Where does irrationality come from? Why is it that our brains are so easily manipulated into thinking in a way that doesn’t coincide with reality? While being irrational may prepare us for the worst, it can also hinder our decision-making process. For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can make these decisions even harder.
Irrational behavior can come from intense emotions that stem from making important decisions. Research shows that the amygdala may be where this irrationality comes from. The amygdala takes part in controlling our emotions and is where our “fight or flight” response is mediated. Research shows that people who are better at making rational choices have a more active prefrontal cortex, suggesting that it isn’t necessarily the intensity of the emotions that drive us, but our ability to handle them.
Lucky for us, the amygdala and prefrontal cortex have a high density of CB1 cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are a part of the endocannabinoid system that helps control the functions of our neurological system. Cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with these receptors by elevating the endocannabinoid anandamide. Because of the way that endocannabinoids travel, they can be a big help when it comes to thinking irrationally.
When you are stressed out or overly emotional in a situation, your brain is spitting out neurotransmitters that may be over-activating brain cells. This overactivation can be overwhelming which causes you to be unable to think. When you are twenty minutes late to work and you can’t find your keys, if your brain is overwhelmed it may be harder to find what you’re looking for.
Endocannabinoids travel backward through a process called retrograde signaling. While most chemicals in your brain go from the presynaptic cell to the postsynaptic cell, endocannabinoids do the opposite and bind to the cannabinoid receptor located on the outside of the neuron. This connection stimulates the cannabinoid receptor giving a message to the neuron to either hold back on the transmissions or to send more through.
While not everyone struggles to make rational decisions while they are stressed out, it is a common issue. The next time you are stressed out, and you can’t think straight, and your mind is driving you up the wall, try taking some CBD. It may help ease your mind to a state where thinking is no longer a chore, and your thoughts are more clear.