The Health Benefits of CBD for People
Table of Contents
- Odd Interactions with the ECS
- Endocannabinoids vs Phytocannabinoids
- TRPV1 Receptors
- CB1 Receptors in the Brain
- Organ Systems
How CBD interacts with the human body is complex and difficult to understand even for scientists. I have done a review of the medical conditions that it can help in many of my previous articles on the Sugar&Kush blog. I’ve also continuously reminded readers that more research is needed in order for everyone to entirely understand all of its benefits. There is a recurring theme though that I keep hearing from others and which pops into my own head frequently. It’s the idea that CBD helps us feel balanced. How to clearly define what that means, well I am just not that sure. I suppose it means that we just feel the way we think we should.
While visiting my in-laws during the Holidays, my brother-in-law came home late one night from a double shift managing a restaurant. He told me that he took some CBD and was just beginning to feel balanced after his long day. I can imagine how badly his feet hurt after standing on them all day or how stressful dealing with shift workers and some finicky customers could have been. It caught my attention while he told me about how he uses CBD that he held out his hand horizontally and teetered it, sort of like he was saying he felt so-so, and then settled his hand down until it stilled. I still did not understand the benefit though.
I remember intently listening to his comment and found his hand gesture puzzling. I asked if he meant that he felt better, he hesitated before shrugging and saying, “Yeah, I guess. I just feel like I leveled out.” Leveled out? It sounded good, just really hard to pinpoint what exactly he meant. Feeling better didn’t quite seem the answer he was looking for. Instead, it seemed like he was saying he just felt the way he thought he should be feeling. Maybe his feet still hurt a little, but not enough to really bother him anymore. Maybe he still felt a little stressed, but not enough that he couldn’t focus on what he wanted to get done at that moment.
Balance may mean that you don’t have any really nagging pain or anxiety, but not necessarily that you have no pain or anxiousness. It may mean that you don’t feel exhausted or like you have to run to the bathroom all of the time, but not necessarily that you never get sleepy during the day or never have stomach issues. Balance also means that you do not feel exceptionally good or euphoric either. Not having nagging pain, bathroom problems or getting more done with your day may feel pretty good though.
In order to understand how CBD can help us manage all of these nagging issues consistently, we need to delve a little into human physiology.
Its odd interaction with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
We regularly hear people talk about the endocannabinoid system when the topic of CBD comes up. Cannabinoids bind with receptors in our ECS and cannabidiol, or CBD, is certainly a cannabinoid. It just doesn’t fit into ECS receptors. Like all things when trying to understand animal physiology, understanding how exactly it helps us regulate our body is complicated.
Researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system in 1992 when they found one of the body’s naturally produced cannabinoids, anandamide. The ECS is found throughout the body and It is made up of what are called CB receptors. While researchers believe there may be a third receptor, they have isolated CB1 and CB2 receptors so far.
CB1 receptors are found in our nervous system, organs, many of our glands and in connective tissue. CB2 receptors are mostly found in our immune system. There are more CB receptors in our body than any other receptor system. These receptors are found in the membranes of our cells and work on an on-demand basis. Researchers believe endocannabinoid systems began developing over 600 million years ago as a way to regulate a body to a point of bringing it to homeostasis with the world around it. Again though, CBD does not interact directly with CB receptors. In order to understand how this molecule can help we need to understand the two types of cannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids vs Phytocannabinoids
Phytocannabinoids are the cannabinoids found in plants like hemp and echinacea. Endocannabinoids like anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are produced by our bodies. Many phytocannabinoids can fit into our CB receptors, but not all of them. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the phytocannabinoids that doesn’t quite fit. Interestingly, ingesting this phytocannabinoid promotes the production of 2-AG which is the endocannabinoid that connects with and tells CB receptors to reduce inflammation in joints. A lack of 2-AG may result in unnecessary inflammation. It seems as though many people just do not produce enough 2-AG and CBD helps to tell the body to make more.
CBD does bind with TRPV1 receptors though. These receptors are super serious. They are part of our peripheral and central nervous system and send messages to the brain of intense pain such as burning. TRPV1 receptors also regulate body temperature and inflammation. In the end, the way CBD interacts with our bodies is multifaceted. One way or another, with limited side-effects and a myriad of benefits, it may be a key to all of us working more in harmony with the world around us and finding that balance.
CB1 Receptors in the Brain
According to NCBI research papers, CBD affects CB1 receptors in the brain indirectly. It seems to impact the transmission of hyperactive signals between neurons by slowing them down. In epileptic patients, over excited synaptic transmission are what can induce seizures. While scientists do not yet understand how exactly CBD helps to fine tune these transmissions to reduce seizure activity, cannabidiol being used as an anticonvulsant is one of the most commonly accepted benefits of CBD oil.
Our bodies have a total of 12 different organ systems. Researchers believe they are all intended to work together to help our bodies reach homeostasis with the world around us. Unfortunately, prohibition slowed in-depth research into the ECS possibly depriving us of the many benefits it can bring. So far research suggests that CBD either directly or indirectly affects the endocrine system, nervous system, opioid system and of course the ECS.
Research is on going to see if CBD can help with issues like inflammation and pain. For those of us not producing enough endocannabinoids, we can stimulate the production of these molecules by ingesting phytocannabinoids from plants like hemp. If our bodies are not producing enough endocannabinoids, the ECS is not able to regulate unnecessary inflammation.
CBD directly binds with the TRPV1 receptors in our nervous system which tells the brain that the pain is not as intense. It also regulates body temperature and inflammation.The interaction with TRPV1 receptors may be the main way that cannabidiol is able to work as an analgesic or pain reducer. It does not have an immediate analgesic effect like acetaminophen or other strong pain killing drugs for severe pain. Hopefully, CBD can reduce the amount of strong and often addictive drugs traditionally used to reduce pain. Many of these drugs come with severe side-effects that are often worse than the condition they are supposed to manage. If CBD helps us moderate the amount of prescription drugs we take, then perhaps it moderates their side effects as well.
CBD does not seem to make people drowsy or really induce sleep. Instead, incomplete research leans more towards it possibly helping with the conditions that can wake us up in the middle of the night. Whether chronic pain continuously wakes you up, an overactive brain keeps you from falling asleep or stomach issues continuously sends you to the bathroom at night, if CBD can help you properly manage these conditions then you very well may sleep through the night. A full night’s sleep with hours in full REM can allow you to have very productive wakeful days.
Again, this is not very well understood yet by the scientific community. CBD seems to have a dampening effect on synaptic transmission in the brain. Just as it may help reduce seizures in epileptic patients, the same process may simply slow hyperactivity in the brain that is causing anxiety. CBD may slowly calm the mind and you may find yourself less distracted and capable of more consistent focus. Worries can be a major roadblock in our lives preventing us from the life we all strive for.
There seems to be a direct connection between how CBD may work as an anxiolytic (reduces anxiety) and how it helps reduce seizures. There have been a number of testimonials from parents and their children struggling with epilepsy claiming CBD can nearly eliminate seizures. Alexis Bortell, a young girl suffering from chronic seizures moved to Colorado to access her treatment way before hemp oil became legal nationally. Her story is one of the best known testimonials about how CBD works as anticonvulsant. In Illinois, after a young girl named Ashley Surin suffering from severe seizures saw profound results from using CBD, Illinois lawmakers changed the law so that students on public school property could have CBD administered to them. They even named the new law Ashley’s Law.
Many people associate post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with military veterans that have seen and experienced repeated traumatic events while in service. Anyone that has experienced traumatic events can struggle with PTSD including first responders and others that simply were in the wrong place at the wrong time. How CBD helps with PTSD seems to be similar to how it helps with anxiety and seizures. PTSD patients struggle with a hyper-active brain, and if CBD slows that down then they are able to focus and not experience as many distractions.
Military veterans struggling with PTSD have commented on a number of occasions that the opioid based prescription drugs given to them by the VA numbs them mentally to the point where they do not feel like they are driving their own body. Testimonials concerning veterans using CBD to help them manage their PTSD symptoms suggest it helps them also maintain control and not feel so absent.
CBD for Addiction Relapses
Dr. Yasmin Hurd is a top mind on addiction in the world and believes CBD may be the key to stopping relapses. Addiction relapses are one of the symptoms of addiction and if we can figure out how to stop them, then we are potentially finding a cure to addiction. Her research is still ongoing but it is logical to believe that if cannabidiol can help, then it may have something to do with how CBD interacts with CB1 receptors in our brain.
Our endocrine system is what regulates hormone levels and like any other system it can get out of whack. Studies have shown that CBD can help control cortisol production by the endocrine system. Cortisol is often referred to as our natural alarm system and too much of it can cause all sorts of symptoms including mood swings. Again, we need more research to clearly know how exactly it can best be used to regulate our endocrine system.
Reducing Bloating for PMS
CB2 receptors are plentiful in our stomachs and intestines. Some discomforts are unique to women like the symptoms that come from PMS. Women can experience terrible cramping and bloating in their intestinal regions. As I have explained, CBD helps promote the production of the endocannabinoid 2-AG which can help reduce bloating.
Aches and pains can begin to plague those of us focused on our physical fitness. After all, we are putting additional stress on our joints and muscles when we lift weights or endure hard cardiovascular workouts. The ECS can help regulate our aches and pains from our workouts just like it does for other conditions we have no control over.
This is as far as science has really gotten up until this point. One way or another, the benefits of CBD seem far reaching and very promising. If you add in the additional benefits of using a low-calorie, low-sugar MCT coconut derived oil, Sugar and Kush CBD is an all around healthy alternative.
People are uncomfortable with vague answers. A vague answer makes people feel like they are being tricked or that the person or company they are looking into do not really know what they are talking about. Since this biological compound is still being researched by scientists and we are looking for more verified findings, it is hard to definitively explain the advantages of using CBD. Unfortunately, vagueness comes with the territory at this time.
It seems as though the revitalization of consuming CBD for pain has triggered more research on the ECS and how cannabinoids interact with our organ systems rather than on just cannabidiol by itself. If CBD is a key, then we need to understand the locks that it fits into. If our ECS is the system that helps bring us in line with our external environment, then it only makes sense for us to focus research on the ECS and as a consequence learn more about CBD. While we wait on more hard medically derived CBD facts, we must postulate from the research we do have access to and combine that with testimonials.
With the euphoria that often comes with the THC found in marijuana, other harder drugs and alcohol use, it could be that many people associate feeling good with euphoria now. We have to acknowledge that it is not just imbibing drugs and alcohol though that trigger euphoria. If packing for a Caribbean vacation triggers some adrenaline that fills you with excited anticipation, or laughter increases your serotonin levels, both of those events produce euphoric feelings. But euphoria is not CBD’s thing. Conversely, many prescription drugs may numb you mentally, but not CBD. While it is far from a cure-all, working in conjunction with other medicines may help reduce side-effects of the drugs that have been over-saturating our opioid system.
Cannabidiol may make it easier for you to find happiness because it kept you from getting too down in the dumps in the first place. We are all interested in living the life we want and this tiny molecule can help people. It could be telling your body that the axe like pain you feel in your knee or shoulder doesn’t actually have to be that intense. To understand all of the CBD benefits, it may take looking at it from a bit of a different perspective. It is not about euphoria, it is about the seamless transition into balance with the world around us. People need to learn how to take full advantage of it through diligent research and published studies.
So, I’ve said this before, CBD is about wellness. It’s not about getting high because a pure CBD does not get you high. It's not about immediate relief from severe chronic pain. It’s not about making you sleepy so you pass out for the entire night. By itself, it is insufficient at managing severe anxiety disorders either. I believe there is an advantage to using it to treat each of the conditions I just described. CBD is more like something you add to your daily routine as part of your daily regimen of vitamins. The idea is that your endocannabinoid system activates in your body after repeated exposure to CBD.
The story about my brother-in-law is just one example of how people that use CBD are coming to the same conclusion as scientists. Rigorous research and examination have led scientists to conclude that cannabinoids like CBD are meant to bring our bodies to homeostasis with the world around us. Everyday consumers of CBD may be telling people that it is helping to level or balance themselves out. Either way, it seems to me that consumers and scientists have met in the middle. I am still picturing my brother-in-law’s hand settling down after teetering back and forth when I look at the science and testimonials together. It’s all just adding up to balance.
Sugar and Kush CBD products are designed to optimize the effects of it by creating the healthiest products possible. We have put the highest quality and healthy products together with CBD to bring about a more productive life for people of all walks of life. For those of you following the keto diet, struggling with diabetes or seniors, you will find that Sugar and Kush CBD is right for you. S&K CBD tinctures, gummies and edibles are meant for everyone.