Let’s say you’ve been doing some research (good job!) and have finally decided for yourself that CBD works. Realizing this is only the first step - but an exciting first step, at that. With it comes a quest for more research, more learning, and more information. You might be wondering what CBD is best for, or how its qualities will impact you specifically.
When it comes to CBD, asking the right questions might be just as important as having the right answers. In our last CBD 101 article, we went over the basics. That article looked at some common questions new users have about CBD, too.
Here we’ll begin with a flashback and dive into a few of these questions a little more deeply. After that we’ll move on and describe how you can get CBD to work best for you and your specific health needs.
Will CBD help with my _______ [health condition]?
While we can’t make any definitive claims, we’re hopeful. CBD does cause pretty extensive positive shifts in nearly anyone’s body, something you’ll hopefully experience, too.
Will CBD become instrumental to your personal wellness routine? It sure could - you wouldn’t be the first person to come to love CBD. We encourage you to find out as you optimize your health and pursue your best life. And to help you find out more, we made this article!
How Much CBD Should I Take?
That’s a great question...and one we’ll fully cover a little later. The truth is that CBD dosing remains equal parts art and science; if anything, it leans towards the ‘art’ side. This is because each person’s body responds differently to CBD. And that’s because every person’s endocannabinoid system is different!
The most important thing to know about CBD dosing is this: the plant molecule works best when you take it consistently. Add CBD to your daily wellness plan now, and your future self will thank you!
Because when CBD is taken consistently, exciting things happen. Sometimes changes are striking; other times, they’re hard to notice. You might want to keep a journal or health log to pick up on the type of improvements that occur slowly over time. If you stay aware, you’ll notice that CBD gently and intricately balances out the entire body. What started with a small input is now cascading into more and more positive changes
Interestingly enough, these health changes tend to vary from person to person - often depending on what a particular individual needs. With such dynamic features, broad generalizations don’t really do the hemp plant full justice.
That said, there are definitely some health-improvement trends. Here are eight of them.
8 of CBD’s Most Impressive Effects of Health
1. CBD is calming. And great for anxiety!
This is probably the easiest thing to notice for the average first-time CBD user. It’s also among the compound’s most loved qualities. Who wouldn’t want to be calmer, right?
You don’t have to be anxious to enjoy CBD’s calming tendencies, either! Though it is great for anxiety, even the already calm report feeling more collected and peaceful while on CBD.
Much of this powerful calming effect is thanks to CBD’s interaction with serotonin receptors. We won’t get into the technicalities, but CBD helps increase and stabilize serotonin levels which would otherwise be low in those with anxiety. Cannabidiol is also inhibitory in nature - which means it provides an ‘upper ceiling’ to racing thoughts and feelings.
2. CBD reduces stress.
CBD reduces stress, almost regardless of its source. In a world that bombards us with stressful situations of all sorts - even stressful, suboptimal nutrition - it’s easy to see why CBD is so valuable.
By allowing the body to better communicate with itself, CBD helps send signals that allow for faster, smoother biological processes. It does this on-demand, exactly when the body needs it. This quality translates to less stress in situations where it’s needed most.
All of this is done via the endocannabinoid system, of course, which we talked about in our first article. And this system is amazingly adaptable. In fact, endocannabinoids are produced in direct proportion to the stress of the cells in their area. And higher endocannabinoid levels means an increased ability to fight off stress.
Less stress means good things for you and your health, especially long term. It may mean less sickness and improved immunity; it might mean a larger capacity for mentally challenging work or physically challenging exercise. All in all, CBD helps a person adapt to stress, grow stronger, and then rise above it.
3. CBD is great for sleep.
This is another benefit that’s easy to notice. Unlike some of CBD’s other qualities, which tend to build up over time, CBD’s effect on sleep is usually immediate.
You might think that this only happens when the compound is taken before bed. While taking it before bed does lead to better sleep, the amazing thing it that CBD taken at any time of the day tends to help.
Through mechanisms that are still unclear, CBD is able to tie the body back to natural sunlight cycles. This means more wakefulness during the day - and more sleepiness at night! Compare that to traditional sleep medication (which often makes one uncontrollably sleepy regardless of what time it is) and it’s easy to see why so many are switching over to CBD supplementation.
CBD also boosts the percentage of sleep that’s REM sleep. So even if you don’t end up sleeping any more, you might still find yourself waking up more refreshed.
4. CBD lowers inflammation.
Many people think pain and swelling when they hear the term inflammation, but it gets worse than that. Inflammation is one of the biggest factors in aging and aging-related disease, too, playing a role in everything from diabetes to cancer.
Thankfully, CBD directly combats inflammation. It ‘quiets down’ the immune system to appropriate levels, and even reduces the production of inflammatory molecules called prostaglandins from the foods we eat.
Consistent CBD use = lower inflammation = lower disease risk & less pain.
5. CBD improves brain function.
It was epilepsy research, off all things, that first set off our understanding of what cannabinoids like CBD can do. In 1980, a pivotal study led by doctor Raphael Mechoulam found that 75% of epileptic patients experienced significant seizure reduction after only thirty days of CBD treatment.
This brain-balancing quality was easy to observe due to the physical nature of epilepsy. But as it turns out, CBD has a similar impact on anyone’s brain - it just normally works a little more behind the scenes.
Fast forward almost forty years, and CBD’s impact on brain function continues to amaze scientists...even the scientists who first discovered it! When you look at how many CBD-welcoming receptors are in the human brain, though, this is really no surprise.
CBD’s chemical qualities means it easily enters and moves throughout centers of the brain responsible for memory, perception, hunger, and sleep. In fact, many of the other effects we’ve listed here begin with this one, when a CBD molecule ‘hits’ a cerebral CB1 receptor.
Those who’ve suffered brain injuries can stand to benefit from CBD, too, as a 2017 study brilliantly showed. The molecule actually promotes neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to heal and change. Neuroplasticity in adults was once thought impossible, but it’s very possible in a brain that’s well nourished with CBD.
6. CBD reduces pain.
Like we said, CBD > less inflammation > less pain. But CBD doesn’t only reduce inflammation. It also reduces the body’s perception of pain, something that’s largely controlled by the same system that allows us to sense heat and fully taste hot peppers.
Pain, especially chronic pain, can be pretty stubborn, so those who experience it can commit to a long-term CBD dosing schedule. Over time, inflammation will be reduced, and the pain it was causing will probably fade away.
CBD’s impact on pain is so strong that many pain patients are giving up opioids in favor of this more natural, holistic option. Thankfully, CBD has none of the harmful side effects that opioids do, so we’re hopeful this trend will continue!
7. CBD improves sports performance.
CBD’s stress-reducing qualities make it a perfect candidate to improve sports performance. More than that, many experts are beginning to view CBD as a universal adaptogen, something that allows increased adaptation to stress and improved nervous system functioning.
The science in this area is new and encouraging. Athletes worldwide trying to gain that added edge are beginning to implement CBD for themselves! Football players take it before and after games as a neuroprotectant; endurance athletes take it to reduced DOMS, or muscle soreness. Similar to other sport-specific supplements, CBD is probably most effective when taken in the post-workout period.
Another quality helpful to any athlete: CBD tends to shift the metabolism towards fat oxidation. While this may or may not lead to weight loss, it probably does increase endurance. It probably also makes CBD muscle sparing - able to reduce the muscle breakdown that sometimes occurs during long workouts.
8. CBD reduces health imbalances!
CBD is a master regulator of homeostasis. That just means it promotes full body balance, which in turn does a number of pretty cool things.
For example, somebody with imbalanced serotonergic signalling might have anxiety. By balancing this out, CBD reduces the anxiety, which is actually a symptom of something bigger. Somebody with epilepsy probably has imbalanced neurotransmitters; in their case, CBD is able to balance these out and eventually reduce seizures.
This balancing effect explains why CBD works across categories that normally require different medications. By balancing out the biology of virtually anyone who takes it, CBD is able to meet its user where they’re at: young and healthy, elderly and fatigued, or anywhere in between.
Remember that CBD only works thanks to the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS for short. Its receptors pick up every message CBD sends, and use that message to improve function throughout the rest of the body.
You can think of the ECS almost like the body’s wellness center. It’s a highly organized one at that! Commands go in, commands go out; things happen… thousands of small changes are made. Though subtle, these small actions collectively inspire health and healing.
The Endocannabinoid System is also dynamic. It’s capable of changing and adapting to the needs of a body in constant motion. Not surprising - it constantly communicates with the rest of the body, after all.
And if the ECS is a wellness center, then CBD is the central element of its go-to wellness plan.
As you can tell, there’s a lot to CBD. It’s a complex molecule that interacts within a wonderfully complex interface - us! We hope you’ve come away from this article with a greater understanding of Cannabidiol and exactly what it might do for you.
In a sense, we’re all on this quest for understanding together; the newness of the CBD industry means that even its leading experts still have much to learn, but the signs are highly promising. Are you ready to allow CBD to play a pivotal role in your wellness routine? The signs are highly encouraging that it certainly can.