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cbd oil for brain fog

Got Brain Fog? Here’s How CBD Oil Can Help

The usefulness of cannabidiol (CBD) for brain fog remains to be scientifically proven, but this has not stopped people battling with the condition from experimenting with the cannabinoid. And many have found it useful! After taking CBD oil, brain fog lifted for this Dementia Forum participant with Lewy Body dementia:

“I have found on my own that the right CBD meds (concentrates of 50% or greater with a CBD:THC ratio of 2:1 or better) can lift the fog from my brain, [it] significantly reduces my verbal aphasia and provides a clarity of thought I don’t have when I am in a ‘low’ phase.” [1]

CBD Oil for Brain Fog—How Does It Work?

The bodies of all vertebrates, including the human body, contain a special molecular network—the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a regulatory system modulated by compounds the body makes (endocannabinoids) and those found primarily in the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids and terpenes).

The functions of the ECS in the body are intricate, varied, and the subject of ongoing scientific investigation. Very basically put, this system seems to be responsible for maintaining homeostasis (balance) in the body. It also plays a vital role in other physiological functions, including:

  • memory
  • pain sensation
  • mood regulation
  • immune function
  • energy metabolism
  • appetite

Of the ECS’s best-studied components are two of a number of receptors—CB1 and CB2. CB stands for cannabinoid. These receptors are located mostly in cell membranes of various types of tissues distributed throughout the body, but with concentrations in the brain, the organs, and the central nervous system.

Cannabinoids like CBD show activity at these receptor sites. Via this mediation, preliminary research suggests, CBD may influence the various functions of the endocannabinoid system in positive ways.

It’s through the endocannabinoid system that brain fog may be beaten with CBD.

Unfortunately, just as there is little research into brain fog itself, there is no research on CBD oil for brain fog. The bulk of evidence for its positive action is anecdotal, gleaned mostly from CBD forums.

However, looking at the research into other areas of CBD for human health, we can safely make some assumptions about the efficacy of CBD oil for brain fog.

CBD and Neuroprotection

When considering the symptoms and illnesses associated with brain fog (read on for more on that), it can be argued that the condition is due to the brain suffering minor to severe cellular damage. In this, CBD could well be helpful.

According to a 2012 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, there are many avenues worth further study on CBD and neuroprotection. Referring to Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and neonatal ischemia, the authors observe that “CBD has demonstrated significant effects in preclinical models of these three disorders.”

Also, of particular interest for neuroprotection, the authors point to a study whereby mice that were fed CBD experienced reduced microglial activation. Microglial activation is responsible for triggering an inflammatory response in the brain.

This could indicate CBD’s potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. They also note studies that suggest CBD may prevent cerebral ischemia-reperfusion, essentially preventing issues with blood flow to the brain. Perhaps these preliminary results can lay the groundwork for exploring CBD oil for brain fog. [2]

Another fact worth considering is that by now, CBD is considered a well-established, powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It’s perhaps through this action that CBD oil could reduce cerebral inflammation, and therefore, brain fog.

Research indicates, for instance, that CBD may be a powerful agent against neuroinflammation. An animal study found that CBD doses alleviated anxiety, reduced what was labeled as “despair-like behaviors,” and generally prevented cognitive and emotional impairment. These all relate to inflammatory conditions of the brain and central nervous system (CNS). [3]

Another animal study had even more promising neurological results—marijuana (containing CBD) caused hippocampus neurogenesis (neural cell growth) and antidepressant-like effects in the brains of adult rats. [4]

That said—until more robust study gets underway into both the causes of brain fog and CBD oil for its treatment, we can only make inconclusive assumptions from the related research.

Is it Safe to Take CBD Oil for Brain Fog?

Is there reliable evidence that CBD oil is as safe as many say it is? Are there any side effects?

Experts seem to agree that CBD is safe for human consumption. To quote from an Ingenta Connect-published review of both in vivo and in vitro research:

“Based on recent advances in cannabinoid administration in humans, controlled CBD may be safe in humans and animals.” [5]

In another more recent review, the authors determined that “. in general, the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research.” [6]

That said, both articles noted the need for more clinical (human-based) research.

Are the Wild Health Claims True?

There are many claims, but currently only limited hard facts about what is otherwise an undoubtedly exciting cannabinoid. The research is progressing rapidly, but as of yet, only one CBD-based medicine is approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA)—for intractable epilepsy.

Though, in the words of Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, during a 2015 presentation:

“. pre-clinical research (including both cell culture and animal models) has shown CBD to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful, including antiseizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antitumor, antipsychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.” [7]

Let’s take a closer look at brain fog and what the condition entails.

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog, also commonly referred to as “brain fatigue,” is a general term used to describe dysfunctions in various mental processes. Writing for MedicalNewsToday, Dr. T. Legg mentions that brain fog can affect different mental processes, including:

When these processes are affected, a person will experience issues such as forgetfulness, understanding, the effort to focus, and mental tiredness.

Legg also states that it can be caused by either an existing medical condition or factors such as a poor diet, physical inactivity, sleep deprivation, and chronic stress.

The medical conditions associated with brain fog include:

Medication such as chemotherapy, sleeping pills, opioids, and antidepressants are also known to cause brain fog-like symptoms. [8]

While it is safe to experiment with CBD oil for brain fog, don’t use high doses concurrently with prescription medication without your doctor’s knowledge and consent.

Considering the effects some users are reporting when using CBD oil for other symptoms, it's worth considering reduced brain fog as yet another positive.