You may have heard about CBD’s connections with dopamine or how people treat specific conditions with CBD products. If you’re wondering whether CBD might work for you, you’ve come to the right place.
All About Dopamine
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger created and sent by one cell to another to send a message. Dopamine, in particular, is known as a chemical involved with pleasure. In fact, some people call it the “feel good chemical.”
Of course, dopamine is only one aspect of the pleasure pathway, but the presence of dopamine is associated with pleasurable feelings. We all do things for those dopamine hits, whether or not we are aware of what we’re doing. In this way, dopamine can be motivational.
Several diagnoses are the result of the brain processing dopamine incorrectly. For example, some symptoms of schizophrenia occur when there is too much dopamine in parts of the brain. Addictive behaviors happen because our brain wants those hits of this neurotransmitter.
On the other hand, ADHD may have to do with a shortage of dopamine, resulting in stilted motivation and attention. Parkinson’s occurs because neurons degrade and no longer send dopamine. Increasing dopamine production or transmission in the brain may be one way to treat these conditions.
This powerful chemical messenger does more than just make you feel good and encourage you to act. It plays a role in blood flow, lactation, heart rate, sleep, nausea, attention, and pain processing. So if a connection existed between dopamine and cannabis, it could have a profound impact on our bodies and brains.
CBD and the Brain
For the last 30 years, researchers have studied the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a regulatory role in various bodily functions. This system involves the release of neurotransmitters, including dopamine. Chemicals that act on the ECS receptors are known as cannabinoids. Common examples include THC and CBD, which can be found in marijuana and hemp, respectively.
While dopamine neurons don’t have cannabinoid receptors, so THC cannot interact with them directly, a similar neurotransmitter called GABA does. This explains why research suggests that THC can boost dopamine levels in the brain, causing you to feel good or even have psychoactive experiences.
Similarly, CBD doesn’t interact with these receptors directly, but it does interact with brain neurons. Specifically, CBD may regulate dopamine production in either direction. Thus, CBD can help those whose brains produce too little or too much dopamine function more healthily. Because of this, some people are interested in researching CBD as a possible treatment or cure for conditions that involve dopamine.
All Greens Clinic is happy to talk to clients curious about CBD’s benefits.