You've likely heard the buzz about the potential health benefits of CBD oil, and it's true cannabidiol (CBD) has many possible applications for everyday health and wellness —not to mention more serious diseases and illnesses — so where does this list of just four benefits come from?
The answer: It comes from looking at the big picture when it comes to CBD for everyday health and wellness. It turns out there are four global properties of CBD that make it useful. Read on to discover how this natural compound from the hemp plant can be helpful not only for easing stress, getting better sleep and potentially addressing health concerns and even your hair. Plus, learn more about the best CBD-infused hair products.
How CBD Products Impact Your Health: The Endocannabinoid System
Before you can get your head wrapped around the health benefits of CBD, it’s probably useful to cover how and why CBD is good for us in the first place.
It’s thanks to an ancient and innate bodily system that all human beings have, and it’s called the endocannabinoid system, or the ECS. The ECS is involved in countless processes and functions in the body: everything from mood to appetite, cognitive function to gut motility. You can think of the ECS as a big beach umbrella: It has a wide reach, and its main job is to protect you by keeping things in balance.
Imbalance in the body can cause any number of issues, some of them annoying, like oily skin or minor anxiety, and some more serious, like autoimmune diseases that can cause hair loss. Either way, our bodies are in a constant state of flux, and the ECS works tirelessly to keep things in check.
It does this by interacting with other bodily systems, like our serotonin system or our immune system, for example. It also does this by producing compounds called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids work like chemical messengers in the body, and they are produced on demand when the ECS needs them.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a phytocannabinoid. These are cannabinoids that come from plants (phyto=plants), but they interact with our bodies in much the same way that endocannabinoids (endo = endogenous = made within our bodies) do. So phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC work with the ECS to interact with our bodies and produce effects. Yes, this means that our bodies have a natural synergy with cannabis plants! And this, in a very small and oversimplified nutshell, is how CBD provides us with possible health benefits.
The mechanisms through which CBD interacts with our ECS and with other systems in the body are very complex. But looking at it from a big picture perspective, there are four global health benefits CBD offers.
1. Neuroprotective Benefits
Neuroprotectants are compounds that protect the brain, and preclinical research has shown that CBD may have the ability to act as a protective agent in the brain in several different ways.
CBD is being investigated as a possible treatment for psychiatric conditions and serious neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and ischemic stroke, along with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. But it also has benefits that are thought to provide the brain with general protection. CBD might also offer neuroprotection by encouraging the development of new neurons, a process that naturally slows as we age.
Research is showing that CBD exerts neuroprotective benefits through several different pathways of action, including its anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant properties, so get ready to unpack those next.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Inflammation isn’t just a problem when you sprain an ankle or get a bug bite. If left unchecked, chronic inflammation in the body can lead to a number of health issues and has been linked to a number of more troublesome illnesses and diseases: heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases (like Crohn’s) and diabetes, to name just a few.
It’s why low-inflammation diets are a thing, and perhaps it comes as no surprise that inflammation can also impact your hair’s healthy growth cycles.
Conditions like the following all have been shown to have inflammatory components that can or do cause hair loss:
The good news is that harnessing CBD's anti-inflammatory benefits for your hair health can be done from the inside (with our GRO+ Advanced Hair Care Gummies) and out (with our GRO+ Hair Advanced Serum, CBD Shampoo and Conditioner).
Reducing inflammation is a net positive for general health and well-being, no matter how you slice it. Good thing CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits are wide-reaching and have been well-established! Not only that, but it’s a great example of why the complexities of CBD’s action in the body are actually a really good thing. You can think of CBD's anti-inflammatory properties like a multipronged attack on inflammation.
From soothing the acute inflammation that you might experience with acne, for example, to a more general bodywide, anti-inflammatory effect that provides general protection for your health: CBD can deliver the goods. Bonus: Reducing inflammation also brings with it pain-relieving effects, too! This is part of the reason why so many people use CBD to manage pain.
3. Antioxidant Benefits
We can’t talk about antioxidants without talking about free radicals. Free radicals are unstable and incomplete molecules that can rip through your body, looking to make themselves whole. But before you start to feel sorry for these sad and lonely molecules, let’s remember that they can, and do, damage otherwise healthy cells and tissues on their quest for completion.
Free radicals are a byproduct of natural bodily functions like metabolism, and in fact, they serve important and useful functions in the body, like helping the immune system fight infection, for example. The key to the free-radical and antioxidant picture is, like so many things in life, about balance.
Our bodies produce antioxidants to keep things in balance, but the ways of modern living (diet, external pollutants, x-rays, cigarette smoke) can introduce more free radicals than our bodies can handle. When the free radical load in our body is bigger than we can handle, something called oxidative stress ensues, and it's not a good thing. Oxidative stress has been linked to cancer and premature aging, among other undesirable health consequences like hair aging.
So eat your antioxidants! And harness CBD’s power as a potent antioxidant to help keep your body balanced and oxidative stress at bay.
Discover: The 16 Best Foods for Hair Growth
4. Anti-Anxiety Benefits
We’ve all been dealing with unprecedented levels of strain, and this ongoing strain can have wide-ranging impacts on our physical, emotional and mental health. Even before we were hit with a global pandemic, anxiety-related diagnoses are the most common mental health challenge society faces, and women are twice as likely as men to be afflicted.
Stress can cause cortisol levels to rise, for example, and chronically high levels of cortisol can have negative impacts on your weight, your brain function, your digestion and yes, cortisol can negatively impact your hair.
Like all its global health benefits, CBD works its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) magic through a variety of different mechanisms and by acting across various systems in the body.
CBD has been demonstrated to help with social-related anxiety, like public speaking, while also acting in the brain similarly to prescription drugs used to treat more challenging conditions like depression and anxiety disorders. By soothing stress and anxiety, CBD can act as a buffer between you and the impacts stress can have on healthy hair growth.
You can apply the benefits of CBD right to your scalp with our carefully formulated vegan and cruelty-free GRO+ Advanced Detoxifying Scalp Serum, which harnesses the power of full-spectrum hemp to soothe the scalp and eliminate bacteria that can interfere with healthy hair growth.
CBD Treatment For Medical Diagnoses and Conditions
Thanks in large part to the increasing public interest in CBD and the legalization of hemp in 2018, research looking at CBD for the treatment of serious illness and disease continues to grow.
Scientific and medical research on CBD is promising, though still in its early days. Medical claims and the true efficacy of any therapeutic compound or medicine are typically based on a deep foundation of investigation. Much of the research we have on CBD are in the early stages, but more and more human studies are beginning every day.
At present, there is one FDA-approved prescription medication available, Epidiolex, which was developed for rare forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy. But current research on CBD is also showing promise for a variety of other medical conditions and applications, a few of which include:
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory and neuropathic pain, including cancer-related pain and rheumatoid arthritis
- Neurodegenerative diseases like ASL, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
- Cancer treatment-related acute and anticipatory nausea
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Multiple sclerosis
- Substance abuse treatment
A number of human clinical trials are currently in progress, so we can expect the body of evidence supporting CBD’s use to grow as further research is completed. In addition, the World Health Organization has deemed CBD to be safe and nontoxic.
Also: CBD & Hair Growth Explained
CBD and a Holistic Approach to Hair Health
The good news is that you don’t need a prescription to reap the benefits of CBD. Millions of people are already taking CBD oil, and there are lots of nonprescription CBD products available already.
Much like CBD’s ability to support your general health and well-being in a variety of different ways, you can also think of CBD as one tool in a bigger health and wellness toolkit.
The best way to support your general health, the health of your endocannabinoid system and the health of your hair is through a holistic approach that includes a variety of tools.
A Healthy Balanced Diet
We don’t need to tell you how important a healthy diet is, but it bears repeating! Eating a wide variety of shapes and colors from the fruit and veggie kingdom is an easy way to give your body the diversity of vitamins and minerals it needs.
Supplements Designed To Support Hair Health
If hair loss or thinning has been a concern, consider boosting your efforts for a healthy diet with a supplement designed specifically to support healthy hair growth. Added bonus: VEGAMOUR offers you just that in our GRO+ Advanced Gummies, which not only feature the full-spectrum power of hemp but also folic acid, biotin, zinc and other minerals and vitamins to support the appearance of thicker, fuller, shinier hair.
Active Stress Management
CBD is a great all-natural way to help your body and mind deal with stress, but it can’t do it all. To manage all your stress and anxiety effectively, you will need to have a bigger game plan that could include activities like meditation, yoga, enjoying time outdoors or even having a good laugh —all of which are activities that have been scientifically proven to improve stress levels in the body.
It might come as a surprise to learn that cardiovascular exercise helps boost your endocannabinoid system. It’s true! wAnd if we sound like a broken record on the exercise front, it’s because exercise is considered to be a cornerstone to healthy living.
Alongside exercise, sleep is oh-so-important for good health. Be sure to get at least seven hours per night, and enjoy the calming benefits of CBD to help you get better rest.
An Advanced Hair Wellness Routine
Want to harness the soothing and protective powers of CBD for your tresses? We got you covered with our full line of CBD-enriched hair care products, including our bestselling customer-favorite hair serum, which has been clinically proven to increase the appearance of hair density by up to 52% and reduce signs of shedding by up to 76%.
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of beneficial phyto-actives. The benefits of CBD oil are showing a lot of promise, both anecdotally and scientifically, for supporting our general health and wellness. CBD acts to support the natural balance our endocannabinoid system is working tirelessly to achieve, and it can be one tool in a larger toolkit for holistic health and wellness. Why not give it a try by adding hemp-derived CBD products to your hair care routine?
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