There is tons of talk about CBD all across the country. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been an increasingly growing trend. You’ve probably seen it advertised across your social media platforms – advertising the product in forms such as gummies, coffee, oils, or even beauty products.
CBD is an important component of the hemp plant, extracted to it’s natural remedies. We all struggle with different kinds of aches and pains – both physical and mental. Millions of us are looking for natural, non-intoxicating ways of finding relief and relaxation.
CBD works out very well for most who decide to try it. There is a variety of ways to work CBD your wellness routine without any negative impact on your lifestyle. Whether your having neck pain, feeling anxious, or feeling out of balance then CBD may be the perfect natural aid to uplift you.
What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol. It is a molecule found in cannabis hemp plant. It contains virtually no THC, meaning that it won’t get you high. The CBD cannabinoid is directly derived from the hemp plant, which is a cousin to and often confused with the marijuana plant.
A report from the World Health Organization states: “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
It is not an addictive substance and has been reported to have helped millions of people to manage symptoms associated with everything from PTSD, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Nerve Pain, Sleep, and Anxiety just to name a few.
But how can a simple product like CBD that is derived from an ancient plant like hemp help so many people?
The Endocannabinoid System
CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), one of the most essential and unknow aspects of our body systems. It acts as a signaling system in the body that regulates biological processes such as immune function, metabolism, pain sensation, and more. It’s been shown that the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 & CB2, can be targeted to relieve certain pathological conditions, such as chronic depression.
The endocannabinoid system was discovered in 1992 and is believed to be a CenterPoint for structure throughout our body. There has been years of research into the endocannabinoid system and while much work has been accomplished, there are new discoveries being made every day.
All animals, excluding insects, have endocannabinoid systems. The firing of these systems for animals, as well as humans, can be activated with physical activity and exercise. When you ingest cannabinoids, they interact with this internal system by either activating or binding to the cannabinoid receptors.
Scientists call CBD the “promiscuous chemical,” meaning that it can fit into several different receptor systems within our bodies and affect each one differently. This also shows that CBD can either fully activate a receptor, or block activity of a receptor.
CBD helps regulate and enhance serotonin. Serotonin is involved in behaviors ranging from sleep, cognition, appetite, and rewarded activities. CBD’s potentially diverse ability to interact with our serotonin receptors is why scientists believe in its underlying effects.
Experts are still trying to fully understand the ECS. But, we do know that it plays a role in regulating a range of processes and functions: mood, sleep, memory, appetite, and even fertility. The ECS is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis in any way.
How Does the Endocannabinoid System Work?
To understand the ECS, it helps to have an understanding of homeostasis. Basically, homeostasis is your body working to keep everything right. It tries to keep your internetal system stable and functioning well. Just like a car or a plane, your body works continuously to monitor important levels and functions within your body. Is your temperature too high or low? Do you need to relax after work? Is your heart beating too fast?
Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life. This goes from the sub-cellular, to organisms, and goes beyond that to affect a whole community within the body. For example: autophagy, a process wherein a cell separates from part of its contents in order to be self-digested and recycled, is mediated by the cannabinoid system. This process keeps normal cells alive and well-balanced, and has a deadly effect on tumorous cells. The death of these cancer cells promotes homeostasis and therefore the survival of the entire organism.
Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are also found at the interaction of the body’s systems, allowing coordination and communication between different cells. At the site of an injury, cannabinoids can be found decreasing the release of activators and sensitizers from the injured tissue. This stabilizes the nerve cell to prevent excessive firing.
The endocannabinoid system is a bridge between mind and body. By understanding this system, we can see a process that explains how certain states of consciousness can promote health or disease.
When something is not operating within proper range, your body activates the ECS to help correct it. When you get really hot and begin to sweat, your ECS is working to cool you down. Is your heart pounding? It’s your ECS saying that you are overwhelmed.
The ECS does this by way of cannabinoid receptors found in certain tissues. We have two main types of cannabinoid receptors:
- CB1: Located in the central nervous system which includes the brain and the nerves of the spinal cord.
- CB2: Located in the peripheral nervous system and within specialized cells in the immune system.
Cannabinoid receptors are believed to be among the most plentiful within our central nervous systems. Through these receptors, the ECS helps regulate important functions in our bodies, including:
- Immune Function
- Temperature Regulation
- Motor Control
Cannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body, within the cell membranes, and are believed to be more numerous than any other receptor system. When cannabinoid receptors are stimulated, a variety of physiologic processes occur. Endocannabinoids are the substances within our bodies that naturally produce in order to stimulate these receptors.
Phytocannabinoids are plant substances that stimulate cannabinoid receptors. THC is one of the most well-known, psychoactive properties of this plant cannabinoid. The other cannabinoid receiving a growing amount of attention in cannabis discussions is cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive but still has this binding attraction to the CB1 and CB2 receptors on a low to moderate scale.
Your body activates the ECS with detail so that it impacts only what it needs to. For example, if you are struggling to remember an important task, it will work to help spark the memory you’re searching for in your brain.
Once the endocannabinoids have worked through your system to restore balance, certain enzymes come along to break them down and prevent them from going too far and creating an imbalance. It’s a very precise response system.
How Does CBD Help With Pain?
If you ask health care professionals what the most challenging condition to treat is, you might hear a good amount of them say chronic pain. Pain perception is affected differently by our individual biology, our moods, social environments, and past experiences.
CBD is a promising natural agent which is on the rise for treating pain, seizures, inflammation, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC. The research on the role of CBD in pain management continues to evolve.
Evidence from animal studies has shown that CBD releases pain-relieving effects through various module interactions of the endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and pain sensing systems.
CBD modulates pain and the sensation of pain by stimulating the reuptake of the neurotransmitter known as adenosine, therefore boosting these levels in the brain and inhibiting pain sensations. CBD may also block pain signals from reaching the processing centers in the brain.
Just like prescription medicines, cannabis works by activating receptors in our brains. When this occurs, our receptors bring senses of relief even if an injury or pain still exists. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s able to address symptoms directly at the source rather than just covering up your pain. You get to experience relief before you’ve completely healed, and CBD also helps your body repair itself.
The National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that some evidence suggests cannabis or CBD could have benefits for chronic pain. Another study by the Journal of Experimental Medicine supports the results stating strong evidence that using CBD can reduce pain and inflammation.
The use of cannabis can be traced back to ancient China for its benefits for pain relief. CBD has a very particular effect on our ECS and creates relief throughout the body. CBD is a natural approach to pain relief if you or someone you know is struggling with chronic pain.
How can CBD Help With Anxiety?
If you are someone who struggles with anxiety, CBD could be a perfect natural aide for you. The way that it interacts with your ECS is it creates a calming effect throughout your system. Dealing with anxiety creates a chemical imbalance within our brains and CBD may by affecting serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical in our bodies that affects our moods, digestion, sleep patterns, and behavior.
When we are dealing with difficult moments of anxiety, cannabinoids are natural remedies that can bring relief to our systems. A 2019 study found that between 300 and 600mg of CBD significantly reduced anxiety in 57 adult men. There is no exact measurement or science for what amount of CBD would be appropriate for an individual – it all depends on the person or animal and how their ECS reacts to CBD.
For the treatment of anxiety, it is best to consult with your doctor to decide if prescription medication is right for you. Or experiment on your own with determining your own personalized dosing using this free dosing guide. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications work by regulating serotonin levels. Some studies are suggesting that the use of CBD may work similarly or at least be of aid to certain medications working to maintain healthy serotonin levels.
Another study conducted in 2019 showed that 80% of people’s anxiety was improved with the use of CBD. 70% of participants reported improved sleep in the first month, but improved sleep results varied over different periods of times.
Will CBD Help Fight Depression?
Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental health conditions that can have lasting effects on a person’s social life, ability to work, and overall well-being. A doctor may prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to help a person treat or manage their depression. Many of these drugs can have side effects which may include sleeplessness, mood swings, and even sexual dysfunction.
CBD has shown promise in studies to assist as a treatment for depression and anxiety, and have lesser side effects in return.
There is evidence to suggest that CBD may help with depression. CBD may be safe to take with antidepressants, but it is important to check with your health care provider to discuss.
A study in 2020 exposed rats to various types of stressors while treating them with CBD over a period of 28 days. Researchers evaluated the rats for depression and found that CBD did help to reduce these symptoms.
Overall, the research on CBD seems to suggest that it has helpful properties in being able to aid depression. However, there are still a limited amount of studies that are available on the benefits of CBD on depression, but from the research that we currently have, we can see obvious statistics of CBD being helpful to people who are dealing with mental health issues.
Is CBD Right For Me?
If you are considering adding CBD to your wellness regime, now is the time! CBD is a growing trend and people are experimenting with different forms of consumption and what works best with their lifestyles.
If you are struggling with medical conditions, consult your doctor before trying CBD products. The research shows us that a majority of people who use CBD over an extended period of time are benefiting from this cannabinoid.
CBD has fascinating binding effects on our endocannabinoid system. The way it affects people and animals can differ but ultimately has nothing but positive effects for those looking for natural remedy.