A single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) shows to improve blood flow to certain parts of the brain, according to a new study.
CBD increases blood flow to the hippocampus
Researchers found that the main non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, Cannabidiol (CBD), increased blood flow to the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
It also increased blood flow to the part of the brain responsible for decision making.
The team, from the University of College London, says the results could offer better target therapies for those suffering from diseases that affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to discover that CBD increases blood flow to key regions involved in-memory processing, in particular the hippocampus,” said lead author Dr. Michael Bloomfield, Professor of Psychiatry at UCL.
Researchers at University College London gave 15 participants with no history of cannabis use 600 mg of CBD, the main non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, on different occasions for one week, followed by 600 mg of a placebo.
“This supports the idea that CBD has region-specific blood flow effects in the human brain, which has already disputed. “Both CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are derived from the cannabis plant. Together, they belong to the group of cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis, cannabis oil, and most strains of marijuana. THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the euphoric, “high” feeling often associated with marijuana.
The compound interacts with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and brain and creates feelings of euphoria and anxiety.
But CBD, which is not psychoactive, does not adapt well to these receptors and is thought to be responsible for some of the therapeutic effects of cannabis such as pain relief.
The CBD study under review
For the study, the team recruited 15 young and healthy participants with no history of cannabis use.
Over one week, the adults received 600 milligrams (mg) of oral cannabis or a placebo. Then, seven days later, they received the capsule they had not taken.
Participants did not know which capsule they took on each occasion.
Next, the researchers used an MRI scanning technique of the brain called arterial spin tagging, which measures changes in blood oxygen levels.
Results showed that CBD significantly increased blood flow in the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, the latter playing a role in decision making.
Cannabidiol is one of the main constituents of cannabis, and there is interest in its therapeutic potential,” said Bloomfield. There is evidence that CBD can help reduce symptoms of psychosis and anxiety. There is some evidence to suggest that CBD may improve memory function.