CBD Oil: What is it and how can it help you?
Cannabidiol (CBD oil) has made a huge splash in the supplement world since Dr. Sanja Gupta first came out in support of cannabis in the documentary “Weeds” on CNN in 2013. But what is CBD and how does it work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most prevalent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. Unlike the more famous THC molecule, CBD is completely non-psychoactive, so don’t expect to get “high” off of this organic chemical.
The medical potential of CBD oil has taken cannabis to mainstream audiences. Preclinical trials over the past four decades have found that this cannabinoid shows promise for a myriad of conditions because it works as an:
How does CBD oil work?
There are 80 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, with CBD being the most well known. They bind to specific receptors on your cells, called cannabinoid receptors.
Certain receptors are heavily concentrated in the central nervous system, while others are found in almost every organ of the body. Cannabinoid receptors are even found in the skin, digestive tract, and in the reproductive organs.
You can think of these compounds as keys and cannabinoid receptors as locks. By consuming cannabis, you are taking in compounds that interact with different locks on cells in the body. Together, these cell receptors make up a larger endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Some describe the ECS, a vast network of multi-functional cell receptor proteins, as the greatest neurotransmitter system in the body.
What does CBD oil do?
There seems to be a host of issues that CBD oil can help with, including:
- motor control
- immune function
- pain perception
- bone development
Four primary purposes of the ECS are neuroprotection, stress recovery, immune balance, and homeostatic regulation, or overall balance and equilibrium.
There is still much to learn about CBD. Scientists, however, have discovered that the compound does a lot more than engage cannabinoid receptors. The effects of CBD in the body are broad and far-reaching. Thus far, the cannabinoid is known to also directly or indirectly affect the following:
- Vanilloid receptors (important for pain modulation)
- Adenosine receptors (important for the sleep-wake cycle)
- Serotonin receptors (important for mood and stress management)
Some studies suggest that CBD oil may also work by blocking a particular fatty acid known as fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down the naturally occurring endocannabinoid, anandamide, in your body.
Anandamide is also known as the “bliss molecule” or “human THC”. It helps regulate basic functions like pleasure and reward, appetite, ovulation, memory, sleep, and pain.
The therapeutic value of CBD oil is almost unbelievable. For decades, outdated laws have banned a plant that produces what may become one of the most important medicines for modern disease.
CBD oil can affect multiple pathways in the body concurrently, which makes it extremely difficult to study: it is almost impossible to tell what effect these different interactions have upon each other. Yet, regardless of a lack of high-quality trials on humans, many medical cannabis patients find relief with this calming cannabinoid.
Our product specialists are here to help you find just the right CBD supplement.