Protecting the brain: CBD and neurodegenerative disorders

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ENFLEUR would like to spotlight CBD in relation to its neuroprotectivity, which is its ability to protect neurons. A physician-reviewed article in Medical News Today gives a general overview the different forms of neuroprotectivity, as well as a short list of different conditions, both acute neural disorders (e.g., stroke or nervous system injury), as well as chronic neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s). Some of the causes of neurodegeneration, though not always clearly understood, have been positively related to oxidative stress, inflammation, and iron accumulation. Oxidative stress has been connected to both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s progression, while excess iron in the brain has been found to play a role in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as ALS. Inflammation has also been identified as a frequent cause of cell death in these Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The endocannabinoid system, the biological system that CBD interacts with, has emerged as a promising target of pharmacotherapy, which is to say that its modulation has yielded myriad potential therapeutic effects. Since CBD does not possess the psychoactive, intoxicating effects of THC and is generally well tolerated, it has been a promising therapeutic agent and the subject of research investigating its neuroprotective activity across a variety of neurological disorders. A September 2018 review published by Frontiers in Immunology, a rigorously peer-reviewed journal, found that CBD reversed oxidative stress parameters, and reversed iron-induced effects, concluding that CBD “should be considered as a compound with neuroprotective and memory-rescuing properties”. The anti-inflammatory activity of CBD is frequently noted and, because of this and its neuroprotectivity, CBD has a history of pre-clinical and clinical investigation for its therapeutic potential in treating neurodegenerative disorders.

Why does this matter? CBD has shown significant promise in the treatment of some of the identified causes of neurodegeneration, a critical component in multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS.