What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a powerful compound that belongs to a class of over 100 cannabinoids. It is found in cannabis and hemp plants, but is usually derived from hemp to avoid any higher levels of THC from the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is a fascinating compound that's being studied around the world for its medicinal properties. According to what we've seen thus far, CBD may provide a multitude of therapeutic mental, emotional, and physical benefits to the human body.
Most areas of research are still relatively new with CBD, but the potential is certainly there so far. CBD is showing promising effects as a potential agent or complimentary piece for pain relief.
Each person responds differently to CBD, but research is showing some analgesic, inflammatory fighting, pain lowering properties in a multifaceted manner. Some of the best research for CBD has been done with the brain and potentially offering protective, healing, and balancing effects to different conditions related to neurodegeneration and overall brain health.
CBD may also have potential with certain psychiatric conditions, mood disorders, poor sleep quality, nausea and vomiting, motor coordination, high levels of stress and anxiety, and cancer.
This isn't to say that it will eradicate or cure these conditions, absolutely not! It is however, a powerful tool and piece of the puzzle because of the unique effects it activates in the body that are not found in other compounds.
Most importantly, CBD is extremely safe.
CBD is able to be used by people of nearly all ages within proper dosage ranges. The World Health Organization has even stated that cannabidiol has no potential for abuse or addiction, yet another hugely positive attribute of this unique cannabinoid. Unlike THC, cannabidiol is neither psychoactive nor is it intoxicating. It is completely legal to consume when derived from the hemp plant and under the set legal limit of 0.3% THC. In the last 5 years, cannabidiol or CBD has emerged as one of the most medicinally potent and versatile of all the cannabinoids.
CBD is powerful, yet extremely gentle on the body.
The reason why CBD is showing these powerful, multifaceted, yet benign and gentle effects is because of how it acts within the body. We possess a comprehensive network of receptors, enzymatic pathways, and cells within multiple organs, glands, the spinal cord, GI tract, reproductive system, immune system, and various other types of cells that are directly and indirectly influenced by it. This is known as the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system plays an incredibly important role in maintaining homeostasis and overall mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Most members of the animal kingdom actually possess this important system. Cannabidiol affects this system and many others unrelated to it as well.
Cannabidiol either activates, indirectly influences, or binds to receptors such as CB1, CB2, 5-HT1A, GABA-A, adenosine, TRVP1,2,3, and 4, certain PPAR receptors, opioid receptors, along with others in the body. This is one of the reasons cannabidiol is having very good success so far for a wide variety of conditions. If you are fortunate enough to not have a specific condition or ailment for taking CBD, it may still help provide the brain and body with much needed shielding and protection.
For some people, CBD has a very noticeable and profound effect on the nervous system from the first few doses, while for others, it is a slow building and cumulative effect.
Evidence shows that certain cannabinoids like cannabidiol may help calm the overactive sympathetic branch within our nervous system and activate the parasympathetic branch, which is more conducive to healing and relaxation. With the stresses of modern life, we are often stuck in this mode sympathetic dominance for the majority of our day, which is far from optimal for the mind and body. In this state of sympathetic dominance, our DNA does not function optimally, stress based hormones are secreted in higher than ideal amounts, nutrients in our bodies are burned through at a much quicker rate, anxiety and stress levels can increase, the immune system and digestion may weaken, and greater damage is done to our cells and organs.
This is another area where CBD may play a pivotal role in the overall benefits shown with regular CBD use. As we know and are constantly reminded, stress is a major killer and contributor to illness. Decreasing the amount of time that our fight or flight mechanism and sympathetic nervous system is active each day is a very beneficial thing to overall mental, emotional, and physical health and well being.