What is Oxidative Stress?
First thing first what is oxidative stress and how does it affect the body?
Oxidative stress is a natural process that takes place in our bodies. It usually occurs when there is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. This phenomenon is linked to the aging process but also to the development of many chronic conditions.
Our bodies naturally produce free radicals and antioxidants and generally manage to balance the two easily. Although certain exterior factors can impact our system and make it harder to keep it perfectly balanced. Diet, lifestyle, environment, cigarette smoke, pesticides and more can all rapidly grow our number of free radicals and create a lack of harmony between free radicals and antioxidants, thus creating oxidative stress.
Entering a state of imbalance is when oxidative stress appears. The presence of oxidative stress is commonly followed by mild inflammation. On a bigger scale, it can quicken the aging process and induce the chances of developing several serious conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.
How to stay balanced?
The best way to keep your self healthy is to have a well-balanced diet and a healthy environment. Adding a lot of antioxidants to our diet is an easy way to keep our metabolism to balance.
Vitamin A, C, and E are all extremely good for us. To load up on Vitamin A carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricot, spinach, kale, and many others are recommended. Easy access to Vitamin C can be found in papaya, citrus fruits, strawberries, bell pepper, broccoli and more. Lastly to make sure you get the Vitamin E you need you can add sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, bell pepper, and asparagus.
Getting your extra vitamins through your diet will help you get access to antioxidants and minerals our body can't create on its own.
How does oxidative stress interact with our bodies?
Oxidative stress is not always damaging. A good example where oxidative stress is beneficial is when we take part in physical activities. When we exercise, we increase our formation of free radicals and cause temporary oxidative stress in our muscles. That oxidative stress (higher number of free radicals) in our muscle regulates muscle growth and triggers the production of antioxidants. Under regular settings, the inflammation caused by the oxidative stress will naturally go away as our immune system fight or repair the impaired tissues.
Regrettably, this process can also trigger more free radicals and create a cycle, where the inflammation is harder to get rid of. Chronic inflammation caused by oxidative stress can induce the development of unwanted conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease or arthritis as mentioned earlier. And, because the brain absorbs 20% of all the oxygen the body requires to survive, it is especially sensitive to oxidative stress. That means oxidative stress may cause neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.
CBD and oxidative stress.
A lot of different types of free radicals can cause oxidative stress. A study conducted in Canada found out that CBD has protective properties against a specific one called hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen peroxide is linked to the development of serious illnesses such as cancer, strokes, neurodegenerative diseases and more.
This newly published study looked deeper into the neuroprotective potential and neurotoxic effects of CBD. The experiment was performed in vitro on hippocampal neurons which are closely involved in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Study author Jungnam Kim said, "Although CBD showed both neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects on hippocampal neurons in the in vitro setting,
the use of low-concentrated CBD, not causing toxic effects on the neurons, significantly rescued the neurons from the oxidative stress(H2O2), confirming its neuroprotection capability."
As usual, more research is needed. But this recent study and many others are positive signs that the medical powers of cannabis are finally being taken seriously. The enthusiasm and the curiosity about its potential are growing and that is something to look forward too in the next few years. Stay posted for more development on Hemp, CBD and cannabis news. We are reporting and updating the legal status and the new scientific finds about the cannabis plant every week.