What Is CBD, and What Are Its Benefits?

What Is CBD, and What Are Its Benefits?

3rd Jan 2024

What Is CBD, and What Are Its Benefits?

What Is CBD, and What Are Its Benefits?

With its incredible ability to reduce anxiety and pain, CBD has gained popularity. We take a look at the question, "What is CBD, and what are its benefits?".

Keyword(s): What is CBD

Everywhere on the news, you've been reading about CBD and how it's helping people, but you haven't been willing to give it a shot yet. What's holding you back?

Many people are hesitant because they still have questions, and that's fair! What is CBD anyway? How does it work, and what benefits are researchers studying?

It's always a good idea to get as much information as possible before trying something new. We're here to help you out with some answers to your questions.

Read on to learn all about CBD and what it may be able to do for you.

What Is CBD?

So, what is CBD anyway? Why do people use it, and is it any different from THC?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, as well as in the hemp plant.

It is one of over 100 cannabinoids identified in cannabis, alongside tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly known as THC), which is the psychoactive compound responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use.

Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it doesn't produce a euphoric or mind-altering effect (or a "high"). If you take CBD, you may find yourself feeling calm or sleepy, but you should not experience the same sensation as you would if you took THC.

How Does CBD Work?

The human body has something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a complex cell-signaling system involved in regulating various physiological processes.

The ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis, or balance, in the body. It consists of three main components: endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by the body), receptors, and enzymes that break down endocannabinoids.

CBD is a cannabinoid that you can consume from an external source, but it still interacts with the endocannabinoid system.

CBD interacts with two main types of endocannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These are CB1 receptors, primarily found in the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, mainly found in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells.

Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to these receptors. Instead, it influences the endocannabinoid system in less direct ways.

CBD also interacts with receptors beyond the endocannabinoid system. For example, it can activate serotonin receptors, which may contribute to its potential anti-anxiety effects (which we'll discuss later on).

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

So why has CBD grown so much in popularity over the past few years? What makes it so enticing to people?

Well, after CBD was (essentially, with some exceptions) legalized via the 2018 Farm Bill, scientists were able to start researching it more in-depth. This meant that they were able to start testing various properties of CBD so they could see what it could be used for.

While many of the supposed benefits of CBD are still being researched (after all, conclusive research takes time), scientists have found that this little chemical compound may be more powerful than they initially thought. It comes with a host of potential benefits.

Here are a few of the most common benefits of CBD.

Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Researchers have been studying CBD for its potential analgesic (in other words, pain-relieving) effects. It may interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system involved in pain modulation. While it won't be as effective as more heavy-duty pain medication, it may be able to "take the edge off," so to speak.

CBD has also, in some cases, demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in preclinical and early clinical studies. There is also anecdotal evidence from consumers to support this. Its ability to reduce inflammation can also contribute to its ability to reduce pain.

This property may be beneficial for conditions involving inflammation, such as arthritis. As a matter of fact, in a study done on mice, CBD reduced certain symptoms of arthritis.

Due to its anti-inflammatory effects and minor impact on sebum production, CBD is also being explored for its potential role in managing acne. It's possible that CBD could become a helpful ingredient in skincare in the future for people who struggle with certain types of acne.

While this is true for topical CBD, there is less research on CBD that you can vape or otherwise consume.

Anxiety Relief and Stress Reduction

Many people who start using CBD do so because of its potential mental health effects. It's true that CBD has shown promise when it comes to anxiety, stress, and depression.

Some research suggests that CBD may have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects. It may influence serotonin receptors in the brain, contributing to its potential anti-stress properties.

Because of the effect on the serotonin receptors, it's also possible that CBD could help individuals who struggle with depression.

This can be incredibly promising for anyone who experiences chronic, or even occasional, anxiety. While CBD is not an alternative to medication or therapy, it can be a great tool for anyone who's looking for a less conventional and more accessible solution, either short-term or long-term.

Sleep Improvement

Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Insomnia can be debilitating, and if you struggle with it, you may find yourself suffering in other areas of your life. A lack of sleep can contribute to poor focus, low motivation, clumsiness, a higher chance of accidents, and more.

Researchers have been exploring CBD for its potential role in improving sleep quality. It may influence factors such as anxiety and pain that can contribute to sleep disturbances.

In some cases, people have found that using CBD has helped them regulate their sleep cycles. In others, however, the opposite was true. It's possible that the "dosage," or the amount of CBD that someone consumes has something to do with how it affects sleep.

Consuming more than the recommended amount of CBD tends to result in the side effect of drowsiness, so it's clear that sleep and CBD are somehow linked.

From anecdotal research, many people take CBD gummies in order to fall asleep at night with great success. This may not be effective for you, but if you're struggling with insomnia, it may be worth a try.

Epilepsy Help

Epidiolex is a CBD-based medication. It's FDA-approved for the treatment of certain forms of epilepsy, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

Now, this isn't a "normal" benefit of CBD, and most CBD products shouldn't be used for epilepsy. However, it's such an important discovery! Because of this medication, more doctors and scientists have been studying CBD to see if it could be effective for other serious conditions.

CBD isn't medicine, but it can be life-changing for the right people. As more research comes out, more people will be able to benefit.

Neuroprotective Properties

Some studies suggest that CBD may have neuroprotective properties, potentially benefiting conditions involving neurodegeneration.

Studies suggest that CBD may work by reducing inflammation in the brain, which is often linked to various neurodegenerative disorders. On that note, CBD may act as an antioxidant, helping to combat harmful molecules and protect brain cells from damage caused by oxidative stress.

It interacts with chemicals in the brain, promoting a balance that could prevent the further degeneration of brain cells and boost overall brain health.

CBD may also prevent overstimulation of brain cells. This is a factor that can be harmful in conditions where the brain is too active. Some research also indicates that CBD might play a role in encouraging the formation of new brain cells, a crucial aspect when the brain is experiencing cell loss.

While these findings show promise, it's important to note that more extensive research is necessary to understand how CBD works in the brain and its effectiveness in treating neurological conditions.

Anti-Nausea Effects

Researchers have investigated CBD for its anti-nausea and antiemetic effects, making it a potential option for individuals undergoing chemotherapy or experiencing nausea for other reasons.

It's true that many people undergoing cancer have the go-ahead to use THC, but because it's psychoactive, not everyone wants to try it. CBD may be a good alternative. Some people find that it's great for getting rid of nausea and triggering hunger.

Because it's also a potential anti-inflammatory that may be able to help with pain, it shows promise when it comes to helping people with cancer or other serious health conditions as they go through treatment.

Will You Try CBD?

So what is CBD? It's cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound that may have several potential mental and physical health benefits, and more research is coming out about it all the time.

Are you ready to give it a try? At Relief & Recreation, we offer a wide variety of high-quality CBD and THC products for sleep, anxiety, pain, and more.

From Tinctures, Gummies, and Topical Creams, we have it all. Check out our supply of CBD products today.