How CBD Affects the Brain

What is CBD?

CBD is a natural compound extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant and it comes infused in oils, sprays, pills, gummies etc. There are many ways to consume CBD. One of the most popular ways is in the form of CBD oil. The CBD oil comes in dropper bottles typically in sizes from 1oz to 2 oz. 

To administer a dose you would take in the oil with the dropper and squeeze out the desired amount of drops directly under the tongue. Now hold for 30-90 seconds. The mucus membranes of your mouth need a little time to absorb and process the oil. This is called the sublingual method and is one of the fastest ways of getting CBD absorbed into the bloodstream other than vaping.

An interesting feature of CBD is that it doesn’t make you high. That’s because CBD doesn’t have THC which is a component in marijuana that activates receptors in the brain to get you that good ‘ole fashioned high feeling.

This makes CBD an option for those looking to relieve anxiety, pain, brain fog, inflammation, and many other health symptoms because it doesn’t have the psychoactive effects of marijuana. 

CBD influences brain activity by activating specific neurons and receptors in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. So when someone consumes CBD, it binds to these receptors and specific neurons like a key fitting into a lock when CBD has bound to these receptors in the brain.

Here are 4 ways that CBD affects the brain:

1. Reducing Blood Flow 

A study published by the Journal of psychopharmacology in 2000 showed that CBD reduces blood flow in areas of the brain that are linked with anxiety. This reduction in blood flow calmed the participants down and changed the way they responded to anxiety. 

2. Managing Pain

Scientists have found that CBD changes the way in which receptors respond to pain signals we receive so it makes it easier to control pain and manage inflammation in the body. Additionally, they found that CBD caused the body to produce more natural cannabinoids which made it easier to manage chronic pain symptoms for many of its users. 

3. Reducing Oxidative Damage 

Oxidative damage is the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body and the way in which our bodies manage this oxidative stress plays a huge role in our overall health.  Research has found that CBD acts on the receptors in the brain to decrease the level of oxidative damage. When that happens it helps our body produce more antioxidants that help the body heal, release tension, and release stress from the brain faster.

4. CBD has Antipsychotic Properties 

Research has found that CBD helps to reduce psychotic symptoms in those with mental disorders such as schizophrenia. With these antipsychotic properties, it was found that CBD is able to actually boost the overall mood of its users. 


There are many positive health effects that CBD has on the brain and the body. Although the clinical research regarding CBD is still relatively new, the findings so far look very promising. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill has played a large role in the increased amount of CBD clinical research studies now in the works. In the meantime, CBD has already made a monumental impact throughout the wellness industry as more people are discovering the benefits for themselves.