Cannabis Sativa in mainstream American culture: a plant that's still stuck somewhere in between the stigma and the science, with 33 of 50 states now recognizing the plant's real medicinal value.
Before we go on, there's one thing we need to clear up real quick... Hemp and Cannabis are the same exact plant! Hemp is the name given to cannabis plants used traditionally for fiber and textiles. The word Cannabis or 'marijuana' is used to refer to the plants grown for their resinous flowers which contain high THC levels, a psychoactive compound responsible for getting you 'high."
But hemp has gone through a genetic overhaul since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Cannabis breeders have taken Industrial hemp varieties and turned them into therapeutic hemp varieties naturally raising the levels of CBD, which is also found in the resin of it's mystical flowers. This turned out to be a total mess for lawmakers, who now have a much more difficult time distinguishing between CBD-rich hemp flowers and THC-rich cannabis flowers, and rightly so. Aside from their specific chemical makeup, the two products are essentially identical.
Okay, great. Now that we've cleared that up let's get back to the cannabinoids...
To many, it's still somewhat hidden knowledge that our own bodies have a system of receptors built specifically to interact with cannabinoids. CBD, better known as 'Cannabidiol', is one major non-psychoactive cannabinoid component of Cannabis. CBD has gathered major public interest as new research has demonstrated it's anti-inflammatory, stress-relieving, and cellular-reprogramming potential. The major upside: it's also non-psychoactive, which means users can enjoy all the benefits of the Cannabis plant without getting high, anxious, or "stoned."
Here's how it works:
Our endocannabinoid system contains two types of receptors which work to link and harmonize the different systems inside the body:
CB-1 Receptors: activates central nervous system response to stimuli
CB-2 Receptors: activates immune system response to pathogens and inflammation moderation
CBD acts as a partial antagonist for CB-1 receptors, and a weak inverse agonist of CB-2 receptors. In translation: instead of stimulating or even overstimulating your endocannabinoid system, CBD actually shrinks CB-1 receptors so they are harder to stimulate.
Why would we want that?
Overstimulation of our bodies receptors can cause them to break-down over time, rendering them useless. By shrinking the CB-1 receptors, CBD helps boost the levels of cannabinoids made naturally in your body by inhibiting their uptake and degradation.
You're asking yourself, "Did I just read that right?" Yes, you did. Our bodies regularly make our own cannabinoids (aka 'endocannabinoids'), aside from the ones that we get from cannabis products.
"Immunoresonance": harmonizing multiple systems of the body for optimal cellular and immune response.
Our body's two major endocannabinoids are Anandamide and 2-AG (2-Arachidanoylglycerol). CBD occupies certain enzymes which activate the production of Anandamide and 2-AG, while also working with seratonin and pain receptors to bring the body into a state of "immunoresonance": harmonizing multiple systems of the body for optimal cellular and immune response.
By nature, this optimal state of resonance is felt throughout the entire body and can lead to increased resistance of cells to viral infection, pathogens, and oxidation.
According to a recent study, daily microdosing of cbd and essential vitamins has shown increased effectivity for long-term health as opposed to larger, less-frequent doses. So, like most things in life, consistency really is key here.
Don't be alarmed... CBD may make your body's particular sensitivities more apparent with the increased bodily awareness, but with consistent daily dosing the body's systems will synchronize and move toward homeostasis with tension, stress, and pain simply melting away into history.