Today we look at the science behind cannabidiol and its possible effects on the brain. Is it true that CBD could benefit brain health? And if so, how? Find out all there is to know below.
By now, we are all familiar with the therapeutic promise of cannabidiol. As the medical hemp revolution continues to advance, the entire world is finally beginning to see many of its benefits to human health. Among all the vital organs in the body, the one that interacts most with hemp is the brain.
The endocannabinoid system goes beyond this region of the nervous system. Once a cannabinoid such as CBD enters the body, brain function is one of the first processes to be affected.
Numerous studies have looked at how cannabidiol affects brain function, and most have had promising results and have led to further research. But how exactly does CBD affect the brain and overall health? In this article you’ll find out everything there is to know.
How does the brain work?
The main role of the brain is to process all the information that is sent through the body, and send it back. It is like a central computer that controls memory, cognition and experiences.
The brain consists of three main parts: cerebrum, cerebellum and brainstem. The cerebrum is the largest section, located on the outside. It is responsible for our ability to walk, think, memorize new information, speak, feel and read.
The cerebrum has two main hemispheres: left and right. The first controls the right side of the body, and the second, the left.
Each hemisphere is divided into four lobes: temporal, frontal, occipital and parietal. Each of them has specific functions that control reasoning, decision-making, personality and the sense of smell, among other things.
At the back of the brain is the cerebellum, and its functions are mainly related to movement. It is what controls our ability to balance, fine motor skills (anything involving eye-hand coordination), equilibrium, and posture maintenance.
The brainstem is located at the bottom of the brain. Its main function is to connect the brain to the spinal cord. It also controls basic functions such as breathing, blood pressure and eye movement.
Cannabinoid receptors in the brain
Before delving into cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it is important to understand the endocannabinoid system. Simply put, it plays a regulatory role in achieving homeostasis (balance) in the brain and central nervous system.
And this is where the two main cannabinoid receptors come into play: CB1 and CB2. Both types of receptors are distributed throughout the body, and each is more concentrated in some areas than others.
Let’s look first at the CB1 receptors. The nervous system has an abundance of these receptors, especially in the cerebrum, brainstem and cerebellum. There are also CB1 receptors in the eyes, spleen and testes. Certain cannabinoids, such as THC, have a high affinity for CB1 receptors in the brain, resulting in the psychotropic effects associated with hemp.
As for CBD, it does not bind to CB1 in a traditional way. Instead, it interacts with non-cannabinoid receptors such as TRPV1. TRPV1 receptors regulate the body’s response to inflammation and pain. In this sense, CBD may have the ability to provide therapeutic relief for pain.
CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are found primarily on immune cells, and regulate immune function. The body helps fight inflammation through these receptors.
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