What is CBD?
You have most likely seen CBD popping up everywhere with people claiming that it can help you ease your anxiety, get a good night sleep, heal your upset stomach, ease pain and help your favorite furry friend. We’re here to help you distinguish what CBD is and as the recent New York Times article inquired about this new molecule, “What’s all the hype?”
Where does CBD come from?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is a non-psychoactive molecule that can be derived from fiber rich hemp or what we would consider medical cannabis. Cannabis with less than 0.3% THC is considered a hemp variety.
Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) has been one of the largest agricultural crops producing fiber, fabric, oil, paper, incense, and has been used as medicine for centuries. Cannabis Sativa is an extremely efficient, strong, and durable crop that can grow to as high as 12 to 20 feet in a single growing season and produces a beautiful chemical rainbow of over 200 bioactive cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds interact for greater potency and complexity in what is coined the “entourage effect.”
For years cannabis farmers have selectively bred for strains rich in the psychoactive compound THC, unwittingly decreasing the amount of CBD. With this new wave of full spectrum wellness, focusing on whole plant medicine, cannabis cultivators now breed strains high in CBD with minimal amounts of THC. This balance of cannabinoids is closer to what we would find growing wild in nature.
CBD : Get happy not High
Cannabidiol does not bind directly to the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, and therefore won’t get you “high”. There is sufficient evidence suggesting that CBD directly activates other feel good receptors in the body such as the serotonin and dopamine receptors. Both these neurotransmitter receptors are involved in our experience of happiness and joy or our experience of depression. This is one reason CBD has been found to ease anxious feelings of those who supplement with it.
How does it work?
It is important to note our understanding of cannabinoids, their unique interactions, and even how many exist changes yearly. One thing is concretely known, CBD supports an incredibly vital system in your body, your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is a very complex regulatory system and is found to regulate inflammation and maintain wellness throughout the body.
It is the way in which CBD supports the endocannabinoid system that has it be such powerful plant medicine. CBD indirectly increases the levels of messenger molecules your body produces, endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids play an important role in regulating inflammation and neuroprotection. By inhibiting the breakdown of endocannabinoids, these molecules are able to have their positive regulatory effect on the body for a longer period of time.
The health and integrity of your endocannabinoind system has a direct impact on your experience of wellness or illness. If your body isn’t producing sufficient amounts of endocannabinoids, supplementing with CBD can have a great impact on your health.
Where to start?
While we are all unique and have varying biologically needs here are some simple guidelines to start incorporating CBD into your wellness routine.
While CBD can be a very effective supplement, its important to understand the impact lifestyle, stress management, nutrition and consuming a diversity of ECS activating plants has on fueling this system for optimal health.