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Just one dose of cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis, increases blood flow to the brain in some areas. Scientists claim this observation may help explain the therapeutic effects of CBD for those with anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues.
In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers at University College London (UCL) gave 15 young, healthy people 600mg of CBD or a placebo. The scientists then did magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to figure out how CBD changed blood oxygen levels in the brain.
Researchers discovered that a single dose of CBD drastically increased blood flow to the hippocampus, the brain structure in charge of memory, emotions, and learning. They also found an increase in blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, a part of the orbitofrontal cortex that processes decision-making and social behaviour.
The last few years have seen CBD as the subject of the new hype train, including preachers of health and wellbeing. It is now found in everything from supplements to dog food and coffee to face creams. However, most of this evidence is only anecdotal and isn’t backed by actual scientific claims.
Although, several studies have proven that CBD may have effective pharmaceutical properties. For example, CBD is used to help treat anxiety, and some studies have shown it relieves depression, chronic pain, and epilepsy symptoms. In addition, there is further evidence to show CBD may improve memory.
According to scientists, their findings confirm some of the benefits of CBD people often claim, like increased blood flow to the brain.
“CBD is one of the main compounds of cannabis and is acquiring interest for its therapeutic possibilities. CBD also shows evidence that it may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and psychosis. In addition, there is evidence to show that CBD might improve memory function,” said Dr. Bloomfield.
“Additionally, CBD alters how the brain comprehends emotional memories, which may help to explain its therapeutic effects for PTSD and other mental health disorders. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the effects of CBD on memory are still unclear.”