How the Brain Works
Human brains are loaded with special cells called neurons that use chemical messengers to talk to each other and the rest of the body. These messengers are called neurotransmitters: you’ve probably heard of the popular ones like serotonin and dopamine. In order to send and receive messages, neurons have to be able to send out neurotransmitters and have the capability of receiving them. Neurons can only receive the messages if they have the right receiving station called a receptor. Some of your neurons have receptors for neurotransmitters from cannabis plants, which is why CBD works in your brain.
How CBD Affects the Brain: Pain and Feeling Good
CBD activates the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (CB1 and CB2) but doesn’t directly interact with them, which is why you can’t get high off CBD. The body also produces its own cannabinoids for pain regulation and CBD stops enzymes from breaking those cannabinoids down. CBD interacts with receptors for managing pain and dopamine receptors for feeling good. Tests on animals has revealed that CBD’s interaction with these receptors could help people manage their pain and even reduce drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
How CBD Affects the Brain: Serotonin and Anxiety
CBD interacts with the receptor serotonin 1A which has had huge effects in the clinical trials on small mammals. CBD helps serotonin 1A to be more active, which allows serotonin to remain in the synapses for longer periods of time. This is associated with anxiety and depression relief, and is what serotonin re-uptake inhibitors like Prozac are designed to do. Even though there hasn’t been a ton of official testing done on humans, personal accounts from people who have taken CBD report a great deal of relief from anxiety symptoms.
How CBD Affects the Brain: Degenerative Diseases and Epilepsy:
CBD protects the brain from inflammation and toxins from certain neurotransmitters, which helps protect it from diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. In some studies on small mammals, symptoms of Alzheimer’s was even reversed. Because it fights toxins and releases the neurotransmitter GABA, CBD also keeps the brain cells from becoming overexcited and committing cell death. This tremendously cuts down on instances of epileptic seizures. There have been several staggering personal accounts of seizures dramatically decreasing in epilepsy patients.
Though there is much more that scientists need to study, CBD has been shown to help the brain in several different ways and people have only scratched the surface of its benefits.