Cannabidiol (CBD) has a wide array of biological activity, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, for which it is being studied for its potential uses in the prevention and treatment of diseases that develop as a result of inflammation and oxidative stress.(1,2) Based on the current research results, researchers are considering CBD for its potential in the treatment of diabetes, diabetes-related cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular diseases (including stroke, arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, and hypertension), cancer, arthritis, anxiety, psychosis, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disease (i.e., Alzheimer’s) and skin disease.(2,3)
What is an Antioxidant?
CBD, like other antioxidants, are substances found in a variety of foods that help to ward off the damaging effects of free radicals. These molecules can be encountered in your everyday life with things like air pollution, medication, and radiation or produced within the body as a natural product of redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions like cellular respiration - the body’s way of producing usable energy from the foods we eat. (4)
Free radicals can harm our cells, increasing our risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The result of having too many oxidants and not enough antioxidants, called oxidative stress, can cause damage to the lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins in your body. This damage can change their structures, which disrupts the way they work together and affects critical signaling pathways. However, antioxidants can help to neutralize these free radicals, protecting our bodies from their harmful effects. (4)
Some common antioxidants include vitamins C and E and carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein; however, CBD exhibits much more antioxidant activity (30–50%)(5) than α-tocopherol (Vitamin E) or vitamin C. While the FDA only classifies vitamins A, C, & E as antioxidants, substances like glutathione, CoQ-10, phenols, polyphenols, and many more have the ability to reduce oxidative stress with antioxidant properties. By incorporating antioxidant-rich foods into your diet, you can help protect yourself against a range of chronic diseases and maintain optimal health.