What is CBD? And why is it getting so much attention nowadays? In this video, we’ll look at how CBD works in the body to reduce inflammation and provide relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Ok so let’s talk about cannabis. In every variety of the plant, there are chemicals known as cannabinoids. The major ones we’ll look at are THC and CBD, because they’re the most well-studied up to this point and also the most abundant in cannabis strains.
To put it plainly, Cannabinoids are weird. It just so happens that THC and CBD are able to bind to a unique set of receptors in the central nervous system. These receptors make up what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. Why do we have a system of receptors just for getting high? It turns out there’s a lot more to it.
The Endocannabinoid System
Under normal conditions, our bodies produce their own endogenous, or internal cannabinoids which tell the body to stop releasing stress hormones after a stressful event gets resolved. In addition, endocannabinoids help bring the immune system into balance by reducing inflammation and allowing healing to take place. It’s no wonder people use cannabis for everything from chronic pain to chronic anxiety
But back to our main focus, what’s unique about CBD? While THC is a well known psychoactive chemical which produces the “high” associated with smoking grass, CBD serves a more subtle role.
Think of it this way. THC, when absorbed, floods the endocannabinoid receptors, including those concentrated in the brain, leading you to feel a noticeable “high”. Over time, these receptors adapt to the overstimulation and become less sensitive. This is what people call building up a tolerance.
CBD is different because it doesn’t actually bind to the endocannabinoid receptors. Instead, it prompts more efficient absorption of the endogenous cannabinoids that are already present in the body. This makes CBD largely free of side effects, incredibly effective, and sustainable.
CBD has already been clinically shown to provide measurable relief from anxiety, chronic stress, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, and autoimmune diseases, and new studies are being conducted every day.
If you’ve been paying attention, you might assume that since THC binds to the endocannabinoid receptors and CBD makes those receptors more sensitive to endocannabinoids, combining the two must yield even greater benefits. Some people are adamant that this is indeed the case, but it’s important to note that CBD reduces the experienced “high” brought on by THC. As a result, many growers try to maximize THC and minimize CBD so their strains will be more potent. So be sure to pay attention to the concentrations of CBD and THC if you plan to go the cannabis route.
If you’d prefer not get high at all, you can always find CBD oils which are derived from hemp plants and contain 0.3% or less THC. And oh by the way, CBD oil is federally legalized unlike cannabis.
And of course, I should mention that CBD and THC aren’t the only ways of stimulating the endocannabinoid system. Omega-3 fatty acids, Dark chocolate, and regular exercise will also stimulate healthy production of endocannabinoids.
Stress is more than just a subjective experience, it has real biomarkers inside our bodies. By using what we know about the endocannabinoid system, we can prime ourselves to better cope with stress and inflammation to live more freely.
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