Motivation is a funny thing. Sometimes we can feel perfectly enthusiastic about activities like skydiving or hang gliding, even if we might have thought the same hobbies were risky, even crazy, at other points in our life. Other times, we might have trouble feeling motivated to perform mundane activities like doing the dishes or taking out the trash. With so many apparent contradictions in our motivation, it might seem like motivation is impossible to figure out. However, the latest research into motivation is revealing surprising roles for endocannabinoids, and possible implications for cannabidiol (CBD).
The more that is learned about the endocannabinoid system, the more it becomes clear that this system, which includes receptors where CBD is potentially active, has an important part in regulating many everyday processes we take for granted. The endocannabinoid system shows attenuating properties, meaning that it helps to mediate neuronal transmissions involving other neurotransmitters like serotonin and glutamate.
What does all of this mean for motivation? Some researchers have recently proposed that anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders can be considered conditions that affect motivation. This make sense; after all, if we're depressed, it can be hard just getting out of bed. CBD, however, has been shown in some animal studies to have effects that indicate reductions in these types of behaviors.
Zlebnik and Cheer, in 2016, reported that endocannabinoid (CB) receptors may regulate how anxiety, depression, and other conditions affect the ability to engage in behaviors. Drugs that antagonized, or inhibited, CB receptors have been found to have adverse effects in people that resulted in depression, anxious feelings, and a lack of motivation. CBD, Zlebnik and Cheer proposed, may act as an indirect agonist, or activator, of CB1 receptors. They suggested that this could explain research results where CBD administration correlated with motivation-based behaviors in animal models of anxiety and depression.
It may be years until scientists have solved the puzzle of motivation, and where, exactly, the endocannabinoid system fits in. Even these early results, though, indicate that CBD might have an impact on motivation. Some people with anxiety and depression who supplement with CBD have reported results from their therapeutic regimen, which could fit in with what we currently know about endocannabinoids and CBD. If you're feeling like you have problems staying motivated, a CBD supplement might be for you. Looking into CBD packages like concentrates, vape, and capsules could be a way to find the more motivated you.
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