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The Antioxidant Properties Of CBD: What Do We Know?

Could CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids be our future allies in the lifetime war between antioxidants and free radicals? Early research suggests that cannabinoids have antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Now it’s time for clinical trials.

Every living creature hosts a lifetime war between the “good” antioxidants and the “bad” free radicals. Over the last 20 years, this war was often under the media spotlight. Consequently, the general public became concerned and tried to increase our collective fruit and veggie intake. Free radicals are bad for our health—that’s what we all understood—and unfortunately, they are going to win the war, sooner or later. In this article, we take a look at the battle between free radicals and antioxidants that constantly dwell inside our body, examining if, according to research, CBD and other cannabinoids might be our allies.

FREE RADICALS ARE PART OF OUR METABOLISM

Humans need to convert food into energy to survive. When our metabolic processes create energy, they also generate waste products. Some of them are molecules of some biochemical compound containing an unpaired electron, namely, free radicals. Free radicals in our body are also generated from external factors, such as stress and toxins, be they inhaled, ingested, injected, or absorbed by the skin.

The unpaired electron in the free radical corrupted molecule attracts another electron from a healthy molecule, triggering a chain reaction that leaves us with a bunch of deteriorated molecules. Since these molecules are part of our cellular tissue, in all its differentiations, the result of this process is having one or more organs or body parts slowly “ageing” or even quickly getting sick.

Too many free radicals in the body, for any reason, can trigger minor diseases and severe conditions as well, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke. On the other hand, we all know through advertising that our natural and “harmless” skin ageing is mainly caused by free radicals. Brain cells use a significant amount of energy to do their job. That creates free radicals and oxidative damage at a neuronal level, leading to age-related decline.

THE NEED FOR ANTIOXIDANTS

An antioxidant is a natural substance that inhibits oxidation, the chemical reaction that produces the free radicals damaging the cells. We are able to produce our own antioxidants up to a certain level, yet not enough to neutralise all of the harmful effects of external factors like pollution, junk food, smoke, and many more. That’s why it’s important to harness a lot of antioxidants from food, even if it is hard to tell how much we actually need during every stage of life. Antioxidants are an important part of any diet for maintaining good health and proper function since it’s proven that the damage to “oxidised” cells leads to illness and chronic disease.

Antioxidants give out electrons to lonely electrons in free radicals, thus creating a pair that stabilises the molecule and prevents the chain reaction effect made by stolen electrons from other molecules that degrade cellular functionality. Antioxidants are substances like ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin E, glutathione, lipoic acid, uric acid, carotenes, and coenzyme Q10.

Our diet should always be based on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that help reduce inflammation and cellular damage. Whole plants and fruits are much more effective than extracts or synthesised molecules, in the same way whole-plant derivatives from cannabis seem to work better than isolated cannabinoids.

Are CBD's antioxidant properties the answer to slowing down oxidation in the human body? Find out more about CBD-as-antioxidant.

Marijuana antioxidant

a Departamento de Química, Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Av. General Carlos Cavalcanti, 4748, Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil

b Lupos (Canada) Biotechnology Inc., 215 Morrish Road, Toronto, ON, Canada

c Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, Canada
E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract

Herein, we report the antioxidant activity of cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in pure and mixed solutions at different ratios, as well as of six different Cannabis sativa extracts containing various proportions of CBD and THC by using spectrophotometric (reducing power assay, 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), hypochlorous acid (HOCl) scavenging assays) and electrochemical methods (cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry). The isolated cannabinoids, the different stoichiometric ratios of CBD and THC, and the natural extracts proved to have remarkable antioxidant properties in all the methods employed in this work. The antioxidant activity of CBD and THC was compared against that of the well-defined antioxidants such as ascorbic acid (AA), resveratrol (Resv) and (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Clear evidence of the synergistic and antagonistic effects between CBD and THC regarding to their antioxidant activities was observed. Moreover, a good correlation was obtained between the optical and electrochemical methods, which proved that the reported experimental procedures can easily be adapted to determine the antioxidant activity of extracts from various Cannabis sativa species and related compounds.

Herein, we report the antioxidant activity of cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in pure and mixed solutions at different ratios, as well as of six different Cannabis sativa extracts containing various proportions of CBD and THC by using spectrophotometric (reducing power assay, 2,2′-azino-b