Is CBD Neuroprotective?

Recent developments have spurred a great deal of curiosity in our team regarding thepotential of CBD to provide neuroprotective effects. We’ve had a few anecdotal customer testimonials recently as to our CBD products providing a neuroprotective effect, and, in one case, even possibly spurring neuroregeneration, and we understandably wanted to know more about this subject and find out if it was truly possible for CBD to provide this type of benefit.

As a bit of background, here is the first definition for ‘neuroprotective’ which comes up in Google: “[S]erving to protect nerve cells against damage, degeneration, or impairment of function.” For more information on the term, please see this scientific abstract, titledNeuroprotection and neurodegenerative disease1, from which I quote the following: “By definition, neuroprotection is an effect that may result in salvage, recovery or regeneration of the nervous system, its cells, structure and function.” So, according to this scientific definition, ‘neuroprotective’ doesn’t just encompass protection of the nervous system; it also covers the ‘salvage, recovery or regeneration’ of the nervous system. Essentially, this author lumps together the terms ‘neuroprotection’ and ‘neuroregeneration’ under the same term.

Can CBD provide this effect? As our first piece of evidence that CBD may in fact be neuroprotective (and, according to the above definition, therefore also neuroregenerative), we turn to the following study titled Neuroprotective effects of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol in hypoxic-ischemic newborn piglets2. First, a couple of disclaimers: the practitioners of this study do experiment on animals and the processes are clearly described in the abstract. Second, the entire abstract is written in highly-technical scientific jargon so extracting a usable quote is difficult. I will include a quote below, but I’ll also summarize the findings: The authors of this study found that the effects of a process used on lab animals that usually results in some pretty severe neurodegenerative effects were mitigated substantially in those lab animals that were administered CBD after being subjected to the process. To quote the study, “The number of viable neurons decreased and that of degenerating neurons increased in HI+vehicle; CBD reduced both effects by more than 50%. CBD administration was free from side effects; moreover, CBD administration was associated with cardiac, hemodynamic, and ventilatory beneficial effects. In conclusion, administration of CBD after HI reduced short-term brain damage and was associated with extracerebral benefits.”

At least in animal testing, it appears that CBD may have neuroprotective effects. But what about using CBD for neuroprotection in humans? For more information, we turn to a study titled Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid?3 which tells us that “The neuroprotective potential of CBD for the management of certain other neurodegenerative disorders, e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis, has also been investigated in studies that have yielded some positive results.”

I would highly recommend that our readers read this study in its entirety. It goes over a lot of the reasons why it appears that CBD has such enormous therapeutic potential across the board. To give you an idea of what I mean, I’ll include another quote from the article, wherein the potential benefits of CBD are listed for a variety of conditions: “CBD acts in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-oxidant, anti-emetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and is therefore a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia, respectively. The neuroprotective potential of CBD, based on the combination of its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, is of particular interest and is presently under intense preclinical research in numerous neurodegenerative disorders.”

It certainly appears that the medical science community is convinced regarding the potential benefits of CBD for neuroprotection, as is evidenced by the level of interest that is showing up in peer-reviewed studies. To go a little more into the specifics, here is another study, titled In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer’s Disease4, which has this to say regarding the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD for treatment of this particular neurodegenerative issue: “The studies demonstrate the ability of CBD to reduce reactive gliosis and the neuroinflammatory response as well as to promote neurogenesis. Importantly, CBD also reverses and prevents the development of cognitive deficits in AD rodent models… The studies provide ‘proof of principle’ that CBD and possibly CBD-THC combinations are valid candidates for novel AD therapies.” It appears, according to the authors of this particular study, that CBD may indeed have great potential in fighting this neurodegenerative illness which claims so many minds before their time.

One of the arenas in which neuroprotective benefits of CBD could be substantial is in epilepsy. CBD is already famous for its potential benefits to those suffering from epilepsy and the following study, titled Protective Effects of Cannabidiol against Seizures and Neuronal Death in a Rat Model of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy5, goes some distance toward explaining why this might be the case. To quote the study: “Our findings demonstrate anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of CBD preventive treatment in the intrahippocampal pilocarpine epilepsy model, either as single or multiple administrations, reinforcing the potential role of CBD in the treatment of epileptic disorders.” The general idea here is that, if CBD provides benefits in protecting against one neurological disorder, it’s highly likely that it might help protect against other neurological disorders as well.

The implications here are enormous. If it is indeed true that CBD has neuroprotective effects, then that means that CBD may be a viable treatment for any neurodegenerative disorder, such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons and Huntingtons, and may, through its neuroregenerative effects, be able to help individuals recover from strokes and other damage to the nervous system. If this was indeed the case, it would seem that, while topical application directly to the site may be appropriate in terms of applying CBD directly to the head or spinal column, it is more likely that orally ingested or intravenous CBD would be more effective at treating neurodegenerative diseases, so, out of our product line-up, Liberty Lixir may be the best option for promoting overall neural health. At Liberty Lotion, we’ve always held the position that CBD is a miraculous substance that can work wonders in the world. But the more we research the subject, the wider our horizons expand in terms of the sheer number of possible beneficial applications for CBD. More and more, as time passes, it appears that CBD may be an overall beneficial substance no matter who uses it and for what purpose; that CBD has the capacity to help anyone and everyone live their lives more fully, and that it may impart enormous health benefits in a much wider scope of applications than we’d originally imagined.