So it is unlikely that you haven’t heard about CBD by now, but there is a lot more than it just relaxing people or some pain relief. Of course, when something like this hits the market, there will always be people who will say it’s just ‘hippy’ stuff, or that it can’t compete with traditional medication.
So it’s time to talk about the science behind the cannabidiol capsules.
CBD is the short term that we use to refer to cannabidiol and is one of 120 cannabinoid extracts that come from the cannabis plant. It is completely naturally occurring – which is essential to know. Unlike many supplements, it is not synthetically made in a lab.
Of course, people still get confused with THC, cannabis and CBD – while they’re all part of the same thing – their effects are different. THC is the extract that will give you that high feeling.
CBD however, does share some of the great properties that you will find in THC. It is laden with anti-inflammatory properties – but the one most people love is the anxiolytic properties. The latter being the one that deals with anxiety. So these two compounds allow it to have an impact on stress, anxiety and pain.
CBD can work with your body’s endocannabinoid system – which is where the science starts to really make sense.
This system is a range of networks, that include cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. The receptors are littered through your body and can be found in skin, organs, your brain, bone, and connective tissues (so it is pretty extensive). Typically the endocannabinoid’s own cannabinoid receptors work with the cannabinoids produced by the body.
Cannabinoids attach themselves to receptors and when the receptor knows that, it changes the effect within the body.
If we look at stress as an example, we will see that the bodies natural stress response is a flood of cortisol. The cortisol is what gives you the feeling of stress. Of course, when you are in a dangerous situation, it is also responsible for fight or flight – but in everyday life, it throws the balance off. So then what is the counteract for that? Adding more CBD into your body.
The CBD will change how the receptors are reacting and reduce cortisol in the blood and give you the opportunity to look at things a little more calmly.
It is often considered one of the most important systems in the body because it regulates so much. Here are just a few things that the endocannabinoid system takes care of:
- Pain and inflammation
- Muscle tone and movement
Which is why scientists are so interested in the effects of CBD – it is so broad.
The bodies own cannabinoids are very close to the ones which you will find in the body already, which means our bodies are designed to work with them in our system. And in fact that CBD should be added to your typical daily supplement intakes – like vitamins D, C and B12.
There is a key fact here though – the one place cannabinoid receptors aren’t found – is in the brain stem. So you can’t overdose on cannabis (you can have a terrible ride though on occasion).
All of the research that has been done on humans and other mammals is showing positive results in the following areas:
- Easing the vomiting and nausea often associated with other illness
- Improving sleep quality, and the speed at which people get to sleep
- Reducing anxiety
- Relieving pain and inflammation (from migraines, cancer pain and other chronic pain illness)
The more funding and research time that goes into CBD, the more we are beginning to understand even more of the benefits and how the body works with it.
Of course, there are many reasons why you would want to take CBD from painful joints to just needing a better sleep at night. But you should know what makes a quality product before you buy it. Depending on the extraction method will give you two different types – isolate and whole-plant. If you are looking for calming and relaxing then isolate is a purer CBD. If you want some of the extra properties, then look to eat whole-plant/full-spectrum as there are generally more compounds that add to the effect. Third-party lab testing is one of the only ways you will be sure that the extract is as potent as the company claims.
And finally, when you are adding it into your body, you should start with a lower dose and work up to the one that gives you the most noticeable benefits.