Does CBD Increase Dopamine?
Over 6 million customers in the UK report that they have used CBD in the past year. This means that nearly 9% of the 67 million residents in the UK are enjoying all-natural cannabidiol.
While the number of people enjoying CBD worldwide continues to rise, the science behind this organic compound becomes increasingly essential. Although the uses for over-the-counter cannabidiol haven’t been strictly defined by UK legislation, the testimonial reports continue to show that people are purchasing CBD oil for its mood-boosting potential.
Typically, articles focus on the correlation between CBD and serotonin, or they speculate about the potential for using CBD for depression. But today, we’re going to look at this from a different angle. Knowing that marijuana has been reported to create euphoria in its users, it’s logical to stop and ask, “Does CBD increase dopamine?” CBD is also said to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, so perhaps we should wonder, “Does CBD oil lower dopamine?”
In this article, we’ll do our best to explore this connection and answer any questions you may have regarding this topic.
CBD and Dopamine
Research shows that cannabidiol has the potential to act as a partial agonist for dopamine 2 receptors (D2). This specific type of receptor plays a role in the management of anxiety. D2 receptors also help to balance motor functioning, cognition, and motivation.
At this time, it is not clear what this partial activation means for the consumer. The study that discovered this activity was explicitly designed to examine CBD’s anti-psychoactive potential in large doses. Unfortunately, it did not explore the CBD dopamine connection from any other angles.
We also need to point out that while CBD may directly impact dopamine receptors, this does not indicate that dopamine is being released. However, our natural endogenous cannabinoid system does have a few key ways to influence dopamine elevation and regulation.
The Endocannabinoid System and Dopamine
To understand the relationship between CBD oil and dopamine, we will have to take a closer look at the human/mammalian endocannabinoid system. Even without supplementation, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a significant role in dopamine regulation. This means that the healthier your ECS is, the better your dopamine levels and functioning is likely to be.
Modern research has shown that many processes we once thought were controlled only by dopamine itself are actually influenced by the ECS. Now, it has been demonstrated that the ECS and the dopamine network act in harmony to control motor functions and our reward/pleasure responses. While this connection is very intricate, perhaps the most straightforward correlation is that the ECS helps control dopamine release while modifying the activity of dopamine receptors.
The endocannabinoid system leverages a few fatty-acid transmitters (endocannabinoids) and cell receptors to promote wellness and joy. The two primary endocannabinoids, AEA and 2-AG, both have fascinating connections to dopamine. Additionally, both CB1 and CB2 receptors play a role in dopamine control.
CB1 and CB2 Receptor Activation and Dopamine
Cannabidiol has a weak affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors. Still, it displays an ability to indirectly influence this receptor with ease. The ingestion of CBD inhibits the FAAH enzyme. This leads to elevated levels of the AEA endocannabinoid.
As AEA levels rise, 2-AG endocannabinoid levels tend to elevate. That’s because these two transmitters help regulate each other’s concentrations in the body. 2-AG is a more potent activator of CB1 receptors when compared to AEA. Still, both of them are highly active at this receptor. Research demonstrates that the activation of this receptor is directly linked to an increase in dopamine levels.
Both AEA and 2-AG can activate CB2 receptors, although 2-AG is more effective than AEA. CB2 activation has been shown to protect dopamine-related cells in the brain. Specifically, CB2 receptors help protect the neurons in a portion of the substantia nigra, which is closely related to the pleasure centers in the brain. This brain segment creates all of the dopamine that will circulate throughout your nervous system, making it a vital target to support pleasure, motivation, and mood balance.
Anandamide (AEA) and Dopamine Elevation
Anandamide is known as the bliss compound (Ananda means bliss in the Sanskrit language belonging to Hindu practitioners). This endocannabinoid compound is well known for its ability to balance mood and mediate anxiety and depression.
As mentioned above, CBD is quite effective at raising levels of Anandamide (AEA) in the body. This is achieved by CBD’s ability to inhibit and reduce FAAH activity in the body. High levels of FAAH activity on their own can be an important biological indicator of depression. In addition, FAAH is known to break down AEA, reinforcing the critical role that this endocannabinoid transmitter has in the elevation and balancing of mood.
A vital animal study showed that when FAAH is inhibited and AEA is administered, dopamine levels in the brain increase significantly. Specifically, dopamine levels were elevated in the nucleus accumbens, a portion of the brain connected to pleasure and euphoria, giving the bliss compound a straightforward method to create enjoyable and elevated states of mind. It’s important to realize that all mammals share a similar endocannabinoid structure. This is why animal studies examining the endocannabinoid system are essential for our developing understanding of CBD and the ECS as a whole.
2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and Dopamine
Now, 2-AG, another important endocannabinoid, is also closely related to dopamine functioning. While CBD does not directly stimulate 2-AG levels, natural supplementation can help to increase the overall functioning of your endocannabinoid system. Research indicates that CBD may reduce the MAGL enzyme’s ability to break down 2-AG, which would help to increase the amount of 2-AG circulating in the body. And as we previously mentioned, when AEA levels rise, 2-AG levels will naturally elevate as these two transmitters help regulate each other’s concentrations.
It has been shown that 2-AG will be self-administered by animals. This indicates that it has a powerful ability to create pleasant states of mind. These studies suggest that 2-AG increases dopamine concentrations in the same area of the brain as AEA, the nucleus accumbens. That’s the brain portion we mentioned earlier, which plays a vital role in euphoria and pleasure. However, 2-AG seems to be much more potent in this arena.
So, Does CBD Increase Dopamine? Does CBD Oil Lower Dopamine?
Well, there simply hasn’t been much, if any, research made public that shows that administering CBD oil will increase dopamine. However, after reviewing the information in this article, it is clear that many facets of the endocannabinoid system promote healthy dopamine release and regulation.
Several studies used methods that are similar to the activity of CBD and managed to show that these actions can promote the health of dopamine-producing brain segments while flooding pleasure and reward brain portions with this euphoric neurotransmitter. Still, just because there is a correlation does not prove causation.
In light of the details we discussed, it is unlikely that administering CBD will lower dopamine. It is reported to counteract the intoxication produced by high-THC cannabis, but this does not mean that it reduces the amount of dopamine in the system.
Never take these natural supplements with the idea of managing a chronic disease or psychological challenges on your own. For your own sake and for the sake of your loved ones, work with a licensed medical practitioner, and discuss your use of CBD with them before adding these products to your routine.
If you simply desire an overall wellness tonic, then using CBD might just be for you. Healthy adults have been recommended by the UK Food Standards Agency to take under 70mgs of CBD, as desired. So, dig in. Poke around our online shop, pick out the most intriguing products, and enjoy having these items delivered directly to your door.
Why wait? With over six million of your neighbours enjoying the best that CBD has to offer, why should you miss out?
Once you’re ready, know that we’re here to help you on your journey to total health and wellness. So, if you’re curious, check out our buy one get one free offers or message one of our expert customer service reps to get the assistance you need.