February 20, 2021

Understanding The Effects Of CBD On The Mind & Body

CBD is quickly gaining popularity with consumers. And with good reason — as it has so darned many potential benefits for your mind and body.

Did you ever wonder why CBD can be so helpful? Or how, exactly, it works its wonders? Well, if these imponderables are skipping through your consciousness, this is the post for you.

We’ll take a look at what CBD is doing once it’s in your system. You’ll learn how CBD acts upon your brain and body to achieve various results. So…all good stuff that’s super useful for any and all CBD users and enthusiasts to know.

What Is CBD?

You’re probably somewhat knowledgeable about CBD from personal use or hearing about it in the media. Even so, let’s indulge in a little recap. Just in case you think CBD stands for Central Business District here. (It doesn’t.)

Cannabis contains hundreds of substances, including ones called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol, aka CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC, are two of the more well-known cannabinoids.

CBD can be derived from hemp or marijuana, which are both varieties of the Cannabis sativa L. plant. Hemp (sometimes called industrial hemp) is generally rich in CBD and low in THC. Conversely, marijuana is known for its high THC levels. It still has CBD, just in smaller proportions than hemp CBD.

THC is known for its euphoric effects — that “high” sensation. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t have any psychoactive impact. It’s often associated with a “calming” feeling.

This is a 30K-foot-level view of what CBD is. If you want a deeper dive, check out:

Benefits of CBD

CBD’s been used therapeutically for millennia. People learned to harness its powerhouse properties to help alleviate a wide-ranging list of health and wellness issues. And we continue to do this today.

Moreover, it seems that many modern consumers are trying to be really conscientious with their self-care choices. They’re selecting more natural approaches to treating their aches and pains. Others are eager to add “complementary and alternative” treatments into their traditional care plans. CBD is a perfect fit for this holistic ideology.

OK, that CBD comes from an earth plant versus a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is definitely a plus to a lot of folks. But, what about how it could relieve a bevy of biological burdens? Here’s an overview of CBD’s benefits:

Physical Benefits of CBD

CBD can do a bod good! It’s been enlisted to combat everything from occasional cramps and complaints to ongoing or debilitating disorders. Here are some of the more notable corporeal concerns:

  • Acne
  • Arthritis and joint deterioration
  • Cancer (and cancer treatment) side effects and symptoms
  • Chronic muscle, tissue, or nerve pain
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Heart disease
  • HIV
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Obesity
  • Post-workout muscles recovery
  • Smoking and drug addiction and withdrawal

Mental Benefits of CBD

Sometimes what doesn’t ail the body can be just as bothersome, or perhaps more so. People have turned to CBD for help with the following emotional and psychological conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Feeling “blue”
  • PTSD
  • Sleeplessness
  • Social Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Undue fear

The Root Of CBD Benefits

Whew! Those are some lengthy lists! In fact, that’s such a broad and deep roundup of health conditions, it might seem impossible that one tiny cannabinoid could address them all.

But, if you take a gander at what’s going on inside, you’ll find that many of these ailments share some commonalities. Many of these health concerns relate to problems with the immune system, inflammation, or the signals between your body and brain.

A growing body of research and anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD is:

  • Anti-inflammatory.CBD could reduce inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to reduced pain, slowing degenerative diseases, and more.
  • Immune supportive. CBD can help improve your immune system so that it’s more responsive.
  • Anti-oxidative. CBD acts like an antioxidant and may help protect the brain.
  • Brain-signal modulating. CBD influences how messages travel to and are interpreted by your brain.

How CBD Works In Your Body

It’s only in recent years that CBD’s been moving from the realm of [just] a folk remedy to a science-backed medicine and supplement. You may want to don your science hat or lab coat for a quick minute or three — we’re going to go more than skin deep on this. How else are ya going to know WTH’s happening when you consume that CBD?!

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Inside your body — whether you use CBD or not — you have what’s called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system what converts those CBD tinctures, CBD gummies, CBD creams, and all your other CBD oil products into therapeutic agents for your mind and body.

Discovered in the 1990s — during the early days of THC research — the ECS is a cellular-messaging network (no, NOT like a mobile phone company!). It’s like one of the old-timey telephone switchboards. Instead of eavesdropping operators transferring calls with a dizzying number of switches, though, it uses endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors to relay the signals. These signals tell the body to respond in certain ways.

Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoids, aka endogenous cannabinoids, are miniscule chemical compounds that facilitate your body’s internal functioning. Your body makes endocannabinoids on demand when you need them.

These molecules are structurally and functionally similar to cannabinoids. The big dif? Cannabinoids come from outside your body — from cannabis you’ve consumed.

We still don’t know much about endocannabinoids. However, to date, researchers have found two main endocannabinoids — anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). Experts are also trying to determine what “normal” levels of endocannabinoids are.

Enzymes

Enzymes are proteins that trigger or facilitate chemical reactions. ECS enzymes produce new and destroy used/unneeded endocannabinoids. The enzymes also transform cannabinoids — like CBD —so that your body can further utilize them. Fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol acid lipase are the primary enzymes of the ECS.

Receptors

Receptors are, well, just what they sound like — things that receive something. In the case of the ECS, the cannabinoid receptors interact with endocannabinoids and cannabinoids. You have these receptors throughout your body.

The current thinking is that the enzymes change endocannabinoids and cannabinoids so that they can bond with or influence the receptors. The combined impact of the cannabinoids and endocannabinoids on the receptors tells the brain what to do. This is how CBD sends its message to the mind and body to create all those health and wellness benefits.

Beyond The ECS: Other Conduits For CBD To Your Brain & Body

It’s worth noting a few other ways that CBD gets into your internal nooks and crannies or works its wonders while there.

  • Alternate access. Some research shows that CBD can interact with your body outside of the ECS. By interacting with more than one biological system simultaneously, CBD may provide more, better, or quicker results.
  • While some people may develop a tolerance to CBD over time, there are also studies that show exactly the opposite effect. Some experience reverse tolerance. In this scenario, you’d actually get more beneficial effect from the same amount of CBD over time. Alternately, you’d be able to reduce your dosage to maintain a given level of effect.
  • Pairing with THC. If you use products that contain CBD and THC you may get complementary effects. There’s a chance that the CBD will cancel out some of the “negative” effects of the THC. Alternately, you may experience the “entourage effect,” which is when taking CBD and THC together is more effective than taking either cannabinoid alone.

Takeaways

CBD has been used for ages because it can provide a wide range of physical and mental health benefits. It’s been used to help treat everything from chronic pain to cancer to anxiety.

Scientific study of how CBD interacts with the body is relatively new — but ever expanding. However, current research suggests that CBD works through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is composed of endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors. Together, with cannabinoids, they can prompt bodily responses that produce CBD’s therapeutic effects.

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