The Neurological Effects of CBD Oil

how does cbd impact the brain

If you talk to someone who is a proponent of the use of CBD oil, they will tell you potentially dozens of symptoms that this wonder drug can treat. Everything from depression to hard drug addiction to autism can all supposedly be treated with cannabis oil.

The most “miraculous” results of this oil come from its use in the treatment of epilepsy. Especially in children, huge improvements in seizure duration and frequency have been attributed to the use of CBD oil.

But what kind of scientific studies have been done to prove these claims? What does the medical community think about the neurological effects of cannabis oil?

In fact, if you look into it, you’ll find that many studies going back for a significant period of time show neurological effects for epileptics who use cannabis oil.

There are many medical and neurological benefits to its use, backed up by years of medical science.

Early Research on CBD

a brain scan image

Cannabis oil studies began in the 1960s, when THC was isolated from marijuana and discovered to be the psychoactive compound of the drug.

From this discovery came the studies of cannaboid receptors in the brain. In the 1990s came the discovery of the endocannaboid system, or ECS, which is linked to a variety of neurological disorders.

Once THC was isolated, the other compounds found in marijuana were found. Their varying effects on the receptors in the brain were discovered. CBD was isolated and found to behave differently from other cannaboid compounds in that it doesn’t react to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain but works through other pathways.

One of the first studies of the use of CBD oil in epileptics was done in 1980. First, the study tested healthy volunteers given CBD oil against those given a placebo. Then, subjects with epilepsy were given either CBD oil or a placebo to see what effects that had on their disease symptoms.

The research study found that the control subjects didn’t have any negative effects from taking the oil. Seven of the eight epileptic subjects tested demonstrated massive improvement, with four of them having no seizure activity at all during the study, and three others showing many fewer seizure events.

CBD versus THC

the differences between cbd and hemp oil

We are all familiar with the euphoric effects of the use of marijuana.

However, CBD oil is not the same as using marijuana for recreational use (read more about their differences here).

The effects of THC on the brain are profoundly different than the effects of cannabis oil.

Most importantly, using CBD oil will not make you feel “high” or euphoric. CBD does not have psychoactive effects.

In fact, anecdotal evidence from users of both recreational marijuana and CBD oil shows that large amount of CBD will actually counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.

Medical Uses of CBD

medical human body scan

There are many different mental disorders that studies have shown to be mitigated by the use of CBD oil, such as Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, and anxiety.

In addition to the neurological effects, high doses of CBD oil have even been found to have tumor-suppressing effects with much fewer side effects than conventional cancer treatments.

This is because CBD oil affects signaling and receptors in the brain which can cause the proliferation of cancerous cells.

Another receptor activated by CBD actually helps to repress the growth of tumors that already exist. If you’re looking for a high-quality CBD oil that can help with some of these issues, read about one of our highest-rated oils here.

The Effects of CBD on the Brain

a brain on cbd

Since CBD oil doesn’t interact with cannaboid receptors, it works in the brain in different ways from other marijuana compounds. The brain has other receptors systems, and CBD oil tends to affect those.

Most of CBD oil’s therapeutic effects stem from its affinity with the serotonin 1A receptor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical in the brain that affects mood, behavior, memory, sleep, and appetite.

CBD enhances the activation of this receptor. This in turn has an impact on cortisol production, which affects stress and metabolism, and oxytocin, which has an affect on social behavior. This is what allows CBD oil to treat various disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and even nausea from chemotherapy.

Other effects of CBD oil on the brain include something called the vanilloid receptors. These receptors affect temperature regulation and inflammation, as well as how the brain perceives pain. This is what causes CBD to be effective in the treatment of chronic pain, neuropathy, and arthritis.

CBD Oil and Epilepsy

three bottles of cbdpure tinctures

One of the most well-known examples of CBD oil as a wonder drug is in childhood epilepsy. As noted in the 1980 study, in many patients the use of CBD oil can completely prevent seizure activity, which is more than can be said for most other anti-seizure medications.

CBD affects epileptics because it works as an anandamide reuptake inhibitor. This means that it prevents the brain from breaking down those chemicals, which in turn increases the levels of endocannabinoid chemicals in the brain tissues.

In order to get inside the brain cells, CBD molecules have to attach themselves to other molecules. Otherwise they would not be able to penetrate the cell wall and would have no effect on the brain or body. One of the ways this can be accomplished is by binding to a fatty acid binding protein, or FABP.

CBD molecules are strongly attracted to three different FABPs. This means that other endocannabinoids have to compete with the CBD molecules, which means they do not make it inside the cell to be broken down. As a result, there are more endocannabinoids in the brain tissues at a given time.


There are a lot of complicated scientific terms that come up when you start to research the neurological effects of CBD oil. However, it’s important to remember that complicated does not mean dangerous, nor does it mean it’s impossible to understand.

The biggest takeaway is that CBD oil affects the brain, but it is not like using marijuana. You will not get high from CBD oil, nor will you get addicted to marijuana use.

Studies going back almost forty years have demonstrated that CBD oil is harmless to healthy people and beneficial to those with neurological disorders.