There’s no doubt that you’ll have heard the buzzwords “antioxidant”, “free radical” and “oxidation” while browsing online or visiting health stores.
It appears that we’ve entered the world in which antioxidants are everywhere, and they’re incredibly good for you, even if we’re not exactly sure what they are. We know that fruits and vegetables contain them but in an ever confusing turn of events, CBD is now linked up as a potent antioxidant.
The CBD movement really is leaving no stone unturned and now, muscling its way into the antioxidant market, you’ll be asking yourself “Is there anything that this wonder compound can’t do?”.
You’re right to be skeptical, in an industry where countless companies are trying to make a quick buck by flogging their oils any way that they can, it’s not hard to imagine an untruthful sales pitch. But is this case a cry for attention or a real discovery?
Let’s get into it and find out the details and the nitty-gritty, as we try and dissect and answer the question – is CBD a potent antioxidant?
What is CBD?
To start things off, to make sure that we’re all on the same page, we’re going to get some definitions cleared up.
First up, it’s Cannabidiol, or CBD, as you’ll no doubt have heard it called, is just 1 phytocannabinoid out of 113 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Originally discovered in 1940, the true potential of the plant extract hasn’t been recognized until recently with the first FDA approved drug, Epidiolex, hitting the shelves in 2018.
But it’s the legality of the medicine alternative that’s getting the public excited with, in the US, CBD recognized as perfectly legal in all 50 states (when derived from hemp). As there are no restrictions on the compound, companies have sprouted like weeds offering products including CBD tinctures, oils, topicals, and even beverages.
What is an antioxidant?
The term “antioxidant” is one that likes to be thrown around a little by marketing departments of health foods and supplement companies and it’s led to a serious misunderstanding.
To give the most comprehensive definition, an antioxidant is defined as a substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one that is used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products. They are used within the body to block out harmful chemical reactions that undergo oxidation, which can be destructive on the molecular components of cells, as a method of change.
During these chemical reactions, the antioxidants prevent free radicals (an extremely reactive atom, molecule) from oxidizing, causing harm to the body. The antioxidant stabilizes the free radical by donating an electron rather than it taking one from something we’d like it to leave alone (such as DNA).
To cut a long and slightly confusing story short, it’s a good idea to prevent the oxidation of free radicals and potential damage caused to the body with the inclusion of antioxidants either in the diet and/or as part of a supplementation routine.
CBD as an antioxidant
If we take a brief look at the history, we’ll see that Vitamins C & E were considered a pair of the strongest antioxidants.
Aside from health-conscious punters altering their diet to include foods rich in the vitamins, supplementation of the C and E vitamins was commonplace to try and bump up the antioxidant numbers. But, as new research shows, the reign of the vitamins is all but over as Cannabinoids begin to rule as the richest source of antioxidants known to mankind.
It comes as scientists and chemists have analyzed the structure of CBD and discovered that a free oxygen atom is contained. It’s this free oxygen atom that is perfect for donation to the free radicals, calming down their excitement and neutralizing them.
So it’s the structure of CBD that gives it the powerful antioxidant property, making it a potent antioxidant, preventing free radicals from causing harm to the body. But that’s not the only health benefit that comes from CBD and that’s the beauty of the compound – there are a plethora of other positives that come with supplementation.
Not only will those using CBD as an antioxidant has found the most potent of the bunch, but they’ll also be able to benefit from any number of the following:
- Improved mood
- Reduction in anxiety
- Improved sleep
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced chance of suffering from myriad diseases
The list of associated benefits really is endless.
Research on CBD as a potent antioxidant
Naturally, this discovery surrounding the chemical structure of CBD isn’t one that’s been taking lightly and there’s a number of different studies that have popped up surrounding the compound as a potent antioxidant.
In one study, per Kyro, that was conducted on rats, as evidence that CBD can act as an antioxidant in a neuronal culture, cannabidiol was found to significantly reduce hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons. In head to head trials, cannabidiol was found to be superior to both a-tocopherol and ascorbate in a protective capacity.
But this study isn’t alone as another 1998 study found that CBD used as an antioxidant was 30%-50% stronger than the traditionally used Vitamins C & E. Again, this study came to the conclusion that CBD is a “potent antioxidant”.
Thanks to the chemical structure of cannabidiol and the free oxygen atom contained, CBD can be recognized as a truly potent antioxidant.
It’s the free oxygen atom found in the CBD chemical structure that is the perfect fit for the excited free radicals searching for oxidation which neutralizes them, preventing any sort of harm from occurring inside the body. But this isn’t just a marketing gimmick or bending of the truth from CBD companies, this is a statement that comes with scientific weight behind it.
Recognized as 30%-50% stronger than both vitamins C & E as well as evidence that CBD is superior to both a-tocopherol and ascorbate in a protective capacity, it’s safe to say that, in response to our original question – yes, CBD is a potent antioxidant.