Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis plants that has been gaining attention for its potential therapeutic benefits. But how does it work on the brain? In this article, we'll explore the science behind CBD and its effects on the brain. CBD is thought to have neuroprotective effects due to its interaction with the brain's CB2 receptors. When CBD binds to these receptors, it triggers an anti-inflammatory response in the brain's immune cells, reducing the amount of damage caused by inflammation.
CBD also binds to the 5-HT1A receptor, a serotonin receptor. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that plays a role in our mood. This interaction may explain why CBD has been found to be effective as an antidepressant, anxiolytic, and even as a neuroprotective agent. CBD also affects local receptors when used in lotions and other topical products.
Its ability to reduce inflammation peripherally helps prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. CBD may also be able to treat disorders caused by cannabinoid deficiency, though more research is needed to understand how it works.
Seizures: CBD has been found to reduce seizures by decreasing the degree of arousal of brain cells involved in seizures. It can also prevent disruption of the dopamine system, while THC overstimulates the ERK pathway, causing alterations in the dopamine system.
Anxiety: Studies have shown that CBD can reduce overall anxiety levels and participants reported lower levels of anxiety after receiving CBD.
The FDA has even approved an oral CBD drug, Epidiolex, for use in treating certain types of epilepsy.