How does CBD work its magic? The body uses cannabinoids not only to upregulate the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but also to stimulate and regulate pathways outside of the ECS. CBD has 65 known targets for activity in the brain and body outside of cannabinoid receptors. Let’s explore these below!
The Endocannabinoid System:
The cannabinoid receptors in the body, or the CB receptors, are the basis of immune response. There are more CB receptors spread across the systems of the body than there are of any other type of receptor. Under the body’s intuitive orders, cannabinoids, such as CBD, are able to activate the CB receptors in which inflammation is over or under its optimal activity level and bring it to its optimal activity level. This is how the endocannabinoid system regulates essentially every system of the body, makes sure everything is functioning optimally, keeps the body at homeostasis, and, ultimately, prevents disease and dysregulation.
The Cold and the Flu
The best way to prevent any kind of sickness, but especially the cold or the flu, is to keep the body running effectively, and that’s where CBD comes in. Cannabinoids are all about prevention. By regulating health in many aspects, CBD can help prevent sickness from a common cold or flu. Here are the top 4 ways CBD can help your body get healthy for cold and flu season:
1. Reducing Stress:
Healthline reports, “Cortisol helps the body fight inflammation and disease. The constant release of the hormone in people who are chronically stressed lessens its overall effectiveness. This can result in increased inflammation and disease, as well as a less effective immune system.”
The endocannabinoid system is centrally enmeshed in the manifestation of stress via the HPA pathway, or our central stress response system. By way of endocannabinoid signaling in the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus, the CB receptors are able to alleviate over-stimulation of the HPA pathway during times of stress.
When we become chronically stressed or have chronic stress on the body, our endocannabinoids can become depleted by constantly calming the HPA axis pathway or constantly calming general inflammation in the body. Therefore, the body, depleted of cannabinoids, cannot activate the CB receptors. As a result, the endocannabinoid system of the entire brain and body can be thrown out of balance. In modern life, we have pollution, inflammatory food, too little sleep, too much worry, too many phone/social media alerts, and everything has to be done ASAP. Many of us are walking around with too much stress and too few cannabinoids! Luckily, this is an easy fix with the help of CBD and its ability to replenish the cannabinoid supply of the endocannabinoid system.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
2. Increasing Nutrients:
The hemp extract is full of vitamins! Besides containing cannabinoids, there are over 110 that have been found; hemp extracts contain terpenes (stimulating different neural activities, such as stress relief), flavonoids (which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties), various fatty acids (hemp boasts a perfect 3:1 ratio of omega 3 linolenic acid and omega 6 linoleic acid), vitamins (carotene, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron, zinc, E, C B1, B2, B3, B6), plant sterols (help lower LDL-C, or bad cholesterol), chlorophyll (contain vitamins, antioxidants, and other therapeutic properties), and Gamma Linoleic Acid (the body converts this into substances that reduce inflammation and promote cell growth).
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
3. Regulating Sleep:
Considering how influential cannabinoid signaling is to the systems and organs thatregulate circadian rhythms, one starts to wonder how to address sleep regulationwithout looking at the endocannabinoid system. The central nervous system is vital inregulating sleep and wake cycles, and throughout the CNS, there are a plethora ofcannabinoid receptors. Additionally, these cycles are dependent on the synchronizationof the body. Cannabinoids are the mechanisms by which the body’s essential systemsare able to work in tandem with one another. Finally, lowering stress, of course, helpsregulate one’s sleep and wake cycle.
4. Improving Physical Fitness:
Working out regularly boosts immune function which can help the body fight both coldand flu germs. Yet, the number one reason people skip on their workouts is to avoid soreness. CBD can combat sore muscles, as it is known for easing inflammation,relieving pain, and reducing muscle spasms. Through activating cytokine modulation(cytokines are signaling molecules that mediate and regulate inflammation, immunity,and hematopoiesis) and COX Pathway modulation (the inflammation and painpathway), CBD combats pain. Simultaneously, CBD has opiate receptor modulationeffects, altering endorphins and enkephalins. Enkephalins are the endogenous opioidpentapeptides. Opioid peptides are peptides that bind to opioid receptors in the brain.Opiates and opioids mimic the effect of these peptides. Additionally, modulation ofglycine receptors is another way that cannabinoid receptor activation reduces pain.Glycine receptors are involved in several physiological and pathological processesincluding neuromotor activity, antinociception (the action or process of blocking thedetection of a painful or injurious stimulus by sensory neurons), muscle relaxation,stress, reward mechanisms, and seizure activity.
All of these properties are helpful for a fast recovery, but did you know that CBD actuallyworks to heal the muscles as well? In muscle recovery, CBD promotes anti-catabolicresponses of the body (catabolic hormones contribute to muscle loss). This means thatboosting the endocannabinoid system and ensuring the activation of the cannabinoidreceptors prevents the body from losing muscle mass, while accelerating musclerecovery and growth.
A Final Note 😀
The endocannabinoid system has maintained balance in our bodies since before we were monkeys. Every animal has an endocannabinoid system and a healthy endocannabinoid system is vital to a healthy body across species. Taking CBD (organic and full spectrum) is a great way to ensure that your body has enough cannabinoids to keep an internal homeostatic balance and stay healthy.
As a last note for those concerned: check out our new “Get Well Soon Bundle!” While naming it, we had a gift-idea theme in mind, but it could also be called the “Preventing Needing to Get Well Soon Bundle.” It includes a CBD Buccal Spray to heal a sore throat, Elderberry honey as elderberry is a superfood and honey is great for a sore throat as well as the immune system, bath salts to soothe any muscle aches, and a tincture to ensure that the endocannabinoid system is functioning effectively—enjoy!
“Health is the greatest gift.”—The Buddha
Check out the “Get Well Soon Bundle” HERE!
An Article By Evie Louise
Evie Louise is a recent psychology graduate from New York University. She is a certified in International Cannabinoid Clinical Therapy. Evie sees all forms of the cannabis sativa plant as the future of psychiatry, and hopes to use it in her therapy practice as a full spectrum approach to mental health and wellness.