Exploring the 5 Key Ways CBD Enhances Overall Health via the Endocannabinoid System

How does CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system has two main parts: the first part is a network of cannabinoid receptors scattered in the central nervous system in the brain (CB1) and in the periphery of the body in the cells of the immune system (CB1). The second part is molecules called cannabinoids (actually endocannabinoids) that are created naturally “on demand” from the remains of other molecules that circulate in the body’s systems and arrive at the sites that “ordered them”.

The endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid receptors (one of the well-known endocannabinoids is “anandamide”) interact like a lock and critical system when cannabinoids bind to the receptors and thus cause extensive physiological effects.

Our body knows how to produce the substances that activate the endocannabinoid system responsible for regulating and balancing many body systems. Despite this independent action, the endocannabinoid system’s activity deficiencies have been created over the years. These deficiencies can appear for specific heredity, diseases, climatic conditions and general health condition of each person. This laxity of the endocannabinoid system can sometimes return to a renewed optimal operation through the external addition of phytocannabinoids that come from the cannabis plant.

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What is CBD?

CBD is not a drug but has a significant role in restoring the endocannabinoid system to optimal function. Unlike other cannabinoids (e.g. THC), cannabidiol does not bind directly to the endocannabinoid receptors. Still, it indirectly affects them and the entire system by inhibiting the FAAH enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids in the synaptic space. CBD allows molecules like anandamide to work longer and with optimal strength.

It can be said that precisely because CBD’s property of not binding directly to the endocannabinoid receptors is what makes CBD a versatile tool for treating a variety of symptoms – without the need to prove itself as a medicine.

Although more research is still needed to understand the role of CBD in the endocannabinoid system, there is an essential and preliminary insight into the process: CBD’s overall effect is to restore balance to the various body systems and reduce inflammation.

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CBD as preventive medicine

In many cases, CBD treats the underlying causes of the disease. For example, too much inflammation in the body is often the cause of some chronic conditions. Since CBD helps reduce inflammation in the body, it may benefit a wide variety of situations where inflammation is necessary to form the disease or symptoms.

Another example is CBD’s ability to balance an overactive nervous system, which is the underlying cause of many different problems, such as anxiety, sleep disorders, depression, post-trauma, attention and concentration disorders, digestive system problems, and more.

Now that we’ve established how CBD works in our bodies, here are five reasons why CBD is good for your overall health:

  1. Relieves pain and discomfort, neuropathic pain and inflammation

Cannabinoid receptors are found in almost every body organ; their and musculoskeletal systems are relevant to the discussion of pain (and joints). CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to support, regulate and rebalance the body’s inflammatory response.

Many experts claim that cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system to support the body’s inflammatory response (which may help prevent inflammation). Countless animal and human studies confirm this claim, for example:

  • In 2020, it found that people who applied CBD topically experienced relief from pain and itching associated with neuropathic pain.
  • A 2019 study in rats found that CBD helps reduce pain from nerve injuries and minimises pain-related anxiety. Such studies have recently been published in increasing numbers. What they all have in common is that CBD does not entirely remove the pain. Still, on the other hand, there is no doubt that it is a significant component in alleviating and calming the pain to restore the quality of life entirely.
  • On social networks and in almost every quick Google search, you can already find many individual testimonies of people for whom CBD significantly relieves pain symptoms and reduces inflammation. Sometimes these testimonies also receive the scientific publication, such as two case reports from 2020 of patients who found significant relief from using a topical CBD cream to treat neuropathic pain in the lower back.
  1. CBD promotes a more positive mood

Another area of focus for CBD research has been its effect on mental health. Many clinical trials relative to the field of study in the cannabis plant have found that CBD is a valuable tool in calming feelings of anxiety. A summary and abbreviated reviews of these experiments can be found at the link: Use of cannabidiol in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders

CBD seems to be especially effective in people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Testimonies from mental health therapists, psychologists and others can already be found online who say that sometimes some patients take CBD during treatment sessions to reduce their fear response and to facilitate the work of bringing up difficult memories.

In addition, one of CBD’s known mechanisms of action is its effect on serotonin receptors (not the serotonin receptors responsible for hallucinations). Thus it contributes to increasing the general mood.

  1. Improves sleep patterns and treats sleep disorders naturally

The most common positive feedback is from people who have seen an improvement in their sleep patterns and quality. This was not always the original reason for the need for CBD but a secondary concern accompanying life. Sometimes these responses are from people whose chronic sleep disorder made their quality of life significantly more difficult, which was the initial reason for their turning to CBD. The vast majority report that the main benefit of using CBD to improve sleep quality is that it can be done without the risk of dependence.

In addition to the anecdotal reports, a 2019 study of 72 people found that 66% of patients who added 25 to 75 mg of CBD to their sleep routine saw an improvement in their sleep during the first month: Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.

These results are likely related to how CBD interacts with our central nervous system. In simple language, the researchers estimate that CBD signals to our body that it is safe to enter a state of relaxation. In a state of calm, it is easier to fall asleep. Still, it is also important to note that CBD also has a good effect on the adenosine molecule that is directly related to the sleep mechanism, and this is also one of the reasons why at the beginning of using CBD, one of the common side effects is hyper-arousal and excessive sleepiness. The CBD often finds our mechanism of falling asleep and sleeping unbalanced and “works” to rebalance it. 

In many cases, those who use CBD to treat sleep disorders report that taking the daily dose of CBD in the morning or during the day positively affects sleep and falling asleep much more than before bed. CBD does not function as a conventional sleeping pill, that’s for sure. It is a natural solution and much more effective than drugs that are addictive and have dangerous side effects.

You can expand by reading about CBD to improve the quality of sleep in the link:
Sleep Disorders: How To Prevent Them Using CBD Oil

  1. May promote heart health

Recent studies are investigating the effect of CBD on various heart conditions, including inflammatory and functional problems involving the heart. One study suggests CBD could be a promising treatment for cardiovascular diseases like heart failure. However, most experiments use animals, so more research on humans is needed to understand CBD’s potential in this area. It is known that taking a low dose of CBD helps lower blood pressure, and some studies show that it is equal in its effect on the circulatory system to the development of aspirin.
You can read about it in the link: Vascular and Heart Diseases.

  1. CBD helps in the treatment of digestive system disorders and intestinal diseases

A 2016 review found that cannabinoids effectively treat irritable bowel disease and stress-induced bowel problems. However, most studies have been conducted on mice, so more human research is needed to understand CBD’s role in gut health better. Anecdotal reports support current animal-based research that CBD in moderate doses can help maintain beneficial bacteria in the gut.

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Several frequently asked questions on the subject:

CBD is considered safe and generally well tolerated. However, this will depend on the product quality you are using. CBD products with quality ingredients should be safe for daily consumption. Just make sure the product has passed third-party testing from a certified lab. If you experience any adverse symptoms, such as diarrhoea, fatigue, or changes in appetite, discontinue use immediately. Again, it’s best to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before taking CBD if you have a chronic medical condition.

If you’re new to CBD, it’s important to note that each person reacts differently. It’s recommended to begin with a low dosage of 20 mg or less and to consistently try it before increasing the amount.

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using CBD. Additionally, if you routinely undergo drug testing, you should prevent full-spectrum CBD. The trace amounts of THC within these products can trigger a positive drug test.

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