CBD Effects on the Brain
CBD is a very interesting supplement, sometimes referred to as a nutraceutical. It produces more effects than the average herbal supplement, and these effects are pronounced and highly noticeable for daily users.
There are a lot of big claims behind CBD, with some people going so far as to state that it’s a major game-changer and a must-have in their wellness routines. But how does CBD work, and more importantly, what are its effects on the brain?
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant. Most CBD companies use hemp plants, which are cannabis plants with lower amounts of THC, to produce their CBD products.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that works very similarly to the cannabinoids naturally produced within the human body. It may help assist many of the body’s most important processes.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system is a huge series of receptors throughout the whole body, including within the brain. Some receptors function similarly to these receptors and may also be influenced by cannabinoids.
Receptors for cannabinoids exist within the systems and cells your body uses to facilitate many processes. The endocannabinoid system is tied to digestion, mood, sleep cycle, appetite regulation, and even the immune system. It also plays a role in regulating certain types of brain activity.
There’s a lot that medical researchers still don’t clearly understand about the way the endocannabinoid system works and how it influences so many processes. At least two endogenous cannabinoids have been identified. The body produces and uses them extremely quickly, making it hard for researchers to determine how much of each cannabinoid is necessary for the system’s healthy functioning and exactly how and why the body determines the production of cannabinoids as necessary.
Very few crucial roles have been identified. Researchers have discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in regulating seizure activity in the brain.
The FDA-approved CBD in the form of Epidiolex as a treatment drug for rare and severe seizure disorders is based on findings that CBD works to reduce the prevalence and severity of seizures significantly.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD is very similar to the cannabinoids produced by the human body. When CBD interacts with these receptors, it excites them and provokes a reaction. CBD doesn’t have an affinity for binding to these receptors and changing the way they work. It would instead encourage them to act of their own accord.
When CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system, it helps to support a wide range of effects that can impact the way the body feels, both mentally and physically. It isn’t the CBD itself that’s doing the work, but the impact of the CBD stimulating the endocannabinoid system. The body does most of the heavy lifting in this process.
That’s why CBD is commonly used to support holistic wellness in a laundry list of seemingly unrelated ways. The body is handling each process appropriately with inspiration from CBD, rather than being overtaken by CBD’s particular set of effects.
How CBD Differs From THC
THC interacts with receptors different from CBD. Unlike CBD, THC likes to bind to the receptors in the brain. This binding process changes the way the receptors send messages to the brain, causing the experience of being high.
Cognition and thought processes change. Some people feel creatively inspired. Others feel sleepy. Some experience a reduction in the symptoms of discomfort. Less commonly, people may experience stress and tension as THC alters their brain’s perception of stimuli that would otherwise be ordinary.
It’s not within CBD’s power to do that. That’s one of the main reasons why CBD’s effects on the brain differ so dramatically from THC’s effects on the brain. The changes are subtle but undoubtedly meaningful.
The Way CBD Affects the Brain
CBD can encourage the brain to do some pretty interesting things. Some of these effects are noticeable almost immediately, while others become pronounced with the continued use of CBD.
Many people use CBD specifically because they enjoy the way it works to improve their mood. Researchers are predominantly interested in CBD’s ability to dampen the symptoms of different kinds of tension significantly. While CBD is not currently approved as a treatment for mental health, it may be helpful for people who sometimes experience emotional tension.
One study with a significant number of participants administered CBD to patients and measured its effects on a wide variety of concerns. At the end of the study, nearly 80% of participants experienced significant relief from feelings of tension.
These results are even more significant when you consider that out of the 72 patients, only 47 participated specifically for tension, and 57 patients experienced an overall reduction in anxious feelings. This means that CBD could help reduce tense or stressed feelings in people who did not have symptoms of stress.
If you’re being treated for poor mental health, talk to your healthcare provider about the possible addition of CBD into your wellness routine. If you occasionally experience emotional distress, CBD may be able to help ease your feelings.
Promoting Better Sleep
Approximately 70% of American adults report experiencing low quality or insufficient sleep at least one night per month, while 11% consider insufficient sleep to be a recurring problem.
Sleep problems are sometimes medically treated with sleeping medications. The problem with these medications is that they aren’t intended for long-term use. Doctors would rather work with patients to naturally modify their sleep habits than foster a dependency on medication.
The same study on CBD and the brain found that almost 67% of participants reported better quality sleep when they used CBD.
CBD works similarly to aromatherapy with lavender or chamomile tea. It helps relax the mind and body before bedtime, encouraging the body to ease itself into sleep.
CBD doesn’t work like sleeping pills or over-the-counter sleep aids. It doesn’t cause drowsiness or grogginess, and there is no risk for dependence or abuse. It simply encourages the body’s sleep-wake cycle to function properly.
CBD Acts as a Neuroprotectant
Studies on CBD show that it demonstrates neuroprotective properties. It acts as a powerful antioxidant that may help prevent cells in the brain from damage.
Researchers are currently exploring ways in which CBD could be used to effectively assist people living with symptoms of neurodegenerative or neurological disorders, like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.
Several countries have approved a prescription drug called Sativex, a 1:1 ratio CBD and THC oral spray, as a complementary treatment for conditions like multiple sclerosis.
The United States has not conducted independent research or approved the drug for use, but patients in Canada seem to be happy with Sativex. Neuroprotectants and antioxidants are valuable to everyone with a brain. You don’t need an underlying brain health condition to experience the benefits of cell protection.
Peels Is CBD Without the THC
If you’re looking to experience the benefits of CBD without THC, your options are minimal. The overwhelming majority of CBD companies manufacture their oils from the extract of hemp plants. Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain 0.3% THC or less by dry weight.
Although hemp-derived CBD does not contain enough THC to get you high, there are plenty of reasons why people may not want to use it. Some states prohibit the sale of CBD products that may contain any residual traces of THC. Small amounts of THC can accumulate in the body over time, ultimately leading to a false positive for cannabis use on a drug test.
Peels solved that problem with oranges. Our CBD is derived from orange peel terpenes rather than from hemp. There are no risks associated with THC ingestion because there is no THC. Oranges simply don’t contain it.
If you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of CBD for your brain, add Peels to your daily wellness ritual. Consistency is the key to producing meaningful benefits. A few drops of fresh squeezed CBD every day can go a long way to enrich your overall wellness.
Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series | National Institutes of Health
The State of SleepHealth in America | American Sleep Apnea Association
Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids | National Institutes of Health