CBD As An Antioxidant: What You Need To Know
Some BIO 101: Oxidative Stress
Every day, our bodies encounter a great number of toxins from our environment. One of the most destructive things these toxins do is create free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are a term for the destructive single electrons caused by oxidative stress. Not all free radicals are produced by encountering toxins. They can also be a byproduct of natural processes like our immune system fighting off bacteria. Regardless, free radicals spell bad news for the body. They cause a chain reaction, stealing one electron at a time from otherwise stable pairs of electrons. As a more tangible result, this process leads to inflammation, accelerates the aging process, and can even lead to heart disease and certain cancers.
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Antioxidants: Nature’s Antidote
Antioxidants: you’ve likely heard about them, but don’t really know what they are. Everyone knows you’re supposed to eat foods rich in antioxidants, but few know the science behind their importance. Simply put, antioxidants help stop the process of oxidation from taking place at the cellular level within our bodies. Antioxidants offer up their spare electrons to be partnered with oxidized cells so that they don’t have to steal from our healthy DNA. This effectively protects our brains and bodies from degenerative diseases.
Our body produces some antioxidants in the form of alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione. However, our primary source of antioxidants is our diet. Foods high in antioxidants include fruits (dried or fresh) and vegetables, spices, herbs, cereals, nuts, and some beverages such as tea. The following is a list of foods the American Dietetic Association recommends for their high antioxidative properties:
- Wild blueberries
- Sweet cherries
- Red delicious apples
- Granny Smith apples
- Gala apples
- Red kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
- Russet Potatoes
- Dark leafy greens (spinach, cabbage, and kale)
- Teas (especially green, but also black)
- Coffee (without milk)
- Red wine
- Grapefruit juice
- Pomegranate juice
CBD As An Antioxidant
If you’re struggling to see how CBD as an antioxidant fits into this article, buckle in. According to Harvard Medical School, phytochemicals from plants also have beneficial antioxidant properties. This isn’t much of a surprise since phytochemicals like Vitamins C and E are responsible for many of the beneficial antioxidant properties in the fruits and vegetables listed above. What is surprising is that lab studies as far back as 1998 have shown that CBD has even more antioxidant properties than both Vitamin C and E. In 2003, the United States government actually filed a patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. At this time, cannabis in almost any form was illegal. Despite this, the patent states, “cannabinoids act as free radical scavengers for use in prophylaxis and treatment of disease”. Yet another reason full-spectrum CBD is superior to isolate products. Full-spectrum CBD products contain a vast number of cannabinoids along with their namesake: cannabidiol.
Thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018, now anyone can get their hands on CBD with the hopes to supplement their antioxidant intake. Although many health claims for cannabis need further research, it can confidently be said that using CBD as an antioxidant is natural and effective.