Living healthier and happier with CBD
The medicinal uses of cannabidiol (CBD), the primary non-psychoactive chemical in the cannabis plant, are now fairly well-documented in the media. We have heard about how CBD oil can be used to treat rare epileptic conditions, reduce symptoms of chemotherapy and more. However, what has received less attention is the general health benefits that CBD could have with regular consumption, which come from regulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Since the system was uncovered in the 1990s, researchers have found that it affects pain sensitivity, inflammation levels, circadian rhythms, mood, appetite, the reproductive cycle and more. Interestingly, the ECS is not just found in humans, but cats, dogs and other animals, and appears to have been in life forms for hundreds of millions of years. The ECS operates in the central and peripheral nervous systems.
CBD is one of just 113 cannabinoids that have been discovered in cannabis, and in most strains, it is the second-most concentrated, following tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD helps to increase levels of active endocannabinoids, make cannabinoid receptors more or less responsive and enhance endocannabinoid signalling. These subtle effects contribute to the regulation of the ECS and a stable equilibrium in the body known as homeostasis.
How does CBD improve wellbeing?
One key advantage CBD has over THC is that it is non-psychoactive. The absence of a “high” means CBD cannot be recreationally abused, and subsequently there are far fewer restrictions on the substance. Moreover, the lack of mind-altering effects eliminates the possible triggering of mental illnesses that can happen with THC. Indeed, CBD has been touted as a potential treatment for psychosis and schizophrenia, two mental conditions that high-THC cannabis may cause. That said, THC does have some important and unique medicinal properties that can be obtained with sensible usage – as with most things, moderation is key.
Most CBD products on the market are made from industrial hemp, and never exceed more than 0.3 percent THC (only applicable to products sold in the United States). CBD-isolate products are made with just the CBD, whereas CBD full-spectrum products are produced with a whole-plant extract and are therefore infused with several cannabinoids and terpenes which add to the therapeutic value. Since full-spectrum products are made with a whole extract, there may be traces of THC, however the strains used for extraction are carefully selected to have minimal amounts of this cannabinoid.
CBD has a positive effect on mood, which comes from boosting the antidepressant anandamide and seemingly interacting with the serotonin system. CBD does not stimulate serotonin production but is an agonist of the serotonin 1A receptor.
Recent studies have shown that structural changes to the brain can occur after prolonged periods of stress and depression. In the long run, damage to the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory, motivation and emotion, increases the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease. Encouragingly, research published on rats in 2015 found that CBD and another cannabinoid, cannabichromene (CBC), promotes neurogenesis in the hippocampus, and therefore reverse damage.
To improve overall health and ECS regulation, it may help to take CBD on a daily basis, rather than once every now and then. The benefits of CBD compound with sustained consumption and help provide long-term improvements to sleep patterns and mood.
Since CBD is non-addictive and doesn’t leave the body demanding stronger and stronger dosages for the same effects, it’s neither unhealthy nor dangerous to take a lot. And as there is no psychological “high” or euphoria with CBD as opposed to THC, there’s no risk of mental dependence, either.
However, CBD should not be viewed as a cure-all to every issue. To have better mental health, it’s important to take the necessary measures to achieve this, such as meditation. Exercise is also known to boost mental and physical health, partially through the release of the antidepressant neurotransmitter and endocannabinoid anandamide, the body’s naturally-produced THC. IN a nutshell, if trying to improve general health, don’t let a poor fitness or diet regime make things more difficult.
Exploring various CBD products
The preferred method for taking CBD will probably depend on the condition the user is trying to remedy. For neuropathic pain and anxiety, the speedy benefits derived by vaporizing CBD vape oil and e-liquid are ideal. However, for an uninterrupted and rejuvenating night’s sleep, the drawn-out effects of CBD capsules or CBD edibles may be more suitable.
As vaping comes with some health drawbacks to the lungs, some choose CBD tincture oils as a safer, fast-acting treatment. The oil is applied under the tongues and absorbed into the bloodstream via the blood vessels, with the effects typically noticeable after 10 to 15 minutes. There can be an unpleasant taste with these depending on the exact product, but it’s usually possible to find a flavorless option.
Treating the skin with CBD topicals can be very effective in clearing up skin complaints, including rosacea and acne. These inflammatory conditions are not easy to manage, but the high concentration of CB2 receptors found on white blood cells in the skin makes regulating the immune system more possible with cannabinoid-based products.
For many users, discretion is the biggest priority, and this is where capsules and edibles come into their own. CBD gummy bears, for example, could just be mixed in with ordinary gummy bears and not attract attention. Some people like to take CBD at work to enhance their cognition, memory and focus, while also enhancing their mood and reducing anxiety, which all contributes to making the experience more pleasurable.
And that is what makes CBD a great choice as a natural and alternative treatment – so much can be done with the compound, which expands the list of treatment uses while helping to hone their effectiveness.
Is CBD legal?
Despite being a cannabinoid and therefore from the cannabis plant, CBD enjoys fewer regulations than THC. CBD products made with hemp extracts invariably contain low concentrations of THC to conform with the laws of the land – in the United States, the THC limit is set at 0.3 percent by federal law. At state level, the THC maximum is often higher, and some states have legalized cannabis completely, thereby eliminating the threshold altogether.
The United Kingdom has recently legalized medical cannabis, and CBD products have been on sale for a few years. Uruguay and Canada have legalized recreational cannabis, and the herb has been decriminalized in the Netherlands for decades.
Please note that the contents of this article were written for informational and educational purposes, and not as a substitute to professional medical advice. If you are suffering from health problems, consult a doctor.
Living healthier and happier with CBD