Have you been interested in learning more about CBD? Trying it? Or have you been worried about how you might feel using it? Maybe you know it does NOT make you "high" but you still don't love the idea of it. Our ND's are here to share some valuable expertise on the topic!
Cannabidiol better known as CBD is a plant extract from cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is derived from the seeds of hemp plants where it is found in high amounts. It can also be derived from the cannabis (marijuana) plant, however, it exists in a lower amount in this plant, as the major active plant compound in cannabis is THC. THC is the plant chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of "feeling high" of cannabis. CBD does not have psychoactive effects, therefore, you will NOT feel high from taking it. The worry around this is more in relation to the quality and reliability of the product you are taking. Be sure to discuss beginning CBD use with a trusted health care provider.
At EASTND we love CBD for supporting people in the following ways:
CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system in the body. It has been shown that CBD can alter neural plasticity and the way the body responds to stress. As stress and other emotional triggers are often at the root of anxiety symptoms, this treatment provides a promising option to reduce the impact of those triggers in the brain and subsequent symptoms of anxiety. Recent research reviews have consistently shown CBD can reduce symptoms of anxiety, with minimal adverse effects. There still needs to be more thorough testing done to determine more standardized dosing strategies. What that means in the meantime is you should work with a health care professional to determine what is best for you.
CBD has also been shown to act on 5HT1A receptors. These receptors are often the target of most anti-anxiety and anti-depressants. Activating this receptor stimulates the vagus nerve and subsequent relaxation of the nervous system. Over time it can increase serotonin, and the efficacy of serotonin, which can improve mood, reduce anxiety and improve sleep -- Serotonin makes us feel happy and relaxed!!
Our NDs favourite product for anxiety is the Calyx Calm Spray. Available in our offices both Moncton and Charlottetown. Call ahead to reserve yours, limited quantities and they sell quickly.
Similar to how CBD can work for anxiety (by targetting the endocannabinoid system) it can also help to produce calming effects in the body that promotes sleep. For those who have busy minds, or experience chronic stress, this can greatly impact your cortisol (think, STRESS hormone) and circadian rhythm (our sleeping patterns); this can lead to trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep. CBD acts to increase the activity of a chemical called anamidine which can calm the nervous system.
CBD has also been shown to act on 5HT1A receptors. These receptors are often the target of most anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs! Activating this receptor stimulates the vagus nerve and deep relaxation of the nervous system. Over time it can increase serotonin (our happy hormone so to speak) and use of serotonin, which can improve mood, reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
Our NDs favourite product for sleep is the Calyx Calm Spray. Available in our offices both Moncton and Charlottetown. Call ahead to reserve yours, limited quantities and they sell quickly.
We also love the lullaby CBD bath bomb as a way to wind down before bed. It's one of our favourite self-care rituals!
4. Menstrual Pain
Research shows cannabinoids are strongly associated with relaxing smooth muscles. Menstrual cramps are made worse by contractions of the smooth muscle lining the uterus. CBD targets receptors embedded in the muscle tissue to relax contractions, and therefore can ease the severity of cramping.
Blood vessels are also lined with smooth muscle. When cannabinoids act on cell receptors to relax smooth muscle, blood flow increases which could help provide relief to tissues in need of oxygen and decrease cramping.
5. Chronic Pain and Arthritis Pain
Cannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory activity in that they act on the COX-2 enzyme. COX-2 activates inflammatory prostaglandins that contribute to pain and inflammation which are roots of many chronic diseases and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. CB2 endocannabinoid receptors located on macrophages (natural killer cells), when activated but cannabis, prevent macrophages from releasing inflammatory proteins such as cytokines. Although prostaglandins (inflammatory molecules) make pain receptors more sensitive to pain, cannabinoids act against this by decreasing sensation of these nerves. The action of cannabinoids on TRPV1 and CB1 receptors has this exact action of desensitizing these nerves to pain, and these effects can affect neighbouring pain receptors to have wider-acting pain relief.
6. Topical Application
Topical use of CBD-infused products is becoming increasingly popular from skin lotions to bathbombs. Its anti-inflammatory actions can also be of benefit applied to the skin. CBD binds to receptors in the skin called TRPV-1 receptors that impact sensations of heat, itch, and pain. In this way, it has a soothing effect on the skin. CBD shows effects on our sebaceous glands as well (think acne) but acting to inhibit excess sebum and oil production, it acts as a regulator of these cells. At a chemical level cannabis contains fatty acids and antioxidants, so it can exert its regulatory effects on dry skin and eczema.
A product that our ND's are loving for the topical effects of CBD are the Calyx Bath Bombs for a great way to relax your body in a deep way.
7. Finally, Overall Wellness
CBD has found its way into the treatment plans of many of our chronically stressed patients. The endocannabinoid system is being studied for its ability to impact the way the brain interprets stress. There is promising evidence that it can reduce the impacts of stress triggers and the ill-responses it mounts in the body (like inflammation, pain, anxiety, and poor sleep). This is extremely relevant for those who are chronically stressed or burnt out, as there has been a significant amount of maladaptation to stress triggers. It can help bring the body back into balance and reduce the impact of stress.
CBD and the endocannabinoid system are also effective in driving down inflammation. Stress and chronic stress overtime generate quite a bit of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the root of many of our chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and many more. By reducing inflammation we are improving overall health and wellbeing at a cellular level.
Worried that CBD wasn't right for you? We hope this helps you understand that CBD is botanical medicine at its BEST. We say that because there truly are no other herbs that touch the pain, and inflammation as well as CBD! Please rest assured this is not something that alters the way you think and feel mentally - outside of relaxation :) If you have any questions or are looking to pick up some of the CBD products we stock, we carry them in clinic and are more than happy to set them aside for you!
EASTND Naturopathic Team
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