More evidence of cannabidiol’s (CBD) role in brain development seems to present itself every month. The cannabinoid has been tied to promoting neurogenesis, and the prevention of schizophrenia and neurodegenerative diseases already. Further, a recent study suggested that CBD may prevent the damage associated with cerebral oxygen deficits.
A team of researchers from University Hospital Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda in Madrid published a study about CBD’s neuroprotective effects in the August issue of Neuropharmocology. With piglets as test subjects, the researchers investigated the mechanism responsible for CBD’s ability to protect against deficits from cerebral hypoxia, or reduced oxygen in the brain.
Reduced Oxygen May Trigger Excitotoxicity, Neuron Death
In order to test Cannabidiol’s role in protecting the brain from damage caused by lack of oxygen, the researchers had to induce hypoxia in the newborn pigs. In doing so, they restricted blood flow to the brain and reduced the amount of oxygen by 10%. This lasted for 30 minutes, and then the researchers investigated the functionality of each affected neuron.
Ischemic Hypoxia is a reduction of cerebral oxygen that results from poor blood flow. According to the abstract from the Spanish study, reduced oxygen in the brain “decreased the number of viable neurons,” and affected the measured level of brain activity. Even further, the lack of oxygen was associated with increases in inflammation, excitotoxicity, and oxidative stress.