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Cannabidiol (CBD) and Your Brain

Cannabidiol (CBD) and Your Brain

Dear Friends,

In recent years, CBD or Cannabidiol has become a very popular dietary supplement. Not only is it being reported on in the media but among our clients at Murray Avenue Apothecary it has become a staple on their journey to health and wellness.

Many of our clients are using CBD as a supplement to manage their mental and emotional health. One our clients wrote,

“Ever since taking the PCR about a month ago, I have felt a MILLION times better. I seriously feel like a whole different person – my anxiety and depression has almost disappeared. Even my family has noticed a difference in my personality. I’m more optimistic and upbeat. It feels so much better to be back to my normal self again. It’s amazing what a natural supplement can do!" – K.S.

Another client suffering from anxiety wrote,

“I have been using CBD oil for about a year now. I have been dealing with Anxiety all my life but now I can say it has been cured. I am thankful every day I tried this… I have not felt anxious for months. Thank you!” - M.T.

Stories like these are very encouraging for the use of CBD supplements but many clients have questions about “How exactly does CBD work?” I have found a great collection of resources on cbdhealthandwellness.net that I have copied below and annotated with my own clinical experience and research from the last several years.

How CBD Affects the Brain? By Rudy Hatfield

Cannabidiol exerts its effects through numerous chemical pathways. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD is not believed to actually bind with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain (although it does affect them), but acts through different receptors. CBD modulates the binding of protein-coupled neurons and affects numerous neuropathways in the brain. Some of the major effects of CBD include:

  • CBD has an affinity for the serotonin 1A receptor1. This affinity to serotonin accounts for many of its medicinal properties. By modulating serotonin release CBD also affects the release of hormones such as oxytocin (which affects prosocial behaviors) and cortisol (which is released during the perception of stress). This allows CBD to influence issues with mood, sociability, and even thinking. By affecting serotonin perception by neurons in the brain, CBD can be used to treat many issues including pain, depression, nausea from chemotherapy, and severe psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia2.
  • CBD appears to also affect the neurotransmitter anandamide (sometimes referred to as AEA [N-arachidonoylethanolamine]). This neurotransmitter has been recently shown to be important in people that have chronic issues with depression and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. CBD appears to inhibit the breakdown and reuptake of AEA and this has led to the belief that CBD can be useful in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia through this mechanism as well as through the modulation of serotonin3. CBD’s effects on AEA may also contribute to its ability to control seizures.
  • CBD reduces blood flow in areas of the brain associated with anxiety disorders4. Thus, CBD can be used to reduce issues with anxiety and even issues with severe anxiety such as panic attacks or the anxiety associated with individuals who are diagnosed with PTSD.
  • CBD lowers the degree of excessive neuronal stimulation (excitotoxicity), which reduces seizures in individuals with epilepsy5.
  • CBD appears to reduce the oxidation stress which may be at least partially responsible for the brain damage that occurs in individuals with Alzheimer’s and even Parkinson’s disease. CBD appears to minimize oxidative stress by working through both the CB1 and CB2 receptors6. While not fully demonstrated to be preventative or curative, CBD appears to at least be helpful in treating individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • CBD binds to the TRPV1 receptors that are located in both the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (outside the brain and spinal cord)7. These receptors are also known as the vanilloid and capsaicin receptors. They play an important role in maintaining homeostasis, perception of pain, and inflammation in their tissues. By binding to these receptors, CBD appears to have the potential to treat inflammation, pain, and even anxiety and depression.

These are just a few of the potential therapeutic effects that CBD may have through its actions in the body. There are numerous other potential benefits to the use of CBD that affect numerous other neural pathways and specific receptor sites.”

Notes about Drug Interactions with CBD:

More than half of U.S. adults regularly take prescription medications and at least 75% take at least one Over-the-Counter supplement. 60-80% of all pharmaceuticals are broken down in the body by the Cytochrome P450-non-specific enzyme family. Both THC and CBD can inhibit OR amplify the CYP450 enzyme reactions.

Interactions are more common when both (CBD and prescription drugs) are taken orally and processed through the liver. Changes in drug metabolism are usually seen with high doses of pure CBD isolates. Broad Spectrum CBD products preserve the synergistic interactions between CBD and dozens of minor phytocannabinoids and hundreds of non-cannabinoid plant compounds. This synergy leads to no clinically relevant drug interactions. We have no clinical experience of serious side effects after two years of using Broad Spectrum CBD in clients at Murray Avenue Apothecary.

Cannabinoids are better absorbed if ingested on a full stomach. Ingested cannabinoids will have higher peak liver concentration than inhaled cannabinoids. By taking CBD and THC together, as many medical marijuana products suggest, people may find that the effects of the THC are tempered by the CBD but may be prolonged slightly because of the CYP450 interaction. In people on multiple prescription medications and decreased liver function, THC sensitivity may occur.

The research into Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids is still in its infancy. As more research is done, we will gain more insights into exactly how these natural substances affect the body and improve our natural balance.

Learn more about CBD, read testimonials, and shop online 24/7 at www.LabNaturalsPCR.com

To Your Health,

Susan Merenstein, Pharmacist and Owner

Murray Avenue Apothecary

4227 Murray Avenue

Pittsburgh, Pa. 15217






References from https://cbdhealthandwellness.net/2018/07/18/how-cbd-affects-the-brain

  1. Saleset al.(2018). Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry.
  2. Crippa et al (2018). 17.4 Possible Mechanisms Involved In The Antipsychotic Effects Of Cannabidiol (cbd). Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44(Suppl 1), S28.
  3. Deutsch (2016). A personal retrospective: elevating anandamide (AEA) by targeting fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and the fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs). Frontiers in pharmacology, 7, 370.
  4. Crippa et (2011). Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 121-130.
  5. Devinsky et al (2014). Cannabidiol: pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia, 55(6), 791-802.
  6. Campbell&Gowran(2007). Alzheimer’s disease; taking the edge off with cannabinoids?. British journal of pharmacology, 152(5), 655-662.
  7. Iannotti et al (2014). Nonpsychotropic plant cannabinoids, cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabidiol (CBD), activate and desensitize transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels in vitro: potential for the treatment of neuronal hyperexcitability. ACS chemical neuroscience, 5(11), 1131-1141.