CBD, or Cannabidiol, has been a very popular topic in recent years. While research on CBD started around 80 years ago, we are just now uncovering the intricacies of how it works and how we can benefit from it. New research is emerging rapidly, and the use cases for CBD are growing rapidly. While we don’t believe in any panacea, we do believe that CBD has a very widespread use.
Understanding how CBD works is the first step in understanding how we can truly benefit from this amazing plant compound. We are going to dive deep into the research proven potential benefits of CBD (cannabidiol). However, before we talk about how to benefit from CBD, let’s first go over the history of CBD, what it is, and how it works.
The History of CBD
Cannabis has been used as medicine for over 5,000 years. It is only until the last 100 years or so that we have really understood why cannabis is effective as a medicine. We have become quite aware of its potential benefits, as well as some side effects, mainly related to THC and/or overconsumption.
In the 1940s, the research on cannabis began in clinical research settings. What researchers found was that these compounds in cannabis, appropriately named “cannabinoids” actually bind to receptors in humans. They are able to do this because they are structurally similar to compounds that our body makes, endocannabinoids.
CBD is one of at least 113 cannabinoids isolated from cannabis. While many people are aware of the effects that THC may have on them, many are not entirely aware of what CBD does. Does it get you high like THC? No, not really. While CBD, contrary to popular belief, does posses some psychoactive effects, they are not the kind that will get you high.
While CBD is present in marijuana, it is much more prevalent in hemp. Still, cannabidiol is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in marijuana. It balances the effects of THC and has a much different affect on the endocannabinoid system. So now that we know a bit about what CBD is, let’s get into how it works.
The Endocannabinoid System Overview
All mammals have what is called an endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of three main components: cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids, and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes. Together, these make up an elaborate system with several functions and potential benefits.
What this means for us is we have a system built into our bodies that can be utilized for medical reasons. The endocannabinoid system is an important modulatory system that regulates the function of the brain, endocrine and immune systems. It is involved in regulating the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions as well as stress.
In addition to all of the aforementioned functions, the endocannabinoid system also plays a vital role in appetite regulation, lipid synthesis, and glucose metabolism. Now it is becoming quite apparent how important this system really is. Since we have an understanding of the role that the endocannabinoid system plays in the body, let’s move on to discussing how CBD can be used to enhance this system.
How CBD Works
The reason we just went over the endocannabinoid system, is because this is the primary system by which CBD improves health. Now, surprisingly, CBD elicits most of its effects indirectly with the endocannabinoid system. In fact, CBD has a very low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Instead, CBD acts to improve health in a few different ways. First, CBD inhibits the reuptake of Anandamide, an endocannabinoid. This means that CBD prevents the breakdown and elimination of Anandamide, keeping it in your system longer and therefore raising its levels. Anandamide has been shown to have many health benefits, and positive effects on the endocannabinoid system.
Research has shown that Anandamide has many potential benefits. Some of these benefits include: anti-inflammatory, anti-depressive, anti-anxiety, and pain reducing. As you can see, a lot of these beneficial effects are also seen in CBD supplementation. This is again because CBD keeps more anandamide in your system for a longer period of time.
This is super useful, and important, because anandamide has a very short half-life. So, to really reap the benefits of this amazing compound, CBD prevails as our most effective intervention.
Another great benefit of CBD is that it can reduce psychosis. This has been shown in studies to be useful in schizophrenia amongst other conditions. More commonly, this effect is useful when combating psychosis or anxiety related to high THC intake.
CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of CB1 receptors. What this means is, CBD does not actually stimulate or negate CB1 activity, but rather modulates how these receptors are being stimulated by other cannabinoids, such as THC.
How to use CBD
Now that we have covered the history of CBD and how it works, let’s move on to how you can utilize this cannabinoid to alleviate specific ailments. One of the most common reasons people use CBD is for pain and/or inflammation. For these symptoms, CBD can be very useful, but there are some tips for getting the most out of CBD.
CBD for Pain
First off, pain typically requires a higher dose of CBD than some other symptoms. Typically, it is recommended to start with a low dose, see how it affects you, and work your way up. For pain, we don’t recommend using anything less than 35mg of CBD to start. Tinctures are one of the most effective ways to alleviate pain with CBD. While vapes and edibles may work for you, they have some downfalls that may make them less effective for serious pain.
Tinctures are most effectively used when you hold the oil under your tongue for 60 seconds. Sublingual application is far faster and more effective than oral administration. This is because under your tongue there are a plethora of capillaries that absorb the molecule directly into your blood stream. Conversely, swallowing a pill with CBD in it will subject the molecule to degradation via stomach acid, bile, and first pass metabolism. First pass metabolism is when a substance is passed from the digestive tract to the liver for further processing.
All of these things together mean that sublingual application of CBD is going to get more of the active compound into your blood stream and faster. Vaping will get CBD into your blood stream even faster and more effectively via the lungs. However, while the effects will come on almost immediately, they will also be gone far faster than with a tincture.
For pain, we highly recommend our Relief specialty tincture. Relief combines 70mg of CBD along with CBG and CBN for increased pain relief. For people that have pain in conjunction with difficulty sleeping, our Relief tincture would be a great option an hour or two before bed.
CBD for Anxiety
Just like with any symptom, there will be some trial and error for an individual to find the right dosage for them. Anxiety is a common symptom that people look to alleviate with CBD. In this instance, vaping is sometimes the preferred method. This is because vaping can alleviate sudden anxiety faster than any other method. It is still recommended to take a tincture as a preventative, but an effective vape for anxiety, such as our Calm vape cartridge, can be a great rescue method.
Anxiety is one condition that clinical research on dosage has been performed. One study indicated that 300-600mg of CBD was an effective dose for anxiety. Now, this does not mean that everyone is going to need that much CBD to take the edge off their anxiety. It does, however, mean that you may need more than you think to give CBD a fair chance at reducing anxiety.
This is one of the reasons that we formulate our tinctures to have a specific blend aimed towards both increased absorption, as well as extended effects. We are able to make our CBD work faster, get absorbed better, and have longer lasting effects in your system. That is the reason why we would highly recommend one of our tinctures for anxiety.
If your anxiety is mild-moderate then you should have great success with our Calm specialty tincture. However, if you have severe anxiety, it may be better for you to try out our 5,000mg full spectrum tincture. Any of these tinctures could also be combined with our cannabinoid enhancer for stronger and more wide-reaching effects.
CBD for Immune System
Autoimmune diseases have been increasing worldwide, and have been rising in the United States steadily since the 1980’s. This is a major health crisis that needs to be addressed and has not been properly so thus far. CBD may play a crucial role in regaining the health of one’s immune system. Specifically, cannabidiol (CBD) has immunosuppressive effects. This means that CBD is able to calm down an overactive immune response.
As it is with most symptoms, you will need to do some level of experimentation until you find what works for you. We recommend starting at a higher dose to get your immune system in check. For instance, our 2,000mg Full Spectrum Tincture has 70mg of CBD per serving. This would be a great place to start experimenting with dosage until you can get your immune system in check.
To further enhance your immune system alongside CBD, we recommend being sure you are getting enough of the important fat-soluble vitamins. Getting enough fat-soluble vitamins, like in our Sun Drops, will further assist your immune system. Vitamin D and Vitamin A are two very important antioxidants that your immune system relies on.
CBD for Skin Health
CBD topicals have become much more popular and widespread over the last few years. But what exactly happens when you slap some CBD oil on your skin? There are many benefits of topical CBD for overall skin health. Firstly, CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and reduces pain. This means that it has the ability to speed up wound healing. Reducing inflammation and protecting the area from microbes will inevitably allow your body to heal these skin wounds faster.
Your endocannabinoid system actually extends into your skin. What this means is there are pain receptors in your skin that are mediated by cannabinoids. This includes both endocannabinoids as well as phytocannabinoids. When CBD is applied to the skin, it activates these receptors and as a result, reduces inflammation.
This means that topicals can be useful in a wide array of skin ailments such as psoriasis. They can also be quite useful to assist the skin in healing from sunburn. Another great supplement to add in internally for skin health would be our ReGen tablets. With their carotenoids and specifically astaxanthin, ReGen would be a great conjunction to a CBD topical for skin health.
It is pretty clear that CBD has some pretty amazing and widespread benefits. Most people can benefit from CBD for one reason or another whether they realize it or not. There are so many ways that CBD can be used to increase health and with little to no side effects. One of the major downsides of pharmaceuticals and over the counter drugs is that they are detrimental to long term health.
We can use CBD as a safe and natural way to alleviate conditions previously treated with harsh pharmaceuticals. For instance, many people come into our stores complaining of major stomach discomfort after years of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. These over-the-counter drugs are dangerous long term and have detrimental effects on our bodies.
Check out some of our other articles for more information about cannabinoids, herbs, and more!