Neurogenesis is the key component.
One study on relapse showed that stress and BDNF levels were THE determining factors.
BDNF is our brain's fertilizer, the linchpin for neurogenesis.
As for mental health, every issue is tied to the ability of the brain to offset various insults, usually immune hyperactivation, stress hormones, trauma glutamate, or inflammation.
The question then becomes, how can we support neurogenesis?
More importantly, with CBD which has known benefit for neurogenesis, what is the correct dosage?
This may be the most important item we've found in our 1000's of hours studying NIH studies on CBD.
A hard number for mg's of CBD for peak neurogenesis.
We'll get into all of it below as well as other tools that support this process.
Maybe more importantly, we'll touch on timeframes that research is showing.
After all, SSRIs only start to work after a few weeks because their primary pathway is...neurogenesis!
See how SSRIs really work (until they don't due to tolerance).
These are the areas we'll cover:
- Why neurogenesis is the hot topic for the next decade
- A quick intro to CBD's effect on neurogenesis
- What is the best CBD dosage for neurogenesis
- What is the timetable for neurogenesis with CBD dosage
- Other ways to support this pathway
- What's the best CBD for neurogenesis
Let's get started! This may be the most important and actionable article we write of the 100's we've done for CBD.
Why neurogenesis is hot topic for the next decade
There's a constant battle going on in brains and nervous system.
Two factions that do daily battle.
Think of a kitchen.
There's dirty dishes, trash, and just stuff that gets layed out on tables in the course of a day.
You have to constantly put things up, do the dishes, etc.
We all know people who don't pick up and the kitchen quickly resembles a war zone.
That's the brain!
The brain uses 80% of our energy even though it's only 20% of our body mass.
The production of all this energy creates an amount of waste byproduct from how this energy is made in the form of oxidation (different forms of oxygen).
Oxygen is nature's little scissors...they cut up everything they come in contact with and if it's your brain cell, say goodbye!
We have a whole system to neutralize this threat (hello glutathione - see CBD and glutathione) and anti oxidants have been all the rage for a few decades.
CBD happens to be a more potent antioxidant than both Vitamin C and E!
That's just our daily toll...then there is the damage resulting from genes, environment and even infection while in the womb!
We have a massive review of how early trauma/infection get's "recorded" in the immune system with nasty effects on the battle above.
Yes, our immune system if hyperactivated by previous infection, gut barrier breakdown, or even genetic cues can cause a tremendous amount of damage in the brain.
Check out CBD and neuroinflammation to understand how.
Then there's glutamate and other excitatory chemicals in the brain.
Glutamate is our brain's "gas pedal" and it's needed for all activity.
Like red-lining a car engine though, too much glutamate is literally toxic to brain cells.
Glutamate can run rampant for many reasons, maybe the biggest is a hyperactivated immune system!
Such as GABA, it's opposing force (see CBD and GABA), being exhausted or running low due to trauma or genes.
Benzos directly pump up GABA (until addiction and tolerance kicks in). They just happen to be the next addiction wave after opioids.
Then, there are chemicals...medications and drugs that do damage.
Alcohol a is known culprit. Psycho-stimulants ramp up glutamate and damage brain tissue as a result.
Many over the counter drugs and medications will rip acetylcholine, a key player in brain plasticity (the ability to change and rewire).
We're just scratching the surface but if this damage can continue, a host of issues result from it.
Mental health issues all have ties to this damage while addiction may result from trying to self-medicate pathways that are off balance.
So...is this just a story of eventual loss to the end?
No...we have an opposing force that tries to keep up with the daily insults.
Neurogenesis. The ability to build, repair, and rewire brain tissue and connections!
The player that does the heavy lifting is BDNF (see CBD and BDNF).
It's driven by serotonin, our master regulator for behavior and more.
For the ladies, estrogen is a main driver of serotonin so that's the tie with both mood changes (serotonin) and other issues pertaining to loss (depression, dementia, etc) after perimenopause.
Testosterone does the same for men and it drops 1% each year from about age 20.
When that doctor tells you at age 50 that your estrogen levels are just fine, run don't walk!
All the exciting new research surrounds neurogenesis and BDNF.
We dive deep into neurogenesis at these reviews:
- CBD and hippocampus neurogenesis
- Exercise and mindful meditation for neurogenesis
- The process of brain repair
- CBD and BDNF
Let's turn to CBD now.
A quick intro to CBD's effect on neurogenesis
There is a document boost in BDNF from CBD use.
One example of many:
Cannabidiol Induces Rapid and Sustained Antidepressant-Like Effects Through Increased BDNF Signaling and Synaptogenesis in the Prefrontal Cortex
Let's break that down because it's pretty impressive.
CBD boosted BDNF and new formation of connections in a very important brain area… the prefrontal cortex.
This area is the part that makes humans human. As the seat of higher thinking and logic it's also tasked with keeping more primitive thoughts (fear, hate, impuse, etc) under control!
Huge implications for anxiety, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia, etc.
As for impulse control, a direct role in addiction!
The other big area we see CBD positively affect neurogenesis is the hippocampus...the seat of memory and mood control.
This brain area is also one of the most vulnerable to the insults above...especially chronic stress or trauma.
CBD presents dose-dependent effects on cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the hippocampus and subventricular zone (SVZ).
What a great seque into the question of the day….
What is the best CBD dosage for neurogenesis
CBD appears to have a bell curve response on neurogenesis depending on dose in research.
It's neurogenesis effect increases up to about 300 mg per day and then it starts to decrease as another pathway kicks in.
That puts 300 mg as our best dosage for long term neurogenesis.
Keep in mind that some studies looked at higher levels (600-800mg) for more serious issues like schizophrenia and even public speaking for social anxiety.
For addiction, we actually looked at higher levels initially (first 10 days - 600mg) and then 300 mg for longer term neurogenesis.
Studies have shown strong safety up to 1500 mg which is due to how CBD works.
See how exactly does CBD work.
For how long? Let's go there now.
What is the timetable for neurogenesis with CBD Dosage
We can glean insight from addiction and recovery research.
Let's take benzos as a good example.
Benzos pump up GABA, our calming "brake pedal" in the brain and nervous system.
They also pump up dopamine, our reward circuit, which is key to their addictive properties.
The bigger problem is tolerance. The brain sees these spikes in GABA and pushes back the other way by reducing GABA receptor sensitivity and actual numbers.
This is why it's so hard to quit any addictive drug really.
The very thing you were probably deficient in to begin with is now further impaired.
The brain will even boost glutamate activity as a push back which is why you can have seizures if you stop benzos cold turkey after prolonged use.
We wrote on this process at our how I used CBD to wean off benzos.
So, after stopping benzos, how long does it take for this system to recover and normalize.
Keep in mind that DNA has to be turned back on to make the proteins (five of them) that make up the GABA receptors.
This is really brain repair! Construction stuff.
Studies looked at this process and found it to be about 6-8 weeks depending on dosage and length of use.
Studies on cannabis addiction found that anandamide (THC's primary imitation) receptors (CB1) take about 30 days to recover after THC use has stopped.
That gives us between 30-60 days depending on your situation.
Now, there are other processes that take longer.
We have seen side effects linger after stopping SSRI's for up to a year.
This is the all important serotonin pathway that governs all human behavior (see CBD and serotonin).
Why would this be?
Keep in mind that your system may be working against this process.
For example, if your immune system is hyperactivated, it's causing more damage.
Two steps forward. One step back.
Stress response is also very important since it's highly destructive (when chronic) and eats up serotonin, GABA, and magnesium.
Check out CBD and stress.
This brings up a host of supporting agents we can look at to support CBD for neurogenesis.
Other ways to support this pathway
We have big reviews on many of these as the research was so impressive.
NAC (N-acetylcysteine) NAC acts like a sponge for excess glutamate and supports or detox system (glutathione). It's cheap, safe, and very impressive.
Magnesium Glycinate Mag is our brain's natural way to calm glutamate activity. The vast majority of people are deficient.
Tryptophan - the precursor to serotonin, a great buffer for stress (physical, social, and psychological). Remember, serotonin guides the neurogenesis process! Do not take with SSRIS. See tryptophan as social stress buffer.
Berberine - the natural version of metformin which thickens the gut lining. You have to stop the inflammatory triggers here.
Exercise and mindful meditation. Impressive research on how these support neurogenesis. We did a full review here along with CBD.
So...CBD at 300 mg long term. But what kind of CBD?
What kind of CBD for neurogenesis
First, there are basic requirements so that we don't inadvertently do more damage.
- Organically grown in the USA at an FDA registered farm
- CO2 processed
- 3rd party tested
- No THC - THC has been shown to reduce white matter tract volume in the brain which CBD counters
- No Heavy Metals
- No Solvents
- No Pesticides (gut barrier issues)
- No Mold
- No Bacteria
We actually test our oils twice since our whole family uses it.
Then there's the question of full spectrum versus CBD isolate.
All the research (dozens of studies on our site) are based on CBD by itself. CBD isolate.
The bigger issue with full spectrum is histamines.
40-60% of the population has histamine issues and this goes up as we get older and for women (see progesterone and histamine).
All that plant material in full spectrum is going the wrong direction for people with histamine issues and we see it in our reviews where side effects go away when they switch to isolate.
Then there's cost.
At 300 mg per day, we have to be able to afford this.
We priced our 6000mg bottle at 2-3 cents per mg of CBD before discounts up to 30%.
We've been there and can appreciate this need which is why we're trying to price it at the lowest amount on the market.
Be well. Welcome to the next decade of recovery.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.