Here Are 4 Exciting Wellness Benefits of CBD
CBD is everywhere. From gummies to mascara, transdermal patches to bath bombs, you can find CBD in gas stations and high-end boutiques alike.
Consumer demand for CBD has skyrocketed in recent years, but what do we know about CBD’s health benefits? Read on to understand more about cannabidiol, including what to look out for when buying CBD — plus, find out what CBD products could help support your overall wellness and hair goals.
What Is CBD, Exactly?
CBD, aka cannabidiol, is one of over 100 active compounds in plants called cannabinoids, which are part of the cannabis plant family. CBD has gained a lot of public and scientific attention over recent years for its potential use as an alternative and complementary medicine.
Today, a majority of states have legalized medical cannabis, and others have legalized general adult consumption. Not only that, but hemp was also federally legalized in 2018 under the Farm Bill. With greater legal access to and growing interest in CBD, more robust research is taking place.
How Is CBD Used?
Current human trials focusing on CBD are investigating its potential use in treating a variety of medical conditions, such as:
- Acute and anticipatory nausea
- Anxiety and related disorders
- Arthritis and other causes of neuropathic pain
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Bipolar and other mood disorders
- Cancer and cancer pain management
- Chronic inflammation
- Chronic pain, including inflammatory and neuropathic pain
- Drug use disorders and withdrawal
- High blood pressure
- Inflammatory bowel disorders
- Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
- Parkinson's disease and other degenerative neurological disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
- Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
- Sleep disorders
How Does CBD Work?
CBD impacts our bodies in a wide variety of ways, but part of its efficacy and effects are due to its ability to interact with a major biological system called the endocannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS is made up of a large network of receptors that can be found throughout the body — from your central nervous system to the inside your bones to the tips of your fingers —and works to help the body maintain a balanced physiological tone.
The ECS impacts a wide variety of basic cognitive and physiological functions, including appetite, mood, sleep and pain perception. One of the reasons that CBD is so effective at impacting our physiology is that our bodies produce their own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. The cannabinoids in cannabis plants (called phytocannabinoids) share similarities with our bodies’ own endocannabinoids, which is how and why our receptors are able to make use of them.
CBD also interacts with other systems in the body to produce effects. “CBD impacts many receptors, including serotonin receptors, dopamine receptors and opioid receptors,” explained Dr. Lewis Jassey, a doctor of osteopathy and Medical Director of Pediatric Medicine at Leafwell. CBD can also influence how other neurotransmitters and chemicals in the body are synthesized and broken down by impacting enzymes. “This broad range of effects on various receptor systems is thought to be the main reason CBD works for many conditions,” said Jassey.
CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?
One reason that CBD has gained so much popularity in recent years is that it does not induce changes to our states of consciousness the way THC does. Both THC and CBD are psychoactive, but CBD does not create the feeling of altered consciousness and intoxication the way THC does. In other words, CBD will not get you "high."
THC and CBD also differ in the way they are utilized by the body and the effects they produce. For example, both THC and CBD can be effective in relieving pain. But the way each produces pain-relieving effects is different, making each appropriate and useful in different ways.
How Can I Take CBD?
While you won’t have any trouble finding products that have been infused with CBD, it does help to understand how different consumption methods can impact your experience of CBD’s effects: The way CBD enters your body makes a difference!
In general, there are five common ways to consume CBD:
- Sublingual: When you take a CBD oil tincture under your tongue, it's absorbed through tissue in the mouth before going to the bloodstream
- Edible: When you swallow CBD, it passes through your digestive system before getting into the bloodstream.
- Topical: When you apply CBD topically, it can interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the skin.
- Transdermal: Another topical option, but transdermals have the ability to permeate all layers of skin to enter the bloodstream.
- Inhalation: When you inhale cannabinoids, they quickly pass from your lungs into the bloodstream.
Each of these consumption methods varies in the way the body can make use of the cannabinoids, including how much of the cannabinoids end up being available for the body to use (called bioavailability), how long it takes for effects to kick in and how long the effects last.
The quicker the CBD can make it into your bloodstream, the quicker you will start to feel the effects. This makes inhaled, sublingual and transdermal products the best options for a relatively quick onset of effects. Generally, these effects last two to four hours, though transdermal patches can last for many hours, depending on their formulation.
The effects when ingesting CBD via an edible or capsule will take longer to kick in than other methods because those products have to make their way into the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream. However, while edibles might have a longer onset, the effects last longer than other consumption methods because the digestive process unfolds over several hours.
Topical CBD does not enter the bloodstream but can impact the skin and tissue where it's been applied. This makes topical CBD appropriate for localized relief and benefits generally last a few hours.
4 Exciting Potential CBD Benefits for Wellness
Many people use CBD, with about 14% of Americans reporting they used it in 2019. One global survey on CBD included over 3,000 patients in 58 countries who reported using it for pain, mood and sleep, along with supporting their everyday health and wellness.
Investigation into CBD for these uses is ongoing, but research points to the following benefits that may support health and wellness:
Many people use CBD topically for pain relief related to medical conditions like arthritis and for more common everyday concerns like muscle soreness or joint pain from exercise and physical activity. But CBD can provide anti-inflammatory benefits whether it's inhaled, ingested or applied topically.
While CBD is being researched for potential use in various anxiety disorders, many use CBD for general stress and anxiety relief. One small study where researchers administered CBD before a public speaking test showed a significant reduction in anxiety among participants in the CBD group versus the placebo group.
Antibacterial and Antibiotic Benefits
Many cannabinoids have antibacterial and antibiotic action, and CBD is no exception. Initial research suggests that CBD might be effective against several ‘multidrug resistant’ bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. These properties could have a variety of potential uses and, when coupled with its sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects, could point to CBD’s promise in treating skin conditions like acne.
Our bodies use antioxidants to fight against free radicals and oxidative stress, both of which can contribute to the development of conditions and diseases like cancer, inflammatory diseases and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's. Free radicals are produced within the body as a byproduct of normal functioning, but we are also exposed to free radicals in our environment. CBD has been shown to act as an antioxidant in several different ways, and when coupled with its anti-inflammatory benefits, it may provide neuroprotective benefits for the brain.
Is CBD Safe?
There is still more to discover about the effects CBD has on the body, but thus far, it is believed that CBD is a generally safe and well-tolerated compound. Studies support its safety profile across a variety of people and in a variety of doses, and the Food and Drug Administration has approved one purified CBD extract for hard-to-treat forms of childhood epilepsy, such as Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
With that said, CBD can induce side effects. According to Dr. Jassey, side effects are most often seen in people taking high doses of CBD and may include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
While CBD is generally regarded as safe, research is still lacking regarding potential adverse effects and impacts of long-term use.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re interested in using CBD, speak with your doctor to rule out any possible interactions with the medications you currently take. “Those using prescription drugs like benzodiazepines or other sedatives, blood thinners like warfarin or aspirin or opioids should consult a physician before utilizing CBD to reduce negative interactions,” advised Dr. Jassey.
“Those undergoing immunotherapy may also wish to avoid CBD as the immunomodulatory effects of CBD may clash with those of immunotherapy,” added Dr. Jassey.
What Should I Look For When Buying CBD?
Despite their medicinal and therapeutic potential, CBD products are not widely regulated by the FDA. Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD has been legalized and the FDA is currently investigating ways to regulate this new market.
While the FDA does exercise some oversight of CBD products in sampling and regulating bad actors, the market as a whole remains unregulated at the time of writing. This means that when buying CBD, you’ll need to do a little more legwork in discerning the good from the bad.
In general, when buying CBD products, look for the following:
- Third-party lab tests that verify the amount of CBD (typically expressed in milligrams) reported on the label.
- Third-party lab tests affirming that the product is free from detectable levels of mold, other microbes, pesticides and solvents.
- Transparency around where and how the plants were farmed and processed.
- Positive consumer reviews
Not all CBD products are created equally, so be sure to vet all products and the company supplying them before you purchase.
Our GRO+ Advanced hair care products include all the benefits of hemp-derived, broad-spectrum CBD, alongside our commitment to using natural, cruelty- and hormone-free ingredients that are clinically proven to benefit your hair.
CBD and Holistic Hair Wellness
At VEGAMOUR, we’re big proponents of a holistic approach to hair wellness. After all, healthy hair starts from the inside out! Here are a few ways you can support your hair.
If you’re managing hair shedding, thinning or loss, your hair follicles could benefit from a more gentle approach to hair care and wellness. Try to avoid harsh chemical treatments and hot styling when you can, and skip tight hairstyles like ponytails, buns, braids or extensions.
You can harness the soothing and balancing properties of CBD with our GRO+ Advanced Hair Serum. When used daily, 76% of subjects saw a reduction in shedding and hair density improved by up to 52%.
See for Yourself: I Tried CBD Hair Serum — Here's What Happened
Stress has been linked to many different conditions and diseases: it can impact your quantity and quality of sleep, and it can even impact your hair! The good news is that spending more time outdoors, taking deep breaths and having a good laugh all can help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
More Zen Please: 9 Natural Ways to Decrease Cortisol Levels
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a well-balanced and varied diet can help support optimal hair wellness. Hair follicles need a variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to function at their best.
If you're thinking about dietary supplements, our GRO+ Advanced Gummies contain a thoughtful formulation of hair-friendly vitamins and minerals, including biotin, vitamins A, C and E, in addition to 10 mg of organic hemp-derived CBD in each gummy.
A holistic approach will likely give you the best results when it comes to your overall health. Strive to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of quality sleep, adhere to a regular exercise routine and opt for gentle, natural and safe hair wellness products, so your body and your hair will reap the benefits!
More From VEGAMOUR:
- Shop: CBD Hair Products
- Is Sodium Laureth Sulfate Bad for Hair?
- VEGAMOUR's GRO vs. GRO+ Advanced Hair Wellness Products: What's the Difference?
- Why CBD Is the Icing on the Cake for Hair Products
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