Cannabinoids are Antioxidants
The antioxidant properties of cannabinoids were investigated by a research team at Cornell University. Their study measured the antioxidant effects starting by showing how oxidative stress can kill cells. This was done by putting a type of immune cell (called lymphoblastoids) in a liquid that is absent of serum, the normal components of blood that keep cells alive. The cells in this liquid died after 2 days which was called “serum-deprived death”. Then for the actual test, cells were put into the same liquid as before but with the addition of THC, CBN, or CBD (3 separate tests). In all three tests cannabinoids protected the cells from serum-deprived death. This result was observed to be independent of cannabinoid receptor activation, meaning the cell protective effects were not based on interaction with CB1 or CB2 receptors. The theory of cannabinoids acting as antioxidants was tested by directly inducing oxidative stress on the cells by adding another chemical (retinoid anhydroretinol). Even with the addition of this oxidation chemical the cannabinoids were still able to protect the cells, confirming the anti-oxidation mechanism of cellular protection from cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids protect cells from oxidative cell death: a receptor-independent mechanism.