One of the most fascinating effects of CBD involves its role in treating epilepsy. This effect has garnered widespread attention and has led to significant advancements in the treatment of seizure disorders.
CBD appears to exert its anticonvulsant effects by lowering the degree of excitation of brain cells which contribute to seizures. CBD also works to minimize excitotoxicity in epilepsy, expanding beyond its anti-convulsive effects and contributing to the protection of brain cells in the disorder.
It is thought that CBD decreases seizures in epilepsy in the same way that it regulates other chemicals in the brain. By enhancing the release of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, CBD stops the brain mechanisms that contribute directly to seizures.
CBD also has significant antipsychotic properties. In a double-blind clinical, researchers compared the effects of CBD to an antipsychotic drug called amisulpride in schizophrenic patients. They found that the antipsychotic effects of CBD were similar to those of amisulpride, but CBD was preferred by patients because it had less side effects.
The antipsychotic effects of CBD are related to its effect on anandamide. Specifically, higher levels of anandamide have been linked to a decrease in psychotic symptoms, and CBD is known to increase anandamide in the brain.
While the spectrum of conditions that CBD may treat is already very wide, the reality is researchers are only beginning to understand how this compound works in the brain and body.