If you’ve been keeping up with the recreational legalization of cannabis, then you may have also caught on to three magic letters that are rocking the medical world today – C, B, and D.
CBD is one of 110 known chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant called phyto-cannabinoids. Phyto-cannabinoids (phyto meaning from plants), when isolated and extracted, are the very thing that create the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. If you’re new to the cannabinoids CBD and THC, and the foundation of how cannabinoids work, get the CBD + THC 101 here, so you’re in the know.
What’s really amazing about our bodies and the way they interact with cannabis, is that there is no more perfect match for our aches, pains and ailments. This is because our bodies actually have something called the endocannabinoid system built right in. Yeah, you heard that right.
When I talk to people about CBD and its incredible health benefits, I always start by explaining the endocannabinoid system, which is a physiological system in our body that affects and supports a myriad of health benefits, organ systems, connective tissues and neurological functions. The system, in short, is what controls homeostasis or perfect functioning balance in the body.
So, when something is off internally the endocannabinoid system essentially panics slightly, turns on, and sends out its squad of endocannabinoids, which then turn on your body’s own ability to get a grip and heal itself. They bind to little receptor sites found all over the body called CB1 and CB2 receptors. When you turn these on, specific to where they are found, you can control things like pain and inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, etc. It’s described by NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada as being ‘perhaps the most important physiological system in establishing and maintaining health”. When you ingest a CBD supplement, the phyto-cannabinoids are released in the body and interact with these receptors in exactly the same way as your own endocannabinoids. In this light, the benefits of CBD oil are endless. Ugh – rock on science. Rock on.
So this means that ingesting CBD oil, or CBD tinctures, especially regularly, keeps your body in a constant state of self improvement.
What’s even better, for some people, is that there are no cerebral, or psychotropic effects whatsoever. Period. None. Not possible.
So does CBD make you stoned? No. In FACT, CBD oil itself can be used to counteract the cerebral effects of taking too much THC or ‘greening out’.
Wish you’d known that earlier, huh?
As a Holistic Practitioner, I believe that if you keep your body in homeostasis you prevent disease in the first place. It’s called preventative medicine, and it’s a beautiful thing. This is how I view the use of CBD for wellness, as a preventative health care practice which has incredible benefits to the body, if taken regularly.
Here’s what I consider to be the top three benefits of taking CBD oil daily, and living your best life.
1.BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION
Having steady, balanced blood sugar is pretty important to our overall health. Not only do blood sugar spikes and crashes leave you moody and irritable, but they also drain you of your energy. These highs and lows also force your pancreas to try to manage your blood glucose levels by secreting insulin. This is super stressful on your body.
Enter CBD oil.
CB1 receptors can be found within the cells of the pancreas, meaning that CBD oil can affect the balance of the pancreas and can help to regulate insulin dysfunction. By reducing blood sugar levels, which also reduces fasting insulin levels, you may expect to sleep more regularly, have more balanced energy and moods, have clearer skin, notice increased energy and have overall better digestion. Lower blood glucose levels may also help protect you from diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. You may also expect to shed a few pounds, as CBD is also linked to a higher metabolic rate, or how your body processes calories. It’s an overall win.
It’s all about brain health. How could anything else be more important? CBD oil acts as powerful anti-oxidant in itself, but CBD oil actually also acts as a neuroprotective substance, meaning that it actually protects the brain cells from oxidative damage. Over time, oxidation, which creates free radicals, will accumulate in your cells and cause permanent damage, which is indicated in degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers.
CBD oil may also help prevent and control something called electrotoxicity, or damage to brain cells that cause reported firing of cells, which is indicated in symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
Another benefit is the good ol’ happiness factor. A neurotransmitter that’s found in the brain, called anandamide, helps to manage your happiness by regulating the production of the happy hormone, serotonin. It’s also part of the endocannabinoid system. So when phytocannabinoids are ingested, CBD oil acts to inhibit the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, allowing it to stay abundant and keep you energized and smiling hard.
3. REDUCING INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY
This is the big one, the home run, the main attraction.
CBD oil binds directly to CB2 receptors found in the brain, which control pain and inflammation in the body. As an immune response when under distress, your body’s cells rush to that area creating inflammation, and in an act of solidarity protect against any further damage. Long term inflammation in the body can lead to degeneration of your joints and muscles, brain function, memory and mood. With the daily management of inflammation, through the use of CBD oil, you can control and manage symptoms associated with arthritic pain, fibre and poly myalgia, and diseases associated with inflammation of the brain previously mentioned, like Parkinson’s, Alzeihmers and dementia.
CBD oil can also manage pain associated with inflammation, by affecting the neuropathic pathways that signal for pain.
Managing inflammation in the body is paramount to long term wellness. Not only does this act of self care manage acute symptoms, but in the long term, reducing inflammation will also help you to fight infections, improve digestion, reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease and benefits your overall mental health and wellness.
This incredible botanical has a vast number of benefits to body, the potential of which is not yet fully discovered. What we do know is that this cannabinoid is easy to take, easy to dose and available in tinctures, capsules, sublingual oils, topicals and in certain strains of cannabis flower. It is fast acting (taken sublingually acts within minutes) and again, non psychoactive. CBD oil in Canada and the US can be derived from both cannabis sativa or hemp (cannabis with less than 2% THC). Hemp CBD is legal throughout North America and boasts the same therapeutic benefits, making it a go-to for those in nonlegalized states and countries.
As we see more and more research funded, we will know more and more about the extent to which we can use CBD oil for everyday health and wellness. As preventative medicine, CBD oil proves itself to be worthy of our time and attention, and should be considered to be a regular part of self care and health care.
So let’s just say, move over Vitamin C and step up to the plate CBD, you’re up!!
- O’brian, V. (2017, June 1). Why is Blood Sugar Balance SO Important to Health? Retrieved June 19, 2018, from http://www.veevital.com/blog/why-is-blood-sugar-balance-so-important-part-1
- How neuroprotective effects of CBD is good for us | What Is CBD. (2018, February 28). Retrieved June 16, 2018, from https://www.whatiscbd.com/neuroprotective-properties-cbd/
- Cherney, K. (2017, October 9). CBD Oil for Pain: Does It Work? Retrieved June 16, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-oil-for-pain#arthritis-pain-relief
- Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT
- 5 Ways CBD Affects Your Brain. (2017, April 04). Retrieved June 16, 2018, from https://www.leafscience.com/2017/03/30/5-ways-cbd-affects-brain/