The cannabis industry is booming and there does not seem to be an end to the benefits cannabis may provide. This means there are a lot fo reasons to take CBD. There are two species of cannabis: hemp and marijuana. The difference mainly being the levels of THC and CBD in the plants. These compounds are what are known as cannabinoids, chemical compounds including the active makeup of cannabis. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound that produces the feeling of being “high”, while CBD (cannabidiol) has little or no psychoactive effects. The hemp plant legally contains less than 0.3% THC so all CBD products on the market are derived from the hemp plant.
CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the body’s regulatory system known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The prefix, ‘endo’, means from within, so the ECS is a system of cannabinoids from within the body! The ECS works to maintain a balanced and regulated state of all your body’s interconnected systems. This balanced state is called homeostasis. Appetite, sleep, pain response, stress, anxiety, energy, and more are all regulated in some way or another by the ECS. Many of us experience problems that are associated with the Endocannabinoid System so this gives some good reasons to take CBD.
So . . . cannabinoids interact with the ECS and the ECS maintains many of the body’s physiological functions and responses. Here is a simple infograph to show you some of the most popular reasons to take CBD:
Table of Contents
Here is a list of the top 5 reasons to take CBD:
CBD to Help with Sleep
Many of us struggle to get a solid night’s sleep consistently. Maybe your mind is running, or you have body pain, or you just do not feel tired until late into the night. CBD is becoming an increasingly popular substitute for other sleep meds. The is one of the most popular reasons to take CBD. In one study of healthy people given either CBD or placebo, it was found that “ . . . CBD does not seem to interfere with the sleep cycle of healthy volunteers” (Linarest, et al). CBD use before bed also seems to show a “ . . . decrease in reported time to sleep . . . ” (Tringale, et al). Besides being able to help you fall asleep faster, CBD can also lessen bedtime anxiety, making it easier for some subjects to drift off into a dream world (Shannon S, et al).
CBD to Lessen Anxiety/Stress
Stress and anxiety, although not the same thing, do tend to go hand-in-hand. Stress is the emotional and physical response to a trigger. This trigger could be a sudden change or having too much to do or being late, etc. Anxiety can be the result of prolonged stress. Most of us have experienced one or both at some points in our lives, it is very common. Using CBD for stress and anxiety is one of the most studied aspects of CBD and best reasons to take CBD. One study found that the use of CBD oil reduced anxiety and improved sleep in the subject (Shannaon, et al). Several other studies of CBD found CBD was associated with “ . . . significantly decreased subjective anxiety . . . “ (Crippa, et al) in part by reducing blood pressure and heart rate (Bergamaschi, et al). Both an increase in blood pressure and heart rate are common symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Playing another part in the decrease of blood pressure and heart race is the serotonin receptor known as 5-HT1A. It is thought that an increase in anxiety could be attributed to lower 5-HT1A binding levels (Akimova, et al). CBD was found to be an antagonist of the 5-HT1A receptor, therefore aiding in the decrease of blood pressure and heart beat (Russo, et al).
CBD as a Pain Management Tool
Physical pain can come in many forms. Stub your toe, overwork your body, etc. One major cause of pain is the inflammation occurring within your body. This inflammation can be a cause of something short term like an injury or a bacteria. Chronic pain and inflammation can be caused by diseases that create an overactive immune response in your body. The immune response partially comes in the form of pro-inflammatory cytokines (cytokines are signaling molecules that let other molecules know what to do) such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-ɑ) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1𝛽). CBD has been shown to inhibit the production of both TNF-ɑ and IL-1𝛽 (Sumner 1383). T-regulatory cells (Tregs) are a type of cell that suppresses the immune response and CBD just so happens to be able to upregulate it (Nagarkatti, et al)! So taking CBD slows the production of molecules that support inflammation.
Two major causes of chronic pain and inflammation are arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Both diseases and their reactions to CBD use have been studied more and more in recent years. Recent findings show that “CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating [Osteo-Arthritis] joint neuropathic pain” (Philpott, et al) as well as “significant relief of pain, stiffness, [and] relaxation” (Fiz, et al) in Fibromyalgia patients.
CBD to Help with Seizures
Seizures affect about 65 million people worldwide. About 1 in 26 will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives. These large numbers are staggering, thankfully CBD seems to be a fresh glimmer of hope in terms of decreasing the frequency of seizures. Recent studies have shown that CBD can “improve seizure control (Perucca) and it shows “promise for the treatment of . . . epilepsy” (Parker). A certain receptor channel called the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) “may contribute to the onset and progression of . . . epilepsy” (Iannotti, et al). Increased levels of TRPV1 were found in rodents with epilepsy models (Whalley, et al). CBD acts as an antagonist to TRPV1, therefore suppressing the onset and progression of elliptic seizures.
CBD in your Skin Care Routine
Skin care and beauty products are incorporating CBD into their product formulas because the potential benefits can really improve the quality of life in a person with a skin condition. Inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis have potential to be therapeutically treated with CBD products (Palmieri, et al). There is even evidence that CBD use can reduce the visibility of scars, blemishes, and sun spots (pictures of examples can be found using the source link, look for figures 6, 7, 8) (Palmieri, et al). CBD also shows potential in treating symptoms of something many of us deal with, acne (Marks, et al). Other conditions that CBD may have effectiveness to control symptoms and improve quality of life include, systemic sclerosis, atopic dermatitis, and pruritus (Marks, et al).
Taking Quality CBD
If any of the reasons to take CBD listed above have you considering supplementing your wellness routine with a CBD product, now you will face the vast options of companies and types of product to try. It is important to be as informed as you can on the product you will be using. We suggest looking for lab tested results for each product on the company’s webpage. They should be easy to find and if they are not, the company should easily be able to provide you with them upon request.
On the lab test results consumers should be looking for a few things. The first being that the levels of CBD match or exceed or the amount advertised on the product label. Next, the levels of delta9-THC are lower than the legal limit of 0.3%. Consumers should also check the date of the results. Companies should be updating lab results for every batch of new products.
Once you've found a company that you trust, the next question is which product to use?! There are many types of products from edibles to tinctures to topicals to smokeables. Not only is the strength of the product important, the way the CBD enters your body is as well.
Now once you have picked the company and the product, how much should you take? Everyone has different dosing needs based on many factors such as severity of the affliction, weight, gender, age, activity level, etc. The general rule is to start with a low dose (~10mg) and take note how that affects you. Then if you feel you could use a higher dose, take a little more next time and again note how you feel. Then repeat! This is a process that takes days not hours so be patient and conscious of what your body is telling you. Start Low and Go Slow!