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The Science of CBD and Brain Health: Exploring Potential Benefits

 CBD and Brain Health

The brain is our most complex organ. It functions as a machine, energized by synaptic connection, neurotransmitter release and electrical impulses. Its neural networks form intricate pathways that allow us to perceive the world around us, make decisions and navigate the complexities of life.

Accordingly, it’s critical to prioritize maintaining optimal brain health to support overall well-being. That said, emerging research does shed light on the potential CBD oil benefits in promoting brain health and cognitive function.

Curious to learn more about the CBD-brain health connection? Let’s dive in. 

How the Brain Functions

The brain is part of what’s called the central nervous system, which, in addition to the brain, also includes the spinal cord. Together, these components play a crucial role in processing and transmitting information throughout the body. 

The brain serves as the command center, receiving signals from sensory organs, processing them and orchestrating appropriate responses. It’s divided into different regions, each responsible for specific functions such as: 

  • Motor control
  • Sensory perception
  • Language processing
  • Memory storage

Neurons, the building blocks of the nervous system, transmit electrical and chemical signals between different parts of the brain and the rest of the body. These signals travel along neural pathways, forming complex networks that allow for communication and coordination of bodily functions. 

Additionally, the brain regulates various physiological processes, including heartbeat, breathing, digestion and hormone production, ensuring the body functions efficiently and effectively. Its intricate workings enable us to experience the world around us, learn new skills and form new memories.

CBD’s Impact on the Brain

CBD is a type of cannabinoid that’s found naturally in Cannabis sativa plants like hemp and marijuana. Interestingly, it’s able to function similarly to components within the body called endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring cannabinoids that activate two endocannabinoid receptors on neurons: CB1 and CB2.

CB1 Receptors

CB1 receptors are found throughout the central nervous system, including the: 

  • Forebrain
  • Midbrain
  • Brainstem
  • cerebellum

They help to regulate synaptic function within the brain. 

At first, scientists thought these receptors only worked at the ends of nerve cells, like a traffic light controlling when messages can go through. But now, they've learned that these receptors actually have a bigger job. When the CB1 receptors are activated, they can either slow down or speed up the messages these nerve cells send, depending on what the brain needs at the time.

These receptors mainly affect two kinds of nerve cells: ones that use a chemical called glutamate and ones that use a calming chemical called γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). 

Glutamate is a type of excitatory neurotransmitter. It plays a crucial role in stimulating brain activity and promoting alertness, learning, memory and overall cognitive function.

GABA, on the other hand, is an amino acid. It’s a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning when GABA binds to a receptor within the brain, it reduces the likelihood of the neuron firing an action, helping to regulate excitability in the brain. 

All that said, CB1 receptors within the endocannabinoid system can have a significant impact on how neurons communicate with each other.

CB2 Receptors

CB2 receptors primarily exist as part of the peripheral immune system in immune-related tissues in places like the spleen, tonsils and thymus. They can also be found throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Accordingly, they can play a role in immune responses and swelling. 

So, do CB2 receptors also impact the brain? They can. But not in as direct of a manner as CB1 receptors. Rather, we can hypothesize that CB2 receptors influence the central nervous system by way of the brain-gut axis.

The brain-gut axis is the communication system between the brain and the digestive system. Accordingly, the neurons within the digestive system are believed to connect with neurons in the brain, and vice versa. 

As such, it’s believed that gut health may also impact brain function and health. More specifically, gut microbes may influence:

  • Appetite
  • Inflammation
  • Memory
  • Moods
  • Disordered thinking

So, Where Does CBD Come In?

When CBD enters the body, it’s believed that the cannabinoid can function similarly to the endocannabinoids. As such, it may influence the CB1 and CB2 receptors, helping to maintain and regulate bodily functions that rely on the endocannabinoid system for balance and harmony.

By interacting with these receptors, CBD may contribute to the modulation of various physiological processes, including:

  • Physical sensations
  • Immune responses
  • Mood regulation
  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Memory
  • Reproduction and fertility

For these reasons, it’s also believed that CBD may have neuroprotective benefits that may help to reduce symptoms associated with a brain injury, reduce recovery times and prevent and/or decrease the likelihood of long-term neurological dysfunction. 

CBD may also directly target the cause of brain inflammation by preventing harmful substances from leaking into brain tissue. This, in turn, reduces the accumulation of fluid, which causes swelling. 

Because CBD may also impact the release of GABA by way of CB1 receptors, it’s believed that it may also help to prevent conditions related to uncontrolled brain excitability that may cause short-term changes in:

  • Behavior
  • Mobility
  • Awareness

That said, recent studies have found that high amounts of CBD may actually harm neurons within the brain, causing dizziness or drowsiness. Fortunately, neuron-protecting brain cells, called astrocytes, may help to mitigate these adverse effects on brain function.

Explore the Benefits of CBD Brain Health With Zebra CBD

Overall, research suggests that CBD may help to enhance brain health and subsequently support various bodily processes that are crucial to maintaining your physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are many ways to incorporate the many types of CBD into your daily routine.

CBD topicals, which enter your body by way of your skin, come in balms and rubs, and they may help to relieve post-exercise muscle soreness in addition to improving brain health. CBD edibles, on the other hand, like CBD chewable tablets and our CBD gummies for sale are convenient and pre-dosed to support your overall wellness. And, last but certainly not least, are CBD oils, which can deliver fast-acting positive mental health effects when consumed sublingually. Ultimately, the key is to find the CBD product that works best for you, ensuring you reap the most benefits.

At Zebra CBD, we offer all of these CBD product types, and they’re all crafted with premium hemp extract so you know that you’re delivering only the best to your mind and body.

Shop Zebra CBD online today to experience CBD brain health for yourself.



  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Brain Anatomy and How the Brain Works.
  2. Noba Project. The Brain and Nervous System.
  3. University of South Carolina. People produce endocannabinoids – similar to compounds found in marijuana – that are critical to many bodily functions.
  4. ScienceDirect. Cannabinoid 1 Receptor.
  5. Cleveland Clinic. Glutamate.
  6. Cleveland Clinic. GABA.
  7. Healthline. The Gut-Brain Connection.
  8. Healthline. Endocannabinoid System.
  9. Frontiers. Cannabidiol's neuroprotective properties and potential treatment of traumatic brain injuries.
  10. Advanced Science News. How the brain protects itself from the negative effects of CBD. 

Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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