Every once in a while something comes along that seems too good to be true. While the remarkable benefits of CBD may seem too good to be true, many will tell you it’s the real thing. In a world of so many supplement options and gimmicky marketing, CBD is rapidly making a name and for good reason-it works.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that comes from the hemp plant. It is one of more than 85 unique compounds found in hemp, known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are known to promote health and support resiliency in the body. Because CBD comes from hemp, it is often confused with marijuana. They are from the same plant family but are completely different in function, cultivation and application. CBD is non-psychoactive, does not make you feel euphoric and is considered extremely safe.
The Endocannabinoid System
There’s a lot we don’t know about the human body and the following is a great example of that. Researchers never knew this body system existed until two decades ago and it’s linked to the benefits of hemp. Scientists have long known that the body’s cells contain tiny “locks” on their surfaces, known as receptors. These receptors accept molecular “keys” found on various substances, such as hormones, allowing those substances to enter the cell. In the 1990’s, scientists realized that cells have receptors for endocannabinoids and that these receptors exist in every tissue the body contains. This means the ECS (endocannabinoid system) is capable of talking with every other system, allowing it to act as a master switch-board that plugs into the entire body. It was an amazing discovery, yet we never heard about it. It’s been said, you cannot be healthy if your endocannabinoid system is not nourished and functioning properly. One of the reasons the ECS system doesn’t work properly is stress. It’s been shown ongoing stress causes the ECS to become more and more impaired.
Hemp and the ECS
The beauty of hemp is that the phytocannabinoids naturally found in the plant fit into the cannabinoid receptors on cells. This is where the magic happens. Because these phytocannabinoids fit the receptors, they act within the body in a similar fashion to the ECS, helping to keep the body in a healthy state of balance. Every physiological function is governed or influenced by the endocannabinoid system says Carl Germano, clinical nutritionist. We often look at the body as compartmentalized parts and functions such as the Digestive System, Respiratory System, Nervous System, etc. The ECS is different, because it ultimately ends up affecting every singe system in your body. Treating the whole body, versus simply singling out one part of the system, is an approach that may have much more positive results. The Endocannabinoid System represents the whole body approach to potentially treating disease.
How CBD Can Help You
Pain Relief/Inflammation-CBD really shines in this area because cannabinoids play a role in regulating the perception of pain. Numerous clinical trials have shown both safety and efficacy for phytocannabinoids in neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disorders and cancer pain.
Anxiety/Stress Support-cannabinoids support receptors in the brain for serotonin-the feel good neurotransmitter. This helps those with anxiety and depression greatly and encourages a sense of calm. There is also research that shows anxiety is associated with decreased endocannabinoids in the body.
Sleep Concerns-hemp has been shown to support REM which is a stage of deep sleep. The effect on serotonin in the brain also supports sound sleep as decreased levels of serotonin negatively impact mood and sleep.
CBD has also been shown to support bone health, skin health including eczema, psoriasis and seborrhea as well as support the digestive system and gut motility.
The Entourage Effect
The entourage effect with a CBD product is what happens when a whole plant oil is more readily made available for your body to be able to absorb and utilize the cannabinoids present in the product. Minute and trace amounts of all compounds in a whole plant profile-including other cannabinoids, terpenes and fatty acids, affect how CBD works inside of one’s body.
Terpenes are naturally occurring molecules that exist in many plants including citrus fruits, many herbs and hops. Hemp plants also have terpenes that are a naturally occurring component of the plant. There are over 100 known terpenes that can be found in the cannabis plant and each of these can contribute to the smell, taste and effect the plant has on the body. Some common terpenes include:
- Myrcene-found in lenongrass, hops, mango and thyme
- Linalool-found in lavender
- Caryophyllene-found in cloves and black pepper
- Limonene-found in peppermint, juniper and rosemany
Terpenes contribute to the whole effect of cannabinoids. Not all CBD is the same and you want the whole plant or full spectrum which means you’ll be getting a superior product. CBD that may be isolated or CBD that comes from unhealthy plants-could result in having less terpenes or none at all. Quality counts as with any supplement.
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