How Organic CBD Oil and Your Brain Are Best Friends
It can be very difficult to completely understand how cannabinoids work. There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done. Luckily, more and more is being understood each year, and we’re slowly getting a better picture of exactly how hemp works, and what kind of therapeutic effects it can bring. New discoveries are constantly emerging in the field, and as this occurs, one cannabinoid in particular seems to be gaining a lot of attention: organic CBD oil.
From positively enhancing your mood and relieving your stress to protecting your brain, CBD oil as a supplement seems to have a list of benefits that doesn’t end. What’s even more amazing is that CBD oil can interact with your body and brain in fascinating ways. This is how hemp can impact your brain specifical
Your Endocannabinoid System and Maintaining Homeostasis
Did you know that you have an entire system in your body that naturally produces cannabinoids? These compounds, which are known as endocannabinoids, are involved in regulating many other systems and functions of your entire body, from your mood to vital organs. These endocannabinoids function through a network within the body: the endocannabinoid system, or the ECS.
All mammals have this ECS, which is a system of cannabinoid receptors that are all branched together and which interact with both plant-derived and autogenic cannabinoids to influence your physiological processes. It achieves this through stimuli that are chemical. All of this sounds pretty scientific and complicated, but you can think about it like so: your ECS regulates many important functions of your body, including pain management, mood, appetite, and memory. When any one of these functions becomes imbalanced, your body will naturally synthesize cannabinoids that are necessary in order to restore homeostasis, which is a state in which your body is healthy and balanced.
Basically, cannabinoids help your body to regulate and maintain an internal environment that’s very stable within our bodies. This happens on the cellular level within every tissue, organ, and system that contributes to your overall functioning.
When your body is unable to produce the endocannabinoids that it needs, issues arise. This lends to a condition that’s known as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency. In the case of this condition, researchers have discovered that taking supplements that contain cannabinoids that naturally occur in the body can help to improve and overcome the deficiency. There are over 100 cannabinoids that are plant-based, and out of all of them, cannabidiol, or hemp, is second only to THC when it comes to the abundance of potential medical applications.
CBD oil contains many benefits, and it can help regulate homeostasis to improve health overall. When these benefits are referenced, what it refers to is hemp’s ability to influence the ECS. Unlike THC, CBD oil does not contain any toxic properties, and it won’t get you “high”, which makes the compound even more beneficial for therapeutic aid.
How Does Organic CBD oil Interact with the ECS?
Many people wonder why they’re unable to get high off of hemp, even though it comes from the same plant as THC. THC will bind directly to your cannabinoid receptors, then mimic the molecules that are naturally produced. However, hemp has a completely different way of coaxing your system to produce its own supplemental cannabinoids. Instead of activating CB1 and CB2, which are the main cannabinoid receptors, hemp actually stimulates the way that they signal in an indirect way.
These receptors are integral aspects to your endocannabinoid system. CB1 is located mainly within your brain and the central nervous system, but you can also find it in the liver, kidneys, and lungs. CB2 is located throughout the whole body, and is mainly involved in preventing damage due to oxidation from occurring. Together, CB1 and CB2 regulate a wide variety of processes throughout the body, from immune functions to metabolism to mood. If you consume organic CBD oil, you’re giving a boost to cannabinoid receptors’ activity, and to the systems that naturally occur within your body.
For example, one of the ways that CBD oil has an effect on the ECS is to inhibit the enzyme that creates the breakdown of anandamide. This enzyme is FAAH. Anandamide is your body’s version of a cannabinoid, and the enzyme is well known for enabling you to feel happy and blissful, as it spreads a sense of wellbeing throughout your body. Anandamide can even produce a “runner’s high,” which is a buzz that typically comes from a rush of endorphins. This is how consuming CBD oil makes you feel happy and well--not high, like THC does.
How Does Organic CBD oil Interact with Other Receptor Systems?
It gets more fascinating from here. Hemp can interact with other kinds of receptor systems, even ones that don’t involve cannabinoids. Once hemp is in your bloodstream, it goes to the brain, where it makes an impact on neurons that have molecular structures that match. Some of these neurons are opioid receptors (which is how the compound can play a role in the regulation and alleviation of pain), and dopamine receptors (which is how the compound can influence your behavior, motivation, and cognition).
A brain that is healthy will produce a stable amount of neurotransmitters in order to keep our moods stabilized and properly regulated. There are different kinds of neurotransmitters that have a role in the regulation of our moods. Researchers have identified these transmitters: they include dopamine and serotonin, and these two chemicals are in your body at decreased levels when you’re feeling low or sick.
If there’s a severe case, in order to address the problem, drugs that have the ability to increase the levels of these neurotransmitters have been prescribed to patients who need the boost. These drugs are able to bring the results of a better mood by blocking the re-uptake of serotonin within the brain, while increasing the levels of it in the synaptic space. This creates new connections between neurons, which is also known as neurogenesis. However, pharmaceuticals are not the only agents available that have this ability: Hemp has been proven to be able to do this as well, and have a similar effect on mood.
Here are some more ways that CBD can impact brain functioning:
It Promotes Neurogenesis In Order to Improve Your Mood
The therapeutic potential of organic CBD oil to help with negative moods, problems with addiction, and stress can be mainly linked to the way it affects your system of serotonin. One study that was conducted discovered that hemp can boost the signals between serotonin receptors and may impact the neurotransmitter faster than other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
When studies were conducted on mice, the impact that hemp had on their brains was proven to improve mood as it reduced stress. The pathway that’s taken seems to be hemp’s ability to act as a 5HT1A agonist (or activator).
This is pretty complicated, but basically, hemp is able to promote the activity of 5HT1A, which is a subtype of serotonin receptors. If you’re under hemp’s influence, your brain will be better able to transmit glutamate signals and serotonin, while it also allows for more branching and the creation of more, new neurons (which is known as neurogenesis). All these changes are linked with the way that stress is reduced, and mood is improved.
It Prevents Excitotoxicity and Oxidative Stress
Hemp has also been studied extensively for the fact that it contains neuroprotective properties. Sometimes, your brain will rapidly fire its cells for good reasons. When the firing is disrupted, however, and neurons are repeatedly fired, they can become damaged to the point where they die. It’s similar to the way that neurons will become damaged if their levels of oxidation are abnormal.
Research has shown that organic CBD oil can protect the brain from this. It has a natural protective property that keeps your brain from both oxidative stress and from excessive neural activity (which is what excitotoxicity is). While researchers can’t determine the exact mechanism of action, the upregulation and activation of CB2 receptors and 5HT1A receptors definitely have a role.
It Reduces Amygdala Activity to Relieve Stress
Stress is a totally natural feeling. In fact, stress is healthy as long as it’s at a moderate level, as stress makes us naturally aware of hazards and allows us to be safe. When you come across a dangerous situation, such as needing to get across a busy road, your body will naturally produce cortisol and adrenaline. This produces a “fight or flight” instinct, which is within all animals and humans. It’s a response that’s physiological, and has an important role in your life.
Stress has a lot to do with how our surroundings are processed by our brains, and how this influences our emotions. Sometimes, stressors, which are causes of stress, can be overwhelming and they have a negative impact on our health. If you have too much fear and stress on a daily basis, this can wreak havoc on your brain and body, as it leads to the dysfunctioning of stress responses in specific areas of the brain.
How can organic CBD oil help with this? It’s still not quite clear. However, so far, it seems that the compound has an effect on the flow of blood within the amygdala, which is a part of your brain that’s believed to play a role in anxiety and fear. The amygdala becomes activated when your instincts of survival kick in, and it plays an important role in the way memory of emotion is processed. Basically, the amygdala is the reason we fear things that we can’t control. It’s been observed that CBD oil reduces the amygdala’s activities, which is how it can alleviate stress and anxiety.
How Much Organic CBD oil Should I Take, and How Can I Take It?
If you’d like to use CBD oil to take the edge off and give a positive boost to your mood, it’s highly recommend that you begin by consuming only a small amount. Be patient and take note of the effects you feel. Then, you can increase the dosage until you find what’s right for you. Many products will come with serving size described on the packaging, so you can take the specific product accordingly.
Organic CBD oil products are available in different formats and strengths. For example, concentrates and tinctures can be administered easily, take effect quickly, and are among the strongest forms.
It’s important to note that the way you ingest your CBD oil will dramatically impact the level of impact (bioavailability). For example, if you ingest 100mg of CBD oil orally, you’ll only receive about 15 mg of it within your bloodstream. It’ll take a long time for the hemp to go through your digestive system, and even then, it will mainly accumulate in fat tissue rather than sticking to blood. If you take CBD oil orally, it also travels to your liver, where the concentration of bioactive compounds will be reduced, either through absorption or chemical breakdown.
If you vape CBD oil, the compound is diffused to your bloodstream directly via your lungs, rather than taking time to go through your entire system. In this case, bioavailability will be increased to about 35%. However, many people prefer not to smoke, and it can be difficult to find a vape solution that is homogeneous and clear.
The future of CBD
It’s yet to be determined exactly how organic CBD oil works. What researchers have found so far only skims the surface. However, the cannabinoid is definitely very effective, and there’s unlimited possibilities as we continue to discover more.
It’s important to not that any affect CBD oil does have, whether on your body or your brain, happens at a high level of consumption, and over a long period of time. In other words, you’d have to consume a moderate to high dosage of CBD oil daily for several weeks or even months before seeing a large effect. Also, a lot of studies concerning hemp have been conducted on animals, so it’s hard to predict how CBD oil will impact human brains. However, there are high hopes for the future.
It’s been concluded that higher serving sizes of organic CBD oil can:
Provide stress relief through the alteration of blood flow within the region of the amygdala in your brain
Improve mood by increasing the activity of a specific serotonin receptor, 5HT1A
Prevent oxidative stress and excitotoxicity as it increases levels of glutamate
Regenerate neurons within the region of the hippocampus within the brain
You can think of CBD oil as an older brother to THC that’s more helpful and responsible. Hemp has all the therapeutic benefits, without causing a high. Currently, hemp is being studied extensively for all of its possibilities in medicine. It can play a wide variety of roles in the overall health of our brains, and time will tell exactly how effective CBD oil can be.