It was long unsure what impact hemp actually has on the brain’s function and health. Though with the increased popularity and use of food supplements like CBD oil; there’s also an increased scientific interest into the effects of hemp-derived cannabinoids like Cannabidiol (CBD) on the body. With recent studies proving that CBD oil improves blood flow to certain parts of the brain. But what does this mean and how could this support your health?

CBD increases blood flow the brain

A small study suggests that just one dose of Cannabidiol (CBD) could already help improve blood flow to certain parts of the brain. As discovered by scientists, the hemp-derived cannabinoid increases blood flow to the hippocampus. This is an area of the brain responsible for your memory and learning ability. Although the study also shows an increase of blood flow in the decision-making section of the brain.

These findings could possibly offer better target therapies for memory-affecting ailments; the researchers from the University College of London (UCL) claim. Namely Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder, for example. ‘To our knowledge this is the first study to find that CBD increases blood flow to key regions involved in memory processing, particularly the hippocampus,’ says Dr. Michael Bloomfield.

Dr. Bloomfield is the lead author of this study and professor of psychiatry at UCL. In his professional opinion, the study’s results ‘support the view that CBD has region-specific blood flow effects in the human brain, which has previously been disputed.’ But how was this discovered?

CBD research

To reach this conclusion, the research-team found 15 young and healthy participants with no experience with cannabis products willing to join the study. Each of which received a capsule with 600mg of Cannabidiol - or a placebo - to consume on separate days over the course of a week. Seven days later the participants were asked to consume the capsule that they didn’t take. Obviously, the participants didn’t know which capsule they were taking during this randomized, crossover, double-blind design.

Subsequently, the researchers measured the participants’ cerebral blood flow (CBF) three hours after ingesting the capsule. This was done using an MRI brain scanning technique called arterial spin labeling. A technique which measures changes in the blood’s oxygen levels; allowing the scientists to analyze the effects of CBD in the brain’s blood flow.

These results prove that CBD - the main ingredient in CBD oil - significantly increases the blood flow to specific parts of the brain. In this case the hippocampus, which is responsible for our ability to learn and remember things; and the orbitofrontal cortex. This part of the brain plays an important role in our decision-making process. Obviously, these results show potential for the hemp derived cannabinoid as a treatment for various brain-related conditions.

Possible treatment for Alzheimer’s

‘Cannabidiol is one of the main constituents of cannabis [and hemp, red.] and is gaining interest for its therapeutic potential’, according to Bloomfield. ‘There is evidence that CBD may help reduce symptoms of psychosis and anxiety. There is some evidence to suggest that CBD may improve memory function’, the professor says about the potential of Cannabidiol.

Moreover, the research-team suggests these results could help develop treatments for various conditions. Including for example Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Further supporting earlier findings about CBD oil’s potential to treat stress and anxiety related disorders. Besides, this study shows that hemp’s non-psychoactive compound offers effects in support and to protect the brain’s health and cognitive function. Accordingly, CBD oil appears to offer wholesome effects to those with or without previously mentioned mental conditions.

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