Recently, there has been a growing interest in cannabinoids as therapeutic substances. CBD is one of the most common cannabinoids with its boosting effects, there are different cannabinoids that have mood-enhancing effects like THC, CBN, CBC, and CGC.
But how exactly do these cannabinoids affect the brain to alter emotions positively? How does cannabidiol affect the brain? Let us look further into the brain impacts and how exactly the cannabinoids work.
How cannabinoids affect the brain to curb anxiety.
Anxiety disorders affect millions of people worldwide, and it’s no surprise that many are turning to cannabis-based products for relief. Cannabinoids, the active compounds found in the cannabis plant, have been studied for their ability to alleviate anxiety.
Let’s dive deeper into understanding just how exactly cannabinoids relieve anxiety and how cannabinoids work.
Cannabinoids reduce anxiety by attenuating the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal in the amygdala and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex and its suppression of the amygdala and anterior cingulate responses was correlated with the concurrent reduction in SCR fluctuations. Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol mainly modulates activation in frontal and parietal areas.
How does CBD relax you? Well, CBD has anxiolytic properties, reducing the autonomic and emotional responses to stress and interfering with anxiety disorder. It has complex pharmacology within the brain impacting multiple receptors by altering the lipidome and increasing or decreasing lipid mediators in specific brain areas.
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CBD produced activation in the prefrontal cortex and deactivation in the brainstem/cerebellum, particularly within the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS), with no changes apparent in the hypothalamus, amygdala, basal ganglia, or hippocampus. The integrated activity of the ARAS affects all aspects of cognitive and emotional behavior.
CBD mediates the emotional and cardiovascular response to stress. It blunts the increased heart rate and blood pressure associated with the stress of forced immobilization and the increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and immobility behavior in response to fear associated with the memory of an aversive condition.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) communicates through a class of compounds called endocannabinoids, which are messengers (neurotransmitters) produced naturally by the body that attach to special receptors called CB1, this activity is carried out in the part of the brain called the amygdala to relieve anxiety.
THC reduces amygdala reactivity to face conveying threats in cannabinoid users. The THC-induced attenuation is specific to threatening (vs nonthreatening) stimuli and discretely localized to the amygdala. The amygdala is critical and particular to threat perception and fear, the reduction of THC in the amygdala decreases exposure to faces that convey a threat.
The effects of THC are mediated via CB1 activation of GABAergic mechanisms within the amygdala. CB1 receptors are densely localized to a distinct population of GABAergic interneurons in the lateral and basal (BLA) nuclei of the amygdala. Therefore the THC CB1-mediated agonism reduces GABA release in BLA interneurons, thus reducing the inhibition of GABAergic neurons of the intercalated nuclei. The reduction in inhibitory tone may in turn indirectly reduce anxiety by enhancing the activity of intercalated GABAergic cells that inhibit activation of the central nucleus.
In addition to its effects on the ECS, CBD has been shown to modulate other signaling systems that are involved in anxiety, such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This system is responsible for the body’s stress response, and it has been implicated in the development of anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to reduce the activity of the HPA axis, which may help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
How do cannabinoids affect the firing of neurons?
Cannabinoids disrupt the temporospatial cohesion of principal cell firing within and between CA3 and CA1. There was a reduction in pyramidal cells firing bursts and a decreased probability of short-interval spikes in interneurons. temporal binding within local networks of CA3 and CA1 principal cells involving GABAergic feed-forward and feedback inhibition is more vulnerable to cannabinoids, while inter-regional synchrony is more resilient to cannabinoid stimulation. The presence of CB1 and non-CB1 receptors at cholecystokinin-containing GABAergic interneurons with a seemingly higher sensitivity to exogenous cannabinoids than the glutamatergic neurons of Schaffer collaterals.
THC de-synchronizes the principal neurons without having an effect on firing/bursting rates thus the functional decoupling of principal neurons precedes alterations in their firing/bursting patterns. The single-cell burst characteristics appear intact as long as CA3→CA1 synchrony is maintained.
How can cannabinoids improve focus and mental acuity?
The trouble of focus and lack of concentration is a common issues among people. The need to be at par with day-to-day activities becomes overwhelming and therefore the need to find solutions.
Cannabinoids can be of great assistance to help you stay on track with the activities that need to be done.
So how exactly do these cannabinoids improve focus and does CBD relax you?
Dopamine affects concentration, attention, and mental sharpness, therefore low dopamine levels result in low concentration.
CBD influences dopamine levels by acting on the 5-HT1A receptors present in numerous brain regions, specifically the pleasure areas where dopamine occurs. In serotonin signaling, both the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons have 5HT1A receptors, activating the postsynaptic receptors is linked with all the typical serotonin actions, such as anti-anxiety and mood-boosting properties.
This simply means that triggering 5HT1A receptors allows dopamine levels to rise and interact with their biological targets and therefore resulting in the improvement of serotonin functioning can help to improve happiness and wellness and possibly elevate dopamine levels.
CBD and THC raise anandamide in the brain, which aids in regulating dopamine and serotonin production, this is brought by CBD’s ability to inhibit and reduce FAAH activity in the body. It can mimic the activity of your natural endocannabinoids, like anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), to activate transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1). Activation of TRPV1 has been found to trigger dopaminergic neurons to release dopamine.
Both AEA and 2-AG can activate CB2 receptors, although 2-AG is more effective & than AEA. CB2 activation has been shown to protect dopamine-related cells in the brain. The CB2 receptors help protect the neurons in a portion of the substantia nigra, which is closely related to the pleasure centers in the brain. This brain segment creates all of the dopamine that will circulate throughout your nervous system, making it a vital target to support pleasure, motivation, and mood balance.
CBD and THC also stimulate adenosine receptors, which encourages the release of glutamate and dopamine neurotransmitters. It elicits its stimulating effects primarily by the interactions with the AR; the A1 and A2A receptors. This primarily alters neural activities to influence mental activities and performance, therefore resulting in increased mental alertness and focus.
It’s worth noting that the effects of cannabinoids on anxiety may depend on several factors, such as the individual’s genetics, the dose and duration of use, and the type of anxiety disorder being treated. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before trying any cannabis-based products to ensure that they are safe and effective for you.
While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects, the use of cannabis-based products as an alternative treatment for anxiety disorders shows promise.
Trying to find the right CBD to use to ease your anxiety and focus? Well, look no further than Ott Coffee! Ott coffee is a cannabinoid-infused coffee that is greatly influenced by the high-quality organic coffee beans that come directly from Colombia. The company also produces other cannabinoid products that will help curb anxiety, enhance moods and improve focus.