Antioxidant Properties of CBD
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidation and decrease oxidative stress. Oxidation describes a process in which a molecule loses electrons. This process also generates free radicals. Antioxidants help prevent the formation of free radicals and they are naturally found in fruits and vegetables. An emerging body of research suggests that cannabinoids are a good source of antioxidants too.
The structure of CBD contains a free oxygen atom that is given to the free radicals to neutralize them. This free oxygen atom gives the cannabidiol its antioxidant property. Further, research has shown that cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, possess neuroprotective properties.
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive molecules that can damage the cells in your body. They are created when molecules or atoms lose or gain electrons. They happen as a result of regular metabolic processes. Free radicals can also come from external sources such as pesticides, solvents, drugs, radiation, and cigarette smoke.
Free radicals lack a stable number of electrons in their outer shell and are in a search for another electron to gain stability. This process can cause irreparable damage to DNA and other constituents of cells. This damage may expedite the process of aging and play a crucial role in the development of life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
Antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C, may prevent the formation of free radicals, thereby decreasing the damage caused by these molecules in your bodies.
Importance and Role of Antioxidants in the Body
An antioxidant is a natural compound that prevents oxidation, the chemical reaction that creates the cell-damaging free radicals. Your body can synthesize antioxidants up to a certain level, it needs more antioxidants to counteract the damaging effects of external factors such as smoke, junk food, and pollution. Eating antioxidant-rich foods is essential to maintaining vibrant health. Examples of antioxidants include coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, glutathione, vitamin E and carotenes.
Including antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits in your diet can help fight cellular damage and inflammation. It is important to note that whole plants and fruits are better than synthesized molecules or extracts. Similarly, whole-plant cannabis derivatives work more efficiently than isolated cannabinoids.
CBD as an Antioxidant
A study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBD effectively reduced amyloid-induced inflammation. Amyloid protein is associated with cell death that leads to Alzheimer’s. In a study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduced toxicity in animals that were exposed to high levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Cannabidiol was found to be more protective against glutamate toxicity than ascorbate and alpha-tocopherol. Previous studies have also demonstrated that antioxidants may prevent glutamate toxicity. THC and CBD were also shown to prevent oxidative damage caused by hydroperoxide better than other antioxidants. The study concluded that cannabidiol may play a therapeutic role in treating oxidative neurological disorders.
Undoubtedly, antioxidants are vital to your health. They help fight free radicals by providing oxygen atoms to the molecule. Once the free radicals receive the extra electrons, they stop taking oxygen from neighboring cells and stop causing cellular damage.
Many foods are rich in antioxidants such as carrots, berries, and citrus fruits. Including antioxidant-rich foods in your diet will not only keep you healthy but will also retard the aging process. However, CBD has also been shown to be an excellent source of antioxidants. Additionally, the cannabidiol offers protection to the nervous system. It exhibits robust neuroprotective properties that help protect you from neurodegenerative diseases. CBD can significantly reduce your risk of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.