What is CBD?
Comprised of over 100 compounds naturally present in the cannabis plant, cannabidiol—or CBD— has significant medical benefits. The CBD that we sell at Healthy Living is derived from hemp. It won’t get you high and is legal to sell in retail stores because the THC levels meet the standards of containing 0.3% or less.
What’s the therapeutic promise of CBD, you ask? Let us count the ways! First off, CBD is totally safe, even in high doses. Think of cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. It’s an herbal adaptogen, supporting stress response and sleep. Other benefits include supporting healthy inflammation response and digestion. As a supplement, it is not FDA approved and therefore it’s recommended to speak with a healthcare practitioner prior to use, as it may interact with some medications.
Our “Inner Cannabis” a.k.a The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam named it after the plant that led to its discovery. His team discovered the ECS in the early 1990s. They found that the ECS protects neurons, stimulates adult stem-cell growth, and regulates the immune system, glucose metabolism, and other crucial physiological processes.
Dr. John McPartland explains, “this ancient internal signal system started when the most complex life-form was sponges.”
Dr. Mauro Maccarrone describes the ECS as the “guardian angel” of reproduction.
Martin A. Lee, author of Smoke Signals, calls CBD the “Cinderella molecule, the little substance that could—nontoxic, nonpsychoactive, and multicapable.“
The NIH study from 2006 described “therapeutic promise” for chronic health conditions that would take too long to write (I encourage you to read the review). Search “cannabinoid” on PubMed and you will find over 21,000 entries.
Agonists act like keys in a lock- they turn on the receptors throughout the body. Cannabinoid receptors respond to three types of agonists: the endogenous fatty acid cannabinoids found in all mammals (every animal except insects); phytocannabinoids found in plants, such as hemp and echinacea; and the synthetic kind. Cannabis has 421 distinct compounds; At least 100 are fat soluble, known as the cannabinoids. The plant also contains many alkaloids, flavonoids, and terpenoids (essential aromatic oils).
Cannabinoid receptors are in the family of G-protein-coupled receptors. Around 40% of modern pharmaceuticals, such as opiates, act on these areas since G-pcr’s are involved in many diseases.
Endocannabinoids are one of the only neurotransmitters involved in retrograde signaling. This type of signaling has a number of responsibilities, including balancing other neurotransmitters if they are firing too fast.
Out of Balance
Ethan Russo, a neurologist suggests that “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency” results in issues ranging from depression, IBS, migraines, and many other conditions. A study at the University of British Columbia analyzed serum endocannabinoid content in depressed women and found that it was lower when the depression had persisted.
The Tao of Health
Homeostasis: Much like bitter receptor sites (mentioned in a previous post), when administered a cascade effect occurs on the cellular level. The endocrine system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis throughout the body. It is the dream, the ideal of human health, to have balance in the body. Inflammation isn’t always the enemy. In acute stages, inflammation tells us when we need to rest and let the body heal. Chronic inflammation can lead to many diseases, including auto-immune. Cannabinoids literally cool down the body, helping to restore homeostasis. When in balance, the endocannabinoid system is auto-protective and maintains a healthy endocannabinoid tone (Dr. Maurizio Bifulco).
Yin-Yang Cell Receptors
The biphasic roles of ECS receptors operate 24/7.
CB-1 is the central nervous system receptor, affecting brain health.
CB-2 receptors are found throughout the peripheral nervous system and immune system. They are also located in the “gut, spleen, liver, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands, and reproductive organs.”
CBD Oil is tested to contain 0.3% THC or lower. Anything above this is considered illegal. It is not enough to make a person fail a drug test.
The best method of absorption: Sublingually, or under the tongue. The CBD bypasses the digestive tract, entering the blood stream quickly. It is also easy to find the right dosage for you. Transdermal, or topical applications work well too. Capsules are the most convenient, but are limiting in the dosage and not as effective as sublingual or transdermal methods.
Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee,