If you’re currently obsessed with CBD, it’s for a good, scientific reason—you’re experiencing potent health benefits without the whole getting high thing. And while that’s certainly something to celebrate, so is getting your head around the scientific facts—here’s a quick, digestible scientific snapshot to lean on at your next social gathering:
CBD is one of more than 60 compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant that belongs to a class of ingredients called ‘cannabinoids’. While CBD can be found in other plants, like broccoli and kale, it’s most abundant in the hemp plant. To be classified as hemp, it has to have less than 0.3% THC (the compound that creates the psychoactivity).
Source: Optimal Hemp
Yes. We have what’s called an endocannabinoid system — a central regulatory system that helps to regulate immune, nervous and digestive systems and keeps the body in balance. This network of the body knows how to process these naturally occurring CBD chemicals because the human body and the cannabis plant both make cannabinoids. Like a lock and key system, we are biologically programmed to be able to use CBD effectively.
Before you have nightmare flashbacks to chemistry class, let’s break this down simply. So, you know how we have this incredible endocannabinoid system in our body? Well within that system are two kinds of receptors found on cell surfaces—CB1 and CB2. And since the job of a receptor is to be the “eyes” and “ears” of the cells, they receive messages from substances (like CBD) in the bloodstream and then tell the cells what to do.
Now that you can see and understand why the human body is set up so favorably to receive the plant compound CBD, it’s even easier to make the connection between the benefits you’ve likely been experiencing with CBD and the science behind it. Here are some of the most common uses:
CBD activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor which helps soothe and calm the nervous system, reducing the “fight or flight” mechanism that can lead us to feel excess stress and anxiety. Activating this receptor also helps with addiction, appetite, sleep, nausea, and vomiting.
Inflammation is at the root cause of most pain and since CBD is a known anti-inflammatory and analgesic, it can lessen the intensity of a broad range of pain symptoms.
CBD works with receptors all over the body to block pain. Cannabinoids bind to TRPV1 receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems and can help the body to desensitize pain at the nerve level.
Because CBD can increase serotonin receptivity in the brain, it can quickly stimulate a sense of balance and tranquility and affect the body’s levels of many important neurotransmitters that control stress, anxiety levels and mood.
Many people are feeling the physical and mental strains of everyday life. So it’s easy to see why CBD is becoming a fast-growing treatment option courtesy of Mother Nature. But while finding a natural product to help ease your ailments and get back to what you love is golden, doing so while being a fully-informed consumer is absolutely priceless.
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