CBD or Cannabidiol is the latest wonder ingredient, but what does it actually do?
The human body naturally responds to certain emotions and situations by releasing stress hormones – a useful thing when we needed our fight or flight instincts to kick in for actual survival. Not so great today, when most stressors are caused by the obvious health crisis on top of the usual triggering things like urgent emails, demanding work life and other personal issues, etc. The secret to the stress reaction is to balance things out afterwards and CBD is all about regaining equilibrium.
It comes down to the endocannabinoid system (a complex cell-signaling network that runs throughout the entire body affecting almost all functions) and how CBD and the other 120+ cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant interact with it. There are endocannabinoid receptors in all of your muscles, your organs, your bones, your skin and nervous system. Each of these jump to work when they are activated by endocannabinoids created within the body (such as Anandimide, or the ‘bliss molecule’, famed for releasing a euphoric, healing but short-lived ‘runners high’ during exercise) and external cannabinoids, found within certain plants.
“CBD in particular, found in the hemp or cannabis plant, has a remarkable effect on these receptors,”
says Kim Smith the founder of a CBD brand called Kloris that I really trust and rate (packaging is gorgeous too). But unlike psychotropic THC (the bit that gets you stoned) which fits into the receptors like a lock and key (just the same as Anandimide), CBD attaches itself to the receptors and modulates the shape so that the Anandimide molecule can no longer fit into them. “At the same time, CBD inhibits the enzyme which rapidly breaks this molecule down.
As a result, Anandimide, our in-built stress-suppressor is able to freely flow through the body” says Kim. “Without being hit by the enzyme which would ordinarily mop this up and its bliss-inducing, relaxing effects, Anandimide then has much more time to circulate and drastically reduce feelings of stress and the physiological and emotional negative impact stress hormones have.
Natural levels of this marvellous molecule, and other endocannabinoids, are regularly thrown out of balance and reduced for many reasons – chronic stress, lack of sleep, poor diet for starters (known as an ‘endocannabinoid deficiency’). CBD oil is a true antidote and a natural supplement based on plant science that works with your body to help it function as it should.