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CBD is one of many compounds called cannabinoids that comes from the cannabis plant. Although related to the marijuana plant, CBD comes from its cousin, hemp. The primary difference between these plants is that marijuana contains higher levels of THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient that makes you feel high. Comparatively, Hemp typically contains very low amounts of THC and higher amounts of CBD. Cannabinoids and CBD specifically have many beneficial properties that are still only now beginning to be uncovered.
So is CBD an antioxidant? The answer is a resounding yes! CBD is an incredible antioxidant, more potent, perhaps, than even vitamin C and vitamin E. In fact, the United States government owns the patent over the antioxidant properties of cannabinoids.
What is an Antioxidant?
An antioxidant is a fighter. It’s a molecule that fights something known as “free radicals” in your body. Free radicals are compounds that can damage you if they build up too much in your bones, organs, and skin. They’re associated with many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
You get most of your antioxidants from your diet, which is usually where you hear them advertised. Antioxidants are found primarily in fruits and vegetables. But your body also has natural antioxidants to counterbalance free radicals (because free radicals are also naturally-occuring in the body.)
When the number of free radicals in the body exceeds the number of antioxidants, you get a situation known as oxidative stress, and that oxidative stress can lead to damage of not only your cells, but to your very DNA. It’s that damage to your DNA that makes free radicals a leading cause of cancer, but free radicals are also known to speed up the aging process.
Some of the things that lead to oxidative stress, aside from the lack of antioxidants, are air pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol, high blood sugar, radiation (including spending too much time in the sun), some sicknesses like bacterial or viral infections, intense exercise that damages tissues, and more.
The best food sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables high in vitamins A and E, but also berries, coffee, green tea, and dark chocolate are very good for antioxidants. (Some antioxidants are found in meat and fish but in smaller quantities.)
What is a Neuroprotectant?
Neuroprotective agents protect the nervous system from damage. This can include protection from neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as stroke. Having a strong neuroprotectant system also helps in the event that you suffer a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury: the neuroprotective agent helps in lessening the damage as much as possible.
Is CBD an Antioxidant and Neuroprotectant?
CBD is an excellent antioxidant and neuroprotectant, so much so that the U.S. government owns a patent specifically for the neuroprotective and antioxidant properties of all cannabinoids (including THC). The patent itself explains how powerful the properties of cannabinoids are in preventing damage:
“[T]he ischemic or neurodegenerative disease may be, for example, an ischemic infarct, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Down’s syndrome, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), dementia, myocardial infarction, or treatment and prevention of intraoperative or perioperative hypoxic insults that can leave persistent neurological deficits following open heart surgery requiring heart/lung bypass machines, such as coronary artery bypass grafts.”
The patent goes on to describe “cannabinoids that act as free radical scavengers for use in prophylaxis and treatment of disease.”
Of course, CBD alone isn’t enough to give you all of the antioxidants and neuroprotectants that you need. A proper diet is necessary as well, one that includes whole foods and especially plants. However, just as there is the so-called “entourage effect” that comes from the many cannabinoids in broad spectrum CBD (the entourage effect refers to the sum being greater than the parts), there is also hypothesized to be a type of entourage effect of antioxidants, and that the more you get from disparate sources, the better they will be at fighting free radicals and therefore stopping many diseases and early aging.
Yes, CBD is a wonderful source of antioxidants, and is a neuroprotectant, too. It is estimated that CBD has more antioxidant power than vitamin A and E, and is therefore a wonderful tool to have in your personal toolkit for fighting free radicals and preventing disease, early aging, and premature death.
Have you got enough antioxidants in your diet?