PART 1: What is CBD and CBD Oil?
If you take a look at the news headlines, it’s easy to see just how much people are talking about cannabis, and this topic is far from being old news. In fact, the discussion about medicinal marijuana has recently started to include CBD products. Unfortunately, however, this discussion has turned more into a debate that is actually a tangled mess of myths, false claims, and actual facts, making it hard to know what is true and what isn’t.
As CBD has gained more and more attention across the nation, we recognize that many of our customers are interested in learning more about what CBD actually is and what it can do. To help you easily find answers to your questions, we have created an eleven-part series of blog posts.
During this series, we will cover some of the most frequently asked questions about CBD and provide essential information you won’t want to miss. Here’s what you can expect to learn in this big 'ol blog post:
What is CBD and CBD oil?
What is the difference between THC and CBD?
What is the difference between hemp, cannabis, and marijuana?
What is Broad-Spectrum CBD?
How does CBD work in the body?
CBD and Terpenes
What are the health benefits of CBD?
CBD for mental and emotional health
Choosing a good CBD oil
Let’s get started!
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Odds are you are familiar with the cannabinoid THC, which is the compound that produces the psychoactive, or “high”, effect in the drug marijuana. It is important to note, however, that while CBD is a cannabinoid like THC, it is not psychoactive and will not get you “high”. We will go more into this in part two of this series.
Cannabinoids Are Already In Your Body
Did you know that your body naturally produces its own cannabinoids similar to CBD? The cannabinoids that your body produces are called endocannabinoids, and they travel through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate just about everything in your body, from your mood to vital conditions.
Your endocannabinoid system has several cannabinoid receptors that interact with your body’s natural cannabinoids through chemical stimuli. This interaction helps regulate everything, including your mood, pain management, and appetite. If one or more of these normal functions gets unbalanced, your body will synthesize, or combine, the cannabinoids it needs in order to restore balance throughout the body.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is the essential oil extracted from the hemp cannabis plant. It contains concentrated levels of the specific cannabinoid CBD, and a minimal or non-existent amount of THC.
Why Do We Need CBD Products or Supplements?
This is a great question! Although our bodies do naturally produce cannabinoids, there are cases where the body struggles to produce enough cannabinoids to restore complete balance, or homeostasis. Recent studies of this condition, called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, have shown that lower levels of cannabinoids can cause people to become more susceptible to a wide range of ailments and diseases, including migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, and fibromyalgia.
When the body fails to produce the necessary amount of cannabinoids to create homeostasis, CBD products, like CBD oil, can help your body carry out its natural balancing process. We will dive more into just how CBD does this in part five.
What to expect in part two: What is the difference between THC and CBD?
PART 2: What is the difference between THC and CBD?
Many people are aware of THC and its effects on the human mind and body, particularly when consumed as marijuana. As CBD has come more into the spotlight, many people are associating CBD with the same effects as THC. While THC and CBD are similar, there are some significant differences that are important to understand.
What are THC and CBD?
Before we can discuss the differences between THC and CBD, we need to first understand what they are. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD stands for cannabidiol. Both of these chemical compounds are two of the most popular cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. While there are over 100 other cannabinoids in cannabis, they occur in such small amounts that they really don’t have much of an effect.
What makes THC and CBD so different?
The main difference between CBD and THC is how they interact with the body. Our bodies naturally produce their own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids, which move and interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In your endocannabinoid system, there are two main cannabinoid receptors: the CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor.
When consumed, THC molecules bind directly to your CB1 receptors, which are concentrated mostly in the brain. By binding to the receptors, THC activates the receptor, which stimulates the mind and body. This ultimately creates the famous mild-altering and “high” effects of marijuana.
CBD, on the other hand, does not bind directly to your body’s cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it influences your receptors indirectly through a process called modulation (the fluctuation of cells based on changes in their environment).
*Photo Credit: https://www.leafscience.com/2017/11/22/thc-cbd-difference/
Because CBD does not directly bind to or activate your cannabinoid receptors, it does not cause any kind of “high” effect, unlike THC. Rather, CBD helps regulate the amount of endocannabinoids that your body naturally produces while also facilitating many health benefits, more of which we’ll discuss below and in part seven of this series.
In short, THC binds directly to your cannabinoid receptors, which overstimulates the mind and creates the “high” effect. CBD does not bind to your receptors and thus cannot change your state of mind.
Different Health Benefits of THC and CBD
Another main difference between THC and CBD is the health benefits they provide. While both cannabinoids are known to relieve pain and have multiple therapeutic benefits, there are also some major differences in how THC and CBD affect the body.
THC, especially when consumed as marijuana, is known to have a relaxing and euphoric effect. Consumers often experience heightened senses, a feeling of having no cares or worries, and muscle relaxation. This is all a result of the THC binding directly to the CB1 receptors in the brain and altering your state of mind.
CBD does not alter your state of mind, although it can help reduce feelings of anxiety. It also has a host of health benefits that affect more of your physical well-being. According to LeafScience, such benefits include protecting against seizures and convulsions, assisting with cancer prevention, and preventing inflammation. We will go more in depth on CBD’s health benefits in part seven of this series.
Even though THC and CBD are fairly similar, the important things to remember is that they really are quite different, and the most significant difference is that CBD will not alter your mental state or make you “hight” like THC will. That means you can get all of the health benefits of cannabis without any negative side effects.
What to expect in part three: what is the difference between hemp, cannabis, and marijuana?
PART 3: What is the Difference Between Hemp, Cannabis, and Marijuana?
One of the greatest misunderstandings that leads to confusion in the debate about cannabis and CBD is the fact that cannabis and marijuana are the same thing. Then, people started throwing in the word hemp, and now just about everyone is lost. By clearing the air about the confusion between these three terms, our hope is to make it easier for you to decide if CBD products are right for you. So, let’s get to it!
What is Cannabis?
In short, quick terms, cannabis is simply a plant. More specifically, it is the plant that both hemp and marijuana come from. Cannabis is one of the oldest crops in the world with records of its use dating as far back as the 2,000s B.C.
Think back to your high school biology class. Do you remember that lesson you had about species, genus, and families within plant groups? If not, that’s alright. Here’s a little refresher: a genus is the generic name of a group of plants, and the species are specific types of that genus. Cannabis is the genus, or generic name, of a group of plants. Within the cannabis genus, there are several different species.
In 1753, botanist Carl Linnaeus classified and named the first species of cannabis as sativa. 30 years later in 1783, naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck found a different species of cannabis, which he named indica. While these two are the most commonly known species of cannabis, there are others, but they do not contain the same levels of cannabinoids as sativa and indica to be of much interest in the debate about CBD and THC.
The reason we bring up the cannabis species is because there is a lot of confusing information about the difference between sativa and indica. Traditionally, Cannabis indica has been classified as a sedative that provides more relaxing effects, and it is associated as the plant that gives you the common “high” effects due to its higher levels of THC. This plant is shorter and stockier with fatter, fan-like leaves. Basically, this is the species of cannabis that we see the most pictures of when we see cannabis products and dispensaries.
On the other hand, Cannabis sativa is known as a stimulant that results in greater alertness, euphoria, and increased energy. This tall, skinny plant has thinner, finger-like leaves, and is higher in CBD than the indica species.
Both Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa naturally contain levels of both THC and CBD, even if they are higher in one than the other. Today, most extracts in the U.S. come from the sativa species, which is higher in CBD. However, cultivators have spread their breeding to include both sativa and indica in order to create a product with their desired results.
Here’s how it works: because sativa is naturally higher in CBD, those who want to create CBD products don’t have to modify too much of the sativa plant in order to get the results they want. However, in order to ensure that products are safe and contain minimal or no levels of THC, cultivators can crossbreed and modify the plant to create specific strains.
Now, what about marijuana and products with high levels of THC? Whether a supplier or farmer chooses to grow sativa or indica species of cannabis, marijuana almost always comes from crossbred and modified strains of either species. This selective breeding allows farmers to produce plants that contain higher levels of THC so that they and their customers can get the results they want.
In the end, cultivators, farmers, and suppliers of any type of cannabis often take the best qualities of both the sativa and indica species to get the specific strains and results they want. This can include products that are 50% CBD and 50% THC, or dominant in either CBD or THC. In today’s world, it is rare to get products that com from an unaltered sativa or indica plant.
Now, keep in mind that even though most THC and CBD products come from hybrid plants, these products are by no means less natural than if you were to eat the plant directly. Hybrids and crossbreed often come from using the natural parts of the different cannabis species. In short, you can still find products that have been modified but are still 100% natural.
The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
Now that you know all about cannabis and its most common species, let’s get into the difference between hemp and marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis in the fact that they both come from the cannabis plant. But, that’s about where the similarities end.
What is Hemp?
Hemp comes from the Cannabis sativa species of the cannabis plant, which is taller and contains fewer leaves. The fibers from the sativa plant stalks are often used industrially to create rope, clothes, paper, clothing, biofuels, bioplastics, cosmetics, dietary supplements, foods, and more.
Hemp is defined as the generic strains of the cannabis plant that are higher in CBD. It is industrial and non-intoxicating. While sativa is naturally higher in CBD, hemp products can be modified to ensure that they contain .3% or less of THC, which is the legal requirement. Hemp products will not make you “high”, but they can provide you with the medicinal benefits you may need, more of which we’ll discuss in part seven of our CBD series.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana can come from either the sativa or indica species of the cannabis plant. However, it is important to note that no matter which species it comes from, marijuana is most often a hybrid strain of cannabis. These crossbred strains come from controlled growing conditions to produce plants that contain the optimal amount of THC. Depending on the desired result, some crossbred marijuana strains can contain as much as 30% THC.
Marijuana comes from the dried flowers, stems, leaves, and seeds of the cannabis plant, and it is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Because of its high THC levels, marijuana will give you a “high” effect that alters your senses, changes your mood, relaxes your muscles, and can even cause hallucinations or delusions. If used long-term, marijuana can hinder the way your brain communicates between the areas in the brain used for memories, learning, and thinking. Using marijuana can also lead to several major health issues, including breathing problems, heart problems, hindered child development during and after pregnancy, intense vomiting and nausea, paranoia, and increased depression or anxiety.
We know that was a lot of information, so let’s take a moment to sum everything up:
Cannabis is a group of plants. Both hemp and marijuana come from cannabis. Cannabis has two main species that we use for CBD products and marijuana, namely Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Sativa is higher in CBD, and indica is higher in THC; however, just about all marijuana or hemp (CBD) products come from some type of hybrid strain of one of these cannabis species. Hemp refers to products that are high in CBD and cannot get you high. Marijuana refers to the illegal drug that is modified to be higher in THC in order to give you the mind-altering “high” effect.
What to expect in part four: What is Broad-Spectrum CBD?
PART 4: What is Broad-Spectrum CBD?
The CBD market is rapidly expanding, and the more you look into the various products that are available, the more you may notice that there are several products listed as CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, or broad-spectrum CBD.
These terms help separate different CBD products, but what exactly is the difference between them? In this part of our CBD series, we hope to make it a little easier to understand what broad-spectrum CBD is and how you can benefit from it.
What is Broad-Spectrum CBD?
Before we can understand what broad-spectrum CBD is, we need to first discuss the two main types of CBD products: isolate and full-spectrum.
CBD isolate is a product that contains nothing but 99.9% pure CBD. During the extraction process, manufacturers who make CBD isolate simply remove everything from the plant extract except for the CBD cannabinoid. This means that there are no other cannabinoid strains (including THC), terpenes, oils, waxes, and chlorophyll in the end product. Once the extraction process is complete, you are left with a fine white powder, which is the form that CBD takes once extracted. You can add this powder to just about anything, including tinctures, oils, and edibles to help you experience the benefits of CBD. However, because CBD isolate is only CBD, you won’t get any additional benefits that come from the other cannabinoids and compounds that are in the cannabis plant.
On the other end, full-spectrum CBD contains everything that is naturally found in the cannabis plant. Full-spectrum CBD products are full of natural terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and cannabinoids, including THC. All of the various compounds in full-spectrum CBD products have their own therapeutic properties, which, when they work together, allow you to experience what is called the entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to when you get the benefits of all compounds working together instead of just a few working on their own, like what you’d get with CBD isolate. Although full-spectrum CBD contains THC, the amount of THC is naturally .3% or less, which is the legal and safe amount to ingest without experiencing the psychoactive effects of THC.
Broad-spectrum CBD is essentially the same as full-spectrum CBD, but without THC. This means that broad-spectrum CBD contains all of the naturally occurring flavonoids, terpenes, cannabinoids, fatty acids, and all other beneficial components within the cannabis plant, but has had the specific THC cannabinoid strain removed.
Choosing Between Isolate, Full-Spectrum, and Broad-Spectrum CBD
Each of these three types of CBD products offer their own benefits and can help address certain needs. Originally, people believed that CBD isolate would be more effective simply because it is pure CBD. However, in 2015, a study showed that full-spectrum CBD provides higher levels of relief, as well as longer-lasting relief. This can also be the case for broad-spectrum CBD because these two types of CBD are essentially the same, with the exception of their THC content.
Even though full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD may seem to be more effective, CBD isolate still has its place. CBD isolate is great for those who may not need all of the benefits of full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD.
In addition, CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD are great for those who cannot have THC in their system for legal purpose or drug tests, or for those who simply do not want to worry about ingesting THC. In you are in any of these situations, CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD may be for you simply because they do not contain any THC that can get into your system in the first place.
Benefits of Broad-Spectrum CBD
Because broad-spectrum CBD contains more than just CBD, you can get more benefits as the various components work together. Essentially, you get all of the benefits of full-spectrum CBD without the worry of ingesting the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. We will get more into the benefits of CBD and related products in part seven of our CBD series.
What to expect in part five: How does CBD work in the body?
Part 5: How Does CBD Work In The Body?
Through the first four articles in our CBD series, we’ve talked a lot about what CBD is, where it comes from, and some of its various forms. We know that CBD is a chemical compound called a cannabinoid, and it comes from the various strains of the cannabis plant, with the Cannabis sativa species being the naturally highest in CBD; however, we also know that in today’s world of advanced science, most CBD products come from hybrid strains of cannabis. In addition, we know that CBD provides many therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC.
It’s great that we’ve established this base, but it doesn’t really mean much to us if we don’t understand how CBD actually works and interacts with our bodies. Today, we’re going to dive into the body’s inner systems to see just what happens when you ingest CBD.
The Body’s Natural Cannabinoid System
Did you know that the human body has its very own cannabinoid system? It’s true! This system, called the enodcannabinoid system (ECS), runs throughout your entire body and produces its own cannabinoids. Here’s how it works:
The ECS contains two main types of cannabinoid receptors: the CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor. Enzymes within the body create cannabinoids, which are called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids interact with the ECS through the CB1 and CB2 receptors. What happens is that the endocannabinoids in our bodies link together with the receptors, like a lock and key. This “linking” effect activates the receptors, triggering them to carry out a series of responses that your body needs for healthy and proper functioning.
What Does the ECS Do?
The purpose of the ECS is to help regulate homeostasis within the body. Homeostasis is when the body maintains a constant internal environment. Maintaining homeostasis happens on a cellular level in every tissue, organ, and system, and it occurs through the use of the two main ECS receptors. CB1 receptors are concentrated mainly in the brain and central nervous system, but you can also find them in the lungs, kidneys, liver, and other tissues. The CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mostly found in the cells that are associated with the immune system.
Because the CB1 receptors are mostly in the brain and nervous system, they work to regulate more cognitive and mind-body processes, such as coordination and movement, appetite, mood, thinking, memories, pain management, and more. The CB2 receptors work more as a response to illness, and as a way to help the body avoid oxidative damage (the damage caused to cells and tissue when they can’t control the production of free radicals). Together, these two receptors help keep everything regulated within the body.
When a problem arises in the body, such as imbalanced pH or glucose levels, rising body temperature, cognitive issues, and illness, the body starts producing the necessary endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids will then activate the appropriate ECS receptors and trigger the body’s natural responses to restore homeostasis.
If We Have The ECS, Why Do We Need CBD?
Great question! While our bodies are great at maintaining homeostasis, many of us begin to experience problems when our bodies do not produce enough endocannabinoids to achieve full homeostasis, or to properly maintain it. This condition, called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, is suspected to be an underlying cause of several health and mental conditions. When the body’s ECS does not function properly, the internal systems cannot remain regulated, which makes it easier for illness and disease to arise.
In various studies, scientists have determined that an endocannabinoid deficiency may lead to the development of migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. With the possibility of these and other issues arising from an endocannabinoid deficiency, it is so important that we make sure our ECS functions properly.
How CBD Helps Your Endocannabinoid System
When you have an endocannabinoid deficiency, or if your ECS isn’t working properly in some other way, a great way to support your ECS and restore homeostasis is to take cannabinoid supplements. CBD is an excellent cannabinoid supplement because it doesn’t just replace missing cannabinoids like traditional supplements. Instead, it supports and encourages your body’s ECS to work properly on its own.
When ingested, CBD works with your body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors to relieve endocannabinoid deficiency-related symptoms. Originally, scientists believed that CBD attaches directly to your ECS receptors; however, more recent studies show that CBD doesn’t do that. Instead, CBD influences your receptors indirectly, helping the body use more of its own endocannabinoids. In addition, CBD stops the enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids. As a result, CBD helps to naturally increase your body’s endocannabinoid levels and relieve symptoms caused by an endocannabinoid deficiency.
But CBD doesn’t stop there. Studies show that CBD also interacts with several non-CBD receptors, including your dopamine and opioid receptors, which help regulate mood, cognition, and behavior; the TRPV-1 receptor, which helps moderate pain, inflammation, and body temperature; the GPR55 receptor, which helps reduce cancer cells; the PPAR receptor, which can help reduce the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease; and your 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which can help reduce nausea and vomiting, addiction, pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
A Note About How THC Affects the ECS
Many are aware that both CBD and THC provide a variety of therapeutic benefits; however, THC also has a psychoactive side effect. This happens because THC physically attaches to the CB1 receptors in the brain. This direct interaction over stimulates the ECS receptors and interferes with the body’s natural ability to create homeostasis. Because your CB1 receptors regulate appetite, cognition, motor skills, memory, mood, and other mental processes, the over stimulation of the receptors can cause each of these processes to also become over stimulated and impaired.
Because CBD does not directly attach to your ECS receptors, but instead works with your body’s natural endocannabinoid-producing system, you can experience the therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive and over-stimulated effects that THC causes.
What to expect in part six: CBD and Terpenes
PART 6: CBD and Terpenes
When you walk by a flower bush or open a carton of fresh blueberries, you’ll get a whiff of distinct floral or fruity smells. Every plant around us, whether a tree, flower, fruit, vegetable, or herb, has a distinct smell, and it becomes easy for us to identify these plants simply by that smell.
The same goes for cannabis plants. Each variety of cannabis has its own distinct smell, just like different varieties of lavender or tulips have different and distinct smells. And the thing that gives each plant its own smell are the terpenes inside of it.
But terpenes do so much more than just make a plant smell nice (or not smell nice, if you’re the corpse flower). They also offer several therapeutic benefits, especially when they combine with cannabinoids, like those found in CBD oil. Today, we’re taking a closer look at what terpenes are and how they can enhance the benefits of CBD oil.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are molecules found in plants that produce a variety of different smells and flavors. Each plant has several different kinds of terpenes, but usually only a few dominate. These unique smells and flavors are designed to protect the plant and help it survive. For example, if an herbivore comes and starts eating a plant, that plant can respond by sending out certain terpenes, or a smell, that attracts carnivores to its herbivore enemy. When a plant is ready to be pollinated, it can produce different terpenes, or smells, that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Pretty neat, right?
If you're familiar with therpatic essential oils then you've most likely heard of terpenes before. Especially in the highest known-terpene oil in the world, Copaiba.
You will find terpenes in every plant, but you can also find them in many of today’s industrial products. Many companies use terpenes as fragrances, flavorings, or spices in their products, including cosmetics and perfumes.
Terpenes in Cannabis
In the cannabis plant specifically, there are over 100 different terpenes, each with its own unique flavor and smell. Of course, we only smell or taste the predominant terpenes, and each cannabis species (and ever other plant, for that matter) has varying strains and ratios of predominant and subdominant terpenes. This makes it so that every plant species has a different smell and taste, even if it similar to a related species. That’s why, in the earlier days, people could tell the difference between the sativa and indica species simply by the smell and taste of the plant.
Terpenes gather inside of trichomes, which are the tiny hairs on cannabis flowers that give the buds their frosty look. These trichomes, or glands, are also where the cannabis plant produces CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids. Generally, terpenes are more concentrated in the flowers of unfertilized female cannabis plants, before the flowers undergo senescence (the process in which they age). As terpenes become more concentrated, they form an oil in the glands, which the plant can secrete as needed.
Terpenes in CBD Oil
Because terpenes create an oil in the cannabis flower, the essential oil from cannabis plants is essentially just the plant’s terpene profile – with the cannabinoids that are also in the glands. This means that once the essential CBD oil is extracted from the plant and bottled, the oil also contains the terpenes that were in the same glands (that is, if the terpenes aren’t removed from the oil after the extraction process).
Some people may think that CBD oil with terpenes is not “pure” CBD oil, but in reality, it is because all of the components in the oil came directly from the plant itself. Not only that, but having terpenes in your CBD oil can actually help enhance the benefits that CBD oil can provide.
Benefits of Terpenes
Terpenes work similar to and with the cannabinoids inside of the body, both those that your body produces naturally and those you ingest, like with CBD oil. This synergy between terpenes and cannabinoids creates what is called the “entourage effect”. In essence, the “entourage effect” is the process that both terpenes and cannabinoids bind to receptors and work together to enhance the therapeutic properties of both compounds. Basically, you get better results as the parts work together than you would if they were separate.
Although there are over one hundred different terpenes in cannabis plants, there are a few specific ones that tend to be more dominant than the others, and these terpenes bring new therapeutic benefits while also enhancing those of CBD. Let’s take a look at just a few of these dominant terpenes:
Myrcene: This terpene is commonly found in plants that are highly aromatic, such as mangoes, bay laurel, and basil. It provides a calming, sedative effect. It helps ease physical discomfort and lowers internal swelling.
Limonene: Found mostly in citrus fruits, this terpene can boost your mood, increase your mental focus, and reduce stress. Limonene can also help keep your body free of dangerous and harmful cells.
Pinene: As you may guess by the name, you can find this terpene in pine trees, as well as in some herbs, such as parsley and dill. Pinene helps ease inflammation and can promote better breathing. It can also help boost your mood and improve concentration.
Linalool: This terpene provides the typical fresh flower scent, and it has a great calming effect. It helps reduce stress and nervousness while also soothing muscle tension or spasms.
Terpenes and Cannabinoids Working Together
When terpenes and cannabinoids, like CBD, work together, you can experience enhanced therapeutic benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
We will get more into how CBD oil can benefit your body in part seven of this post.
PART 7: Health Benefits of CBD
In the previous sections we’ve been talking a lot about CBD: what it is, how it works in the body, the difference between it and THC, and more. All of this is important, but what exactly can CBD do to improve your health?
Well, as we’ve discussed in our previous sections, we’ve learned that CBD really does have an effect on the brain and body as it works with your body’s natural cannabinoids. As a result, CBD can have a host of remedial benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things CBD can help with.
CBD Benefits for Emotional and Mental Health
As we mentioned in part five, CBD doesn’t just interact with your body’s cannabinoid receptors; it also interacts with several other receptors in the brain. Some of these include dopamine and serotonin receptors, which makes it so that CBD can have the same relaxing and uplifting effects as antidepressant medications. As a result, CBD can help you maintain balanced, calm, and positive emotions. We will dive more into how CBD can help with these and other mental health conditions in our next post.
CBD for Overall Physical Health
Some of the most common uses for CBD is to improve overall health. Whether they use it to just get through the day or to help treat a pre-existing condition, many people vouch for CBD. Among the many things that people have said CBD can do for your health, these are some of the most common ways that CBD can help improve physical well-being:
In addition to these benefits, some doctors and scientists have performed various studies on how CBD oil can help reduce seizures in those who suffer from epilepsy. In fact, the FDA has approved at least two CBD oil products for treating epilepsy.
CBD for Sleep
CBD oil and other CBD products have a great relaxing effect on both the mind and body. This is great for those who struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. For those who struggle to sleep due to anxiety and an overactive mind, CBD can help calm the mind to promote more regular sleep cycles.
In smaller doses, CBD can also help keep you alert and avoid daytime drowsiness. This can help you have the energy you need throughout the day, so you don’t have to take afternoon naps. As a result, you can have a more regulated and natural sleep-wake cycle.
CBD for Beauty
Did you know that many people use CBD products to enhance their daily skincare and beauty routines? CBD is great for treating skin blemishes. It also helps reduce the appearance of red or itchy skin, so you can walk out of your home with confidence!
CBD oil is also full of other natural compounds, including omegas. Omega-3 in particular is great for strengthening and moisturizing hair, and coaxing out its natural shine.
Side Effects of CBD
CBD does have side effects, just like any other form of medicine, but CBD’s side effects are minimal and mild compared to mainstream drugs. Plus, CBD is not addictive, which is extremely important and appealing, especially when you need to take regular doses of addictive pharmaceutical medications, such as opioids and other painkillers.
When using any oil or product that contains CBD, you may experience some nausea, fatigue, and/or sleepiness. However, CBD provides a host of positive side effects at the same time, including the benefits we’ve already talked about. The best way that you can experience these benefits is by choosing a high-quality product that uses pure CBD oil.
Finding the Right Dosage to Achieve CBD Health Benefits
Although there are countless people who have discovered the health benefits for CBD for themselves, many doctors worry that there are not enough studies to confirm all of CBD’s health benefits or the proper dosage to achieve those desired results. Doctors cannot deny that some people experience greatly improved health as a result of using CBD products, but we also can’t ignore the limited number of studies.
As with any kind of medication, CBD will affect everyone a little differently, and everyone will need to test different dosages until they find the right amount of CBD that works for them. Due to limited studies on proper dosage amount, many doctors recommend starting at a low dosage (1-20mg) and see what that does for you over the course of one week. If you don’t notice any of the benefits after that first week, you can adjust your dosage by 5-10mg for the next week, and so on until you find the right dosage for you. Be sure to consult with your physician as you adjust your dosage. For basic dosage guidelines, check out this website.
What to expect in part eight: CBD for Mental and Emotional Health
PART 8: CBD For Mental and Emotional Health
Did you know that one in every four people will be affected by some kind of mental health issue at some point in their life? Just in the United States alone, that’s over 80 million people! With so many people experiencing some form of mental illness, it’s no wonder doctors, naturalists, and victims alike are all searching for new and better ways to help improve mental health.
As we discussed in our last post, CBD provides a host of benefits for your physical health. But did you know that CBD can also improve your mental well-being? If you or someone you know suffers from a mental health issue, you may want to at least consider CBD as a treatment option that you can discuss with your doctor.
Before you do that, though, here’s a list of just some of the things CBD can do to help with your mental health:
Ease Feelings of Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues today. Not only can anxiety make you experience shortened breaths and unclear thoughts, but it can also affect your health by raising your blood pressure, causing digestive issues, and resulting in lack of sleep. To help ease your symptoms of anxiety, CBD helps your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) establish homeostasis, or harmony and balance, throughout your mind and body. This can ultimately help you feel calmer and experience fewer or less severe side effects of anxiety.
Improve Your Mood
If you experience frequent and/or severe feelings of sadness, CBD may help. When ingested, CBD works with several receptors in your brain to establish homeostasis. One of the receptors that CBD activates is your 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which is responsible for regulating your mood and anxiety levels. By targeting this specific serotonin receptor, CBD can enhance how your serotonin receptors send signals throughout the brain and body. As a result, you can experience fast and lasting antidepressant-like effects in a natural way.
Strengthen Your Endocannabinoid System
One way that CBD strengthens your ECS is by inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that is fundamentally linked to happy feelings. When you ingest CBD, it inhibits the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FFAH) enzyme that breaks down anandamide. By inhibiting the breakdown, CBD enables anandamide to last longer in the body, which strengthens your ECS.
It’s great to have a strong Endocannabinoid System, but why is it so important? Well, your ECS is responsible for regulating several systems within your body, including mental processing. Over the years, scientists have determined a link between a weakened or insufficient ECS and mental health issues, including depression. By strengthening your ECS, CBD can help reduce your chances of suffering from mental issues, or reduce the side effects you experience.
Aid in Psychosis Disorders
A psychosis disorder is when someone experiences impaired thoughts and emotions to the extent where they cannot identify what is reality and what is not. Examples of psychosis disorders include Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s. Psychosis can come about from various different things, but one interesting cause that scientists have found is the frequent use of high-THC products, such as marijuana. Studies show, however, that CBD can help counteract the negative side effects that THC can have on the brain. CBD does this by lowering the psychosis symptoms as well as improving general cognitive function.
Ease Side Effects From Traumatic Events
Many people experience an extreme case of anxiety as a result of a traumatic, frightening, or extremely stressful event. For some, this condition may be clinically diagnosed as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), whereas others may have milder but still detrimental side effects. No matter the severity of the condition, those who suffer from such anxiety often experience nightmares or flashbacks of the event, which can cause them to feel extreme guilt, sadness, or irritability. One way that CBD can help reduce these effects is by activating the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which can help improve your mood and reduce anxiety.
Another way that CBD can help is by reducing the activity of the amygdala part of the brain. In short, the amygdala produces fear. It controls the way we respond to events, particularly frightening ones. CBD can reduce activity in the amygdala by inhibiting the FAAH enzyme (remember this from earlier?) and increasing the amount of anandamide in the body. As a result, you can experience greater and longer-lasting feelings of happiness instead of fear.
Reduce Compulsions and Addictions
For those who experience obsessive compulsions, CBD may help. Obsessive compulsions can interfere with day-to-day life in many different ways, and it can be a great hindrance for many people. When ingested, CBD can activate your 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which, in part, helps reduce compulsive behavior and instincts.
If you or someone you know suffers from an addiction of any kind, CBD may be able to help with that as well in several different ways. First, CBD can help reduce cravings. It can also help reduce any anxiety caused from such cravings, resulting in a calmer mind and greater ability to focus on quitting.
As you can see, CBD can help ease the effects of many mental health issues. If you or someone you know experiences one or more of these issues, it may be worth considering CBD. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor before using CBD, especially if you are already taking medications. You may be surprised, though, to see just what CBD can do for you.
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