The ancients used it. As far back as 10,000 years ago there is evidence that our forefathers used cannabis medically to treat all sorts of ailments. History tells us that hemp is one of the oldest agricultural crops on earth.
The Chinese called it Dama, “cannabis” and it was a Chinese surgeon in ancient times who was the first recorded person to use cannabis as an “anesthetic”. Cannabis was used in ancient times in Egypt, India and Greece. The Greeks relied on it to help heal wounds on their horses. Physicians and healers at that time used it as an anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti epileptic and analgesic to control pain. Cannabis was also called upon to help with issues involving appetite and digestion. It was used to help just about everything!
In modern history, an Irish physician, William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, brought back interest to the medical uses of cannabis. In the 1830’s at the Medical College of Calcuta, O’Shaughnessy tested cannabis on both animals and humans for such diverse symptoms as pain, muscle cramps, stomach issues, sleep issues, migraines and depression. History confirms that cannabis is an effective and reliable source for so many medical and therapeutic issues.
One of the most proven uses for CBD is its ability to quell anxiety. Many people are looking to move away from drugs and pharmaceutical approaches to help relieve feelings of stress. Statistics show that nearly one in five Americans experience anxiety and symptoms of overwhelming stress at some point in their lives. Over 30 percent will report an anxiety disorder.
The desire to get help in handling everyday life – just getting through the day at work or school or dealing with the boss, family or even social events – may drive people to turn to drug-free alternatives such as cannabis. We do know that chemical imbalances are often a cause for anxiety. CBD causes both a direct and indirect activation of the metabolic receptors for serotonin, the same receptors targeted by prescription SSRI’s that reduce anxiety and elevate overall mood. CBD boosts signals to serotonin receptors without the negative effects of medications. Receptor sites act as little receivers that “listen” to chemical messenger molecules and have the ability to react and change
cellular function. CBD changes the activity of the cell. Science is yet to understand totally the process by which CBD works and has only just begun unlocking the mysterious ways these natural phyto-cannabinoids react with the human body.
Most every cell of the body has a stress-cortisol receptor. Continuous low levels of cortisol (see “Stress Makes You a Mess”) become toxic to the body leading to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and other health issues. CBD calms the sympathetic nervous system, also known as our “fight or flight” system, creating a sense of calm without the use of drugs. Studies have shown that CBD has also proven helpful with other neurological challenges like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, Huntington’s disease and dementia.
CBD is shorthand for Cannabidiol which is part of the cannabinoid family found in the hemp plant. CBD is just one of over 400 chemical compounds found in the plant. CBD is the second most prevalent cannabinoid and does not contain THC, the part of the plant that contributes to psychoactive reactions and the feeling of being “high.” When CBD is separated from the THC and contains less than 0.3 percent THC, there is no high.
Endocanabbinoids are cannabinoids that are natural to our own bodies. We make them, rather than ingest them. The endocannabinoid system was discovered in 1992. This biochemical network allows for communication between all major systems of the body. The endocannabinoid system is the major orchestrator in keeping the body in balance and harmony. Scientists refer to this inner harmony as “homeostasis.”
CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system and regulates many functions in the body that influence mood, sleep, balance, immune inflammatory and hormone responses. The endocannabinoid system is an extensive network of specific receptors in the body. There are receptors found on the surface of brain cells (CBI) and receptors on cell walls of the nervous system (CB2).
The chemical properties of CBD are exactly the same as the endocannabinoids that our own bodies produce. That is why CBD is able to help in so many health conditions and issues. When the endocannabinoid system is working well, we feel balanced and at our very best. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) helps regulate sleep, anxiety, mood, pain, memory, metabolism, appetite and more. Deficiencies have been associated with many health challenges, including headaches, migraines, sleep disorders, pain, fertility issues, appetite control and even addiction issues.
Genetics may play a role in these deficiencies, but lack of exercise, poor eating habits and even toxic overload can influence the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD plays a critical role in regulating the deficiencies among these chemical mood messengers.
CBD is both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. As a superior antioxidant it is a great tool in the fight against the number one killer in America – heart disease. CBD lowers blood pressure. Other heart issues such as congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation and coronary artery disease have responded well to CBD. Clinical studies have shown that insulin levels have improved and lower BMI’s are evident in patients who consistently use CBD. The National Institute of Health reported a 56 percent reduction of diabetes in animal studies when diabetic animals were given treatment with CBD.
In the ever-emerging hemp-CBD marketplace, it can be challenging choosing a product that addresses your needs since so may companies claim to have the “best!” Look for companies whose products are open to “total transparency” in their manufacturing, labeling and certifications. Is the hemp in your product grown organically? Are the soil and plants tested to ensure healthy growth and an absence of pesticides, microorganisms, heavy metals and residual solvents? What part of the plant is being used in the product? Look for products that use the flower part of the plant rather than stems, stalks or seeds. Another important question to ask is what was the extraction method? Look for C02, food grade ethanol or organic MCT oil extraction processes. These extraction methods provide a product that is free of chemical solvents and harmful contaminants.
Make sure the product is third party certified for purity and potency. Always look for ISO – International Organization for Standardization on the product label, packaging or company’s website. Check to see when the product was last tested. Because there are no regulations in terms of how often a CBD product must be tested, hypothetically a lab report could be years old while the company is claiming their product is “lab tested.”
It is important to understand the terminology on product labels when choosing what you want to put into your body. If the product you are buying comes from an Isolate it literally contains CBD refined to its molecular structure …isolated CBD. There is absolutely no difference in CBD extracted from hemp rather than marijuana. CBD Isolate is 99 plus percent pure CBD. It has no other elements of the plant.
Broad Spectrum products contain other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids but contains absolutely no THC which then negates the benefits of THC. When these elements are taken together, they enhance the therapeutic effect.
High-end effective CBD products contain a FULL SPECTRUM of terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids and fatty acids found in the hemp plant. There are at least one hundred different terpenes in every plant and each is unique. Terpenes are the natural compounds that are responsible for enhancing the aroma of herbs, fruits and flowers. Different strains will determine the smell and taste of each plant. Terpenes can even modify how much THC passes through the Blood Brain Barrier.
Flavinoids give plants their pigments. Often referred to as phytochemicals, they are responsible for the health benefits plants bestow upon us. These compounds supply us with health enhancing antioxidants. They are anti cancer and anti viral and assist in better brain function. Antioxidants help stave off heart disease, stroke and asthma.
When the components of the hemp plant are all working harmoniously together, it creates what is known as the Entourage Effect. There is a synergistic effect creating a more powerful and potent action. The Entourage Effect offers the most therapeutic benefits. It is important to
note, however, that full spectrum CBD products, even when THC is legal and less than 0.3 percent, can trigger a positive result in a drug test. Broad Spectrum products and CBD islolates do not contain THC and should be used if testing is an issue. Full Spectrum products however supply the greatest health benefits.
Finally, any conversation on CBD must address the difference between Hemp and Marijuana. Hemp and Marijuiana are so often confused with one another. They are both part of the Cannabis family of plants. But, they are each unique and different. Not only do they grow differently, they have different chemical compositions. Hemp is low in THC, while Marijuiana is naturally higher in THC and can contain 15 percent to 40 percent of THC. Hemp is grown for many reasons. Its applications include building materials, biofuel, textiles, animal feed, and insulation. Marijuiana’s applications are either medicinal or recreational. The law now classifies hemp and marijuana differently which makes CBD more accessible and popular.
CBD is everywhere… TV, magazine articles, talk shows, store shelves.
There are so many products and companies out there. CBD is showing up as tinctures, oils, soft gels, inhaled vaporizers and edibles. It can be found in sparkling water, coffee pods, cookies, honey, creams, lotions and potions. Presently, there are thousands of products in the marketplace using CBD. Be an educated and informed consumer. Know what you are buying. Make sure the product you are purchasing is from a trusted source and that you are spending your money on a product that is reliable from growth to manufacturing to marketplace.
Even as the scientific research continues, we know we’re onto something good. If this were not the case, the World Health Organization would not have recommended in 2017 that CBD no longer be labeled a scheduled substance. In 2018, the Hemp Farming Act passed making CBD more available in the marketplace.
There has never been a reported case of abuse or dependence relating to the use of pure CBD. As a well-tolerated ingredient that enhances energy and mental focus that also boosts the immune system and calms the central nervous system, CBD may be part of your health strategy for reaching more optimal health!