CBD (short for Cannabidiol) is a chemical compound that is found in marijuana and hemp. Among other things, CBD works as an antioxidant, pain reliever, mood balancer, and according to medical research, it also generates effects that set it apart as a fantastic herb for not only stimulating neurological function but also for eliminating free radicals and preventing cell deterioration.
Why are CBD and THC so different?
- While the chemical makeup is similar, the molecular structures are different.
- Also, CBD does not interact with the body the same way the other cannabinoids do (through CB1 and CB2 receptors).
- Instead, a more complicated process occurs between cannabidiol and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that leads to physiological changes.
CBD is known to have significant neuroprotective effects that could come in handy when treating diseases such as MS, ALS, or other neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
How it works
Although CBD doesn’t actually bind to cannabinoid receptors, it operates through receptor channels in the brain to cause different effects in the brain and the body. Let’s find out what some of these effects are:
Migraines affect close to 40 million Americans, and for most of these people, treatment involves drugs such as opioids, triptans, beta blockers, and antidepressants. As you may be aware, these drugs are addictive and cause a wide range of unpleasant side effects. CBD cuts down the frequency of severe migraines at a better rate than many prescription drugs, and with far less harmful side effects.
Improves Sleep Quality
CBD subdues pain and insomnia and can reduce the time it takes for a person to fall asleep. It makes it possible to go through the deeper levels of sleep, with fewer interruptions. At lower doses, CBD causes mild relaxation and higher cognitive function, however, at higher doses it induces sleep.
Reduces Anxiety & Depression
While consuming marijuana can intensify anxiety in some people, cannabidiol contains anti-anxiety properties that can help relieve symptoms for common anxiety disorders. According to this study, CBD causes hormonal changes that can lessen the intensity of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and social anxiety.
Regulates Behaviour & Cognition
CBD interacts with a broad range of receptors, and through complicated processes, it works as a therapeutic agent. While behavioral patterns tend to be complicated for many people, there are ways that CBD can reduce destructive behavior and facilitate positive change. For instance, addiction is one of the areas that lead to unproductive behavioral patterns, and CBD has been used successfully to treat different forms of addiction and prevent relapse. Prolonged CBD use balances psychological processes, and improves cognitive function.
CBD works as a pain suppressant, and it is able to stop transmission of pain signals from the brain through the nervous system without analgesic tolerance – which has led the scientific community to investigate a possible platform for creating more effective pain medication. This effect makes it useful for treating chronic pain and inflammation. Here is some research on this topic:
Affects the Serotonin System
CBD interacts with the serotonin 1A receptor to generate therapeutic effects that include the release of serotonin. This is important because serotonin receptors are responsible for essential processes such as appetite, mood, cognition, metabolism, and social behavior. By triggering the A1 receptors, CBD blocks things like nausea, anxiety, depression, neuropathic pain, and even schizophrenia.
Because CBD causes anti-seizure effects, it can be used to treat certain forms of epilepsy without posing a risk to the patient. In fact, studies are being done at the moment to see how much CBD can be used in the treatment of epilepsy.
Some of the conditions linked to epilepsy, such as neuronal injury and neurodegeneration, are also being investigated to see how treatment with CBD will affect the patient in the long-term.
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