You may be at the point of your medical cannabis journey where you are thinking about trying CBD hemp oil. You’ve read a little about it, or maybe a friend has told you how it worked for them, and now you’ve become curious enough to try. Before you dive in, let us set you up with some fundamental knowledge with our Guide to CBD.
It can be overwhelming browsing through all of the options when it comes to how to take CBD or how much. After you’re through with this guide to CBD, you’ll have a better understanding of what you need.
Beginner's Guide: What Is CBD?
Before you buy it and use it, don’t you think you should know exactly how it works? It’s easy to say, “CBD makes my pain go away,” but when you can tell someone how it works, they become a little more interested. This isn’t your run of the mill fad treatment that only works when the camera is on. CBD is the real deal.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical we find in cannabis that has healing properties with no intoxicating effects. Researchers in the medical field have been paying especially close attention to CBD because of its ability to heal without the euphoric effects, and more people are gaining access to marijuana’s healing because this particular chemical is federally legal.
CBD has shown in studies to have such a broad range when it comes to healing capacity because it interacts with our endocannabinoid system. This system is in charge of your entire body’s functionality, and when something goes wrong, you end up with a disorder or disease.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is the reason you don’t stay mad when you get angry, your bones heal when they break, and you get a fever when you’re sick. This regulation of the body is also called homeostasis. This system controls almost every aspect of your day to day survival.
Parts Of The Endocannabinoid System
The chemicals that your body makes that are similar to the ones found in cannabis are called endocannabinoids. Their goal is to bind to cannabinoid receptors and send a message to the neuron attached.
Whenever you move, think, or talk your brain is sending a message from one neuron to the other. Usually, it is going from the presynaptic cell to the postsynaptic cell. They each bind to a specific receptor and create the you inside your head.
Endocannabinoids travel backward through a process called retrograde signaling. They go from the postsynaptic cell to the presynaptic cell with their own message. Endocannabinoids will either calm down an overexcited neuron or encourage a neuron that isn’t being active. They can do this by interacting with your cannabinoid receptors
There are two cannabinoid receptors that scientists have studied, though they think there might be a third we don’t know about yet. The two we do know about are CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are the lock to the endocannabinoid anandamide. Endocannabinoids are like a key, and will only fit into their respective receptors. CB1 receptors are densely populated in the brain, though they are found all over the body. The CB1 receptors are in charge of mediating the neurological functions of the body.
CB2 receptors are what the 2-AG endocannabinoids bind to with the ability to regulate the immune functions of the body. These receptors are more evenly spread out, being found even on your skin cells.
Metabolic enzymes are where endocannabinoids are made. Unlike most neurotransmitters that are produced and stored, endocannabinoids are made only when they are needed. Metabolic enzymes also degrade organic material in the brain that is no longer in use to prevent any blockage that might hinder neural communication. When cells are damaged, metabolic enzymes repair them and promote healthy life cycles.
What Does This Have To Do With Survival?
When you cut yourself open, you are exposing your insides to all the germs in the world. The endocannabinoid system will send immune cells to fight these pathogens off. This system also helps the skin close up and heal. Without the endocannabinoid system, the parts of your body that you can’t control go haywire, and you can find yourself bleeding out over a paper cut.
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabidiol acts as a regulator for the endocannabinoid system. It does this by indirectly stimulating cannabinoid receptors. Instead of binding straight to the receptors as THC does, CBD elevates endocannabinoids. This helps the endocannabinoid system have a better hold on the situation, being able to control different functionalities in the body.
How Does CBD Help With Common Symptoms?
CBD For Inflammation
Inflammation is when your immune system sends immune cells to an area that may have been compromised by a pathogen. To get rid of any organisms that may harm your body, the immune system sends a full-forced attack which leads to the painful red swelling. Too much inflammation can slow down the healing process, which is why it’s so common to ice injuries.
When you use CBD for inflammation, it calms down your immune system by interacting with your CB2 receptors. The immune system is still doing its job and keeping you healthy, but it isn’t sending massive amounts of immune cells to one area that causes you pain and slows down any healing you might need.
CBD For Pain
We feel pain because our brain tells us to. It’s a significant indication our bodies use to let us know we need healing. But if you just sprained your ankle, you know you need to rest without the stinging reminder.
The endocannabinoid anandamide plays a critical role when it comes to pain. When CBD elevates this chemical, it may reduce your sensitivity to pain. It’s important to remember that even though you aren’t feeling pain anymore, this doesn’t mean you’ve gotten better.
CBD For Anxiety
Many problems we face today is our brain just trying to help. Anxiety is one of those things that we do need but comes in at the worst times. Anxiety is fear, something our body uses us to keep us alive. When there is a bus coming at you, anxiety is what gives you the flight response to get out of the way. When you start experiencing this same reaction because you have a job interview, that is when you need to tell your brain to simmer down.
Your brain's built-in alarm system is always watching and waiting. For some, this alarm might go off for no reason and often. CBD helps your brain realize that you are in no actual danger. When your neurons are going crazy and blasting information everywhere, your endocannabinoids now larger in numbers can calm these neurons down faster than if you hadn’t taken any medication.
CBD For Depression
We once thought that depression was just a lack of serotonin and dopamine, but it became apparent that was not only the culprit. Researchers had to ask themselves, “Why does it take so long for anti-depressants to start working if the chemical is present int heir brain?” Good question!
Now it is believed that brain inflammation may cause depression. This is good news for CBD users because CBD can reduce that inflammation while giving the user an uplifted mood. Considering anxiety is often tagging along with depression, CBD makes for the perfect treatment.
CBD For Addiction
You don’t have to be addicted to crack to be an addict, though that does also qualify. Cigarettes, alcohol, food, caffeine, all of these things can also run your life and ruin your health. The reason we get addicted is that our reward system is messed up.
What is supposed to happen is that your body recognizes things like sleep, eating, and sex as something needed for survival. This is why we feel the need to do these things, as well as feel good while doing them. When your reward system is overactivated, it gets confused. No longer do you need sleep or sex, but that cigarette or drink is the only thing that will keep you alive.
CBD shows in studies to regulate the reward system, making it to where even if you did do those nasty habits your brain wouldn’t react as much. This smaller reaction leads to fewer cravings, and eventually quitting altogether. For addictions that have withdrawals, CBD can help with those, too.
How Do You Use CBD?
This all really depends on what you are using it for. Each method comes with its own pros and cons, but there are so many variants you are bound to find something that fits your comfort level.
"I Need CBD That Hits Hard And Fast"
If you’ve got severe chronic pain that can’t wait thirty minutes to an hour and a half for an edible to kick in, there are perfect options for you.
CBD concentrates get the CBD into your bloodstream quickly, and it avoids the digestive system giving it more bioavailability. More bioavailability means that none of the potency is lost through the process.
If it’s a pain that you can target like joint and muscle pain, CBD topicals absorb into your skin quickly to help you find relief. These topicals can also help with rashes and skin diseases like eczema, helping your skin recover and inflammation die down.
CBD suppositories are some of the most effective ways to take any medication. Like inhaling and sublingual methods, the CBD skips over the digestive process. But suppositories last much longer than those other methods because it slowly is absorbed over time.
"I Need CBD That Lasts All Day"
If you need CBD that lasts all day and is very potent, CBD suppositories are where it’s at. They hit you quickly in as little as 15 to 30 minutes, and the relief can last for up to eight hours. This method is excellent for people who have to avoid their digestive system because of a chronic illness, but still need the same effects as if they took an edible.
Not everyone needs their CBD to pack a punch; they just need it to work for as long as it can. If you need a more subtle approach to take out your anxiety or mild pain, using CBD pills or edibles is the route to take. They go through your digestive system, so they lose bioavailability making them less potent however the CBD slowly absorbs into your body giving you long-lasting relief for up to eight hours.
"I Want To Take CBD On An As Needed Basis"
You don’t need CBD all of the time; you only want to take it as needed. One of the most popular options for this method is vaping CBD e-liquid. Inhaling CBD gets it to your system quickly and only lasts for a few hours. You can take one hit or ten and control how much CBD you are taking.
CBD tinctures are also another fast-acting remedy that only lasts for a few hours. These are easier to dose, with each drop being about 1MG of CBD. This is also a useful method for helping administer the medication. People suffering from a seizure can’t dose themselves, but you can with your handy dandy CBD tincture to come in and save the day.
"I Don’t Want People Seeing Me Take My CBD"
Maybe you get social anxiety in church, and the congregation isn’t on board with the whole medical marijuana thing yet. Or perhaps you don’t want people knowing you have an illness because the constant sympathy gets exhausting. We can help you be sneaky while you get medicated.
CBD candies are delicious and discrete. They are an unusual method because the sweets are sublingual as well as utilizing the digestive system. You get the CBD in your system fast, and a little left over when you’re done being slowly absorbed into your body.
You might have lucked out, and you find yourself in a group of smokers and vapers. Joining along in the public smoke session on breaks at work or out on the town with your CBD e-cigarette, no one would be the wiser. For all they know, you are chasing that nicotine buzz like the rest of them when really you’re just getting healthy.
Taking CBD edibles or pills in the morning before you barge out into the public is an excellent way to keep a secret. If you don’t need emergency CBD and can function with the regular dose a day, then taking edibles and pills is your way to go.
How Much CBD Do I Take?
When you are first starting your CBD journey, begin small. You never know if you are a part of the small percentage that has an adverse reaction or is allergic to marijuana. You also don’t know how much you need and there is something called the Goldilocks Zone. This zone is where CBD is most effective. If you take too much, you won't notice the effects. If you take too little, you won’t see anything. But if you take a dose that is juuuuuust right, you get the fantastic effects of CBD.
When you’re starting your doses, take into account how you are administering the medication. You are going to feel 5MG in a tincture a lot more than 5MG in an edible. Take your time when you are raising your dose, also. You don’t want to miss the sweet spot, and you need to give your body time to acclimate.
Can I Take CBD With Other Medicine?
Well, it depends. If you are already taking medication, be sure to read this article about mixing CBD with medicine to see if it’s on the list of medicine that doesn’t interact well with CBD. Since CBD changes the way you metabolize, you might find that your symptoms get worse when mixing your medication. Talk to your doctor if you want to switch, because quitting cold turkey can prove to be fatal.
Can I Drink While Taking CBD?
Yes! You can totally Drink Alcohol With CBD In fact, CBD may help protect your body from the damage alcohol does as well as lowering your blood alcohol level. Though it is still never safe to drink and drive even if you’ve taken CBD.
The options aren’t endless when it comes to CBD, but it sure can feel like it. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed anymore now that you have a better idea of how CBD can help you. If you still have questions, follow us on social media and ask us! We love to share information about medical marijuana, and it’s lasting impact on our health.
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