Why this power plant is good for you
So, you’ve heard cannabis wellness is where it’s at – but how (and why?) exactly should you start using everyone’s favourite controversial plant to achieve optimal mental and physical health?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of many natural chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. But unlike its infamous cousin THC, CBD is not intoxicating in any way, and will not impair your mental judgement or clarity.
In fact, it can have completely the opposite effect. CBD can help you feel calm, clear and more present in your day-to-day life, as well as help to treat many common concerns including anxiety, sleep, pain and inflammatory conditions.
CBD works within an existing system in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In the 90s, scientists worked out that the ECS is a system of docking sites located in the brain and throughout the body that are specifically designed to interact with cannabinoids like CBD.
The receptors in the ECS are the most prevalent neuroreceptors in the brain and are found throughout the immune system, organs, bones and skin. They operate like a lock-and-key system, with the lock (receptor) always being present, waiting to be unlocked by the key (cannabinoids).
Two forms of ‘keys’ can activate the receptor – endocannabinoids, which are naturally occurring compounds found in the human body, and phytocannabinoids, found in plants and incorporated into CBD products. Once activated by cannabinoids, the ECS receptors help signal the brain as to where there is imbalance in the body’s various systems and processes. The brain then triggers the appropriate responses to restore balance in these areas – and in doing so, CBD enables your body to naturally help itself.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might’ve noticed a surge in CBD use in everything from coffee to cold creams, band aids and bath bombs. But why?
One of CBD’s best-known benefits is the enhancement of mood and alleviation of anxiety, which it does by regulating the body’s stress response and activating a type of serotonin (the chemical believed to be linked to happiness and wellbeing) receptor in the brain.
By reducing anxiety and regulating the nervous system in the body, CBD can also help anyone struggling to get a good night’s sleep, providing a deeper and more consistent state of rest.
Two additional benefits of CBD are pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. The balancing effect it has on the body helps to decrease sensitivity to pain perception, and also to reduce the inflammation associated with a long list of diverse conditions such as asthma, PMS symptoms, migraines, arthritis and endometriosis.
CBD’s potent anti-inflammatory effect is the reason that it is also effective at treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, hyperpigmentation, rosacea and other forms of dermatitis that can be especially prevalent in those with darker skins.
According to research studies, the ECS's modulatory effect on the body can also help to regulate the production of sebum, an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands that helps maintain moisture and flexibility in the skin.
A buildup of sebum can be the cause of oily skin, blocking pores and resulting in acne. By modulating the production of sebum, CBD prevents this from happening and can be a powerful and effective treatment against skin breakouts and chronic acne.
If you are looking for a general, everyday health boost, or to treat ongoing concerns such as anxiety, chronic pain or insomnia, a daily dose of CBD is the answer, either in the form of CBD drops or sachets of water-soluble CBD.
The choice is entirely dependent on preference and how CBD will fit into your daily wellness rituals. You could opt to place a few drops of CBD under your tongue in front of the mirror each day, or you could mix in a CBD sachet into your favourite hot beverage or smoothie for a tasteless and convenient, measured dose that you can take with you on the go.
Skin care in the form of moisturising creams or serums will go a long way in helping skin but for an added boost, a daily dose of ingested CBD in addition to these will truly address skin concerns from the inside out.