Head Change: How Do Hemp Cigarettes Interact With My Brain?
Hemp cigarettes. You’ve been wondering about them for a while now. You keep hearing about how people are replacing tobacco cigarettes with these instead, and your mind won’t stop racing with questions. If you’ve ever found yourself curious about trying a hemp cigarette, one question that’s likely crossed your mind is: “how would a hemp cigarette or interact with my brain?”
In recent years, learning the newest information about brain health has become a priority of many people and nowadays everyone wants to know how things are affecting their mind.
The public population in general is becoming more and more conscious of how brain health has a direct impact on our quality of life. And because of this brain health has shifted to become a major priority in many people’s lives.
Let’s address some other questions regarding how smoking CBD flower affects your brain.
What Parts Of The Brain Are Affected By CBD?
First thing’s first—let’s get clear on some of the more specific areas of the brain that are influenced by the consumption of CBD.
Neurons. Receptors. And neurotransmitters.
We could get very scientific here but we’ll try to keep it simple.
Neurons send messages to other neurons in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the molecules that carry these signals and messages from one neuron to the next. On every neuron that exists, there are many receptors that can be found on the surface. These receptors receive and interpret these signals and messages being relayed throughout our Endocannabinoid System.
CBD typically binds to what is called our CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are plentiful throughout our central nervous system and are responsible for regulating pain, appetite, mood, and other functions. CB2 receptors are located all throughout the body and immune system mainly affecting our ability to feel pain and the occurrence of inflammation.²
When CBD enters the bloodstream, it attaches to these receptors and sends messages to and from the brain in that way.
What Does CBD Do To The Brain?
By attaching to these receptors and altering the signals from one neuron to another, CBD directly impacts the function of our brain.
A few things can happen when our brain is being influenced by CBD. One study found that CBD reduces blood flow to the brain⁴ therefore impacting the amount of anxiety felt by the participants.
Many people who suffer from chronic pain turn to CBD to help them manage. Scientists believe this is because CBD alters the way these receptors respond to pain signals.²
CBD is also known to decrease the levels of oxidative stress in our brains. Oxidative stress happens naturally in our bodies after a cell generates energy and leaves behind free radicals in the process. These free radicals are a waste product and carry the potential to cause damage to the DNA within our cells. (But not so much when CBD is present!)
According to WayofLeaf, excitotoxicity refers to the destruction caused by the overactivity of our brain cells, usually due to excessive bouts of stimulation. This kind of stimulation in the brain can be attributed to a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or any type of neurodegenerative disease (such as MS and Alzheimer’s.)
Although further research is required, studies show CBD may have an impact on lowering the degree of excitation of the brain cells.⁵ This makes future treatment ideas for PTSD and other traumatic brain injuries full of possibilities.
Another thing worth noting is the fact that CBD contains significant antipsychotic properties!² This is seemingly due to the way CBD interacts with anandamide (known as the bliss molecule.) The presence of CBD prolongs the feelings anandamide offers effectively increasing that blissful feeling that much longer.
CBD As A Nootropic
A nootropic is any type of cognitive enhancer that has a positive effect on your mental skills. Some of the most commonly known nootropics are caffeine, nicotine, and creatine.
More and more commonly, CBD is being referred to by many in the scientific community as a nootropic. This is because CBD provides demonstrated benefits such as protection of brain cells, help with anxiety, and possible help with depression, stress, and addiction.³
The main evidence we have to support the idea that CBD is a nootropic is by observing how it reacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS),
Our ECS is a regulatory network within our body that assists in the regulation of things like appetite, digestion, metabolism, anxiety, mood, stress, memory, and learning. Because CBD directly impacts the ECS, this is what gives it the ability to be considered a nootropic.
Does CBD Effect All Brains in The Same Way?
Well, the answer to this question is both yes, and no.
Of course, CBD enters into the body and proceeds to attach to receptors just like we talked about before...but the key thing to remember is that the parts of the brain that get involved vary from person to person.
Just like how specific keys unlock only the specific locks they were meant for, CBD unlocks a slightly different reaction from each individual depending on their specific chemical brain makeup. This fact may slightly impact the development of medications regarding CBD, but only time will tell.
As of now, there is only one single prescription that is legally on the market that contains CBD as a medication. The name of that medication is Epidolex, and it was developed for the treatment of seizures associated with rare diseases found in some children.⁶
We’re hopeful you have all of your questions about how CBD interacts with your brain answered by now. The scientific community is pushing hard to uncover more data and solid information we can use moving forward in using CBD as medicine. It’s without a doubt one of the most complex, and fascinating compounds on the planet, and we’re learning new things about it every single day!
- The Cannabis Radar
- The Way of Leaf
- Mind Lab Pro
- Sage Journals