How is CBD Beneficial?
Cannabidiol products have gained quite a reputation as beneficial dietary supplements. That’s because CBD (cannabidiol) has the potential to work with your body’s natural neurotransmitters and receptors to generate a response from your brain.
This communication system is called your endocannabinoid system. Understanding how your endocannabinoid system works may help you understand why CBD supplementation has the potential to provide relief from so many seemingly unrelated symptoms.
A Brief Introduction to the Function of Your Endocannabinoid System
Your Endocannabinoid system is regulated by a complex system of neurotransmitters and receptors that relay and interpret signals throughout your body, providing the communication network between your body and brain. This recently discovered communication system regulates nearly every important system function, including:
- Pain processing and pain perception
- Circulatory and digestive processes
- Functions of your immune system
- Thermal regulation and metabolism
- Sleep cycle regulation
- Stress responses
- Neuroprotection and muscle movement
- Learning and memory
- Social behaviors and moods
The Neurotransmitters of Your Endocannabinoid System
Your neurotransmitters are the messengers that bind with the receptors to facilitate the communication processes. These neurotransmitters are called cannabinoids. There are two types of cannabinoids that will generate a response.
- Endocannabinoids are the neurotransmitters that are made as needed in your body. They are broken down quickly by enzymes. Your two main endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG (2- Arachidonoylglycerol).
- Exogenous cannabinoids are cannabinoids from an outside source, cannabis plants. Exogenous cannabinoids mimic the effects of your endocannabinoids, but the results are shown to be stronger and longer lasting.
Differentiating Between the Cannabis Plants
Yes, CBD is a beneficial dietary supplement extracted from cannabis, but don’t let that information sound the alarm, just yet. There are two types of cannabis, marijuana and hemp. The CBD extracted from marijuana has high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, (5-30 percent), the psychoactive component that creates the intoxicating effects that marijuana is known for. CBD from hemp does not.
CBD extracted from hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, only 0.3 percent, not nearly enough THC to cause any type of intoxication, not even when consumed in large amounts. That’s why you don’t need a prescription to use CBD, and why your cannabidiol product is legal to sell and to purchase.
CBD Potentially Supplements Your Endocannabinoid System
CBD has the potential to supplement and support your endocannabinoid system. Ideally, this system would remain balanced on its own, but unfortunately, due to stress or illness, your body may need more cannabinoids that it can produce. This recently discovered communication system is so vital to the way your body functions that some researchers believe that many health disturbances could be the result of endocannabinoid deficiencies.
CBD May Alleviate a Multitude of Symptoms
It’s important to note that CBD is not a medication or treatment for any disorder. CBD is a dietary supplement. The potential benefits of using CBD as a dietary supplement is based on animal studies, lab results and the many personal testimonies of people who claim health benefits from using CBD products.
You may wonder how using CBD will make you feel. The answer is fairly complex as you can likely imagine. We can tell you how CBD won’t make you feel; it won’t make you feel high. Some of the potential benefits you may notice could include the following:
- You May Feel Fewer Symptoms Related to Anxiety and Depression
The symptoms of anxiety and depression can be the result of a traumatic experience, genetics, or caused by chemical imbalances. CBD has the potential to alleviate many anxiety symptoms by influencing your serotonin and dopamine levels, without the potentially serious side effects listed with many prescription medications.
- You May Feel Less Pain
Anandamide, one of the cannabinoids produced in your body, is made as you need it, and quickly broken down by enzymes. Researchers suggest that the more anandamide you have in your system, the less pain you will feel. CBD is shown to block the enzymes that break down anandamide and increase anandamide production, potentially relieving pain.
- You May Notice Less Inflammation
Cannabinoids are also shown to reduce inflammation, suggesting that CBD could be beneficial in treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and other inflammatory conditions.
- You Could Feel More Rested
Your sleep cycles are regulated by your endocannabinoid system. While there are numerous reasons many people don’t get enough sleep, for many of us, anxiety and pain keep us from falling asleep, or wake us up during the night. Using CBD oil for sleep may help you relax and fall asleep without the risk of dependency or other potential side effects of many prescription medications.
Some of the Other Potential Benefits of Hemp-Sourced CBD
Many studies show that improving sleep also reduces the symptoms of many chronic health conditions, including pain and anxiety. Some of the other causes of sleep disturbances, potentially benefited by a cannabidiol product include:
- Symptom relief of neurological disorders (like Parkinson’s)
- Alleviating symptoms of restless leg syndrome
- Reducing the severity of gastrointestinal problems
- Reduction of seizure activity
- Alleviating symptoms of psoriasis
- Reducing nicotine dependence
- Reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Reduction of headaches and migraine symptoms
- Reducing nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatment
- Fighting tumor growth
- Providing anti-aging skin benefits
As you can see, CBD has the potential to supplement and support the processes regulated by your endocannabinoid system and alleviate many types of symptoms. If you have a medical condition, particularly if you take medication, it’s important to discuss the use of dietary supplements with your healthcare provider. Although CBD is not known to cause any serious side effects, it can interact with some medications.
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