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How Does CBD Affect the Brain?

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CBD is something that’s all over the news these days. However, even though everyone seems to be talking about it, it also seems like there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation out there.

This is mainly because most of the research surrounding CBD is still ongoing and fairly new. Also, the legality of CBD in the United States is not so clear cut. And this is also likely contributing to people’s misunderstanding of CBD.

Despite all of that, CBD appears to be a promising plant-based medicine. But what exactly is CBD? And how does CBD affect the brain?

By answering these questions, we can get to the heart of CBD and see if it’s something that can benefit your life. Interested in learning more? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

What Is CBD?

Before we get into how CBD affects the brain, let’s first go over what CBD actually is. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that is produced within the Cannabis Sativa plant. There are two main varieties of Cannabis Sativa – hemp and marijuana.

The main differences between these two varieties are the levels of CBD and THC that they both contain. THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main active ingredient in marijuana. Its psychoactive properties are what’s responsible for the classic “marijuana high.”

CBD doesn’t contain any psychoactive properties and won’t get you high.

The hemp plant has a very high concentration of CBD and an extremely low concentration of THC. Marijuana, on the other hand, has a very high concentration of THC and a low concentration of CBD.

CBD is one of many cannabinoid molecules that can be found in the Cannabis Sativa plant, second only to THC in concentration. These cannabinoids are recognized for their ability to interact with the cannabinoid receptors that are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system.

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While THC has certain medicinal uses, CBD has become highly valued because it displays a wide range of possible medical uses, including helping with pain, anxiety, seizures, and inflammation. And it’s also non-toxic. This makes CBD an attractive therapeutic possibility.

The Differences Between CBD and THC

Even though CBD and THC come from the same plant and share certain properties, their effects on the body are still quite different. The biggest difference is that CBD can’t get you high while THC very much can.

This is due to the fact that CBD and THC affect the ECS (endocannabinoid system) in different ways. In fact, CBD can even get in the way of chemical compounds like THC and block them from interacting with the ECS.

This is why the CBD to THC ratio is so important when it comes to affecting the effects of cannabis products.

Medical Effects of CBD

One of the most amazing features of CBD is the wide variety and number of its possible medicinal uses. It’s important to note here that each application of CBD has been supported by different amounts of research.

This research ranges from test tube experiments (in vitro work) that measure CBD’s medicinal mechanisms of action to animal experiments that investigate its physiological and behavioral effects, to ongoing clinical studies that evaluate its use in treating disorders in humans.

Receptor Systems in the Brain

There are many neurons (high specialized cells) in the brain. Every neuron is able to connect to many other neurons by way of structures known as synapses. Synapses are where one neuron communicates with another neuron by releasing neurotransmitters (chemical messengers).

The sensitivity of a neuron to a specific neurotransmitter will depend on whether or not that neuron contains a receptor that the transmitter will fit with. If a certain neurotransmitter matches up with the receptors of a certain neuron, then the neuron can directly respond to the transmitter.

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If they don’t match up, then the neuron and neurotransmitter won’t interact. There are multiple neurotransmitters on every neuron, and this lets them respond to certain neurotransmitters while being able to ignore other ones.

How Does CBD Affect the Brain?

Even though CBD is a cannabinoid, it doesn’t interact with the standard cannabinoid receptors. Instead, CBD is able to affect these receptors indirectly. This is one of the reasons why CBD doesn’t get you high like marijuana.

Perhaps even more interesting is that CBD is able to interact with non-cannabinoid receptor systems. For example, it can interact with opioid receptors that are related to pain regulation. It can also interact with dopamine receptors which help to regulate cognition and behavior.

CBD is also able to interact with a specific serotonin receptor (serotonin 1A receptor). This allows it to treat a variety of conditions including neuropathic pain, vomiting and nausea, opioid addiction, anxiety disorders and depression, and symptoms of schizophrenia.

CBD can also be used to treat seizures.

Of course, when taking CBD, it’s important that you only buy high-quality products. Purchasing CBD from reputable sources like is a good way to make sure that you’re getting CBD that is safe and effective.

The Importance of Knowing How CBD Affects the Brain

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you know feel that you have a better understanding of the answer to the question “how does CBD affect the brain?” For people who are dealing with chronic pain, inflammation, nausea, or addiction, CBD can be an excellent and effective treatment.

Are you interested in reading other helpful articles like this one? If so, check out the rest of our blog today for more!