We probably don’t have to tell you that CBD has seemingly made an appearance in every aspect of daily life; it’s being dropped into coffees, mixed into protein shakes and smoked through vapes, almost as if it has been here all along. However, although many of us have happily adopted CBD as the latest and greatest super supplement, it still carries an air of mystery as to its precise benefits. We’re going to take a closer look at one of the grandest claims; its ability to reduce and relieve pain.
As background, CBD (short for Cannabidiol) oil is a naturally occurring chemical compound extracted primarily from the hemp plant. There is still some confusion around hemp and CBD oil’s legality. Hemp and marijuana derive from the Cannabis sativa plant. However, Marijuana has high levels of THC, (Tetrahydrocannabinol), a naturally occurring chemical compound and produces the psychoactive “high” experienced when consumed. On the other hand, hemp has an extremely low THC content, meaning that CBD has no ability to intoxicate you.
How The Body Utilises CBD
The key to CBD as pain relief comes from how the body has evolved to use it. The human body has the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which regulates many bodily functions. When your body’s ECS is balanced it creates its own endocannabinoids that bind to our ECS receptors to keep our bodies in check. When stress or inflammation increases, the body shuts down its production of endocannabinoids.
CBD, The Anti-Inflammatory Super Supplement
This is where CBD steps in. CBD oil stimulates the body’s ECS receptors and helps to restore its natural balance. CBD’s antioxidant properties make it an effective pain relief option. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties act an analgesic to reduce the perception of pain in the brain. CBD enhances other chemicals in the brain such as serotonin and anandamide to lessen the perception of pain.
In terms of the types of pain CBD is useful to reduce, any injuries and illnesses where swelling and inflammation has made things more sensitive. CBD has proven useful when treating arthritis through reducing swelling and reducing stiffness. CBD is also useful to reduce the swelling and flare ups which are associated with Eczema, Psoriasis and other related dry skin conditions. CBD also has a soothing quality which helps to alleviate the painfulness which comes from the scratching and skin-breaking which often comes with Eczema.
Different CBD Formats Work At Varying Speeds
The speed that CBD works to relieve pain depends on how you take it. Formats which are easier for the body to absorb into the bloodstream will work faster. Oils, tinctures and sprays taken via the mouth will generally be absorbed into the bloodstream within 10 to 45 minutes. CBD topicals and balms will take a little longer to absorb via the skin’s pores – up to 90 minutes – when rubbed into a specific spot. The lower rates and speed of absorption mean that the concentrations of CBD in the balm or topical need to much higher to effectiveness. Other factors which will impact how well your body reacts to CBD are your metabolism and body fat percentage. The faster your metabolism, the faster your body will synthesize and break down cannabinoid compounds. Similarly, someone with a larger body mass will require more CBD in order to feel the effects.
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