Understanding if CBD Can Reduce Oxidative Stress
Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is commonly known, has been associated with a wide range of health benefits in recent years. Studies have shown CBD to possess effective pain relief, anti-anxiety, and heart health properties. As more scientific researchers turn their attention to CBD, it is safe to assume that even more specific applications of CBD will be uncovered.
CBD also benefits the body by minimizing the damaging process known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to a variety of ailments from Alzheimer’s to chronic fatigue. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the nature of oxidative stress — let alone what CBD can do to combat it. This article provides a useful introduction to the topic.
Before delving into the specifics of oxidative stress, you will need to be familiar with the category of molecule known as free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that contain oxygen and have at least one unpaired electron. Don’t worry too much about the chemistry of free radicals — what you need to appreciate is that these molecules are highly reactive.
Free radicals interact on a chemical level with vital cell components in your body, stealing electrons from things like proteins, lipids, and even DNA molecules. This electron theft destabilizes the molecules, triggering a chain of further free radical reactions.
Free radicals can be effectively neutralized by another class of molecule known as antioxidants. Antioxidants have an extra electron that they can give away without becoming destabilized. So long as a balance exists between free radicals and antioxidants, your body can ward off unwanted consequences. When free radicals outnumber antioxidants, oxidative stress occurs.
Oxidative stress happens as the result of the free radical chain reactions, which soon cause damage to the tissues of your body. Oxidative stress has been linked to a variety of different diseases and disorders, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart Disease
- Organ Damage
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Furthermore, scientists have hypothesized that oxidative stress is one of the major factors in the aging process in general. To reduce the ill effects of free radicals, it is important to boost the antioxidant levels through healthy dietary choices. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, berries, and nuts will help to increase the number of antioxidants in your body.
Diet alone isn’t always enough to ensure an optimal balance between free radicals and antioxidants. Other supplements such as vitamins C and E have been touted for their antioxidant properties. Yet recent studies have suggested that CBD may offer far more powerful antioxidant effects, making it an effective weapon in the fight against oxidative stress.
A December 2010 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology investigated the effects of CBD on inflammation, myocardial dysfunction, cell death, and oxidative stress. Ultimately, the researchers concluded that CBD may possess “great therapeutic potential” for treating diabetic complications and cardiovascular disorders.
A subsequent study furthered those conclusions, verifying that CBD possesses demonstrable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on immune cells. Unlike medicinal marijuana, which contains psychoactive THC, CBD has no psychotropic effects, increasing its benefit as a therapeutic option.
That second study also raised tantalizing questions about how CBD targets inflammatory signaling in the body. Studies using models of human diseases suggest that CBD hemp oil may attenuate inflammation much more than its antioxidant properties themselves would suggest. In other words, CBD oil may beneficially interact with inflammation signaling events in ways we do not yet understand.
Ultimately, CBD offers a natural and highly effective way to fight oxidative stress and all of its unwanted consequences. For more information about how to incorporate CBD into your general wellness program, contact the organic hemp experts at TerraVida.
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