It’s Not Just Hype, It’s Science
There are many claims, testimonials, and clinical research studies of all the wonderful benefits of CBD(cannabinoids) use, showing a reduced risk of diabetes, pain and anxiety to name a few. But the real question is, why does it work and how do you take advantage of all CBD has to offer. Let’s dive into the CBD science.
Our body systems work together to create a homeostasis state(the ability or tendency to maintain internal stability) for our survival. More well-known systems are the circulatory system, digestive system and lymphatic system. There is another less talked about system called the endocannabinoid system(ECS) which is less understood, yet important to our bodies.
So What Is It?
The cannabis receptor wasn’t discovered until 1988. After studying a rat’s brain, scientists discovered receptors that interact exclusively with the receptors of the cannabis compound. Fast forward more than 100 years to 1995… Two receptors for the cannabis plant, CB1 and CB2, were found in thousands of species including humans. As technology progressed, researchers discovered a relationship between the cannabinoid receptor in the cannabis plant(phytocannabinoid) and the cannabinoid(endocannabinoid) receptors throughout the human body.
Still, it would still take several years for researchers to uncover the power of this plant. Scientists found a link between the human body and the cannabis plant. This was a tremendous breakthrough as it showed that the body was designed to interact with cannabinoids. All this lead to the discovery that the endocannabinoid system may be the most important system in the body to maintain homeostasis.
CBD receptors are found throughout our bodies. This suggests that these receptors must facilitate reactions maintaining body functions. Picture the body as a well manufactured machine, all parts work together to maintain the machine and provide longevity. If you constantly care for a machine; maintenance, changing parts, oiling, then it works at its highest potential. If you do not take care of the machine(forget to oil, never change parts, etc) then it deteriorates at a faster pace while working at a fraction of its potential. This same concept applies to the body; you must supply the body with everything it needs to reach full potential and longevity.
Another Way To Supplement
Research shows that the body makes its own cannabinoids just as it makes its own hormones, insulin, and so on. However, the body cannot make as much as it needs which leads to a lack of the essential building blocks when our diets are poor. For example, your body produces vitamin D, but lack of sun slows production. When the body does not receive all the necessary nutrients it needs then function slows, increasing the rate of degeneration.
Cows once grazed upon wild cannabis, which supplemented human’s diet (going up the food chain) until prohibition. This could explain, in part, the increase of diseases and malfunction of the body in the past century. We use supplements to increase overall function of our bodies. Fish oil helps us when we lack essential omega vitamins, Vitamin C helps to boost our immune system. CBD works in the same way to supplement our endocannabinoid system. We reach optimal health, when all the systems of the body have all the nutrients they need. Organs last longer, skin stays more elastic causing less wrinkles, the body fights cancer cells better, the list is endless.
Because endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout and not just in one area, those that choose to supplement their diet with CBD can experience drastic change in all areas of the body. Someone suffering from anxiety or depression feels relief when taking CBD because it supports the hippocampus, the area of the brain that deals with mood and memory. Cannabis was used as a natural medicine for millennia to relieve migraines, epilepsy, arthritis, nausea and a slew of other ailments, until politics put a stop to that.
Why Aren’t They Teaching This Stuff?
In a 2013 study, The Medical Cannabis Evaluation in Sacramento asked medical students within the U.S. to explain the ECS. The study found only 13% of the students (our future medical professionals) knew anything about this system. It’s a frustrating journey for those seeking medical advice about the benefits of CBD, since the majority doctors are not trained on CBD benefits or the endocannabinoid system.
Scientist have found a hypersensitivity with pain, migraines, and IBS that are associated with endocannabinoid deficiencies. This has led to the Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Theory, a theory that suggests certain conditions are caused by a lack of cannabinoids to support the ECS.
Thankfully this is changing and some of us are becoming much more informed about the use and benefits of CBD. Working together, we can share our knowledge about the endocannabinoid system to be prepared and informed when talking to healthcare professionals. Knowledge is power! Remember to do your own research. “When it doubt, research it out!”