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Cannabidiol and brain function: current knowledge and future perspectives


Moniek Schouten, Sebastiaan Dalle, Dante Mantini, Katrien Koppo


January 15,  2024


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa, commonly known as cannabis or hemp. Although currently available CBD products do not meet the safety standards of most food safety authorities to be approved as a dietary supplement or food additive, CBD has been gaining widespread attention in recent years due to its various potential health benefits. While primarily known for its therapeutic effects in managing epileptic seizures, psychosis, anxiety, (neuropathic) pain, and inflammation, CBD’s influence on brain function has also piqued the interest of researchers and individuals seeking to enhance cognitive performance. The primary objective of this review is to gather, synthesize, and consolidate scientifically proven evidence on the impact of CBD on brain function and its therapeutic significance in treating neurological and mental disorders. First, basic background information on CBD, including its biomolecular properties and mechanisms of action is presented. Next, evidence for CBD effects in the human brain is provided followed by a discussion on the potential implications of CBD as a neurotherapeutic agent. The potential effectiveness of CBD in reducing chronic pain is considered but also in reducing the symptoms of various brain disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, the implications of using CBD to manage psychiatric conditions such as psychosis, anxiety and fear, depression, and substance use disorders are explored. An overview of the beneficial effects of CBD on aspects of human behavior, such as sleep, motor control, cognition and memory, is then provided. As CBD products remain largely unregulated, it is crucial to address the ethical concerns associated with their use, including product quality, consistency, and safety. Therefore, this review discusses the need for responsible research and regulation of CBD to ensure its safety and efficacy as a therapeutic agent for brain disorders or to stimulate behavioral and cognitive abilities of healthy individuals.

DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2023.1328885


Schouten, M., Dalle, S., Mantini, D., & Koppo, K. (2024). Cannabidiol and brain function: current knowledge and future perspectives. Frontiers In Pharmacology, 14.