CBD Research - How does CBD work for Neurogenesis
How Does CBD Work for Neurogenesis
We've written over 100,000 words on CBD.
Of all the different topics we've looked at, the possibility that a safe substance can positively affect neurogenesis (or any genesis for that matter) makes us a bit giddy.
Yes, there's the balancing of hormones.
Yes, there's the calming of immune and histamine pathways
Sure, the normalizing of key brain areas during psychosis in real-time brain scans was kind of ridiculous.
The ability to support new neuron growth in the brain!
It's little moments like when we first read that study where we get excited about CBD all over again.
We fall in love again!
Unlike most sites where they sing the praises but have no supporting instruments, we always aim to bring the full accompanying orchestra of RESEARCH.
We'll look at what research is showing for neurogenesis and CBD.
We'll also zoom out to see why this important in the rest of the body.
Not just the brain!
But hey...the brain's a little bit important.
It's absolutely critical to some very serious health issues like
Oh...and sleep, hunger, weight, memory, focus, energy, and mood.
The little stuff.
You can jump to the section on screened CBD by price and safety here:
Otherwise, feel free to jump to any section here:
Here we go...let's grow some new brain!
A Quick Intro To Neurogenesis
Neurogenesis. It's a fancy word for the ability to grow new neurons and other supporting tissue in the brain and central nervous system.
It's the holy grail for brain researchers.
Many of our most serious (and heartbreaking) diseases are linked to a loss of brain mass.
Usually, in specific areas.
It's also going to the heart of brain plasticity.
That's just a more difficult way to say that the brain can change!
New pathways. New learning. Old dog...new tricks.
It was once believed that we created all the nerves we would every have early in life and that was it.
All downhill from there.
In fact, there are periods where large amounts of neurons are culled during the brain's development.
One big one as infants and then another big one in late puberty.
These are actually needed to whittle the brain's ability down to a fine point.
A functional efficiency if you will.
Two important items here.
They just tied a gene to schizophrenia. It's a zinc transporter gene that's important in this paring back process.
Secondly, they just found out that THC in adolescents thickens the amygdala for 14-15-year-olds.
This is the time that the amygdala should be thinning.
It's the seat of your fear response...part of the ancient "reptilian" brain.
We need it to have less influence as we get older.
That's a big deal.
It turns out that we can build new neurons later in life.
Primarily in the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb (responsible for scent).
The hippocampus is a major site of adult neurogenesis.
It's also critical to memory and spatial movement and understanding. Maybe, more importantly, neurogenesis is key to the specialized immune system in our brain.
Microglia. Astrocytes. And more.
Mark our word...the immediate future of medicine is all about the immune system.
The brain is no different.
Check out the book "The Inflamed Brain" to get a taste of what's coming down the pike for:
It's all about inflammation in the brain.
Inflammation is under the purview of the immune system. Researchers just found that blood pressure is tied to a reduction in macrophages (part of the immune system) which can't eat up a hormone in the blood vessel lining that constricts the muscle in veins and arteries.
This is revolutionary!
If we can make more neurons in the hippocampus and the brain's innate immune system, that's important.
Especially as we get older.
Before we jump into the endocannabinoid system and CBD specifically, let's look at specific pathways that neurogenesis has been shown to affect.
Neurogenesis And Depression Theory
Yes, there are neurotransmitters involved with depression.
We know the culprits. Serotonin (estimated 90% of which is made in the gut by your microbiome...immune system!)
Serotonin is the target of the most popular drugs for depression...SSRI's.
Learn all about CBD and Depression for more insight.
Neurogenesis comes into play in that research is showing that decreased neurogenesis is tied to the symptoms and severity of depression.
Not necessarily the cause...but the effects!
A knock-on effect of anti-depressants is increased neurogenesis!
Increasing Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis is Sufficient to Reduce Anxiety and Depression-Like Behaviors.
This comes with a host of nasty side effects.
We'll touch on a better way to get there below.
Again, check out The Inflamed Brain for up to date insight on inflammation and depression.
It's fascinating! Neurogenesis And Memory Or Learning
The main site of neurogenesis for adult mammals is in the hippocampus.
What does it do?
Autonomic Nervous System
That's all! (sarcasm doesn't translate well in written form).
What about memory and learning? Furthermore, newborn neurons at different maturation stages may make distinct contributions to learning and memory.
We won't even get into emotional or autonomic nervous system regulation (breathing, pulse, etc).
It's safe to say that neurogenesis might be helpful in these areas.
Neurogenesis And Alzheimer's, Dementia, And Parkinson's
All of these diseases may have components shared:
Loss of brain mass and neurons
Marked brain inflammation
Neurogenesis speaks to the loss of brain mass.
Parkinson's is directly tied to this pathway: Accordingly, in animal models and postmortem studies of PD, adult neurogenesis is severely affected
You can learn specifically about these issues here: CBD and Dementia or Alzheimer's
CBD and Parkinson's Neurogenesis And Stress
Put simply, neurogenesis is the key to the brain's resiliency in the face of acute or chronic stress.
When it's not functioning correctly, there's a direct correlation to mental health issues.
In fact, as we mentioned above, antidepressants may exert some of their influence on this pathway: In addition, stress and antidepressants can affect hippocampal neurogenesis, preferentially in the ventral hippocampus.
Stress is intimately tied to the immune and inflammatory response system.
If you need further examination of how stress affects the brain...
Consistent with this general function, stress has been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and, ultimately, neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
Finally...and maybe more importantly...
The crux of (almost) all our modern diseases.
Neurogenesis And Immune System
We're going to write an entire article on this.
It's too important to just synopsize here.
Is the immune system even involved??
There is a growing body of evidence that CNS resident as well as peripheral immune cells participate in regulating hippocampal adult neurogenesis.
Keep in mind that most modern brain diseases that scares the hell out of us have an autoimmune element.
If the immune system has gone awry in the brain, that doesn't speak well for proper neurogenesis.
Why do all these diseases come on as we get older?
It is worth mentioning that under some physiological circumstances such as normal aging there is a significant decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis.
Again...very exciting for both proper functioning and longevity!!
At last...let's get into the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System And Neurogenesis
We all have a system that spans almost every type of cell in our body (except for red blood cells).
It's dated to about 600 million years old which means we share it with most animals.
Insect does not share this with us.
It's that old!
Research shows it is intimately involved in balancing other key systems:
Immune system (remember stress and inflammation from above??)
Endocrine system (hormones which are intimately tied with brain function)
Nervous system (the neurotransmitters such as serotonin)
It does this through two different types of receptors:
CB1 – primarily in the brain
CB2 – primarily in the rest of the body
Here's a visual look at it:
If you've learned anything from our site, it's this.
The endocannabinoid is tied in with multiple pathways and systems across the body and brain!
That's the only way it could have such varied impacts on function (anxiety, acne, and bone growth!!).
List of CBD benefits here.
Neurogenesis is just a very specific and targeted pathway.
The simple question...does the endocannabinoid system participate in the generation of new neurons? Recent findings have demonstrated the presence of a functional endocannabinoid system in neural progenitor cells that participates in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation.
Okay...that's a yes.
"Progenitor cells" are the stem cells that give birth to new neurons in the brain
CB1 (endocannabinoid system) were directly linked with the ability of the hippocampus to change or be more "plastic": above finding suggests that acute activation of CB1 receptors may result in the stiffening of the hippocampal structure and susceptibility to plastic changes
The endocannabinoid system is directly linked with responsibility for neurogenesis itself but also what type of cell is created: Type-1 (CB1) Cannabinoid Receptor Promotes Neuronal Differentiation and Maturation of Neural Stem Cells
Multiple studies then go on to link the various stages of neurogenesis to the endocannabinoid system.
Most interestingly to us humans (as opposed to just researchers) is the result of this endocannabinoid system not functioning correctly.
Remember how we said that neurogenesis is part of the brain's protection against stress?
Well, in studies of mice under acute stress and resulting anxiety, neurogenesis was targeted as a mechanism for CBD's positive effect on anxiety.
The specific mechanisms remain to be fully understood but seem to involve adult hippocampal neurogenesis and recruitment of endocannabinoid.
We'll save these studies for the section below on CBD directly.
But we'll end with this.
There are many issues that require new brain pathways to overwrite old ones:
Neurogenesis is the only way to rewrite brain wiring!
You can check out CBD and PTSD or CBD and Addiction to see the connection.
You can see lots of research on the endocannabinoid system and neurogenesis here:
What about CBD specifically?
What Research Is Showing For CBD And Neurogenesis
We showed you a glimpse up above with the effect on anxiety.
What else do research show for CBD and new brain growth?
There are two main studies on CBD (plant-derived) and neurogenesis.
The first study showed that CBD directly increased neurogenesis: CBD did not impair learning but increased adult neurogenesis
Interestingly, they found that THC impaired learning. That's why we focus on CBD Isolate (not full-spectrum) with zero THC such as:
Even more interesting, environmental enrichment (long tied to neurogenesis) appeared to be dependent on CB1 receptors! the neurogenic effect of environmental enrichment and voluntary wheel running depends on the presence of the CB1 receptor.
The second big clue came from CBD research on anxiety.
CBD has long been known to have a powerful anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect.
The study showed that part of this effect was actually a result of neurogenesis from CBD: These findings support that the anxiolytic effect of chronic CBD administration in stressed mice depends on its proneurogenic action in the adult hippocampus by facilitating endocannabinoid-mediated signaling.
Plug that into our decoder ring and we get...
CBD boosts the endocannabinoid system you have to create new neural growth in order to protect against brain stress that left unchecked...becomes anxiety!
That's a mouthful but it is brain science after all (just behind rocket science).
What about long term CBD use and hippocampal neurogenesis (same 10 times fast!)?
They actually looked at CBD to offset the negatives of THC and cannabis use the long term: Our findings suggest a restorative effect of CBD on the subicular and CA1 subfields in current cannabis users
More importantly, they followed with...
Maybe therapeutic for a range of clinical disorders characterized by hippocampal pathology (e.g., schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and major depressive disorder).
What about the whole stress response in the brain and the effect on brain neurons and destruction?
Let's just cover the whole gamut: CBD attenuates brain damage associated with neurodegenerative and/or ischemic conditions. It also has positive effects on attenuating psychotic-, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. Moreover, CBD affects synaptic plasticity and facilitates neurogenesis.
Learn all about
CBD and Inflammation or CBD and the immune system and even CBD and the Gut.
The immune response in the brain is just too broad to cover here.
It may be the key though!
A list of issues with neurogenesis pathways:
CBD and Alzheimers
CBD and Parkinson's
CBD and Dementia
CBD and Schizophrenia
CBD and PTSD
CBD and Depression
CBD and Anxiety
CBD and Seniors
See why it's important now??
So...we want more neurogenesis to protect our brains.
What's the best to take?
The answer may surprise you!
Best CBD To Take For Neurogenesis
Let's introduce another source of inflammation in the brain.
It's a powerful hormone in our body and brain responsible for the response to foreign intruders (and other things).
A good 40% of the population has allergy issues and that number goes up to 60% of women.
The number grows with age (due to hormonal tie to estrogen).
It's a powerful level in the brain: Brain "fog"� may be due to inflammatory molecules, including adipocytokines and histamine released from mast cells (MCs) further stimulating microglia activation, and causing focal brain inflammation.
Remember how neurogenesis is our brain's protection from inflammation?
Let's not add to its load (and depletion).
For this reason, CBD Isolate is probably a better option than Full Spectrum.
Learn all about the whole CBD Isolate versus Full Spectrum debate.
They're not taking into account what all that plant material (not to mention up to .3% THC) will have the majority of people with allergy or histamine issues.
Find out about
CBD and histamines.
The research is clear on CBD and histamine response.
There's not much research on all the rest of what makes "full-spectrum" despite what the marketers are saying.
We go based on research here. Only research.
The cost-effective and safety screened CBD isolates from our CBD Comparison engine are:
With shipping, they're priced equivalently.
How Much CBD To Take For Neurogenesis Support
There is little research on dosage for neurogenesis.
Most of the studies look at CBD doses for specific issues.
Some of which are tied to neurogenesis.
For more serious issues with neurogenesis links, research was testing 300-600 mgs of CBD per dose (per day).
The safety profile was very strong (see
Keep in mind that we probably need a bottle with 5000+ CBD to get to sufficient levels.
Or you're taking a lot of oil to get there and it's not cost-effective.
There are tricks on how to get the most out of CBD here.
For general wellness and longevity needs, 25-50mg of CBD per day is standard.
See how you feel and adjust accordingly.
You can check out the comparison of CBD oils here or go right to the product page here: