A Healthy Egg; This is Your Brain on CBD
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
CBD has gained most of its popularity by not impacting your brain when compared to the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. When it comes to marijuana, CBD is portrayed as the limiting force to the intensity of THC, with many scientific reports to back this claim. While its presence may not make an immediate impression, CBD has been demonstrated to have profound effects on anxiety and cognition.
How CBD affects the brain
The science of CBD is only now starting to trickle in, as a focus on this particular compound is still relatively new. Considering that it has been habitually co-administered with THC in whole plant preparations or extracts, it's unique nature and powers have yet to be fully explored alone. Because of this, the exact targets of CBD’s activity in the brain have not been entirely uncovered.
As a cannabinoid, it likely exerts most of its influence through our own endocannabinoid systems. At a bare minimum, it's known to change or diminish the psychoactive effects of THC over many measures.
The patented medicine Nabiximols (or Sativex) contains equal proportions of THC and CBD and is approved in Canada and New Zealand for neuropathic and cancer-related pain, along with spasticity related to multiple sclerosis.
Along with cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, CBD has been demonstrated to interact with both the serotonin (5-HT1A partial agonist) and opioid pathways in the brain.
The molecule may also interact with other receptors, namely GPR3/6/12 and GPR55, which are currently suspected to form extensions of the endocannabinoid system.
Finally, CBD is suspected to exert further actions on unrelated receptors like PPARγ and overall levels of signal transduction in the brain.
CBD Dosing and Details
While teasing apart pathways in the brain is painstaking and rigorous work, tracking the kinetics of CBD—from consumption to elimination—is as easy as taking a few blood samples.
It turns out that oral bioavailability of CBD is surprisingly low, nearing only 6%. Compared to the availability via inhalation at a whopping 31%.
This wide variation has resulted in vastly different dosing between CBD users.
In most human studies conducted over the last few years, the reported dosage consumed orally by patients varied between only 20mg to over 1500mg per day. From those numbers, it was concluded that as little as 40mg can provide a profound effect for some people, under certain conditions.
It further reinforced that even massive amounts of CBD are well-tolerated by most people.
The Future of CBD
CBD has been getting a lot of attention, and for good reason: new applications for this ‘wonder drug’ are being discovered daily. There remains only one FDA-approved CBD medication, Epidiolex, however. Hundreds of new formulations and preparations are waiting in the wings, expect to see CBD as a potential treatment for many more ailments in the future.