Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main pharmacologically active phytocannabinoids of Cannabis sativa L. CBD is non-psychoactive but exerts a number of beneficial pharmacological effects, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The chemistry and pharmacology of CBD, as well as various molecular targets, including cannabinoid receptors and other components of the endocannabinoid system with which it interacts, have been extensively studied. In addition, preclinical and clinical studies have contributed to our understanding of the therapeutic potential of CBD for many diseases, including diseases associated with oxidative stress. Here, we review the main biological effects of CBD, and its synthetic derivatives, focusing on the cellular, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
Keywords: cannabidiol; cannabidiol synthetic derivatives; endocannabinoids; inflammation; lipid peroxidation; membrane receptors; oxidative stress.
Additionally, there are free radicals that get created due to exposure to pollutants such as cigarette smoke & even emotional stress. As you age, you are more exposed to these free radicals which can then accumulate to toxic levels, leaving you even more vulnerable to various diseases.
How do they know this, you ask? The CBD structure contains a free oxygen atom 2 . This is the atom that is donated to the free radicals, thus neutralizing them. It is this free oxygen atom that gives CBD its antioxidant property, and which makes it great at getting rid of free radicals.
Various studies have been conducted to show the antioxidant properties of CBD. In a study that was conducted on rats, CBD was found to significantly reduce hydro-peroxide toxicity in neurons 3 . Another study concluded that CBD as an anti-oxidant was 30%- 50% stronger than both Vitamins C & E 4 .
How Exactly Do Antioxidants Contain The Situation?
Although the whole process begins with the creation of oxygen as a by-product to various body processes, oxidative stress is not always a bad thing. It is actually the process by which the body annihilates faulty cells to protect the rest. It only becomes a problem when it is overdone, such as when free radicals move around the body stealing oxygen and destroying a huge number of cells.
You have probably heard that antioxidants are good for your health. Why are people encouraged to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants? What exactly are these substances? What good do they do to the body?
CBD as an Antioxidant
Antioxidants protect us from free radical damage. The body’s response to control the damage caused by free radicals is to produce antioxidants 1 . Oxygen is produced as a by-product in various chemical reactions within the body. Given its highly reactive nature, it combines easily with other elements in the body thus leading to the creation of the all-harmful free radicals.
Simply put, antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation hence reducing oxidative stress. Oxidation is the process by which waste is generated during body reactions. This process also leads to the creation of free radicals. The body produces some antioxidants, such as Glutathione and CoQ10, but these are not always enough to prevent the making of free radicals. This is especially true as one grows older, which is when oxidative stress increases significantly. This is why it is important to get enough antioxidants from other sources.
Chemical structure of cannabidiol (CBD) .
CBD has been shown to be a weak agonist of the human, mouse, and rat CB1 receptor . The activation of the CB1 receptor increases ROS production and a pro-inflammatory response, including the downstream synthesis of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) . In addition, it was shown that CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor . Regardless of the effect on the CB1 receptor, CBD is a weak agonist of the CB2 receptor , but it has also been suggested that it may demonstrate inverse agonism of the CB2 receptor . Importantly, CB2 activation leads to a decrease in ROS and TNF-α levels, which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation . Therefore, it has been suggested that CBD may indirectly improve anti-inflammatory effects. Clinical studies have confirmed that CBD reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibits T cell proliferation, induces T cell apoptosis and reduces migration and adhesion of immune cells . In addition, CBD anti-inflammatory activity has been shown to be antagonized by both a selective CB2 antagonist and AEA, an endogenous CB2 receptor agonist .
3.7. GPR Receptors
CBD has direct affinity for the human 5-HT1A (serotonin) receptor . In addition, CBD can induce the 5-HT1A receptor indirectly by increasing the level of AEA . However, the activated 5-HT1A receptor can act as a membrane antioxidant by capturing ROS . Therefore, through activation of 5-HT1A, CBD can counteract peroxidation of phospholipids and thus participate in the protection of biomembranes against oxidative modifications. In addition, studies in Wistar rats have shown that CBD, by activating 5-HT1A receptors, can reduce physiological and behavioral responses to restrictive stress . CBD has also been suggested as a therapeutic compound for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy due to its ability to activate 5-HT1A receptors .