The Science of CBD and Other Cannabinoids in the Brain

All over the world, cannabis oil is becoming insanely popular because of its a million and one benefits.

Needless to say that this kind of popularity may make many people cynical about it. We too were cynical about it. We did not at first believe that one oil could be the alternative cure to so many different ailments and that it could do a very good job at healing each of them.

So we decided to investigate. We disregarded all the blogs out there as we assumed that their owners could be motivated by commissions. We went directly to scientific journals and searched the databases for reliable publications that explain that clearly explain what cannabis oil is and how it works in the body.

To our surprise, there were dozens of journal articles that covered the working mechanisms of cannabis oil in the body. This was pleasantly surprising because so many times we had heard that governments and health practitioners were refusing to prescribe the oil because it had not been thoroughly investigated.

We gathered all the resources we found and made them into this simple guide that explains what cannabis oil is and how it works in the brain to produce the many benefits it is known for.

The information made us believers in this incredible oil. We have also cited some of the papers we relied upon to write this guide. So feel free to open new tabs to confirm what we are saying.

What is cannabis oil?

Cannabis oil is any oil with CBD in it.

CBD is short for Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of the many cannabinoids (active molecules) found mostly in the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant and its strain – the industrial hemp plant.

The cannabinoids are active molecules in the sense that they interact with certain parts of the brain to produce certain therapeutic effects. [More on this in the next section]

Cannabidiol is one of the two major cannabinoids found in both hemp and marijuana. The other major cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC).

Both cannabinoids produce healing effects. However, THC has the added effect of producing a “high”. So anytime you see someone getting high on smoking marijuana, it is the THC that is affecting his head.

Now that you know what cannabis oil is let’s get to the crux of the matter.

Industrial Hemp Plant
Industrial Hemp Plant

How it works in the brain

The main way cannabidiol produces healing benefits is through its influence on different receptors in the brain and other parts of the body.

The receptors are part of the body’s nervous system. So essentially, the effects of CBD are produced by its interaction with the nervous system.

You see, the nervous system is made up of billions of neurons. Neurons are specialized cells that help transmit signals to and from your brain.

For one neuron to communicate with another, there is a need for a carrier to move the information between them. That carrier is known as a neurotransmitter.

Each neuron has many different types of receptors designed to respond only to certain neurotransmitters. The neuron will only respond if the neurotransmitter fits it like a key fits a lock. If they are not shaped to fit each other the neuron will not respond.

This is where CBD and THC come in. Certain neurons have receptors that respond to cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. Those neurons form part of the body’s Endocannabinoid System or simply the ECS.

The specific receptors that cannabinoids can interact with are known as CB1 and CB2. Others also exist but have not been thoroughly researched.

The Human Brain and CBD
The Human Brain and CBD

How cannabidiol affects the endocannabinoid system?

Think of the ECS as part of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The ECS is responsible for a dozen and one functions in the body. Most importantly, it is needed for the regulation of memory, mood, pain-sensation, appetite, sleep and several other mental and physiological functions.

The interaction of CBD with receptors helps the ECS to do its job better. So the compound more or less enhances the functions of the Endocannabinoid system. The compound also prevents the breakdown of the body’s own Endocannabinoids allowing them to interact better with the ECS.

So it is the interaction that provides the healing benefits we now associate CBD with.

For instance, cannabidiol can interact with CB2 receptors which are involved in controlling pain-sensation as found earlier. The action of CBD on CB2 results in the suppression of inflammation response reducing the number of inflammatory molecules at the scene of inflammation resulting in little or no pain signals being transmitted to the brain.

However, the way cannabidiol interacts with the two primary receptors (CB1 and CB2) is not the same way THC interacts with them.

CBD is more indirect in its interaction. It is this indirectness that prevents cannabidiol from causing the “highness” produced when smoking marijuana or taking any other product with THC in it.

Other effects linked to taking this hemp-derivative

Apart from mainly producing its benefits through its interaction with the ECS, CBD also affects the brain in other ways.

For instance, several studies have shown that taking cannabidiol supplements decreases the amount of blood that normally flows to areas of the brain (e.g. the hypothalamus) that are responsible for anxiety. This reduction reduces the overactive nature of these specific parts of the brain during anxiety.

The decrease in over-activeness results brings about a decrease in anxiety.

Moreover, taking CBD can lower the over-excitation of brain cells, which is the primary cause of seizures. So by taking CBD one can significantly minimize or entirely eliminate the incidences of too much excitation in the brain making it a good alternative treatment for those suffering from epilepsy.

Conclusion

As you can see, CBD is naturally designed to work with the human body. It affects a very specific system in the brain and helps it to better execute its functions.

CBD also affects the brain and acts on other parts of the brain to produce its numerous positive effects and to improve general wellbeing.

So if you had any doubts about CBD oil, you now know for sure that the oil works and can provide the many benefits millions of people claim it provides.