Excitotoxicity is the damage caused when our brain cells become overactive due to excessive stimulation. It can result from traumatic brain injury, stroke, hearing loss, and neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS, including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
A study by Cheng et al., published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014, found that long-term CBD treatment “prevents the development of social recognition memory deficits in Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice.” The researchers also wrote that CBD exerts anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and neuroprotective properties in vitro and in vivo.
While scientists are not completely sure, they believe that CBD also affects the way in which these receptors respond to the pain signals we receive, which helps reduce pain and inflammation.
3 – Reduces Oxidative Damage
The way in which our bodies manage oxidative stress plays a huge role in maintaining good health. Oxidative stress is a natural process that happens at a cellular level. When a cell generates energy, it generates free radicals as a waste product. Environmental toxins, such as smog exposure, can also create free radicals.
However, we still need further clinical trials involving humans to confirm CBD’s positive neurological effects.
The researchers wrote that an elevation of anandamide levels in cerebrospinal fluid inversely correlates to psychotic symptoms. The team performed a double-blind, randomized trial of CBD versus a potent antipsychotic. Ultimately, the study found that CBD boosted anandamide signaling and alleviated the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia.
A study by Pretzsch et al., published in the Neuropsychopharmacology journal in February 2019, looked at the effects of CBD on brain excitation and inhibition systems. The team concluded that CBD could ‘shift’ the level of Glx and GABA+ metabolites; they are known to contribute to the regulation of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission in the autistic and typical brains. The researchers pointed out that further studies were required.
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a "high." According to a report from the World Health Organization, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?
The bottom line on cannabidiol
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
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CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
De Filippis D, Esposito G, Cirillo C, et al. Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis. PLoS One 2011;6(12):e28159. View abstract.
Parkinson disease: Some early research suggests that taking high doses of CBD might make muscle movement and tremors worse in some people with Parkinson disease.
Monti JM. Hypnoticlike effects of cannabidiol in the rat. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1977;55(3):263-5. View abstract.
Possibly Effective for
Brady CM, DasGupta R, Dalton C, et al. An open-label study of cannabis-based extracts for bladder dysfuntion in advanced multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler 2004;10(4):425-33. View abstract.
Cole TB, Saitz R. Cannabis and Impaired Driving. JAMA. 2020;324(21):2163-2164. View abstract.
Malone DT, Jongejan D, Taylor DA. Cannabidiol reverses the reduction in social interaction produced by low dose Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2009;93(2):91-6. View abstract.
Guimaraes VM, Zuardi AW, Del Bel EA, Guimaraes FS. Cannabidiol increases Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens but not in the dorsal striatum. Life Sci 2004;75(5):633-8. View abstract.