A recent study reported that in the last two years, over 64 million Americans have tried CBD in its various shapes and forms. That’s 26% of the country. One in seven of the study participants claim to use CBD daily. If you’re not one of those people, you most likely know a few who are.
CBD is everywhere. And shockingly, as mainstream as it is becoming, few people actually know what it is or does.
We’re here to help explain this to you, in simple terms. And perhaps also help you decide whether or not it is time to try it for yourself. First, some science...
WHAT IS CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds found in the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, or cannabis sativa plant. Though hemp is in the same family as marijuana, they are very different. This is important for many people, as hemp contains less than .3% of THC, the notorious fellow compound found in marijuana and the one that gets you high. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psycho-active.
During the production process, cannabinoids such as CBD are derived from the plant parts leaving a hemp extract that can then be added an almost endless variety of carriers to be absorbed by the body. Though the most popular ways of consuming CBD are by ingesting it with products such as tincture oils and gummies, the recent popularity has given birth to CBD beauty, skincare, and topical products that seem to multiple by the day.
HOW DOES CBD WORK IN THE BODY? The human body has a vast network of receptors called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS communicates with nearly every other system in the body, including the central nervous system, immune system and organs. Its purpose is to help our body maintain homeostasis and stay in good health.
We've known for a while that the brain itself produces compounds similar to cannabinoids all on its own. When cannabinoids are introduced to the receptors, the receptors activate and produce physiological changes and relief for a variety of symptoms. This is where adding CBD in the form of ingestibles and topicals comes in.
HOW CAN CBD HELP ME? The ECS is also involved in many physiological processes like sleep, mood, appetite, digestion, memory, metabolism, heart function, and hormones. Though the FDA has not approved a marketing application for cannabis for the treatment of any disease or condition, many studies have been conducted on CBD's effects and benefits.
A simple web search of CBD and the National Institute of Health will bring up many positive results for studies on CBD and the physiological processes listed above. In the case of acne, for example, this study's results strongly suggest that CBD exhibits substantial anti-inflammatory effects in the skin, making CBD a perfect addition to skincare and beauty products.
Anxiety is one that has been most studied as it relates to CBD. This double-blind study measured the effects of CBD use and one of everyone's worst fear: Public Speaking. Participants were all those who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder, half given a dose of CBD, half given a placebo.
Results showed that "Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the control group. Therefore, the effects of a single dose of CBD, observed in this study in the face of one of the main SAD's phobic stimuli, is a promising indication of a rapid onset of therapeutic effect in patients with SAD."
Given the fact that our ECS effects so many of our basic functions, there seem to be unlimited ways in which CBD helps our bodies stay in balance.
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