Like most, I am very positive that the majority of you have heard of CBD oil. For many it has become a source of many great benefits, and for others some questions and uncertainties remain. Since becoming legal in most States curiosity has grown. Therefore, the objective of this blog post is to simply give you some generalized information about CBD. I will go into more depth of its properties and uses in following posts.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabinoid. Cannabinoid is one of hundreds of chemical compounds found on both marijuana and hemp plants. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is known for its psychoactive nature, CBD does not get you high.
In fact, we produce our own natural CBD within our own bodies! Have you ever heard of the Endocannabinoid system? Well, it’s real and there is a lot of research demonstrating how influential this system is for our well-being. This system permeates the entire human body with receptors. From our skeletal muscles, nerves systems, digestive tract, adipose tissue, and of course our brain.
This system is involved in:
- our immune system
- helping regulate energy
- playing a key role in maintaining bone mass
- Regulating intestinal motility
- Regulating metabolic processes
- Promoting and regulating sleep
- Modulating insulin sensitivity
- Regulation of pain signaling
- And much more
How is the endocannabinoid system activated? Well, it’s activated by stimulation of certain brain receptors that respond to cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are those which are produced by our bodies. Exocannabinoids (CBD) come from an outside source like hemp, marijuana, and isolated CBD. In fact, the work of Dr. Michael Beigel (Faculty of Medicine – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) has concluded that the
Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is involved in ALL physiological processes that have been investigated. Other research has also concluded that the ECS plays a large role in cognitive function and creativity (Schafer 2011 et.al).
As a manual therapist, my concern is highly on how CBD can have effects on those seeking bodywork for therapeutic purposes. Whether it is stress reduction or muscular and joint pain, CBD research has been shown to change tissue structure, preserve joint health, reduce inflammation, and decrease pain. A 2007 study demonstrated that the ECS played a big role in helping the study subjects with chronic lower back pain (Degenhardt 2007 et.al). Another study (McPartland et.al 2005) in 2005 and 2008 showed that the ECS played a role in affecting fibroblast (tissue) remodeling. Therefore, it plays a role in healing and tissue health.
The production or CBD in our bodies is highly dependent on our lifestyle. Diet plays a crucial role and so does exercise. Avoiding highly processed foods and consuming more natural whole foods should be a priority, followed by movement. The more we move, the better we feel. Reducing stress levels is also critical, so taking the time slow down, meditation, massage and simply doing things that are enjoyable can boost the natural production to CBD in our bodies.
There is also some research that bodywork can boost the production of CBD alongside production of feel good hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Which is why regular bodywork or massage therapy can have many profound effects for those with chronic pain, severe anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
The use of CBD or exocannibinoids only boosts our own natural production. Therefore, many feel positive results from stress reduction, decreased anxiety, decreased pain, improved sleep and many others. Some may not feel much of a difference at first, but like any supplement it maybe a matter of dosage and frequency.
Whether you feel and immediate result when using CBD oil or not, the reality is that CBD can only have positive outcomes for your mental and physical well-being.