The Anti-Oxidant Effects of CBD
Everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is a biological system composed of what are known as endocannabinoids. For the scientifically literate, these are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout our central and peripheral nervous systems. For the rest of us, this essentially means that we have loads of neurological sockets in our brain that only become active after interacting with some of the active compounds in cannabis. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes ranging from fertility to memory, and the cannabinoids that interact with it have been shown to have a strong effect on cell oxidation.
One of the most important aspects of healthy living is handling what’s known as oxidative stress. When energy is created in a cell, or a cell is subjected to a toxic environment, waste molecules called free radicals are generated. The free radical can cause havoc to other cells and even damage DNA, causing a multitude of health issues. This damage is known as oxidation. This is the same process that rusts metal or turns an apple brown after it is cut.
In the same way that paint protects metal from rusting or lemon juice protects apples from turning brown, cannabinoids protect our cells from oxidation. As early as 1971 it was determined that ethanol extracts of cannabis roots contained Friedelin, which is considered to be an antioxidant.
Now we know that THC and CBD are powerful antioxidants in their own right. In fact, the U.S. Government Patent 1999/008769 specifically addresses the antioxidant properties of cannabinoids.
“The antioxidative properties of cannabinoids suggest a therapeutic use as neuroprotective agents, and the particular properties of cannabidiol make it a good candidate for such development. Although cannabidiol was similar in neuroprotective capacity to BHT, cannabidiol has no known tumor-promoting effects [unlike BHT (25, 26)]. The lack of psychoactivity associated with cannabidiol allows it to be administered in higher doses than would be possible with psychotropic cannabinoids such as THC.