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CBD and the Body
Cannabis plants can ultimately be looked at as chemical warehouses, producing up to 400 different compounds. Although not all of these are unique to the Cannabis plant itself, upwards of 80 compounds are and hold many beneficial health properties. Of these 80+ compounds we will be tackling the very interesting compound CBD, or cannabidiol, to see how exactly it interacts with the body in order to provide therapeutic effects in those who take it.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS), named after the plant that led to its discovery, is an important physiologic system that is involved in maintaining human health. Specialized compounds known as “endogenous cannabinoids,” lipids and ligands naturally created on our own that bind to and interact with receptors and regulatory enzymes, perform various tasks along the ECS. The end goal of these tasks is always to maintain homeostasis, or the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.1 Researchers have identified two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1, which is present in the nervous system, connective tissue, glands, organs, and the brain; and CB2, predominantly found in peripheral organs and in cells associated with the immune system. It is not uncommon to have tissues that contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, all linked to different responses.2,3
CBD and Phytocannabinoids
One of the big reasons why CBD and other compounds that derive from the cannabis plant are so helpful to us is that they can interact with our ECS and are able to elicit its health promoting reactions in our body. These plant derived compound counterparts are called “phytocannabinoids,” a category that refers to any cannabinoid that occurs naturally within the cannabis family of plants. These phytocannabinoids can be thought of as a contrast to endogenous cannabinoids, which as said before is made naturally by us through the ECS without any interference or ingestion of the cannabis plant. While some enthusiasts believe that the existence of the ECS and cannabinoid receptors is proof that the cannabis plant was intended to be consumed for therapeutic and recreational purposes, it is ultimately just a coincidence that these phytocannabinoids are able to mimic and interact with our naturally occurring ECS. As coincidental as this may be, the role these compounds can play on our health it is not something that should be easily overlooked.
What CBD can do For You
Even though CBD has been shown to have a low affinity for CB1 or CB2 receptors, it still has a way to produce powerful indirect effects that are still being studied. Below is a rundown of what cannabidiol has been shown to help in, along with the medical research supporting it:
- CBD Can Help Relieve Pain and Inflammation
“Cannabidiol agonist activity at CB-2 receptors seems to account for its anti-inflammatory properties and both primary and secondary influences on pain.” The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain
- CBD Can Help with Mood Disorders
Results from study “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders” published by US National Library of Medicine state that “existing preclinical evidence strongly supports the potential of CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders.”
CBD Products Offered Today
Some quick guidelines to different types of CBD products offered to help with any of the aforementioned health issues:
A CBD tincture is a liquid CBD concentrate that is applied sublingually, or under the tongue. You can get CBD tinctures in an alcohol solution, but we recommend a coconut/MCT oil based CBD tincture that allows the solution to be more easily absorbed in the body. The solution is quickly absorbed by the arteries beneath the tongue and transported through the bloodstream, with users feeling results in about 15-45 minutes. Pick your choice of CBD tincture.
CBD Intake through the tongue/mouth has a bioavailability (Absorption percent) of 20-35% learn more about CBD Bioavailability
CBD Gel capsules/Edibles
Easy to take and without any messy set up, CBD gel caps are the way to go if you are accustomed to taking vitamins already. Although CBD edibles may take up to one-two hours to really kick in, the effects typically last for a longer amount of time and can provide as much as eight hours of relief. Browse our CBD gel cap and CBD edible line up.
Digesting CBD has a bioavailability (Absorption percent) of 6-15% learn more about Bioavailability
Heating CBD oil into a vapor lets it into your lungs and is another way to diffuse it directly into your bloodstream rather than having it pass through your gut and liver. This allows nearly 4 times as much CBD to enter your circulation when compared to CBD capsules or CBD edibles and isn’t nearly as messy as dealing with tinctures. Browse our vaporizers and our collection of CBD wax and oil cartridges
Vaping CBD has a bioavailability (Absorption percent) of 30-40% learn more about CBD Bioavailability
CBD Salves/CBD Lotions
CBD infused topical creams that are applied directly to the skin for localized relief of pain and inflammation, making them perfect for treating muscle, joint, and surface-oriented pain. It starts working immediately after rubbing onto the problem area and can provide relief for hours, just re-apply as needed. Great for aches, pains, soreness and any form of arthritis. See our supply of CBD salves and CBD lotions.
Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System
by Dustin Sulak, DO
Pharmacology of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors
by Pertwee RG
Cannabinoid Receptors CB1 and CB2 Form Functional Heteromers in Brain
by Lucia Callén, Estefania Moreno, et al.