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Is CBD a Good Antioxidant?

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There’s lots of hype over antioxidants, and for good reason. If a supplement like CBD has good antioxidant properties, then this means it can help your body neutralize free radicals, which are harmful unstable molecules that can affect your body’s health. But, is CBD a good antioxidant? We wanted to know and thought you might want to know, too.

Let’s take a look at the potential antioxidant properties of cannabidiol, one of the fastest-growing wellness supplements in the market today. We think you’ll be impressed with this little-known CBD behavior, one that has limitless reach for your wellness.

 

What Is an Antioxidant?

When the cells of your body are exposed to toxins, chemicals, free radicals, or other potential cellular threats, your cells can be damaged or die. Premature cell death stresses the body, ages you, and can even put you at risk for illness and diseases. Antioxidants are natural (or man-produced) compounds with very unique properties that may delay or prevent cell damage.

Antioxidants also protect your body from glutamate-induced cytotoxicity, which is an excess of the neurotransmitter glutamate. (Glutamate-induced cytotoxicity is a condition that may be a contributing factor in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.)

To protect all your biological systems, organs, tissues, cells, and DNA, your body has built-in systems (like your immune system) and produces its own natural antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid and glutathione. In addition, you can eat foods rich in antioxidants or take them in supplements to assist the body in this cellular activity and reduce the process of oxidative stress and the resulting cell damage.

 

Examples of Antioxidants

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids (like beta-carotene)
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Coffee
  • Yes, CBD!

Regarding the antioxidant properties of CBD and THC, check out what this 2020 study found:

“THC and CBD show antioxidant properties and these are thought to be due to a shared chemical structure. The hydroxyl groups and double bonds present in both molecules, contribute to increase their highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) value; higher HOMO values indicate a higher ability of the molecule to donate an electron, making THC and CBD powerful antioxidant molecules.”

This is promising news for those who are taking CBD or who have considered taking it for other applications such as improved sleep, reduced anxiety or stress responses, post-workout recovery, or for overall wellness benefits. These antioxidant properties bring wellness perks in abundance to the CBD oils we’ve loved, just now we know a little more about them.

 

What Are Free Radicals?

Free radicals, as defined, are atoms with an unpaired electron which makes them unstable. These tiny atoms attach to other things to stabilize — and this means your skin, your tissues and your body’s cells, which damages them or could lead to cell death. Though free radicals are short-lived, they do a lot of damage while they are bouncing around your healthy body cells, possibly even putting you at risk for cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses. It’s best to neutralize them quickly before they can harm you.

When the human body is exposed to free radicals it can have immediate and ongoing negative effects on your health. Antioxidants give over their own electrons to unstable free radicals which essentially neutralizes them. Then, they are expelled from the body naturally or simply neutralized at the skin level. Either way, your body needs these tiny therapeutic and protective molecules to fight off those nasty free radicals and reduce oxidative stress on all your cells and tissues.

But what is a free radical, exactly? As it turns out, free radicals are quite a lot of things. They can be floating around in the air or in our foods and water or simply a by-product of normal cellular activities and metabolic processes. In other words, they are all over the place.

 

Examples of Free Radicals or What Forms Them

  • Pollution and toxins in the environment
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Eating too many sugary foods or carbohydrates
  • Stresses on the body — intense or prolonged exercise, exposure to stress
  • Diets poor in antioxidants
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Consuming toxins in food or drinking water
  • Some medications may produce free radicals in the body

 

Is CBD a Good Antioxidant?

No need to panic and wrap yourself in a bubble. Your body’s natural antioxidants are hard at work and there are other things, like CBD, that you can take.

The best antioxidants are those that are consumed as a part of a well-balanced and healthy diet. But you can also supplement with them. Now, about that CBD…

 

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the therapeutic cannabinoids abundant in the Cannabis sativa plant, or hemp. CBD has both antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabidiol is the main component of CBD products which may also contain other cannabinoids with wellness benefits. Cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) work with your body’s receptors in the endocannabinoid system, the system which helps bring balance to your body’s systems, tissues, organs, and cells.

 

Cannabinoids and Your Cells

Cannabinoids, when taken in a supplement (or when produced by the body are called endocannabinoids) “park” in the receptors of your Endocannabinoid System, where they are taken to various parts of the body. Cannabinoid molecules, much like your body’s own endocannabinoid molecules, then offer support for your body’s functions and help to bring calm and balance to the body. At the cellular level where oxidative stress is occurring, it helps to have a good balance of antioxidants to work hard at protecting your cells.

 

What Science Says on CBD and Antioxidative Action

In recent years CBD and its cousins — THC, CBG, CBN and other components of cannabis — are getting in lots and lots of hours in labs. Meaning, they are the focus of numerous ongoing studies regarding their efficacy in various applications like antioxidative behaviors. One study by researchers Andrzej L. Dawidowicz, Małgorzata Olszowy-Tomczyk, and Rafał Typek, particularly piqued our interest because of its findings but also because of its inclusivity across a selection of cannabinoids: CBG, CBD, Δ9-THC, CBN, CBGA, CBDA and Δ9-THCA as antioxidant agents and their intervention abilities in antioxidant action.

The study used various laboratory testing methods to check for three things (and then compare them to a “standard” which was selected, Trolox “a water-soluble analog of vitamin E used in biological and biochemical applications to reduce oxidative stress or damage.”) The goal was to assess the ability of each cannabis component (and some of the acidic forms like CBDA, which is of particular interest regarding antioxidative properties) to:

  1. Scavenge free radicals
  2. Prevent the oxidation process
  3. Reduce metal ions

Findings present that under a variety of testing methods, each demonstrated antioxidative properties to degrees based on the exact free radical and the type of electron transfer, with CBD ranking the highest among them. In some cases, CBD outperformed the comparative antioxidant Trolox, again, depending on the type of neutralization. The study showed across the battery of cannabis compounds tested, both in the neutral and acidic forms, antioxidative capabilities were demonstrated — good news for humans!

 

Giving Your Body a Fighting Chance Against Free Radicals

Protect your body’s cells and tissues from oxidative stress and cell damage by improving how you take care of your body:

  1. Eating fruits and veggies is the best natural antioxidative support for your body. Add some broccoli, berries, watermelon, artichokes, and spinach to your shopping list.
  2. Always drink clean water that’s free from toxins.
  3. Stay away from cigarette smoke and air pollution whenever possible.
  4. Buy organic when possible to avoid unnecessary chemicals and toxins.
  5. Get plenty of sleep — Much of this cellular activity happens when you are sleeping, which is the body’s natural downtime for fighting off diseases, doing cell repair, and, of course, resting so your body and mind can be strong. One of the most important ways to support your whole body’s health and keep you strong to resist diseases and intruding pathogens is to stick to a regular and healthy sleep routine — CBD can help you with that, too!

Cannabis Can Help

Whether you choose to dive into a healthy eating pattern or make the decision to quit smoking, providing your body the antioxidative protection it needs is often a matter of a little help here and a little help there — because each small effort adds up. You may choose to use cannabis components like CBD to provide antioxidants for your body in addition to a healthy lifestyle. The therapeutic benefits span far more than its antioxidant properties — for your skin, your body, your mind, and even your brain.

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