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Ever wonder what CBD does to the body?
As one of the most popular up-and-coming wellness supplements, cannabidiol (CBD) has people asking a lot of questions about effectiveness and safety.
Does it work? How? Is it safe to use? Why isn’t there more research?
Let’s find out.
When people hear the word “cannabis,” they tend to think of marijuana strains people smoke to get a psychoactive high. While marijuana like this affects the body in profound ways, there’s a lot more to these plants than getting high.
Substances like THC and CBD activate the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS)—a bodily system over 500 million years old that is present in all vertebrate animals. The ECS affects our moods, our memory, our appetite, how we sleep, and reproductive function—and those are just the functions we know about.
The ECS also affects our muscles, evidenced by the recent FDA approval of a CBD-based drug for severe forms of epilepsy. Another study suggests that an ECS deficiency may cause migraines, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome and that cannabinoid treatment might be effective.
When scientists first discovered the ECS, they thought it only existed in the brain. We now know that there are receptors throughout the entire body, including the liver, the GI tract, the heart, and elsewhere. There are dozens of cannabinoid receptors in the body, and each one has a distinct function we can’t live without.
Considering the limited research available right now, it’s exciting to consider the possibilities that scientists will likely discover in the future.
Our bodies constantly adapt to the world around us. The endocannabinoid system is one more tool our bodies use to adapt.
The ECS produces two unique endocannabinoids—AEA and 2-AG. Like any other hormone, they are essential to keeping us healthy and happy. When the time is right, these hormones bind to endocannabinoid receptors throughout your body—CB1 and CB2—so that you get the dose you need.
Think of it like drinking an energy drink—you open the can and drain the liquid into your stomach, taking chemicals from one area to another so they have an effect.
Once the hormones finish their work, enzymes come in to clean up the mess. At this point, the effects of endocannabinoids are over, which has some scientists speculating that CBD works by keeping these enzymes from ending the process.
Unlike THC which many people use to get high, isolate CBD does not have psychoactive effects. It does less to stimulate the hypothalamus—your brain’s reward center which affects sleep, body temperature, and attachment to others.
CBD can affect hunger, which is one of the reasons why it has been used in palliative treatments—so that terminally ill patients can eat a meal and keep their food down.
Another potential effect is headache relief and anti-inflammation. Many CBD users report being able to prevent and treat migraine headaches successfully by using a tincture oil on a regular basis.
While we would love to say what CBD feels like, each person will have a completely unique experience with the substance. Some people report feeling calm afterward, while others say they feel energized and ready to take on the day. Only you will know how CBD affects you.
While the jury’s still out on its role in medicine, most studies consider CBD to be safe and low-risk.
Like marijuana, there are a few ways people can ingest CBD. Probably the most well-known is through smoking or vaping by using devices like this one.
Vaping is a great way to quickly get CBD into your bloodstream, as it is almost instantly absorbed and can affect your body faster than most other methods.
When you vape, you take a syrupy liquid and heat it up to where it can be inhaled. The CBD binds to your lungs and enters the bloodstream from there. Some people who suffer migraines keep a vape pen on them at all times as a way to treat their headaches right as they happen.
The downside to vaping is that it wears off quickly—usually in under two hours, after which point users have to vape again. While research doesn’t suggest there’s any danger to doing this, it is possible to build up CBD in the body, making it harder to feel the effects after a while.
For those who don’t want to inhale vapor or smoke, edibles and tincture oils are an excellent delivery method. With gummies, CBD is ingested so that it is absorbed through the stomach. While this method takes longer to have an effect, it lasts longer than vaping.
Some people take gummies like a daily supplement to aid their ECS.
Tincture oils are another popular way to take CBD. By using a dropper to put CBD under the tongue, tincture oils can work faster than edibles by absorbing into the bloodstream from the mouth. Plus, they last longer than vaping.
The other benefit to tincture oils is your ability to closely monitor your dosage. You can quickly take large doses while knowing exactly how much goes into your system.
Did you know there are CBD ointments you can use for localized pain? If you suffer from muscle or joint pain, try a CBD topical as a possible remedy. Cannabinoids in these topicals are usually paired with other botanical ingredients like menthol and essential oils to provide cooling relief right where you need it.
The effects of CBD topical ointments can last for a few hours, and it is safe to reapply creams every few hours.
Because the physiological effects of CBD can be powerful, many people wonder whether or not they will experience the psychological effects of marijuana.
The short but complicated answer is no.
There are two kinds of CBD varieties: full-spectrum and isolate. When isolated, CBD contains less than 0.3% of the psychoactive chemical THC, meaning that it can’t be detected by most people. If you’re looking for a CBD supplement that contains cannabinoids but not THC, consider trying one of these morning capsules.
While full-spectrum CBD products contain higher amounts of THC, most people still don’t feel high. However, this amount of THC could possibly show up on a drug test.
The best way to find out how CBD affects you is to try it out.
By purchasing high-quality products from a reputable vendor, you can ensure you get the best chance at finding out exactly what CBD can do for you.
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