CBD is a more powerful antioxidant than vitamins C and E
Certainly, you've heard of antioxidants a thousand time before today. You can't swing a bunch of carrots without hitting some kind of report about how you should include tons of antioxidants in your diet to ward off disease. But what exactly is an antioxidant? And how do they help prevent disease?
What is oxidation?
Oxidation is a fancy word for rust. Yes, rust. That ruddy powder that forms on the surface of some metals. Where does rust come from? The short answer is that it comes from exposure to oxygen. Without getting too technical, let's say that the molecules in some metals like to bind with oxygen molecules, and when they do, they create oxides such as iron oxide which makes old nails and cars reddish-brown, or copper oxide, which is what makes old pennies and the Statue of Liberty green.
Oxidation is not a pretty process. It looks a lot like the metal has a skin disease. If left unattenuated, oxidation will eventually turn a piece of metal entirely into a powder. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
The way to prevent oxidation, in this case, is to prevent the metal from coming into contact with oxygen by coating it with a non-porous paint or plating it with a metal that doesn't rust.
Fire is an extreme example of oxidation. Rust is essentially a very slow, low-temperature burning process. When carbon is heated and exposed to oxygen it turns into carbon dioxide - the stuff that causes the greenhouse effect. Although our bodies don't rust, per se, they have the same problem as some metals - some of the molecules of which we are made are destroyed when they come into contact with and bind to another molecule.
How our bodies manage oxidation is actually a life or death situation. If left to its own devices, oxidation would eat you alive in short order. But the human body has a trick up its sleeve. It borrows molecules from food and burns them instead of wrecking the molecules in your cells.
Let's take a look inside and see what's going on.
What are free radicals?
Fight the free radicals! Sounds like some kind of war on political activists. But it's something much more insidious.
Free radicals are molecules that are created as waste products when the cells in your body generate energy. Free radicals have an extra electron giving them a negative charge. These negatively charged particles attract neighboring molecules and bind with them. At times this can be a good thing, but when those molecules bind with critical molecules in your body, including your DNA, it can cause changes that lead to stress, aging, heart disease, and stroke, just to name a few. Not to mention cancer, which is most often associated with free radical damage.
Environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, and smog also cause exposure to free radicals.
Fighting free radicals with antioxidants
Fear not! Here they come to save the day. Antioxidants are mercenary molecules, heroes that are willing to give up their lives to secure your health and well-being.
Antioxidants include vitamins such as vitamins C and E, minerals, and other free radical fighting molecules such Coenzyme Q10 and lipoic acid.
Antioxidants just happen to have a free electron with which they are willing to part. They bind with free radicals, rendering them harmless and preventing them from doing any serious damage.
Antioxidants are created naturally in many fruits and veggies such as red beans, chocolate, coffee, spices, berries, nuts, and a host of fruits and vegetables. (Hence the reason you should be eating more of them.)
Are there antioxidants in cannabis?
Yes! As it turns out, CBD is a powerful antioxidant. In fact, CBD is an even more powerful antioxidant than vitamin E, or even vitamin C, which is known as the king of antioxidants.
Don't take our word for it. U.S.Government Patent 1999/008769 claims that cannabinoids "act as free radical scavengers for use in prophylaxis and treatment of disease.”
Here it is in more technical terms:
“The ischemic or neurodegenerative disease may be, for example, an ischemic infarct, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Down’s syndrome, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), dementia, myocardial infarction, or treatment and prevention of intraoperative or perioperative hypoxic insults that can leave persistent neurological deficits following open heart surgery requiring heart/lung bypass machines, such as coronary artery bypass grafts.”
Like most plants, there are also numerous other antioxidants found in cannabis. Some folks actually run the raw plant through a juicer to get the whole host of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other antioxidants (minus the psychoactive effects). But most people don't have the right or the time to grow their own cannabis.
There are many more practical ways take advantage of CBD's antioxidant properties. There are oral applications such as CBD hemp oil. Hemp oil contains a host of antioxidants. There are also topical applications such as CBD skin creams which often contain antioxidants such as vitamin E. There's also the vape option. Vaping offers users high bioavailability because the CBD vapor bypasses your digestive system and enters directly into your bloodstream.
So get yourself some CBD and fight those free radicals!