Does CBD actually do anything?
CBD products can be found online and in health food stores, wellness catalogues, and even bookstores. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston, cyclist Floyd Landis and former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer are turning to CBD. CBD-infused lattes have become “the wellness world’s new favourite drink.” That sounds crazy. How can one thing claim to do so many things? Can CBD actually make a difference? Can it really help with the mile-long list of ailments it claims to alleviate? Is it just a fad like all the other things we have seen over time? Let us dig a little deeper.
Table of Contents
- What is CBD?
- Your body using CBD
- CBD might affect sleep – but maybe not in the way you think
- CBD will not fix a health problem!
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation that sounds like chemistry, but has little to do with it. It is short for cannabidiol – a natural part of the cannabis/hemp plant. It is mainly extracted from hemp, just like the well-known THC. Both are cannabinoids. The terms may seem very similar in some cases – which can be confusing for beginners.
The receptors for cannabinoids are located in the cells of our nervous system and together they form the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are, simply put, the ends of our nerve cells. They are able to receive stimuli from outside and convert them into signalling processes from stimuli in your body. Thus, the endocannabinoid system has a direct influence on many of our bodily functions.
CBD binds to the so-called CB1 and CB2 receptors. The cannabinoids from the plant are so similar to your body’s endocannabinoids that they can interact with each other. This explains why CBD is used for so many different purposes.
Read more about the endocannabinoid system here: What is the endocannabinoid system?
Your body using CBD
If it seems like everyone is selling CBD, they probably are. But what are you getting?? Unfortunately, most of these sources are not regulated. This means that if you are not careful about where you are sourcing CBD from, you may be buying a product that contains little or no CBD. So. Does CBD actually have an effect on the body and what would that be?
CBD can help with numerous physical and mental problems
For any kind of physical pain or mental issues (pent-up anxiety, for example), CBD can actually help your body calm down and make you feel better.
Your endocannabinoid system also has receptors and the way CBD works with your body is that it helps your endocannabinoid system recognise those receptors. It essentially creates better communication. So when you take it regularly, you are supporting the communication of that system and your endocannabinoid system is supporting the nervous system. It just helps your body with what it needs to do. So your body may need help with pain, but my body may need help with anxiety. Whatever you need, it helps your body be in an active state.
Some studies show that CBD also has neuroprotective properties, meaning it can help protect your neurological system.
CBD (cannabidiol) will get you high, NOT!!!
CBD will not get you high. Although CBD is derived from cannabis/hemp, CBD products contain little to no THC – the psychoactive chemical that produces a euphoric effect.
Both CBD and THC act on the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in your brain, but they somehow have opposite effects. THC binds to these receptors, activating them and causing a feeling of euphoria or intoxication.
But CBD is different: it barely binds to the CB1 receptors. In fact, it can prevent a high from occurring at all. If you were to take CBD along with THC, you might find that you do not feel as high as you would if you were to consume THC alone.
CBD balm can relieve inflammation!
With topical application, you can choose exactly where you apply the CBD to your skin. This can obviously help with pain or inflammation in certain areas of the body.
If you use it for stress and find that the stress is in your neck or shoulder. If you apply CBD there and massage it in, that can also be a calming ritual. If you are in pain, applying it directly to the area where the pain is occurring can usually produce a really positive response.
CBD will not completely eliminate the pain like morphine would, but it can ease it enough to make it more bearable.
A study published in the journal Molecules found that medications containing CBD from a cannabis plant can improve drug treatment for patients with chronic pain and inflammation. But take note: They may supplement rather than replace treatment, and that depends heavily on the preparation, dosage and formulation.
Combining topical CBD (balms, ointments, creams, etc.) and sublingual CBD (oil in dropper bottles) is always a good idea, as treating the problem from both sides can speed up the healing process.
CBD could help with sleep – maybe not in the way you imagined
CBD could help sleep – but maybe not in the way you think
Most people do not realise that the quality of sleep is closely related to stress and maintaining a strong immune system. You need to have both systems under control if you want to have an optimal immune response to anything. Elevated cortisol levels can keep you awake. CBD is believed to reduce this and keep your body in a state of homeostasis.
If you are new to CBD, a CBD Rainbow Gummy for sleep is an easy way to test its effects in an easy-to-take format. You can also buy unflavored CBD oils (or “CBD tinctures”) that come from a dropper so you can control exactly how much you want to take.
Many people will say that CBD makes them sleep at night. This is because it reduces anxiety, and anxiety (overthinking) is the cause of insomnia.
Using pure CBD to sleep will not do much. However, in extreme doses CBD can promote sleep, but it is a misconception that it does so at low or moderate doses. That’s why we developed CBD oil with added melatonin for easier sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that we all produce in the pineal gland and to a small extent in the retina. This happens as soon as the sun begins to set.
From the studies we have, we know that you need to ingest a really large amount of CBD to get a positive effect, and that you are more likely to become jittery and awake at these levels.
CBD will not solve any health problem!
CBD does not actually cure you, it just helps your body do something to heal itself. So if you are struggling with chronic inflammation or chronic pain, for example. Or if you are dealing with anxiety, or if you are dealing with another health-related lifestyle that’s affecting your well-being. CBD will help your body overcome these. It creates homeostasis (balance) in the body.
Here is an example:
When bacteria or viruses that can make you sick enter your body, your lymphatic system kicks in to maintain homeostasis. It fights the infection before it has a chance to make you sick and keeps you healthy. We are exposed to millions of bacteria every day – but we do not get sick every day.
CBD for better homeostasis
The endocannabinoid system is part of our physiology. We did not know it existed until the 1990s, when an Israeli scientist discovered it. It is a network of cells throughout the body made up of endocannabinoids and their network of receptors.
The endocannabinoid system has been shown to have a major impact on homeostasis and is responsible for regulating many physiological processes. These include pain regulation, sleep, digestion, inflammation, appetite, immune response, mood, energy regulation, memory, to name a few.
The endocannabinoid system is able to maintain homeostasis by utilising cannabinoid receptors. Along with cannabinoids found throughout the immune system, as well as the central and peripheral nervous systems. When the body detects an imbalance, cannabinoids are naturally synthesised to interact with the cannabinoid receptors. These, in turn, trigger the necessary chemical reaction to restore the process that is out of balance. Cannabinoids are the links that allow communication between the different types of cells in the body.
The body is able to naturally produce cannabinoids, including 2AG and anandamide. Anandamide is the chemical you produce when you relax or meditate, and has earned the name happy molecule. Both 2AG and anandamide are found in enormous concentrations in breast milk and may explain why children are always relaxed during breastfeeding. The two compounds are also linked to what is commonly known as “runner’s high.”
CBD could help regulate and maintain all of these “systems.”
Central nervous system
Endocrine (hormone) system
In addition …
CBD affects certain genes in our body
All the information needed to make proteins, the building blocks of our body, is contained in our genes. We are talking about all the signalling molecules that control various physiological processes. These include hormones that control the endocrine system, neurotransmitters that control the central nervous system, and cytokines that control the immune system.
Scientists now know that CBD regulates the transcription of over 1,100 genes. These include genes that make the signalling molecules that naturally reduce inflammation throughout the immune system. Also the central nervous system, restoring the necessary balance in both systems.
As we have seen, the impressive properties of hemp oil have been studied in the treatment of common health problems such as pain, anxiety, depression, acne and various chronic diseases. For people suffering from cancer, it can even be a natural alternative to relieve pain and symptoms.
Research into the health benefits of CBD oil continues. It is likely that new therapeutic uses will become known over time. There is still much to learn about the benefits of CBD, but for now, the results of recent studies suggest that cannabidiol can improve various aspects of health.
When buying CBD products, keep in mind that not all CBD products are of the same quality and have not gone through all safety standards. Therefore, make sure that you get your products from a trusted and licensed supplier to avoid disappointments like poor quality. That being said, we cannot stress enough that you should first consult your doctor before adding CBD to your health regimen.