Cannabinoids are the vital chemicals present in the Cannabis plant, which is the source of marijuana and hemp. There are various chemicals in these plants but these two have gained much importance due to their pain-relieving and therapeutic properties.
They can treat a variety of symptoms and conditions like inflammation, cancer, mental disorders, anxiety, and stress. The expressions cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are actually all interchangeable. The difference between them is their THC and CBD mixture and concentration.
The two main species of Cannabis sativa diverge here. Both have CBD but, cannabinoids in hemp has a much higher concentration of CBD and a low percentage of THC (less than 0.2%) in contrast with marijuana. Because of this, it doesn’t get you ‘’high”.
The cannabinoid industry is blooming. It is estimated to hit 16 billion dollars in the USA by 2025. Currently, the extracts of plants are added in breath sprays, gummies, tinctures, oils and even drinks like sodas.
Most people that use it regularly are taking CBD for anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and depression.
Health Benefits of Cannabinoids in Hemp
Studies have shown positive effects of cannabinoids on both the mind and body. The human body is primed to use cannabis and its constituent chemical compounds, ingest them and process the cannabinoids for helpful purposes.
It’s actually full of receptors throughout the body and brain known as CB1 and CB2 receptors, located in the gut, spleen, liver, spine and even brain plus central nervous system. These receptors are what deliver the therapeutic effects of both CBD and THC, in addition to other minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBN and CBDA.
Each specific cannabinoid tends to have some differing characteristics, properties and effects. However, most hemp or CBD oil products will contain a range of them, giving a ‘broad spectrum’ of potential health improvements and symptom reducing effects.
Let’s examine the benefits of CBD and THC in particular as these are the most common and most demanded cannabinoids in the market. They are used for many purposes for both physical and mental wellbeing.
The Endocannabinoid System
Cannabinoids are known for positively affecting the endocannabinoid system. This system is known for the naturally produced substances created in the body called endocannabinoids. The system depends on external cannabinoids to actually activate and release the endocannabinoids (endo meaning ‘endogenous’ – from the body).
Endocannabinoids have very strong effects on the body as anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anxiolytic agents. The two most important of these compounds are N-arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
Not only can these compounds slow and mitigate the effects of many conditions like chronic arthritis, pain or anxiety, but they’re also able to fully reverse and cure the issue in many cases.
They’re increasingly being explored for their therapeutic purposes in the treatment and applications against disease – particularly those of chronic nature, typically caused by inflammation.
CBG and CBDA – two of the key cannabinoids found in full spectrum CBD oil, were recently even found to assist the body in preventing and mitigating infections from the COVID virus in 2022.
The main activity of the endocannabinoids system or ECS is homeostasis, plus supporting the regulation of metabolic functions and immunity. This includes several of the body’s essential functions, including sleep, mood, energy levels, cell metabolism and the stress response in the parasympathetic nervous system.
Some of the other important tasks of the endocannabinoid system are assisting in the function of heart rate, hunger, pain and memory. Your endocannabinoids communicate with your nervous system to keep all these things within acceptable parameters.
When you keep in mind that cannabinoids have strong interactions with the nervous system and mind you will start to understand their benefits. Endocannabinoids interact with the nervous system to keep everything balanced.
Cannabinoids can cure a lot of medical problems, even those of the mind due to this characteristic. This TED talk explains how it works in the mind through the CB1 receptors to calm the parasympathetic nervous system and reduce the ‘fight or flight’ stress response.
A major difference between cannabinoids and endocannabinoids is that endocannabinoids are produced by the body itself. They are released by the CB1 and CB2 receptors after cannabinoids bind with them.
Cannabinoids on the other hand only occur in cannabis sativa and don’t get produced in the body itself. Both work in coordination with the system that is required at that time for proper functioning.
So what actually are their benefits?
1. Pain Relief
Cannabinoids like CBD benefit many by relieving pain. This is known as their analgesic effect, by helping to calm and reduce the symptoms of pain in the nerves, particularly the peripheral nervous system.
Many scientists have identified that different components of hemp and CBD are used for the treatment of pain. The endocannabinoid system helps to regulate and mitigate pain through its effects on the nervous system.
Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that stick around cannabinoid receptors. CBD helps to relieve chronic pain through the endocannabinoid receptors activity that decreases inflammation.
One research study showed that CBD at high dosages can be used for reducing pain in patients after surgeries. It may provide a winning natural alternative to addictive painkillers like fentanyl that are dangerous to the body.
Another study based on rats has observed that CBD dosed via oral treatment could be used for relieving inflammation and nerve pain. Rats that were dosed over 12 weeks displayed much less pain symptoms than those in the placebo group.
Different studies have proven that CBD and THC together can be very beneficial for treating pain that is caused by arthritis. There is an oral spray known as Sativex which is used for reducing pain, it is a combination of THC and CBD.
This spray and similar products like oils both target the inflammation causing the pain while numbing the pain receptors in the nervous system to assist with comfort levels.
2. Reducing Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are the most common diseases in the world that have a lot of devastating consequences and health problems. They’re also rapidly increasing and accelerating in their incidences across both the developed and third world.
According to a report from the World Health Organization, in the list of factors causing disability in the world, depression is the second most impactful and common on the list and anxiety is sixth.
Different pharmaceutical drugs are used to treat depression and anxiety such as SSRIs have a lot of side effects on health. These products can cause insomnia, drowsiness, headache, agitation, and sexual dysfunction.
CBD is known to be used for the treatment of depression and anxiety. This is a natural treatment and means patients can avoid addictive and often side effect prone products like benzodiazepine.
In research, 57 men were given oral CBD at a high dose before they went for a speech in public. Results have shown that 300mg of CBD was the best dose for reducing depression and anxiety among these patients. They had hugely reduced social anxiety and depression for their speeches after the CBD was dosed.
Other doses of 150mg and 600mg were also given but they were not as effective as the 300mg dose was during the test which appeared to be around optimal.
Cannabinoids are offering many that suffer from chronic illnesses, poor health or anxiety hope. They’re even giving those with degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and arthritis a potential way forward to better living day to day, assisting them with managing their conditions.
The important thing to keep in mind is not only do cannabinoids like THC and CBD assist in treating the condition itself, but they also aid in reducing pain and the problems pain causes for the body and mind long term.
Cannabinoids are very useful when it comes to inflammation, pain and nervous disorders through their action on the ECS and analgesic properties. Although all of the above-mentioned disorders have their equivalent pharmaceutical medication, these have severe side effects typically or addiction potential.
If you want to be on the safe side and also want to get your problem solved naturally then try cannabinoids because they are a natural solution to your disease. Cannabinoids being anti-inflammatory and antibacterial have surprising effects on different diseases – even COVID which has been shown to be prevented in 2022 by CBG.
When purchasing your product ensure you choose a full spectrum oil with terpenes so you can benefit from the entourage effect and reap greater benefits.
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