Like many other substances, full-spectrum CBD impacts our bodies largely by binding to proteins, or receptors, that are located on the surface of our cells. This binding initiates certain physiological responses occurring in the nervous system’s cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.
However, unlike THC, which interacts more extensively with cannabinoid receptors, CBD does not appear to bind strongly to these receptors. Instead, it seems to achieve its effects by binding to other types of receptors, such as serotonin, which is known to influence things like pain, mood, and sleep. When it comes to the specifics of how CBD achieves its effects, the research surrounding epilepsy is the most thorough and provides the most information. It is because of this thorough research that the FDA approved a CBD drug for certain types of epilepsy (“FDA New Release,” 2018).
A key finding in the case of epilepsy is the impact of CBD on the sodium channels of nerve cells. The movement of sodium in and out of these cells is often abnormal in epilepsy patients. This abnormal sodium movement can cause the brain cells to fire inappropriately leading to seizures. Scientists at Indiana University have shown that CBD can inhibit this problematic flow of sodium, reducing and minimizing seizures in epileptic patients.
Research is continually being performed regarding the use of CBD in the treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common form of neurodegeneration associated with aging, trumped in prevalence only by Alzheimer’s disease. People with Parkinson’s undergo substantial changes to their endocannabinoid system – the system with which CBD interacts. Research indicates that CBD can alter some of these changes by using molecules which interact with receptors of the endocannabinoid system (“CBD for Parkinson’s,” 2019).
Studies into this phenomenon have demonstrated that, of the many cannabinoids present in hemp, CBD appears to be among the most therapeutic in the context of Parkinson’s disease. In particular, it may be helpful in treating the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Preclinical investigations into opportunities for using CBD to treat other neurodegenerative disorders have shown that CBD can combat inflammation in models of Alzheimer’s disease. Other research on such models suggest that CBD may slow Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the activation of certain cells known as microglia. Because CBD can fight inflammation and oxidative stress, its capabilities with respect to protecting the brain from neurodegeneration continue to demand much attention from the medical research community(https://www.laurasmercantile.com/how-can-cbd-help-with-aging/).
In summary, CBD is good for the brain by increasing cerebral blood flow, nerve cell regulation, and putting the endocannabinoid system in a state of homeostasis.