The uses for CBD seem to be endless, whether it be for energy, stress, or even tattoos! The legal cannabis derivative has become quite a force to be reckoned with in the industry ever since the passing of the 2018 Agricultural Act. While cannabidiol has had its praises sung for centuries prior, the world continues to learn about the current and ongoing benefits of consuming this powerful cannabinoid. We know that CBD has been confirmed to help with a variety of physical and mental ailments, ranging from epilepsy and joint aches to stress, uneasiness, and much more. Yet many people are turning to CBD for yet another reason: improved memory. In this article, we’ll be looking over some of the ways that answer this very question: can CBD help with memory? We’ll first take a look at what CBD is and how it works in your body.
First Things First: What Is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally abundant compound found within the hemp plant. While both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis plant, hemp is differentiated from traditional weed based solely on its THC content of 0.3% THC. Marijuana contains substantially more THC than hemp and is still federally classified as an illegal substance. Many states continue to relax and even embrace their laws regarding the psychoactive plant for both recreational and medicinal use, but hemp is widely available throughout the country in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill. As long as CBD is derived from hemp and contains 0.3% THC or less, it is considered federally legal.
CBD and You
Cannabidiol has been extensively studied in direct correlation to your body, more specifically, your body’s endocannabinoid system. All living things (with the exception of insects) have an endocannabinoid system that helps maintain a sense of wellbeing and balance throughout the body. The CB receptors located throughout your endocannabinoid system (ECS for short) bind with the CBD to deliver various effects. Some of these effects include relief from muscle and joint discomfort, allowing the mind to relax in order to fall asleep, and reducing the strain and stress from many mental disorders. Yet CBD does not produce identical effects with every user who consumes it; you will need to experiment with different doses and products to see what works best with your body.
CBD vs. THC
Both CBD and THC are found in great abundance in the cannabis plant but are vastly different in their effects. While the two cannabinoids are identical in their molecular consistency of 2 oxygen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, their molecular structure is not. CBD’s structure renders it incapable of binding with your body’s CB1 receptors, meaning that it will not produce any psychoactive effects. In contrast, Delta-9 THC binds tightly with your CB1 receptors to make you feel euphoric, calm, and relaxed in the throes of a heady high. Yet Delta-9 THC has a reputation for making the user forgetful and “spaced out” to the point where it may become difficult to recall basic information. CBD has been discovered to promote activity within the hippocampus’s brain cells, improve cognitive functions, memory retention consolidation, and even increase the production of various hormones.
How Is Memory Function Improved With CBD?
CBD works to restore balance by improving areas that are lacking throughout the brain and body, specifically by improving healthy memory function and preventing memory deficits. The compound does this by binding with various receptors and neurotransmitters within the brain that are capable of binding with the CB receptors. Let’s take a closer look at some of CBD’s properties that make this possible.
CBD contains neuroprotective properties that help prevent damage or degeneration to the neurons that maintain cognitive functions. This allows your memory to function more effectively and helps prevent cognitive decline. In fact, a study conducted in 2016 concluded that those who regularly consumed cannabis (remember that CBD is derived from cannabis) were able to slow the effects of dementia by protecting the brain tissue and neurotransmitters. It was also noted that CBD was effective in reducing memory impairment by supporting overall memory function and strengthening the bond amongst brain cells. Though the study is now several years old, many other clinical trials and recent research from other laboratories confirmed these results.
CBD contains antioxidant properties that are effective in reducing oxidative stress that can weaken healthy brain cells. The term “oxidative stress” means that overall memory function is reduced as higher amounts of oxygen are released into the brain. As brain cells deteriorate, the amount of oxidative stress found within brain cells minimizes the ability to retain and process information. Consistent consumption of cannabidiol helps to reverse the negative impacts that oxidative stress can cause.
As the body ages, the brain’s ability to combat oxidative stress deteriorates. CBD works to protect healthy brain cells by lowering the risk of exposure to oxidative stress, thus becoming an effective way to extend the life of said healthy cells and ultimately protecting healthy memory functions.
The amount of stress found in an adult's everyday life is astonishing, whether it be in relation to work, finances, social activities, or home life. The amount of stress your brain is subjected to can impact memory function on a daily basis. When stress occurs, the brain has difficulty with both establishing short-term memories and converting those short-term memories into long-term ones. For example, if you’re starting a new job or going to an event where you may not know anyone, your stress level will most likely be high. This is why when people introduce themselves to you, you may have a difficult time recalling that name at a later time.
CBD works to reduce the amount of stress, mental anguish, and tension that you may experience on a daily basis. CBD is also known to relieve physical discomfort in muscles and joints, which may cause additional stress from reduced mobility and inability to complete regular daily activities. Cannabidiol works to suppress agitation to the point where the user is able to focus more clearly and remain calm. As the amount of stress is reduced, your ability to remember things more quickly will improve. To put it simply, the stress of not being able to remember will fall away and the ability to remember will bounce back!
Regulates Brain Swelling
CBD has naturally occurring anti-swelling properties that have shown encouraging results in reducing overall memory loss. When the brain swells, brain cells die off and can build up over time. If the immune cells within the brain are unable to clear away dead brain cells, the neural pathways become blocked and prevent the brain from remembering. These blockages can have been linked to several neurodegenerative disorders, can bring about memory loss, and can contribute to the decline of cognitive function. CBD works to increase the flow of blood into the brain and is effective in reducing brain swelling, thus limiting the potential risks for memory loss.
How Much CBD Should You Use?
Since CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, the lack of any noticeable changes may prompt the assumption that it simply doesn’t work. This erroneous thinking has led many to giving up before the hemp-derived cannabinoid has time to do its best work. CBD does not work the same for every individual, meaning that what works for your friend may be quite different than what works for you. There will be a period of trial and error where you must figure out what amount of CBD and in what form is most effective in your daily routines.
CBD works best in consistent dosages; regardless of when you consume cannabidiol, it should be the same amount at the same time. This allows the CBD to remain in your system and allows your body to draw from it as needed. Many users reported that keeping a diary helped them stay consistent and was effective in chronicling any changes or improvements.
First time users should start off with low dosages between 5-15mg and monitor any changes or improvements for at least two weeks. If there doesn’t seem to be any difference in your memory, consider upping your dosage another 5mg and once again documenting any noticeable differences. Continue this cycle until you are comfortable with the dosage and are satisfied with the results.
There are many reasons why you may struggle with memory; age, genetics, stress, and many other factors are responsible for why your memory may not be what it used to be. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer in silence and simply accept defeat. CBD contains anti-swelling and neuroprotective properties, can help reduce the amount of oxidative stress found in the brain, can help clear your mind and improve the ability to focus, and much more. CBD isn’t a magic potion that will cure any and all ailments; yet there are many benefits that come with consistent CBD consumption and reducing memory loss seems to be one of them. More research is needed to confirm these benefits, but it’s exciting to see current research confirm the powerful homeopathic properties of this incredible plant.
If you’re ready to take the next step and embark on your own CBD journey, we here at Erth Wellness can help! We offer a wide variety of CBD products that range from both inhalables and edibles. Our collection of CBD vape juice, full- and broad-spectrum tinctures, pre-rolls, edibles, softgels, and topicals have been tested by third-party independent labs to ensure purity and potency. The results of these tests are embedded in the product description as well as on the product packaging via a scannable QR code. If you’re curious to learn more about something not mentioned in this article or any of our other posts, feel free to reach out to us directly via phone or email. Our knowledgeable team of experts look forward to helping you understand more about the healing properties of the cannabis plant, so don’t be shy! In our next article, we’ll be taking a closer look at how CBD vape juice differs from other forms of CBD inhalables and whether one is more effective than the other. We hope to see you there!