CBD as a Nootropic?

The human brain has been called the most complex machine in the world. It’s true — with over 100 billion nerve cells and trillions of connective elements packed into roughly three pounds of mass, the brain is a miracle of evolution / thermodynamics / cosmic origin. Even when faced with exponential advances in tech, our brains still edge out the most advanced AI. 

But because the brain is responsible for our perception of reality itself, its own existence goes unnoticed. It’s hard to appreciate the brain, but science has given us a way to try. 

“The human brain is a gargantuan network of one hundred billion neurons. Each of these neurons is endowed with two complementary kinds of tree-shaped extensions: dendrites and axons.”

Trees of the Brain, Roots of the Mind, Giorgio Ascoli

CBD as a Nootropic

Upon close inspection, the mind that makes perception possible get even more complex. Within the brain are what Ascoli aptly calls “tree-shaped extensions” that form interconnected pathways of information and energy transfer. 

And it’s these tree-shaped figures that are responsible for sending signals that — if they fire off correctly — form things and thoughts. These signals are propelled along by electricity in the form of nerve impulses. It’s among these microscopic signaling networks that cannabinoids show their real value. 

Why? We’ve talked about the endocannabinoid system before…but did you know that the ECS helps regulate electrical flow by functioning separately from it? While most neurotransmitters work in tandem with nerve impulses, much like rafts floating together down a stream, endocannabinoids are totally different. 

Endocannabinoids (eCB’s) actually travel in reverse, a phenomenon that scientists call retrograde signaling. 

These eCB’s are produced in response to intracellular pressure, which is mediated by calcium, which itself is mediated by stress. In other words, endocannabinoids are able to respond quickly and accurately to stress. Overall the endocannabinoid system (and the cannabinoids that supplement it) helps the brain process stress, overcome it, and grow stronger. 

CBD as a Nootropic

CBD as a Nootropic

All this makes CBD quite the potential nootropic. After all, two things are most critical when it comes to neuro-boosting substances: helping the brain function its best, and protecting it from toxins in the first place.  

It’s pretty well-established that CBD’s a powerful neuroprotectant. And as Dr. Bob Melamede explains, the endocannabinoids that CBD helps boost are what actually reduce oxidative stress:

“Endocannabinoids are the oil of life. And what they do is minimize [Biochemical friction] and what we’d like to do is minimize the consequences. […] Cannabinoids have a profound effect on the nervous system.”

The first and most important part of optimizing brain function is to allow the brain’s innate power to flow — unhindered by free radicals and other types of oxidation. In this role, CBD makes for an amazing preventative measure. 

CBD For Optimal Brain Function 

Once neuroprotection is ensured, then comes the next step: activating natural pathways to give mental function a boost. For example, higher serotonin secretion within the hippocampus region of the brain has been linked to better memory. CBD, by activating certain serotonin receptors, may help with the formation and storage of memories. 

While the theoretical stuff is promising, so is CBD’s current real-world use as a nootropic. As a daily [CBD] user for 2 years I can tell you that my cognitive function, critical thinking, logical thought and consciousness have drastically increased! 

Let’s take a look at some other reasons CBD may be the ideal nootropic: 

CBD may increase levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide. [1] This “bliss-molecule” has been tied to hope, happiness, and pattern learning —  all things important to functioning at one’s mental best. 

CBD may promote a shift towards fat burning via BAT (brown adipose tissue) formation. [2] Burning fat for fuel, as opposed to carbohydrates, produces less oxidation and stabler energy in many people. 

CBD may foster neuroplasticity. [3] That term just refers to the ability of the brain’s neurons to stretch, shift, and grow, based on environmental demands. Higher levels of neuroplasticity are tied to adaptation and quick learning, while low levels have been implicated in depression, PTSD, and more. Basically, a neuroplastic brain will be able to meet each day with enthusiasm, focus, and an openness to the new.  

CBD might make coffee safer. Given many people enjoy coffee’s stimulating effects on work and focus, we think this indirect benefit warrants a mention! 

Full-Spectrum hemp presents an amazing opportunity to nourish the most important assets we have: our minds. Hemp’s CBD component may protect the brain and preserve its most important roles; yet it’s also been shown to boost existing brain function so that we can think, perceive and be our best. 

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