CBD and Antioxidant properties
We have touched on this topic a little before, but this time in more depth: could CBD, THC and other cannabinoids be our future allies in the eternal struggle between antioxidants and free radicals? The first studies show that cannabinoids have antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Now is the time for clinical research.
There is a constant and lifelong struggle between the “good” antioxidants and the “bad” free radicals. Because who does not know that the best weapon in the fight against free radicals is antioxidants. Also, the best are those we take with food. We hear the word “antioxidants” very often, but is there a public awareness of them?
Free radicals are part of our metabolism.
The body needs to convert food into energy to survive. When our metabolic processes generate energy, they also generate waste products. Some of them are molecules of a biochemical compound that contain unbound electrons, namely free radicals. Free radicals in the human body are also caused by external factors such as stress and toxins, whether they are inhaled, swallowed, injected, or absorbed into the skin.
Free radicals are atoms or molecules with one or more unpaired electrons. The most aggressive are the oxygen free radicals O2 and OH, which are continuously formed in the body in various biochemical reactions.
The body is protected from constantly attacking oxygen-free radicals by an antioxidant defense system consisting of enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) and non-enzymes (vitamin E, beta carotene, uric acid, albumin, bilirubin).
When one of the components of the antioxidant system changes, the cell is no longer able to completely neutralize the oxygen free radicals, and they have a destructive effect on it:
– a lipid layer of the membrane, initiating the lipid peroxidase process;
– proteins by disrupting enzyme activity and ion transport;
– DNA structure, triggering the development of cancer.
Insufficient amounts of antioxidants can lead to the development of a serious disease – tumors (malignancies are associated with adverse effects of free radicals on cellular DNA), cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes (free radicals cause islet cell destruction), Alzheimer’s disease, infertility, etc.
However, free radicals are not always just “bad players” – as is often the case, their numbers determine the line between evil and good. When needed, our bodies produce their own free radicals, which are used to regulate the immune response and supply cells with energy. At the same time, free radicals are necessary for the human body because the body uses them to kill bacteria.
What creates free radicals?
Free radicals are constantly forming in our bodies. If we did not take antioxidants in our diet, our bodies would be destroyed. Stress, snacks, smoking, polluted air, a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol, as well as household chemicals and harmful nutrients as preservatives or flavorings, even excessive sunbathing are favorable conditions for the formation of free radicals.
Antioxidants – opponents of radicals.
Before free radicals grab an electron from a cell membrane or a body protein, antioxidants intervene and voluntarily give up their electron. If there are enough antioxidants in the body, the cells remain intact. The benefit is that the antioxidants do not themselves turn into free radicals when the electron is released, or, as in the case of vitamin E, when other radicals are formed, another antioxidant, such as vitamin C, helps. This is one of the most important tasks of vitamin C. The human body itself partially handles free radicals with the help of enzymes. However, the antioxidants ingested by food play a much bigger role.
In the case of a weakened organism, the body is susceptible to viruses and various bacteria. Especially in the winter season, everyone should pay attention to a healthy diet and lifestyle and regular activities in the fresh air. To ensure a diet rich in antioxidants, it is more often necessary to choose the most fresh and natural food, also colorful. Red and blue, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are not just a myth – they are a fantastic source of antioxidants that will help and strengthen your immune system.
Where to look for antioxidants?
The most antioxidant-rich food groups are vegetables, lettuce, fruits, herbs and spices, seedlings, crude oils, nuts and seeds, as well as weeds such as dandelions. The best source of antioxidants is a complete and balanced diet, as naturally occurring polyphenols can overdose. It should be noted that in high doses, for example, vitamin C can act as prooxidants in the body – substances that promote oxidative stress, not reduce it, so they should be used only in the recommended doses. In recent years, people are increasingly including quality oils, various nuts, seeds, sprouts and high fatty acids in their diet. Such oils are a source of valuable fatty acids, but they are unstable in light and in the presence of oxygen. It is known that linseed oil, which has been in a bright room for a short time, quickly becomes bitter and tasteless. Therefore, it is important to maintain the right balance between antioxidants and free radicals. If the diet is complete, balanced, contains healthy fruits and vegetables, it is not necessary to take additional antioxidants with food supplements.
Fresh greens – from early spring to late autumn. Contains a lot of vitamins, especially vitamin C.
Dried greens – for example, dried mint contains a very high concentration of polyphenols, which is a group of chemically active substances, which also includes antioxidants.
Spices – cloves, anise – they have the highest concentration of polyphenols. It is important to grind spices and eat them with food. Common daily spices such as ginger, cumin, thyme, cinnamon and bay leaves also contain antioxidants.
Quality cocoa powder – a great source of antioxidants, it is recommended to eat without milk, instead of using soluble cocoa-containing drinks with a low cocoa content.
High-quality dark chocolate – a good product for body protection.
Berries – black elderberries, large blueberries, raspberries and sea buckthorn – especially those that stain the tongue and hands, are rich in antioxidants.
Nuts – hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans contain the highest dose of antioxidants of all nuts.
High-quality, cold-pressed oils – contain a lot of vitamin E, which is an essential antioxidant.
Vegetables – red onions, spinach (also dried and frozen), red cabbage, broccoli, red peppers – all bright vegetables (their natural dyes) contain a huge amount of antioxidant carotenoids. The most studied are bright yellow beta-carotene (carrots, oranges, apricots), lycopene (tomatoes), lutein (broccoli, lettuce, spinach).
How does the CBD get into the game?
The results of several laboratory studies support CBD as a potential antioxidant and neuroprotective compound by activating cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system. As early as 1998, a study by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, USA, showed the neuroprotective and antioxidant potential of CBD and THC.
Previous studies have shown that glutamate toxicity can be prevented with antioxidants. In this study, CBD and THC were shown to prevent hydroperoxide-induced oxidative damage as well or better than other antioxidants. Evidence suggests that cannabidiol may be a potential agent for further treatment of oxidative neurological disorders such as cerebral ischemia.
In 2000, the National Institute of Mental Health conducted an additional study entitled “Neuroprotective Antioxidants from Marijuana”. The study showed that CBD, THC and other cannabinoids acted as antioxidants in neuronal cultures, reducing the neuronal toxicity of hydroperoxide. Cannabidiol was superior to alpha-tocopherol and ascorbate in terms of protection.
In 2007, a study by the Department of Human Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Rome and the Department of Psychiatry and Experimental Pharmacology at the University of Naples (Italy) confirmed previous in vitro results in a live model, indicating CBD as a promising pharmacological agent for reducing inflammatory nervous reactions.
Antioxidants are part of the “entourage effect” of CBD.
We in the CBD world talk a lot about something called the ”entourage effect”, which makes it easier to understand that cannabinoids work best synergistically. But the “entourage effect” is not unique to cannabinoids. An antioxidant researcher, Dr. Lester Packards, author of ”The Antioxidant Miracle”, referred to the so-called “network effect,” which is the ability of antioxidants to work synergistically in the way that benefits the body the most. (5)
Research is very promising, but it is still stuck in the preclinical stages so that healthcare professionals can confidently recommend and incorporate CBD into their patient care programs. Despite the results of laboratory studies, there is no clinical evidence of CBD or other cannabinoids as pharmacological treatment for severe conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.
For CBD, the obvious conclusion would be that it is a powerful antioxidant, and if added to your dietary supplement program, which already contains many known antioxidants (such as vitamin C, zinc, CoQ10, and vitamin E), it could increase and strengthen your overall antioxidant defense system. The antioxidant power of CBD would be a great reason to use CBD, even if it is its only benefit.
Fortunately, this is not the case, as CBD’s antioxidant activity is just one of the many benefits of continuing research into this cannabinoid. But it is definitely powerful.
The information on the internet about CBD products and their use will be ambiguous, so we always recommend reading safe and reliable sources. We also use websites related to the Cannabis industry, research and education to prepare information.
The content of this site is for informational purposes only. We are not medical experts and this should not be interpreted as medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor before undergoing CBD or other treatment.
The chemistry of every human body and brain is unique, so the use of CBD to improve mental as well as physical health does not guarantee results. However, many GWEEPRODUCTS CBD oil users have included it into their daily routine as one of the therapies for improving mental, physical health and quality of life.
References: royalqueenseeds.com; projectcbd.com; pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; semanticscholar.org
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