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Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa family.  Unlike the popular cannabinoid THC, CBD is non-psychoactive.  In other words, CBD products will not get you “High.”  

The legalization of CBD on the federal level allowed for more extensive research to be conducted on the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD on the human body.  Recent research have shown that CBD has a wide array of medical benefits, which begs the question; “How will CBD impact my health?”

 

CBD and the ECS

CBD has been shown to lower stress, improve mood, and even treat chronic pain. It works by enhancing the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is a network of cell receptors and neurotransmitters that help maintain balance throughout the body. It is responsible for biological functions like pain perception, immune response, mood, and much more.

The ECS basically helps maintain the body’s normal homeostasis.  Hemostasis refers to the stability of a person’s internal environment. The ECS can be broken down into three components; Endocannabinoids, Receptors, and Enzymes.

Cannabinoids are a class of components derived from the Cannabis sativa plant which directly interact with receptors found in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabinoids have a similar structure to Endocannabinoids that are produced naturally in the body.  This allows them to interact with CB1, and CB2 receptors located throughout our body, thus eliciting a physiological response.  The effects vary depending on the ratio of cannabinoids ingested and the specific receptors to which they interact.

For example, the cannabinoid THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, binds to the CB1 receptors within the ECS, thus eliciting a “High” sensation. The metabolic enzymes that would normally degrade the cannabinoid aren’t as effective on THC as they are on natural endocannabinoids like anandamide, resulting in a longer lasting calming.

 

CBD’s Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties

The ‘Free Radical Theory of Aging’ suggests that oxygen-derived free radicals are responsible for the age-related damage at the cellular and tissue level. 

Excess generation of free radicals may overwhelm natural cellular antioxidant defenses, leading to oxidation and further contributing to cellular function impairment.  If this theory holds true, intervention aimed at limiting or inhibiting oxidation should reduce the rate of cellular aging and decay. As a result, many cosmetic suppliers supplement their products with antioxidants, boasting their lotions and creams as antiaging remedies.

CBD offers a significant level of antioxidant properties. In fact, there are studies that prove that CBD could be a better antioxidant than Vitamin C and Vitamin E.  Supplementing topical skin care products with concentrations of CBD could help prevent cellular decay, resulting in younger and healthier looking skin.

CBD has also shown to exhibit unique anti-inflammatory, and anti-itch properties that make it extremely attractive as a medical remedy, particularly in dermatology.    A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, that CBD applied the skin could help mediate chronic inflammatory pain related to arthritis. Another small study published in 2019 in Clinical Therapeutics found that a CBD ointment helped clear skin and reduce itch and inflammation. 

Research regarding the therapeutic benefits of CBD is still ongoing, but early trials are showing encouraging results, with little to no drawbacks.  

 

Acne & Skin Health

Surprisingly, CBD oil has many functions that improve the appearance of acne. One human study in 2014 found that it can prevent the skin cells that create sebum from producing too much oil. This in turn helps your skin to maintain a healthy moisture level without clogging up your pores. Another study found that CBD’s anti inflammatory properties help by reducing inflammation in the skin and preventing cytokines (a known cause of acne), to become active in the skin. In addition, CBD’s antifungal and antibacterial properties aid in the overall health and appearance of the skin.

 

CBD and Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most prominent mental health conditions in the United States, affecting an estimated 31.1% of US Adults.

CBD, or cannabidiol, interact with ECS receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety induced behaviors.  Research suggests that CBD can help treat a variety of anxiety disorders, including: 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic Disorder (PD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

A 2020 study conducted in New Zealand monitored 397 adults while on a strict CBD concentration regiment.  The participants were taking CBD to treat a variety of ailments, including non-cancer pain, cancer related symptoms, neurological symptoms and mental health symptoms.  

All participants in the group reported improvements in their overall quality of life after a 3-week CBD trail period.  The individuals who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily functions and reduce pain, anxiety, and depression-related symptoms.  70% of study participants reported some level of satisfaction with CBD treatment, ranging from good to excellent. 

CBD interaction with ECS receptors and enzymes results in an increase of serotonin levels in the body.  Serotonin is naturally produced chemical that  helps regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. Low levels of the chemical have been associated with depression.

This suggests that a CBD regimen can help minimize feelings of anxiety. With the right dosage, CBD treatments can help curb anxiety-related symptoms on top of relieving aches.

 

CBD and Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition marked by itchy, inflamed skin patches. The cause of eczema is not fully understood, but it’s believed to be triggered by an overreactive immune system that responds aggressively when exposed to irritants. 

The immune system fails to differentiate between good and bad proteins in the body, thus causing an inflammation response that can be shown on the skin’s surface.  Common triggers of eczema flare-ups include strong chemicals, rough scratchy material, synthetic fabrics, sweating, stress and even food allergies.

The treatment for one’s eczema is dependent upon the cause of the flareup, but a mixture of remedies is usually recommended.  Among a set of common subscribed remedies is some sort of anti-inflammatory.  

For those suffering from eczema, a daily regiment of CBD may help subside the inflammation shown on the skins surface.  As a potential anti-inflammatory treatment, CBD injected into a common topical agent (like soap, Creams and Lotions) may be the little change you need to live a comfortable life without worry.  

 

CBD and Pain Relief

Yes, CBD has been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of multiple chronic conditions in certain patients. The way CBD helps alleviate pain is multifaceted. Firstly, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with the reduction of pain.  Secondly, CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid receptors in the nervous system which are largely responsible for our perception of pain. Studies suggest that CBD not only helps treat the symptoms of chronic pain by reducing inflammation, but it can also help reduce our body’s sensitivity to that pain.

 

CBD and Sleep Disorders

CBD oil tinctures help with both common sleep issues like insomnia and daytime sleepiness as well as lesser known disorders such as RBD (REM Sleep Behavior Disorder). This is in part because the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating sleep and circadian rhythms. CBD interacts with receptors throughout this system to provide its benefits for the mind and body. One way it interacts is that it can lower stress hormones like cortisol that may prevent some individuals, like those with insomnia, from falling asleep and staying asleep. One study suggests that one dose of CBD as small as 300mg significantly reduced the amount of cortisol in the body. While this itself can have amazing effects on the sleep system, another study found that just around half that dose improved wakefulness during the day. Over the course of several months, it works to significantly improve the overall quality of sleep.

 

CBD and Heart Health

CBD oil has shown to increased circulation, lower blood pressure, and even lowered risk of some major heart conditions like heart attack and stroke. Some studies even suggest that CBD has protective effects on the heart, reducing the damage inflicted after a heart attack and limiting the long term damage that medical conditions like Diabetes have on the heart. 

High blood pressure (hypertension) can have detrimental effects on the body. The force on the body’s blood vessels can damage its walls and lead to a range of complications. These complications include heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

According to the CDC, heart disease is responsible for over 650,000 American deaths each year. Part of what makes CBD so great for heart health is its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD works to relax blood vessels and arteries, creating immediate relief from hypertension. Some human studies found that CBD decreased resting blood pressure and lowered blood pressure spikes in individuals with heart conditions.

Many people find that CBD has far less side effects than prescription blood pressure medications, making it a potentially great option for some individuals. Because of the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it is also non-addictive compared to many prescription medications. Though it works great for those with pre-existing heart conditions, countless heart-healthy people can recognize the effects of CBD in as little as one dose as well. 

Lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and lowering the risk of heart conditions are just a glimpse of what CBD can offer you. If you’re interested in all the health benefits detailed above and more, check out our highest quality premium CBD products.

For more information on how CBD effects your health, check out this Heal With Nature recommended page.