Have you heard about CBD and its plethora of benefits but aren’t sure what it means or how it could help you? Perhaps a fellow golfer touted its benefits for his achey elbow. Or, maybe a colleague suggested it to you to help ease your mind at the end of a long day and improve your quality of sleep. With its widespread benefits and ease of use, chances are you know someone who uses CBD for either mental or physical ailments (or both!).
If you’re curious to learn more about CBD, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll explore the science behind CBD and discover how it benefits the human body. Welcome to CBD 101.
What is CBD? The science.
Cannabinoidoil (or CBD) is just one of at least 113 cannabinoids found in the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant and is touted for its benefits to physical and mental wellness. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) is another well-known cannabinoid gaining notoriety for its psychoactive effects on the brain’s receptors and state of consciousness.
It’s important to note here that CBD is NOT THC, nor does it produce the psychoactive effects THC is known for. If you’d like to learn the differences between CBD and THC, you can read about it here. (insert link to blog CBD vs THC here)
With that in mind, what are cannabinoids?
A cannabinoid is simply a naturally-occurring neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) found in the cannabis plant which interacts with the human endocannabinoid system (more on that later). These compounds are what accounts for the health benefits of the cannabis plant.
It's also important to know that there are two types cannabinoids: phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced naturally by plants. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by human and other mammal bodies. These cannabinoids are produced by the nervous system to respond to stimuli and maintain homeostasis (balance) within the body. The most well-known endocannabinoid is anandamide - responsible for signaling for the production and uptake of serotonin.
Wait, what is the human endocannabinoid system?
We’re glad you asked. The Human Endocannabinoid System (or ECS) is one of the most powerful and vast receptor systems in the human body responsible for maintaining the immune, cardiovascular, and neurological functions.
The ECS has two components: endocannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoids themselves. Endocannabinoid receptors are peppered throughout our immune system, central nervous system, brain organs, connective tissue, and glands waiting to receive instructions from endocannabinoids. - the chemical messengers of information.
The ECS regulates a wide array of bodily functions, from appetite to sleep patterns, cognitive functioning, moods, metabolism, pain perception, immune response, the lifespan of cells, and much more.
When a receptor signals that something is wrong, the body responds by sending endocannabinoids with instructions on how to resolve the situation. CBD cannabinoids can instruct cells with relief mechanisms such as pain relief, mood elevations, quieting the mind, relaxation, etc.
How does CBD work?
The effects of how exactly CBD interacts with the ECS are still being studied, but here’s what we know.
In the ECS, there are two types of endocannabinoids: ones acting on the surface of the cells and others that interact with those surface receptors. Cannabinoids in cannabis plants interact with the ECS on the surface of cells. Phytocannabinoids, like CBD, engage the body’s natural endocannabinoid receptors in the same way as the naturally-produced endocannabinoids.
Essentially, CBD helps send instructions throughout the ECS to help the body achieve homeostasis either physically, mentally, or both. Since the ECS influences so many human functions, CBD has the potential to be a versatile tool in anyone’s overall health and wellness routine.
Some of the benefits of our Soothe Organic products our customers experience include recovery help from exercise-induced inflammation, a sense of calm and focus, and healthy sleep cycle support. As research grows, CBD and other phytocannabinoids reveal more ways to help heal and support a balanced body.
To learn more about CBD, sign up for our Soothe Organic email list (we promise to only send what we think you want to know), explore our additional education and resources, or check out our product line with CBD all-stars. Have questions? Drop us a line.