You’ve heard the buzz around CBD. Your favorite yoga teacher, spin instructor, rock-climbing buddies — everyone uses Cannabidiol (aka CBD). Even your mother has a bottle labeled CBD in her medicine cabinet. There’s a lot of chatter about CBD, pain, the immune system, and more, but what is CBD and how does it benefit you?
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote homeostasis. The ECS is a network of cells located throughout the body, composed of endocannabinoids and their own networks of receptors. Long story short: your ECS helps your body to function the way it’s designed to, and in doing so keeps you moving seamlessly from one day to the next.
Aside from playing a major role in maintaining homeostasis, the ECS regulates an array of physiological processes including — but not limited to — pain regulation, inflammation, sleep, immune response, mood, energy regulation, and memory.
So, how exactly do CBD and pain interact to support your active body and mind?
CBD and Pain
Studies indicate that CBD may inhibit the body’s release of glutamate and other inflammatory agents; CBD is often touted for its potential neuroprotective properties and its ability to dull sensations (burning, tingling) common with neuropathic pain.
An added bonus: CBD comes without many of the common side effects of over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription painkillers, including grogginess, constipation, death, and more.
CBD, Inflammation, and Recovery
For people on the move, CBD is often celebrated for its potential to accelerate and enhance recovery after working out. Unlike other anti-inflammatories, CBD does not harm the lining of your stomach or increase your risk of stroke or heart attack.
Research highlights that CBD may suppress the main contributors to inflammation, soreness, and swelling while protecting muscle cells for growth.
CBD, Stress, Anxiety, and Sleep
An important part of both recovery and rest, CBD may help improve your quality of sleep. How? By working to soothe and reduce those things that keep us up at night — including stress, pain, and other common external causes of insomnia.
Studies illustrate how CBD may help to regulate cortisol, a stress hormone, which has a significant impact on non-REM sleep cycles. Additional research has discovered that after taking CBD, those who suffer from REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), categorized by nightmares and restlessness, experienced fewer symptoms of RBD along with no negative side effects.
You know what they say: the more sleep, the merrier.
CBD and the Immune System
According to data from a review published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2020, findings suggest CBD is immunosuppressive; CBD may help the immune system when this vital system becomes weakened or hyperactive. This means that CBD may help to kick the sniffles before they start so you can stay on the move.
CBD is being studied and used for a wide array of potential therapeutic benefits. It’s important to keep in mind that CBD and pain interact in each of our bodies differently and what may work for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else; different types of CBD may be ideal for certain types of people based on their needs.
Learn More about CBD and Pain