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Why CBD is good for the brain

Cannabis has a profound effect on the brain, and this fact was first realized by humans thousands of years ago. More recently, marijuana has been considered to be a net negative for mental health and the brain. But this was before the properties of cannabidiol (CBD) were extensively explored. The cannabinoid, which can be legally derived from hemp, has become a medicinal wonder over the past few years, and it is showing impressive, wide-ranging potential for brain health.

This article will help to improve your understanding of CBD’s neurological effects. We will cover:

 

  • How CBD differs from regular cannabis
  • How CBD works in the brain
  • The benefits of CBD for various mental conditions
  • Which CBD products may be most helpful for the brain
  • Why CBD is of therapeutic value to chronic cannabis users

We have tons of fascinating information to share with you. But please keep in mind the following is just informational content, and not a substitute for medical advice.

How does CBD work in the brain?

CBD works in the brain by acting on cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that comprise part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD optimizes the ECS, which promotes homeostasis in the body. A healthy ECS is thought to reduce the likelihood of mood disorders and cognitive problems, and more serious mental illnesses like psychosis and schizophrenia.

CB1 receptors are more dominant than CB2 receptors in the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. These are implicated in regulating mood, appetite, memory and pain sensitivity. The receptor has become a target for various conditions, including depression and anxiety. But a dearth of clinical trials has so far stopped us from knowing the true effectiveness of CBD.

CBD is non-psychoactive

One huge benefit of CBD in comparison to typical cannabis products is its non-psychoactive status. The intoxicating effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), generally the most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana, is thought to aggravate certain mental illnesses.

The psychoactive effects mean that cannabis has been outlawed in many countries, including the United States, for several decades. Marijuana research has been hard to come by for this reason. But as CBD is safe with few side effects, and can be taken in rich quantities from hemp, which is now legal, the compound is being studied and used by the American public at a greater rate than ever before. It’s even popular for several mental disorders that cannabis was thought to be problematic for, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

CBD effects on brain health

CBD has numerous nuanced effects on brain health. Due to the complexity of neuroscience, and the limited cannabinoid research conducted, much of the evidence on CBD’s therapeutic neurological benefits is preliminary. However, some fascinating studies offer an insight into how CBD could be used for the brain. And coupled with our knowledge on what people are taking CBD for, we can join a few dots to get a good idea of what the compound has medical benefits for.

CBD for anxiety

An overactive brain is responsible for the mental disorder anxiety. Treatments for the condition have historically looked at involving the 5-HT1A receptors in the serotonin system, of which CBD is an agonist. CBD also regulates brain levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits electrical impulses in the brain. This is a key effect, as a balance between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters like glutamate is vital. Otherwise, the brain becomes excessively active, which increases the risks of epileptic seizures as well as anxiety.

Most people using CBD for anxiety prefer the efficient qualities of CBD vape pens, or tincture oils if they want to stay healthy. CBD is likely much better than regular medication for generalized and social anxiety, as the benefits are noticeable in minutes, not weeks.

CBD for brain inflammation

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on the brain are showing the differences in brain structures between healthy people, and those with depression and other mental disorders. MRIs are transforming views on mental illness. Disorders aren’t just due to chemical issues, but physical problems, too. Major depressive disorder may explain brain inflammation. Neuro-inflammation causes structural changes to the brain.

Studies have linked depression to damage in various regions of the brain, notably the hippocampus, where motivation and memory is controlled, and the prefrontal cortex. Research also shows that CBD, cannabichromene (CBC) and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids have neuroprotective qualities, which not only reduce symptoms but have a healing effect on the brain.

The anti-inflammatory influence of CBD on the brain suggests that it may provide more potent and enduring benefits for depressed patients than current drugs. While animal studies are merely a precursor for human, clinical trials, such research has highlighted how an antidepressant effect lasting several days can be obtained from just one dose of CBD.

CBD for neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain occurs when nerves involved with the transferral of information between the brain and spinal cord and other regions of the body. Symptoms of conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) tend to be intensely painful, and hard to manage.  Neuropathic pain severely affects quality of life, due to loss of mobility.

A study in Anesthesia and Analgesia in 2017 showed why CBD may be helpful for chronic nerve pain. Treatment may also help to combat fatigue and enhance sleep quality by easing pain at night. To relieve this type of pain in the daytime, vaping or smoking hemp-derived CBD products may be best. At night, a CBD edible product like CBD gummies will last for longer. Boost CBD’s sedative effects with a product that contains indica terpenes. 

CBD oil for brain injuries

It may be possible to alleviate the damage caused by strokes, traumatic brain injuries and concussions by using CBD, and hemp-derived CBD products. A rat model found that CBD treatment could reduce brain damage from an artificial ischemia stroke. MRI scans showcased the benefits of CBD administration. Researchers found that CBD reduced neuronal loss and helped with long-term recovery, by regulating various factors, including brain inflammation and apoptosis.

A 2018 study looked at the potential of medicinal cannabis to treat concussion syndrome and concussion-related pain in humans. They suggested that medical cannabis could be helpful, and that treatments with 1:1 THC to CBD were better than 20:1 THC to CBD. Therefore, CBD looks to have a medicinal effect that is worth studying in more depth.

CBD for brain fog

Most of us experience a mental slump at some point in life. This brain fog can be due to symptoms of other illnesses, like fibromyalgia. But there are several factors that could lead to a decline in cognition, from brain inflammation to poor gut health. The good news is that the ECS regulates cognitive function and memory, and could help to ease brain fog symptoms, and bring back mental clarity.

Any CBD product where the cannabinoids are taken into the brain can help with mental fogginess. Those wanting a rapid boost and perhaps a creative spark may want to try products with sativa terpenes. Sativas enhance mood, and have pleasant cerebral effects.

CBD for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease

Could CBD really help with Alzheimer’s disease? There is certainly optimism among the CBD community, because of the neurogenesis that CBD provides to the hippocampus. Memory is regulated here, and hippocampal atrophy, or shrinkage, has been linked to Alzheimer’s. A Brazilian patient is now being prescribed CBD for Alzheimer’s after getting special permission, and it will be intriguing to see the long-term effects of treatment for this form of dementia. 

Parkinson’s groups all over the world are expressing their support for the relaxation of laws surrounding medical cannabis. CBD’s potential for this neurodegenerative illness is unclear. But studies have shown that CBD can reduce psychotic symptoms, and relieve depression and anxiety. It may also help with tremors and sleeping problems. CBD is an inverse agonist of CPR6 receptors in the basal ganglia, a potential target for future Parkinson’s medication.

Huntington’s is a brain disorder that adversely affects cognition, emotional processing and motor control, and the illness is inherited.Huntington’s develops in the 30s and 40s, and damages nerve cells in the brain. CBD has actually been researched for Huntington’s for many decades. In 1991, a controlled clinical trial showed that CBD had no effect on the disease. Other studies have found that cannabinoids are neuroprotective and may help. We require more research to be confident of the effects.

Can CBD reverse brain damage?

CBD for brain disorders is an exciting prospect. Initial research for many brain issues looks promising. However, it is also clear that while CBD is good for some conditions, it may not help with all. It’s tempting to talk about CBD as if it were some kind of panacea. But this only discredits the treatment for what it is useful for.

However, as a means of damage limitation, CBD certainly looks like it helps to reduce the impact of strokes and traumatic brain injuries. CBD treatment could be an effective tool for doctors and paramedics to have on hand.

CBD for brain healing following chronic cannabis use

A growing number of people are worried that they have damaged their brains irreversibly by consuming too much super-strength high-THC cannabis for too long. These concerns are legitimate. THC can be neurotoxic in large quantities, and especially so without the balancing effects of CBD.

But it is this moderating influence of CBD which makes it the perfect candidate for brain healing. While the brain’s structure can become damaged, it can just as easily be repaired with a neurogenesis treatment like CBD. Indeed, research has found that the more devastating the effects of chronic cannabis consumption, the more therapeutic that CBD can be.

What is CBD brain disease?

If you have researched CBD and the brain for yourself, you may have come across another type of CBD, which stands for corticobasal degeneration. This describes a condition that can impair memory, while making speech and movement more difficult. CBS is another acronym for this illness. It causes increased damage to brain cells, and eventually brain cell death.

Just to reassure you, this type of CBD has nothing to do with cannabidiol, the cannabinoid! And if you are doing your own research, remember to make this distinction!

Final thoughts

The true benefits of CBD for the brain may take years to fully show. Research is really promising for many areas. But we are a long way off knowing for sure just exactly how valuable CBD can be for various illnesses. However, thanks to the safety of CBD products, you can have the confidence to experiment, and find out whether they work for your health problems. CBD is legal. But CBD hemp oil companies must keep the THC level below 0.3 percent. Already using CBD? Let us know how it helps you! 

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The complete guide on how to use CBD for fitness

The beauty of cannabidiol (CBD) products being available for everybody, with no specific advice on how they should be taken and what they are intended for, is that people are learning about their benefits for themselves. And that means that we are finding out uses for CBD that perhaps would never have been uncovered in a lab. For instance, taking CBD for fitness is a growing trend, as consumers find ways of incorporating it into their daily lives.

In this post, we will explain how hemp-derived CBD products have potential for muscle recovery, for exercise, and even working out and lifting weights. We’re certain that you’ll pick up a new technique to get more from your CBD, and improve your life in the process.

How CBD is unique in comparison to cannabis

For those who are not familiar with CBD,it may come as a shock that this product can be used to boost fitness. After all, for most people, the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of a cannabis-based product, is somebody being stoned on the couch and snacking on unhealthy foods. But CBD is not your regular cannabis. It won’t get you high, even if you consumed a whole bottle of oil in one go.

This is because CBD is non-psychoactive, and products don’t have the intoxicating THC. CBD, therefore, helps the body in a completely different way. CBD products don’t negatively affect cognition or motor control, so there is no need for the federal government to restrict them. Rather, the benefits of CBD are all therapeutic. Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s get stuck in to how CBD can be used for working out and more.

How to use CBD for working out

CBD helps with making exercise more tolerable, and can even give you the mental push to get exercising in the first place. This comes down to the overall changes that it has on the body.

Alleviate pain

If chronic pain or inflammation is putting you off exercising, then you may find that CBD hemp oil products can help. Unlike the opioid drugs that are commonly used to relieve pain, CBD is safer, as the body doesn’t build up a tolerance to these treatments. They don’t cause nasty side effects either, or leave you feeling overly tired. Large doses of CBD can make the user drowsy. But most are content with a medium dose that takes the edge off, while keeping them mobile.

The natural method in which CBD relieves pain can be helpful to pro athletes. It also benefits  the average person who just wants to get a run or jog in, or an hour at the gym pain-free. CBD works on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the central nervous system to affect how we feel pain. By regulating the CB1 receptor, the body no longer produces an unbalanced response to pain, and reduces discomfort.

The full analgesic potential of CBD remains somewhat unknown. That said, researchers are confident that the painkilling qualities of non-psychoactive products such as CBD capsules extend beyond the ECS. Researchers have located the TRPV-1 (vanilloid) receptor in the skin, of which CBD and the endocannabinoid anandamide are agonists.

Neuropathic and localized pain

Various CBD products can deliver effective pain relief. For neuropathic conditions, pain relief is typically best when it’s delivered quickly and potently. Therefore, vaping extra strength CBD e-liquids or wax may be the preferred course of action. For chronic and inflammatory pain, the longer relief that you get from orally-taken products, such as edibles, may work best.

For pain that is primarily in a localized area, it may be more therapeutic to tackle the problem directly. Using infused creams or other topical products allows the CBD to interact with receptors in the most painful area. This can be more efficient than using products that influence the entire body. But for any CBD user managing pain, it can help to try out different products and doses. Learning the benefits for yourself and finding out how your body is impacted by CBD is better than getting an information overload.

Increase motivation

In an ideal world, you’ll always feel ready to get out there and exercise – whether you like to run, cycle, swim or play sports. But we all have bad days, perhaps due to weather, or simply by not feeling up to it. On those days, we may not give it 100%, or worse still, not even exercise at all.

Staying motivated, even when the going gets tough, is the only way of making long-term improvements to your fitness. CBD can help by changing the chemical makeup in your brain, and also by making physical adjustments which may have a long-term payoff. In the short run, CBD sparks an anandamide increase. This endocannabinoid makes us feel good, and also dampens pain sensitivity. A dose of CBD oil helps to get you in a better frame of mind, and get you ready to put your body through its paces.

In the long run, CBD has proven benefits for the hippocampus, which among several variables, regulates motivation. Maintaining motivation is key, as the damage that excessive intake of high-THC cannabis can cause is well-documented. Protecting this area of the brain doesn’t just have benefits for motivation, but for short and long-term memory, too.

While this is one of the more nuanced qualities of CBD in regard to fitness, it’s yet another plus that you can get from this safe product.

Taking CBD for sore muscles

Exercise is notorious for making the muscles sore and weary. After a hard training session, it’s important to relax and recover properly. This helps to protect the muscles, in addition to easing aches and pains. CBD creams, salves, lotions, rolls and gels can all be beneficial to the cause.

We recommend full-spectrum products. These give you the perks of all the cannabinoids – not just CBD. Many brands like to bring in other natural ingredients, too, such as menthol. This gives the CBD oil for muscle recovery a nice freeze quality. That cooling sensation works to alleviate the mental discomfort caused by aches. It may also help with getting to sleep, if pain is keeping you awake at night.

If you plan on using CBD creams for sore muscles and pain relief, you may find a low concentrated product. With these, you’ll get a higher quantity of cream, which works out more cost-effective. This means that you can liberally apply the cream to all regions of the body where you feel sore. Although, primarily, you’ll probably want the muscle soreness benefits for the arms and legs, which tend to take the most toll from exercising. CBD topicals are an essential for women’s and men’s health.

Using CBD to boost muscle growth

Bodybuilding is hard work, and it’s crucial that you make sure your body is working with you, and not against you. Part of this comes down to planning a good routine when lifting weights, but restricting cortisol levels is also key. Research on cortisol, a catabolic stress hormone, has confirmed that it eats away at muscle mass. This explains why lifting weights for hours on end doesn’t yield success. Eventually, cortisol levels spike, and your efforts end up being fruitless.

The hormone that is vital to muscle growth is testosterone. Often linked to reproduction, high testosterone levels help with building muscle. The balance between testosterone and cortisol, therefore, is really important when it comes to maxing out muscle growth.

To keep cortisol low and get the most benefit from CBD products, it’s recommended that you dose before your session. CBD stops the body from producing too much cortisol, blocking secretion of the hormone. Consuming vape juice, taking CBD oil or eating an edible prior to training is the best way of keeping the lid on cortisol.

Taking CBD for recovery

There is nothing more difficult to deal with for an athlete or regular trainer than an injury setback. This can often mean weeks in recovery – any attempt at exercise during this time will probably make things even worse. Helpfully, CBD can reduce recovery time, so you can get back to enjoying physical activity more quickly than you thought.

One way that CBD is beneficial is by speeding up the bone-healing process. After suffering from a break or fracture, bones need weeks or months to heal. However, the bones are constantly in a state of change, and by positively affecting the bone-formation process, recovery needn’t be a painstaking process. CBD boosts bone growth. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates this process. The most therapeutic product will likely be one that is taken internally, such as an oil. CBD products have become popular with the elderly, partially for this reason.

Recovering from concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)

Concussions and TBIs are a delicate matter, and it’s essential that you rest up and recuperate to prevent further damage. Believe it or not, the cannabinoids from hemp and cannabis can help to heal the brain. A study has shown that recovery times for TBIs are shorter in patients who have consumed cannabis. Research has also found that taking CBD immediately after an injury can reduce the overall damage caused.

This explains why National Football League (NFL) players are so keen for cannabis and CBD products to be permitted as treatment. CBD and cannabis also provides relief from general pain. These products offer a route out for patients who are addicted to opioid painkillers.

Final thoughts

Let’s recap what we have learned from this article. We now know that:

  • CBD has much different and safer effects than cannabis
  • The cannabinoid can help to relieve pain, allowing you to workout pain-free
  • CBD is effective at boosting motivation for exercise
  • CBD can alleviate aches, pains, and sore muscles
  • You can maximize bone growth by taking CBD
  • CBD helps to speed up recovery from bone breakages and fractures

It’s fascinating to see how people all over the world are using CBD products to enhance their daily lives. We are always learning about the potential of the compounds and products that are made with it. CBD is changing how people approach cannabis. The stigma that has maintained around the herb for decades is finally being dissolved.

The emergence of CBD for fitness maybe an unlikely one, but companies are starting to pick up on the benefits. Therefore, as the hemp-derived CBD industry grows more and more, we can anticipate more targeted products for fitness to be released in the coming years.

Have you been using CBD for fitness, or for any other purpose? We would love to hear from you! Interaction is always welcome, and we invite you to leave a comment. Your information may be helpful to others!