What is a bruise?
Small veins and capillaries, tiny blood vessels, inside the skin break, then the red blood cells leak out and collect under the skin, which you see as various forms of discoloration.
^ Amy, one of our founders
How to reduce/heal them?
Ice and CBD are two great ways of preventing excessive blood flow and further inflammation. Ice reduces blood flow, therefore less blood will be leaking out of those broken capillaries. Additionally, ice can calm inflammation, but not as well as cannabinoids can! After rubbed into the skin, cannabinoids work around the clock to repair the body. Phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, are able to send anti-inflammatory agents to heal the skin and underlying muscle tissues for up to 48 hours. Cannabinoids are key for reducing swelling and alleviating pain. Plus, they are simultaneously preventing scarring!
How does CBD do all that?
The phyto-cannabinoid (plant derived cannabinoid) CBD mainly activates the CB2 receptors, which are not only responsible for the inflammatory responses of the body, but they indirectly activate the opioid pathways as well. This means you will be feeling less pain while your body is healing at the most primary, cellular level. The immune system is the primary site of the CB2 receptor expression, but these receptors are found throughout the body including in the bones, the GI system, and the microglia in the central nervous system (microglia cells are the immune cells of the central nervous system, they are vital in regulating brain infections and inflammation).
Pain perception, from the body’s POV, is the central nervous system being informed of tissue damage. The peripheral receptors carry the message from the site of damage, along the spinal cord, and up to the brain. CB2 receptors track along the maps of the body – the same maps which are responsible for pain perception. Therefore, this system is able to track the entire path of the pain and stimulation to then use this information to work to heal the damaged area exactly where it is needed.
But, why do we need the phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids derived from plants), if the body is already making its own endocannabinoids (endogenously produced cannabinoids)?
Our body has a certain amount of endocannabinoids that are used to reduce stressors of all kinds across the body. Cannabinoids are vital to a healthy, homeostatic cellular balance. Therefore, it would be irresponsible and dangerous for the body to use all it’s endocannabinoids to heal your bruises, it must give them out sparingly. Additionally, because the modern world is so full of stress, many of us have a depleted supply of endocannabinoids anyway. This is why having an extra supply of phytocannabinoids from hemp can be so useful. These plant cannabinoids can be utilized to activate the same CB receptors that the body’s endocannabinoids organically activate. Hemp provides an accessible supply of cannabinoids and the body knows exactly what to do with them. This is why combining plant medicine with the body’s own intelligence is so adept at supporting one to heal faster and better. It’s like a supercharge for the receptors of the immune system!
The best way to apply CBD is as soon as possible. Because the CBD knows exactly where to go and what to do, it starts healing the body before an injury can get worse. It’s similar to disease – it’s best to treat it before it gets bad. Having cannabinoids in your hand, allows you to use your own intelligence to get the body on it before the symptoms get worse.
But, even if you can’t get the CBD on right away, a later application of CBD will still speed up healing. Taking cannabinoids orally or applying them topically gives your body the supply of cannabinoids it needs to repair the area faster. For a targeted approach to a specific injury, topical application will probably work best, but patches are also very very useful when the injury is larger, or deeper.
Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash
Aesthetics *ECS = The Endocannabinoid System
“Recent studies have intriguingly suggested the existence of a functional ECS in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes (e.g. proliferation, growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cytokine, mediator or hormone production of various cell types of the skin and appendages, such as the hair follicle and sebaceous gland). It seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells. The disruption of this delicate balance might facilitate the development of multiple pathological conditions and diseases of the skin (e.g. acne, seborrhea, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis and cancer).” -”The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities” research paper by Tamás Bíró, Balázs I. Tóth, György Haskó, Ralf Paus, and Pál Pacher
This means that just as cannabinoids are creating homeostasis in the cells of our muscles/tissues/bones/etc – it is working in our skin cells. Therefore, by giving our body more cannabinoids right where they are needed, we can boost our healing powers and reduce scarring. We are essentially, again, invigorating the regenerative powers of our skin cells, by supplying activators of skin cell proliferation, differentiation, and death in stem cell supply and wound healing.
Our Healing at Botanicam
We have been especially exploring the uses of CBD and bruising this year as a company. We have had many injuries. Our previous blog, CBD for the Dog Attack, documented how cannabinoids were able to heal a hand which was attacked like a chew toy by a big ol pitbull/bulldog mutt! Here we have our founder Amy, who called me when she was biking. Someone opened their car door and she went in – eye first! By using CBD, specifically Moon Mother Hemp’s Glow she healed as if she did have supercharged healing abilities!
A Case Study, Amy:
In 11 days her eye was totally back to normal! It was a similar story with my hand and the dog attack. CBD truly is a superhero to our immune responses!
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.