been suggested to improve these symptoms.  Therefore, a lot of research into the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment for anxiety and depression has been conducted. Some research has shown CBD to decrease blood flow to parts of the brain associated with anxiety. In contrast, other studies have seen it work on the brain receptors, such as serotonin, associated with depression.

Brain Cell Protection

Due to the psychoactive effects of THC, many people believe marijuana to be harmful to our brains. However, there has been research that’s investigated the neuroprotective properties of CBD. It suggests CBD can protect brain cells in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other types of dementia. Multiple studies have
reported that CBD cannabinoids can help eliminate the toxic protein related to these diseases by
relieving the brain of inflammation, oxidative damage and promoting cell regeneration. This is
related to CBD’s effect on the CB2 receptors in the brain.

Epileptic Seizures

It’s now been proven that CBD can treat certain types of epilepsy due to its ability to lower the
degree of cell excitation in the part of the brain associated with seizures. This is partly due to CBD enhancing the release of GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain mechanisms that
contribute to seizures. Indeed, the FDA approved a plant-based formulation of CBD, called Epidiolex, in 2018. This drug treats seizures in people over the age of two suffering from Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes – two rare forms of epilepsy.

How Can CBD Be Used?

CBD is a plant extract and can be delivered in multiple ways. Therefore, there is plenty of options for people to incorporate CBD into their daily lives. Oil vapors, topical creams, oral drops, ingestible supplements, and edibles are all examples of how we can take CBD. There are numerous health benefits of CBD, with most of them proven scientifically. When taken
correctly and for the right reasons, it’s clear CBD can help protect the brain.