CBD (aka cannabidiol) has evolved from an obscure health food store supplement to the darling of the UK wellness industry, popping up in every product from face cream and hummus to your morning latte. But just what is CBD? Who can benefit from it, and are there any risks?
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of 120 known botanical compounds called ‘cannabinoids’ that are found in hemp and cannabis. Along with its more infamous relative THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD interacts with the body through a structure known as the endocannabinoid system. Kushie Bites’ CBD Sour Watermelon gummies.
The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors found primarily in the brain and the immune system, however newer research has shown that ECS receptors may also be found in the skin and reproductive system.
You might be surprised to know that humans are born with a built-in system that specifically interacts with cannabinoids, but the ECS does a lot more than just play around with CBD and THC molecules. The ECS is thought to play an important role in the reproductive system, as well as the regulation of mood, appetite and memory (so it’s no wonder that cannabinoids like THC and CBD have a particular effect on all those things).
Do You Get High on CBD?
While CBD is often publicized as a “Non-psychoactive” substance, this isn’t technically true. While CBD won’t make you feel “high”, it does stimulate endocannabinoid receptors in the brain to produce a variety of effects.
Unlike THC, you’re not going to feel any psychoactive “high” after taking CBD. Instead, you’ll notice a calming, grounding effect. As such, you should think about CBD as a psychoactive in the same way that caffeine is psychoactive.
So What Are the Health Benefits?
Although definitive research around the health benefits of CBD for some conditions is still lacking, current scientific studies have shown that CBD can be highly beneficial for a variety of conditions, including:
- Calming anxiety
- Soothing inflammation
- Moisturising skin
- Reducing acne
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Helping sexual dysfunction
CBD can help to reduce anxiety by interacting with CB2 receptors in the brain to alter your mood. A 2015 study found that CBD had “considerable potential” as a treatment for several common anxiety conditions including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and PTSD.
Through interacting with CB2 receptors in the immune system, CBD can alter the body’s inflammatory response to soothe inflammation in the body and speed up healing. While this inflammatory response is necessary to fight off infection and heal trauma, when the body’s inflammatory response is overstimulated this can result in chronic inflammation. This overstimulation can be caused by factors like stress, environmental pollutants and autoimmune conditions. When left untreated, chronic inflammation is linked to more serious health complications like heart disease.
CBD oil is full of skin-loving ingredients like fatty acids, and vitamins C, E and D. Fatty acids are essential for keeping the skin’s moisture barrier happy and healthy, which in turn protects the skin from environmental damage and harmful bacteria. As you may have guessed from the name, your moisture barrier is also integral for preventing moisture loss in the skin.
While CBD oil works as an effective treatment for dry skin conditions, it’s anti-inflammatory properties can also be particularly helpful in fighting inflammatory skin issues like acne. Through interacting with endocannabinoid receptors in the skin, CBD can effectively soothe acne break-outs, while reducing the likelihood of future flare-ups by keeping the skin balanced and healthy.
Improving Cardiovascular Function
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that a single dose of CBD was enough to reduce blood pressure. As poor blood pressure and hypertension are linked to a wide range of other negative health conditions, CBD’s ability to improve circulation could be a solution for many health concerns.
Helping Sexual Dysfunction
Because of its ability to aid in cardiovascular function, CBD also has potential as a holistic treatment for sexual dysfunction. One of the primary causes of sexual dysfunction arises from poor circulation, as a result of hypertension caused by aging. When applied topically, CBD acts as a vasodilator, which means it expands blood vessels and increases blood flow to a targeted area. Because of its ability to work as a vasodilator, CBD has become a highly sought after ingredient for sexual lubricant – with companies like Privy Peach and Foria Wellness jumping on this intriguing new trend.
Ways of Taking CBD
While edibles and CBD beverages have been gaining more popularity recently, the most popular (and most effective) methods for taking CBD include vaping, CBD capsules, CBD oil tinctures, and topical CBD like creams and balms.
Vaping CBD oil is one of the most efficient ways of getting the active cannabidiol into your system as quickly as possible to see instant results. This is because when you inhale CBD, it is absorbed into the bloodstream through tiny capillaries in the lungs. Just make sure you’re purchasing high-quality products from a reputable brand, that have received third-party lab testing to confirm the safety of their ingredients.
CBD capsules are a hugely popular choice among UK consumers because they’re just so easy to use. They offer consistent portions of CBD that are carefully dosed, so you’ll always know you’re going to have the same dosage of CBD. On top of that, they save you from the fact that CBD oil doesn’t taste that great.
CBD oil tinctures are one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabidiol among UK consumers because they make it incredibly easy to regulate your dosage. Simply fill up your dropper, deposit a few drops of CBD under your tongue and wait for the calm to kick in.
You’ll notice that manufacturers often print instructions for you to hold the oil under your tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing. By doing this, you’re giving the sublingual gland under your tongue more time to absorb as much of the active CBD as possible, to give you the most bang for your buck.
A word of warning: Stronger CBD oil tinctures can taste quite bitter, so we recommend having a coffee or sweet beverage on hand to counteract the taste.
Topical CBD creams have become an increasingly popular product in the natural skincare industry, for their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. CBD is also easily suitable for a variety of skin types, while also being a very stable ingredient that is unlikely to react badly with other active skincare ingredients like chemical exfoliants and vitamin C.
CBD balm is particularly effective at targeting localized pain and inflammation for quick relief. It can also help you out if you are feeling stressed out and need to relax. This makes it a great choice for athletes, or anyone that lives a particularly active lifestyle.