By Emily Ledger
Research around CBD – the second-most prevalent cannabinoid produced by Cannabis Sativa. L – has yielded a number of impressive discoveries, including many potential health and wellness benefits associated with the compound. While the anticonvulsant and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are likely the most well-known, a number of studies have also revealed the significant antioxidative potential of the cannabinoid.
What are antioxidants and free radicals?
Antioxidants are a class of compounds that expel free radicals from our bodies. Free radicals are compounds that are capable of causing significant harm to our bodies if levels grow too high. In rare cases, these compounds have been implicated in the development of multiple illnesses and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Low levels of free radicals are a necessity for our bodies to carry our important functions that are essential to maintaining health. For example, free radicals can be used by our immune cells to help fight infections. However, levels of free radicals need to remain balanced, along with antioxidants.
When levels of these molecules are not balanced and free radicals outnumber antioxidants, this can lead to a state called oxidative stress. If prolonged, oxidative stress can lead to cell and DNA damage and even cell death. It is this state that can cause the development of some serious illnesses.
Many plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and wholegrains can be a rich source of antioxidants, and it appears that the cannabis plant is no exception.
The antioxidant potential of CBD
A number of animal and clinical studies have demonstrated the antioxidant potential of CBD. Researchers have implicated “the therapeutic potential of CBD for many diseases, including diseases associated with oxidative stress.”
Similar to other antioxidants, CBD has been seen to interrupt free radical chain reactions, capturing or transforming the molecules into less active forms. CBD can reduce oxidative conditions by preventing the formation of superoxide radicals.
In addition to reducing levels of oxidants in the body, some studies have shown that CBD may also modify the level and activity of antioxidants.
The antioxidant properties of CBD could make the cannabinoid useful in a number of ways. Our bodies need antioxidants to prevent and reverse cell and DNA damage. The right balance of antioxidants can help to fight chronic illness and disease, as well as being useful in preventing the signs of ageing.
CBD is now being utilised in a huge array of health and wellness products, from supplements to CBD skincare. The CBD market has already been reported to be bigger than the Vitamin C and Vitamin D markets combined here in the UK – the antioxidant potential of the compound is just one of the reasons for this.