Cannabidiol has been notably suggested for easing symptoms of chronic and acute pain. However, there is an increased interest in CBD use for easing symptoms of certain psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and even autism spectrum disorders. Aside from the application to psychiatric disorders, Dr. Peace Lily’s broad-spectrum CBD formulation ensures that even the typical person with no mental health disorder can add CBD to their lifestyle for brain health.
CBD allows the individual to feel relaxed without the intoxicating effects that are common with marijuana. This attribute can be positive to cognitive health and function by decreasing overall stress. Stress, when experienced frequently, can lead to a myriad of health issues in the future ranging from high blood pressure to gastrointestinal issues. CBD is also thought to be neuroprotective which may protect patients from developing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
How does CBD have so many benefits?
So how does CBD do all of this? It’s easy to list the benefits of CBD, but what exactly is going on inside of the human brain? Well, CBD primarily affects the endocannabinoid system of receptors within the brain but there are other types of receptors that CBD is known to modulate as well that allow it to have many different applications. Serotonin receptors such as the serotonin 1A receptor are another type that is affected. These receptors are responsible for our mood and cognition, a critical aspect of brain health. It is no surprise that CBD is a possible therapy for anxiety and depressive disorders. Serotonin regulates the release of the stress hormone cortisol which allows CBD to elicit feelings of relaxation and decrease overall stress (3). The neuroprotective aspect can be attributed to CBD’s ability to inhibit the reuptake and degradation of anandamide. Anandamide is a chemical found in the brain that is similar to CBD. By inhibiting its degradation, more anandamide remains in the brain to provide a neuroprotective effect (1).
Neuroimaging has been used to study the effect of CBD on brain health by examining brain activity at rest and while actively performing a task. The neuroimaging was conducted in both healthy individuals and those with a psychiatric disorder to examine effects beyond simply easing psychiatric disorder symptoms. Results showed that a 400mg dose of CBD increased cerebral blood flow at a resting state in healthy individuals. Also, it was found that CBD increases the connectivity of the brain within the prefrontal cortex in a resting state. When performing tasks CBD increases the connectivity of the hippocampus which helped with tasks where healthy participants were asked to recall information. As for participants with social anxiety disorder, compared to the placebo they reported feeling less anxious overall and their limbic area activity was activated (2). In a different study, it was found among patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder that CBD alters an aspect of brain function and targets areas of the brain involved in the condition such as the cerebellar vermis (4). Overall administering acute amounts of CBD was shown to modulate brain activity in both healthy individuals and patients with psychiatric disorders (2).
We offer free one-on-one cannabis consultations.
There are many applications for psychiatric use of CBD today, however, we do not need to limit the use of CBD products to those with chronic diseases or medical conditions. There is a place for CBD products in the lifestyle of the average individual that can provide benefits to their overall brain health. If you don’t know where to start, then we recommend you reach out to us via email for a free one-on-one CBD consultation with Dr. Choudhury or send us a message on Instagram @dr.peacelily so we can help you get started on your CBD journey. We offer a wide variety of products that are easy to use and incorporate into your lifestyle to promote your wellbeing.
This article was edited by Dr. Najifa Choudhury and was written by Dr. Peace Lily Scientific Communications Intern, Caroline Cassol. She is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) student at University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy in Storrs, Connecticut.
- Ashton L. How does CBD affect the brain? Impact of cannabidiol on brain function. CFAH. https://cfah.org/cbd-effects-on-brain/. Published March 2, 2022. Accessed March 25, 2022.
- Batalla A, Bos J, Postma A, Bossong MG. The impact of Cannabidiol on Human Brain Function: A systematic review. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2021;11. doi:10.3389/fphar.2020.618184
- CBD in the brain: The neurological effects of CBD oil. Ministry of Hemp. https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/cbd-in-the-brain/. Published May 11, 2019. Accessed March 25, 2022.
- Pretzsch CM, Voinescu B, Mendez MA, et al. The effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on low-frequency activity and functional connectivity in the brain of adults with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2019;33(9):1141-1148. doi:10.1177/0269881119858306