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CBD and Your Brain



Is CBD (aka cannabidiol) good for your brain overall, or could it really be just the opposite? You may be surprised at the answers we have gathered in our blog geared to address all the matters of the brain and CBD! We are setting all the rumours to rest on this subject by reviewing the latest research available on some of the remarkable ways CBD interacts with the brain, impacts sleep, and affects brain health overall.



According to the latest research, CBD interacts with the human brain in several beneficial ways. Some of these include:


  • Brain neurotransmitters: Neurotransmitters are initiated by brain chemicals which allow your brain cells to signal one another, send messages, and run the processes necessary for the rest of the body to function. The four main hormones affected by neurotransmitters are dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, and each have different, but important, “jobs” to perform in the body. Animal studies have discovered that CBD increases levels of crucial neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is important to stabilize mood, enhance sleep, and strengthen appetite and digestion, and glutamate, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is essential for learning and memory (Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017).


  • Protection against oxidative damage: Free radicals and toxins can run rampant in our bodies due to pollution, UVA/UVB rays, processed chemicals in our foods and air, etc. So, we need as many antioxidant rich substances in our lifestyle to combat the negative effects our environments can have on our bodies and minds. CBD is known as a powerful antioxidant as well as a very strong neuro protective antioxidant. It has been shown to protect against oxidative stress in one study, during which it protected the participant’s liver from alcohol binge steatosis (Yang, Rozenfeld, Wu, & Et al. , 2014).


  • Reduce inflammation: Since overly active neuroinflammation is linked to issues like brain fog, fatigue, Alzheimer’s and depression, CBD’s potential for lowering inflammation has been a topic of eager study. One study, although conducted on mice and not people, was hopeful in that it showed CBD reducing neuroinflammation even following a stroke (Mori, Meyer, Soaresd, & Et al., 2017).


  • Promote healthy brain cells: Cognitive decline and dementia make older adult life difficult for around 50 million aging people in the world currently. The good news? The same study referenced for reducing stroke inflammation referenced above also revealed that CBD is helpful in increasing neuroplasticity (the ability to reorganize and change to aid learning and memory) and neurogenesis (growing new brain cells). Both processes are linked to keeping the aging brain healthy.


  • Anti-convulsant: We discussed this in a previous blog post, but it’s still relevant here: CBD has been shown to be effective in reducing seizures in childhood epilepsy (such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (or LGS) and Dravet syndrome (Perucca, 2017). The FDA recently approved a medication comprised of CBD called Epidiolex for their treatment.


  • Supplementation for Health: CBD has become popular as a nutritional supplement for boosting brain health, and this is not without scientific evidence. One study even observed CBD alleviating the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia (Leweke & Et al. , 2012, Mar). In addition to this, Further studies found CBD to be helpful against generalized social anxiety disorder (Crippa & Et al., 2011 Jan), as well as the effects of trauma.



Does CBD improve brain function?


We can start this answer by re-reviewing some of the above studies, particularly CBD’s surprising ability to boost brain health when taken as a nutritional supplement, our favourite method is by CBD capsule intake. Additionally, warding off cognitive decline, performing as an anticonvulsant to decrease seizures in epileptic children, reducing overly active neuroinflammation, promoting neurogenesis, and protecting against oxidation, all seem to agree with this notion.


Can CBD Affect REM Sleep?


Evidence gathered shows that this may be possible. Studies on CBD reveal it may have a therapeutic impact on the treatment of insomnia in a few ways. Interestingly, research shows that “low-dose CBD has a stimulating effect, while high-dose CBD has a sedating effect” on those being studied (Babson, Sottile, & Morabito, 2017). According to Babson & Sottile & Et al., “CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behaviour disorder (described as when REM sleep paralysis is absent and the patient “acts out” their dreams) and excessive daytime sleepiness.” Another such preliminary study suggests that CBD may suppress REM behaviour disorder in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (Chagas MH, Eckeli, Zuardi, & Et al. , 2014).


Can CBD Help with Serotonin Production?


Serotonin is one of the ‘feel good’ hormones our body produces to help ward off depression and anxiety, and low levels of this hormone can affect numerous processes in the body. Luckily, CBD is being used as a natural alternative to prescription drugs to help increase serotonin levels and give sufferers a much-needed boost. In animal studies, CBD has been proven effective for stabilizing sleep, aiding digestion and assisting with sleeplessness (Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017).


Can CBD help improve your memory?


A study has revealed that CBD appears to prevent memory impairment and may also help protect some aspects of memory function (Schoeler & Bhattacharyya, 2013). This, interestingly, is in direct opposition to claims that the effects of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) induces memory impairment in heavy users. Evidence also supports that CBD acts directly upon mammals’ memory and their ability to elaborate cognitive function; something fun to remember (pun intended).


Additionally, regarding cognitive decline, CBD has been found to promote neurogenesis, “reducing damage to cognitive functions caused by age, disease, and trauma” (Watt & Karl, 2017). As mentioned above, neurogenesis may help our aging population as they suffer from degenerative memory disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease. Of course, studies are ongoing in these realms and as new information filters in, we will keep you updated!

If you’re in or near Austin, Texas, and you’re curious about CBD or cannabidiol, feel free to stop by anytime we’re open or visit us online at CBDAustin.org. We have a wide selection of products to and custom-tailored services to choose from. Our friendly, informed staff are always available to help you find the perfect service or product for you and your budget!




If you are in the Austin, TX area...


Ready to try CBD? Come to our facility at 3501 Hyridge Dr, Austin, TX 78759 or call (512) 522-0221 to schedule a session! We also offer low-cost membership plans and packages that accept payments from your HSA as well. Cryo Body Works/CBD Austin offers many other treatments and therapy options like Cryotherapy, Infrared Sauna, Infrared Laser Therapy, PEMF Therapy, Compression Therapy, Ice Baths, and B12 shot injections! We would love to hear your story, introduce you to our facility and get your health and recovery journey started!


Visit https://www.cryobodyworks.com/ for client reviews, testimonials and more featured research.



For further reading, check out these links:




References:

  • Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Retrieved from Curr Psychiatry Rep: https://www.med.upenn.edu/cbti/assets/user-content/documents/s11920-017-0775-9.pdf

  • Chagas MH, Eckeli, A., Zuardi, A., & Et al. . (2014, October). Cannabidiol Can Improve Complex Sleep-Related Behaviours Associated with Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder in Parkinson's Disease Patients: a Case Series. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24845114

  • Crippa, J., & Et al. (2011 Jan). Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: a Preliminary Report. J Psychopharmacol, 25(1):121-30.

  • Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/

  • Leweke, F., & Et al. . (2012, Mar). Cannabidiol Enhances Anandamide Signaling and Alleviates Psychotic Symptoms of Schizophrenia. Transl Psychiatry, 20;2:e94. doi: 10.1038/tp.2012.15.

  • Mori, M., Meyer, E., Soaresd, L., & Et al. (2017, April 3). Cannabidiol Reduces Neuroinflammation and Promotes Neuroplasticity and Functional Recovery After Brain Ischemia. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27889412

  • Perucca, E. (2017, December 31). Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Hard Evidence at Last? Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5767492/

  • Schoeler, T., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2013, Jan 23). The Effect of Cannabis Use on Memory Function: an Update. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931635/

  • Watt, G., & Karl, T. (2017, Feb 3). In Vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's Disease. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289988/

  • Yang, L., Rozenfeld, R., Wu, D., & Et al. . (2014, Jan 4). Cannabidiol Protects Liver from Binge Alcohol-Induced Steatosis by Mechanisms Including Inhibition of Oxidative Stress and Increase in Autophagy. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112960/

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