Chances are, you’ve heard of CBD oil, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis that is becoming one of the most popular supplements in the health and wellness industry. But did you know that CBD oil is actually a nootropic with amazing benefits for your brain?
Nootropics is an umbrella term for natural and lab-made chemicals that may boost your brain function and cognition. CBD oil may boost cognition, lower inflammation in the brain, lower stress levels, ease anxiety, and depression, and enhance sleep.
The hemp-CBD market is expected to hit $22 billion by 2020. Is it just hype or CBD is one of the new best things for your health? Let’s take a look at what CBD is, how it works, its nootropic benefits. You will learn about its safety, legal aspects, beneficial forms, and how to take it.
What Is CBD Oil
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of the over hundred chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, such as hemp and marijuana. Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant. It has been used as usable fiber for textiles, clothing, paper, and more.
There are two primary cannabinoids you may have heard about: CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the main psychoactive compound that makes you feel ‘high’ if you smoke or take marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and doesn’t make you ‘high’.
Because CBD is not psychoactive, it may be a great option for people who are looking for pain relief and other health benefits without the mind-altering effects of THC and potential side effects of pharmaceutical medication.
The Endocannabinoid System
We simply cannot talk about the benefits of CBD oil without understanding the endocannabinoid system (ECS) first.
Its name comes from the words ‘cannabinoid’ and ‘endo’. ‘Endo’ is short for endogenous which simply refers to something that was naturally made inside the body. ‘Endocannabinoid’ simply refers to cannabis-like substances that naturally occur inside your body.
Parts of the Endocannabinoid System
The ECS has three parts to play important functions in your body, including:
- Receptors in your nervous system and body that bond with both endocannabinoids and cannabinoids
- Enzymes that are essential for the breakdown of
The ECS is an important part of your body with some crucial functions. To understand how it works, first, you have to understand what homeostasis is and why its essential for your well-being.
The Importance of Homeostasis and the Endocannabinoid System
Homeostasis is the genius way that your body is keeping its internal environment at a balanced, optimal, and stable state no matter what the external circumstances might be. Your body is constantly monitoring and self-corrects as needed.
For example, through homeostasis, your body is making sure that your temperature is just right, not too low or too high, even when it’s cold or hot outside. It signals when you need food, water, or rest. It also helps to keep your hormone levels balanced and your bloodstream flowing.
Your ECS is absolutely essential to accomplish this. When it’s hot outside or you are working out, it cools your body down through sweating. If you are low on energy and need fuel, it sends hunger cues and makes your stomach growl.
You may wonder how your ECS does all this balancing act. It’s all thanks to two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and some enzymes.
How the ECS Works: Cannabinoid Receptors and Enzymes
While some researchers believe that there may be a third cannabinoid receptor, currently, we only know about two: CB1 and CB2.
CB1 is located in your central nervous system within your brain and spinal cord nerves, whereas CB2 is found in your peripheral nervous system, digestive system, and some specialized cells in the immune system.
CB1 and CB2 play a crucial role in helping the ECS to regulate your inflammation levels, pain levels, immune function, digestion, appetite, sleep, mood, memory, and other body functions. Your ECS only makes an impact where it’s needed without disturbing another part of your body.
What happens when the ECS has successfully created balanced? The enzymes within your ECS come to break down unnecessary endocannabinoid prevention them from causing damage and upsetting balance. These enzymes play the last important step in creating homeostasis.
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency and CBD OIl
If your body has an ECS and endocannabinoids, you may wonder why you need CBD oil. CBD oil may be helpful if you ECS is not working optimally. A compromised ECS may lead to a variety of health issues.
Research suggests that there may be a group of conditions that are related to clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CEDC). It’s an umbrella term for a variety of conditions, including migraines, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel movement.
CBD oil may stimulate and benefit the activity of your natural ECS. It may benefit your health in a variety of ways, including providing nootropic benefits.
CBD vs THC
CBD and THC have similar health benefits, however, THC also has psychoactive effects on your body. CBD does not lead to mind-altering effects, however, it may impact your health positively.
CBD may be extracted from both hemp and marijuana. This is important to know when it comes to your health and the legal aspects of CBD and marijuana. You will learn more about the legal aspects of both later in this article.
CBD extracted from marijuana also contains 5 to 35 percent of THC, which not only makes you ‘high’ but is not legal in most states. Marijuana plants are also selectively bred for various effects and smell.
On the other hand, hemp is the least processed form of cannabis. CBD from hemp contains only 0.3% or less THC. It doesn’t cause you to be high and is legal in all US states.
Now that you understand what CBD is, how it works, and how it’s different from THC, you’re ready to learn about its nootropic benefits that may boost your brain and cognitive health. To summarize how CBD works, I recommend this video as a visual explanation of all the science.
Nootropic Benefits of CBD Oil
To understand the nootropic benefits of CBD oil, you need to know what nootropics are and how they may benefit your body. Then we can dig in why CBD oil is a natural nootropic and what are its natural nootropic benefits.
What Are Nootropics
Nootropics is an umbrella term for chemicals that may provide cognitive benefits to the human brain. They may be natural or created in a lab and used for therapeutic purposes. Some people may prefer natural nootropics, such a CBD, instead of lab-made nootropics.
The commonality between all nootropics is that they may boost your brain function and cognition. They may improve your ability to learn, boost your memory, help your brain function better even under disruptive conditions, and protect your brain with few or no side effects.
Natural nootropics include naturally derived supplements extracted from foods, herbs, plants, botanicals, and animals. Taking a natural supplement may be effective than eating the whole food as it usually has a greater concentration of the active nootropic per weight.
CBD oil is commonly used for all kinds of health concerns from pain to epilepsy. One of the most exciting things about CBD oil, however, is its nootropic benefits for cognition. Let’s take a look at how the nootropic benefits of CBD oil may benefit your brain and health.
CBD Oil May Have Neuroprotective Properties
One of the most commonly researched benefits of CBD oil is its potential for neuroprotective properties. CBD may be able to positively affect the ECS and various brain signaling systems, hence it may help neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Research on Sativex, an oral spray consisting of CBD and THC supported the idea that CBD may be an effective treatment option for muscle spasticity in MS. It may also be beneficial to support reducing seizures, particularly in complex childhood epilepsy.
CBD may also benefit other neurological conditions. Research has found that CBD may decrease inflammation and prevent cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and enhance sleep in those with Parkinson’s disease.
CBD Oil May Improve Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders. They may affect not only your mental health, but your cognitive abilities, physical health, and overall well-being. Pharmaceutical drugs treating them often come with side effects and may lead to addiction.
CBD may influence your brain’s receptors for serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters that help to regulate your mood. CBD oil may also reduce the symptoms of anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
CBD oil may benefit those with other mental health issues. It may have antipsychotic benefits for people with schizophrenia. It may also be useful for substance abuse treatment as it may help lowering morphine dependence and to alter brain circuits related to drug addiction.
CBD Oil May Help with Stress Levels
Chronic stress is an epidemic in the modern world. It may lead to an array of health issues, including fatigue, chronic pain, inflammation, brain fog, and chronic health issues. Decreasing stress levels is crucial for your cognitive abilities and overall health.
CBD oil may reduce the ‘fight or flight’ response related to stress. It may lower blood pressure and heart rate which may increase under stress. They may also decrease anxiety and depression, two common responses to chronic stress.
CBD Oil May Improve Your Quality of Sleep
Getting quality sleep regularly is essential for your cognitive health. If you have sleeping difficulties, CBD oil may be your answer, as it may boost your overall amount and quality of sleep and may help insomnia.
CBD oil is fantastic for improving your life at all times of the day. Taken consistently, CBD oil may benefit your sleep-wake cycle. During the day it may improve your cognition, decrease sleepiness, and reduce pain. However, at night, it may help you sleep better.
CBD Oil May Reduce Inflammation and Pain
It may be very difficult to concentrate during the day if you have pain and inflammation in your body. Thankfully, the ECS is responsible for all kinds of functions in your body, including regulating pain and inflammation. CBD oil may help its job and increase your health.
According to research, CBD may help reducing chronic inflammation and pain. Research suggests that CBD oil may make pain more managable by potentially increasing pain threshold, reducing pain intensity, and altering the perception of pain in adult participants.
CBD Oil May Support Immune Function
A healthy immune system is essential for your optimal brain and cognitive function and overall health. If you are sick or fighting pathogens, it’s difficult to concentrate and perform well. This is why it’s so important that the ECS and CBD may support a healthy immune response.
CBD oil may help your body’s ability to reduce inflammation and to fight infections. It may also have antibiotic benefits to aid recovery from bacterial infections. By keeping your immune system strong and body healthy, CBD oil may help your brain to function at its best as well.
How Does CBD Oil Feel Like?
If you are new to CBD oil, you may wonder what it would feel like for the first time. First of all, you should know that since CBD oil contains nearly no THC, it has no psychoactive effects, therefore you won’t feel any ‘high’ or any other mind-altering effects.
CBD oil may provide calming and relaxing benefits. You may experience lower stress levels, decreased anxiety or depression, improved quality of sleep, better mood, and less pain. Consistency and finding the right dose is key to experiencing optimal benefits.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Considering hemp plants contain very little THC that cannot make you high, hemp was legalized in the United State with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. CBD oil is legal in the United States as long as it is produced from hemp and contains 0.3% or less THC.
Some restrictions may arise depending on your state. Some states may not allow restaurants to serve food with CBD. Flying with CBD products may not be the best idea either. While CBD from hemp is legal, it’s always the best to check your state laws for restrictions.
CBD oil that is derived from the marijuana plant, not hemp, and contains more than 0.3% THC is currently illegal in most US states. Please, check your state laws if you are interested in taking CBD from the marijuana plant or other marijuana products for health reasons.
The legality of CBD oil, hemp products, and marijuana is still an on-going issue around the world. If you are currently living or traveling outside the United States, please, make sure to check the laws of the appropriate country.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
CBD oil from hemp is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most people. However, with any natural supplement or nootropic, there may be a few side-effects and potential interactions it’s important to know about.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Since CBD oil has calming and relaxing effects on the body, the most common side effect you may experience is tiredness and fatigue. Backing up your dose may help to ease this issue. Other common side effects may include changes in appetite, changes in weight, and diarrhea.
CBD Oil and Drug Interactions
CBD may interact with pharmaceutical drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes. It may increase or inhibit the metabolism of these medications.
A large percentage of prescription drugs are metabolized by the CYP450, including antibiotics, antihistamines, NSAIDs, antidepressants, antiepileptics, antipsychotics, anesthetics, beta-blockers, benzodiazepines, immune modulators, steroids, and HIV antivirals.
If you are on any medication, it is crucial that you talk to your doctor before taking CBD oil. If you are dealing with any health issues, make sure to talk to your healthcare professional before taking CBD oil.
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and CBD Oil
When it comes to pregnancy and breastfeeding, there is a lack of evidence on the effects of CBD oil on a growing fetus or infant. Most existing research relies on studies that were done on THC or marijuana, instead of CBD oil.
Research suggests that THC can cross the placenta and enter breast milk. Evidence suggests that adverse pregnancy outcomes may be due to tobacco contamination and not marijuana alone.
Since there is virtually no human research which has been conducted to suggest whether or not CBD oil is safe during pregnancy or pregnancy, it is a good idea to practice caution while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Children and CBD Oil
Increasing evidence suggests that CBD oil is beneficial for pain, anxiey, epilepsy, autism, and other health issues children may experience. Since, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects, it seems like a safe and attractive option for children.
While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that CBD oil is beneficial and safe for children, at this point, there is only little scientific evidence proving the same.
If you are considering CBD oil for your child, it is important that you talk to your pediatrician and use high-quality CBD oil from a trusted brand.
Talk to a Healthcare Professional
As with other new or alternative treatment options, natural supplements, and nootropics, there is still little evidence on safety and precautions. Hence, it is important that you practice caution, choose quality products, and talk to your healthcare professional before taking CBD products.
How to Choose the Right CBD Oil?
At this point, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CBD oil for two severe and rare forms of epilepsy. As a result, most CBD products are not FDA-regulated making it more difficult to choose the right products with safe ingredients and effective levels of CBD.
To receive optimal benefits from CBD oil make sure to do your research. Only buy from reputable companies that prioritize safety and quality. Make sure to buy independently tested full spectrum, organically grown, non-GMO hemp oil.
Different Forms of CBD Oil
CBD oil has several different forms that you may try. Let’s learn about each form to help you figure out which is right for you.
Oral Ingestion of CBD Oil
Oral ingestion of CBD oil may be the easiest way to use CBD oil if you are new to them. You may purchase CBD oil capsules and pills that come in pre-measured sizes making it incredibly simple to monitor dosage for newbies.
They are simple to take with your other nootropics and supplements. You may also like that CBD capsules and pills have no taste. You may also buy CBD powder or open your capsules to add CBD powder to your smoothies and other recipes.
One downside may be that it takes a while for CBD capsules to be absorbed by your digestive tract, hence it takes a bit longer to experience its benefits. However, once absorbed, CBD pulls may have long-lasting effects.
Topical Application of CBD Oil
Topical application of CBD oil is quite popular for sore muscles, joint pains, and other body pains. You may find a variety of CBD lotions, body butter, creams, rollers, soaps, shampoo, and essential oil mixes on the market.
While topical applications of CBD oil are incredibly simple, they may be more effective for body aches than for nootropic benefits. Though CBD oil rollers infused with essential oils or lotions applied on tense areas may benefit stress, anxiety, and headaches.
Sublingual Use of CBD Oil
Sublingual use of CBD oil may be right for you if you are looking for quicker effects than using CBD capsules or pills. All you need to do is to put CBD oil under your tongue and let your saliva dissolve it and absorb it into your bloodstream bypassing the digestive tract.
It is also a fantastic option if you have digestion problems and worried about absorption. You may find drops, tinctures, and sprays for sublingual use. You may experience its benefits within minutes that may last for hours. However, exact dosing may be more difficult than using pills.
Inhalation of CBD Oil
Inhalation of CBD oil using a vaporized may be a good option for you if you are already familiar with vaping. However, if you are new to both vaporizers and CBD oil, it may not be the right option.
Through vaping, a higher concentration may enter your bloodstream than through other methods. You may feel the effects of CBD very quickly, however, these effects may not be long-lasting as they leave your bloodstream quickly. Exact dosing may also be challenging.
What Form of CBD Oil Is Right for You
When it comes to CBD oil, there is no one right answer or a one size fits all approach. Everyone is different. Consider your goals and choose the method that you feel the most comfortable with.
You may combine methods as well. For example, you may try sublingual CBD oil drops for anxiety, memory, or sleep, while use CBD cream for muscle soreness.
When it comes to dosage, the recommendation is the same. There is absolutely no one approach that works for everyone. You have to consider the form of CBD oil you are using, your body weight, your specific health conditions, your individual body chemistry, and your goals.
Generally speaking, it’s a good starting point to take 1 to 6 mg of CBD oil for every 10 pounds of body weight. Use dosage recommendations on your product and adjust your dose based on how you feel. Start with a lower dose and increase it gradually as needed.
Many believe that CBD oil should be used regularly instead of only for pain relief or occasional benefits. Taking CBD oil regularly may support your endocannabinoid system and boost your overall health and wellness.
Pairing CBD Oil
CBD oil is a fantastic nootropic on its own. However, you may also pair it with other nootropics for further cognitive benefits. Let’s take a look at what you may pair CBD oil with.
L-theanine is a highly reliable nootropic. It’s an amino acid that may help you to reduce stress, focus, be creative, feel calm, and sleep better. Paired with CBD oil, they may be an unbeatable combination for anti-stress, anti-anxiety, and good sleep effectively.
Lion’s mane is a nootropic and a superfood mushroom that may help the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) for brain cell regeneration. It may benefit those with cognitive impairment and improve cognition. Together with CBD oil, they may reduce cognitive decline.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is essential for the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It may reduce stress, improve cognition, and lower sleep deprivation. Paired with CBD, they may work well for providing similar benefits.
Rhodiola is a fantastic nootropic and adaptogen that may help you to deal with physical and mental stress. It may help stress-related fatigue and concentration under stress. Together with CBD, they may benefit cognitive abilities under stress and may relieve symptoms of stress.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid compound found in your brain cell membranes. PS naturally declines as we age, hence supplementation is beneficial to lower the risk of cognitive decline and memory issues. Paired with CBD, they may achieve a further cognitive boost.
Bacopa is a herb that may benefit your memory and enhance your learning. It may help to reduce age-related cognitive decline. Paired with CBD oil, they may protect you from memory and cognitive decline.
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
The bark extract from the maritime pine tree is abundant in antioxidants and may protect your brain from oxidative damage, as well as improve memory and cognition. Paired with CBD oil, they may protect your brain further from age-related cognitive decline.
Turmeric is a potent nootropic, spice, and superfood. Thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin, it may alleviate inflammation and pain, and reduce cognitive decline. Paired with CBD, they may reduce brain inflammation and cognitive decline effectively.
Citicoline is a powerful compound that may improve your brain energy, improve memory, and help age-related changes in the brain. Paired with CBD oil, the two may improve your memory, reduce brain fog, and improve cognition effectively.
Melatonin is a fantastic nootropic that may help to improve your sleep cycle and reduce symptoms of seasonal depression. Paired with CBD oil, they may support your sleep-wake cycle, aid better sleep, and improve depression and mental health issues.
CBD is a natural nootropic and an increasingly popular supplement with amazing benefits for your brain. It may boost cognition, lower inflammation in the brain, lower stress levels, ease anxiety, and depression, reduce pain, and enhance sleep.
If you are one of those people who are looking for a natural alternative for boosting your brain function, increasing your cognitive abilities, and improving your overall health, CBD oil is definitely an option to consider.
CBD oil is simple to use and comes in a variety of forms. Derived from hemp, it’s legal in all US states. So why not try it to see its brain-boosting and health-promoting benefits for yourself? Share this article with your friends, so they can learn about the power of CBD oil too.
Note from Nootropics Resources: Check out the CBD Awareness Project for additional in-depth information about this popular health supplement. Also, check out this excellent article on CBD and sleep.
Kat Gál is a professional holistic health writer who helps health, wellness and nutrition businesses to market their products and services through quality online content. Kat is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. Reach out if you are looking for amazing blog content at katgalwriter.com. Check out nobsfreelancer.com for freelance writing tips.