It’s safe to say that cannabidiol (CBD) has a more wide-ranging potential than typical strains of psychoactive cannabis. On its own, CBD is non-intoxicating and causes no mind-altering effects, which explains why so many people seem prepared to experiment with it. Indeed, most of the CBD products that you find on sale are actually made using industrial hemp extracts, rather than cannabis extracts – hemp has very low levels of THC, is not psychoactive and is therefore less restricted.
But is CBD just a passing fad, or does it have properties that could soon become a staple in our daily lives?
Different products for different ailments
Perhaps the most interesting thing about CBD is how its effects change depending on how it is consumed. For instance, taken in vape oil or e-liquid form, CBD becomes active after just a couple of minutes, and quickly begins exerting anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, analgesic effects and more, benefits which generally last for two to three hours. The speediness of vaping is particularly useful for people who suffer from sudden bouts of pain, that cannot afford to wait for relief.
However, when taken in edible or capsule form, you can be waiting for an hour or more before you experience any therapeutic relief. The positive with these products, however, is that the CBD is released more slowly into the body, meaning the effects can last all day or night. The relaxing and sedative properties of CBD have unsurprisingly made it a popular alternative sleeping remedy.
But CBD doesn’t even need to be taken into the body for it to have a positive effect, as the emergence of infused balms and creams have shown. The combined antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal qualities of the cannabinoid may be valuable for treating skin infections, both bacterial and fungal. These products work because of the presence of the endocannabinoid system in the peripheral nervous system, and therefore the skin.
This system contains endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Activation of the CB1 receptor can help to relieve pain, hence the popularity of pain creams from companies like Green Roads CBD. Meanwhile, activation of the CB2 receptor works to reduce and regulate inflammation, which may be the key to treating arthritis and the skin condition acne.
Using CBD for general wellness
The jury is still out on many of CBD’s claimed medical properties, and until comprehensive clinical trials are conducted in placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized settings, little can be said for definite. That’s just the process that any new drug must go through before it can be medically approved. Indeed, for epilepsy this is already happening, with the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent approval of the CBD-rich oral spray Epidiolex.
However, companies aren’t selling CBD as a medicine, but as a health supplement, and there are a number of ways that CBD can be used to enhance general wellbeing and make life a little easier.
By making more of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA available in the brain, CBD is perfect for helping you to stay mentally relaxed in challenging situations. Perhaps you’re starting a new job and are nervous about making a good impression, or maybe you struggle with anxiety and find social scenarios overwhelming. With CBD helping to stop the overthinking, and also combat high levels of stress, you can stay cool, calm and collected and always present the best version of yourself to others.
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CBD can also help to smooth out any irregularities in your endocannabinoid system by boosting ‘endocannabinoid tone’. An optimal endocannabinoid system is essential for good immune system health, balanced mood and appetite, strong bone health, beneficial sleep patterns, controlled pain perception and more. To enhance endocannabinoid tone, endocannabinoid degradation must be slowed, and CBD is able to do this by inhibiting the FAAH enzyme’s breakdown of anandamide.
Enhance your workout with CBD
Strength training can be great for our mental health, not just because it helps us to bulk up and become stronger, but because of the release of antidepressant chemicals into the brain. However, to maximize our efforts in the gym, it’s vital that our stress levels, and concentrations of the hormone cortisol, are kept as low as possible. In contrast, higher levels of testosterone facilitate increased muscle growth.
Taking a CBD oil tincture, such as those sold by CBDistillery, helps to quickly reduce cortisol. The reductive effect that CBD has on cortisol was first shown in the 1990s.