What exactly is the Endocannabinoid system? What is this system responsible for doing? This system, often referred to as ECS, is a biological system we have that plays a crucial role in conserving both our mental and physical health and wellness. Our homeostasis is maintained throughout our body, the internal balance which has to be maintained despite the changes happening both in and around us.
Think of it as the thermostat controlling the temperature of your home. You like to keep the temperature at 68 degrees. The job of your thermostat is to keep the internal temperature of your home at 68, despite what the weather is outside. When it’s cold, the thermostat’s job is to warm the inside of the house to 68 degrees. During the warmer summer months, your thermostat knows it will have to work warm to keep your house chilled down to the temperature you have set. Whatever is going on outside of your house, the thermostat works to ensure the inside temperature stays where you want it.
This is very similar to the role of the endocannabinoid system fulfills in our bodies. While it deals with much more than a single temperature, it works to maintain your mental and physical health, regardless of what may be going on outside of your body. This wasn’t discovered until the late 1980s. The discovery was a result of study and research of the effects cannabis has on our body.
How the ECS works
With a lot of study and research, we’ve learned the vital role the ECS contributes to the neurological and physiological processes of the human body. This involves regulating pain, mood, stress, sleep, memory, and both the reproductive and immune systems. Cannabinoids are used by the ECS to modulate these everyday processes. Throughout the ECS, enzymes and cannabinoid receptors breakdown and synthesize the cannabinoids that our body uses.
Phytocannabinoids are compounds that naturally occur in a cannabis plant, such as THC or CBD. Endocannabinoids are compounds that naturally occur and are found in the human body. These are naturally produced throughout our bodies as a response to stress, injury, and illness. Our body will use enzymes to breakdown and synthesize the cannabinoids. This is the system and process that maintains wellness throughout our mind and body.
The ECS and CBD
Now that we have explained the very basics of what the endocannabinoid system is and the significant role it plays in regards to our health and wellness, we need to look at how CBD connects and the value of using a CBD product.
Scientists have been able to discover a phytocannabinoid’s chemical structure is identical enough to the structure of what our bodies naturally produce, they will accept phytocannabinoids as if they were produced within the body. Many of these can be found within and extracted from the cannabis plant. Each of these cannabinoids will engage and interact with the ECS differently.
Of all the cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant, THC and CBD have received the most attention from scientists. While CBD does not interact with a cannabinoid receptor directly, as endocannabinoids will, CBD will tell our body to create additional cannabinoids of its own, ensuring that they aren’t broken down quicker than they should be by the enzymes within our system.
Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency happens when enough endocannabinoids aren’t being produced within the body. Think back to the example given at the beginning of our article. When something goes wrong with your thermostat, the temperature of your home isn’t going to stay at what you have decided it needs to be. Using a CBD product is no different than doing basic maintenance on your home’s heating and cooling system. This is why so many people have benefited both mentally and physically from using CBD oil.
Will CBD get you high?
This is a popular question among those new to using CBD oil. AS mentioned earlier, CBD and THC are two of the most popular compounds extracted from the cannabis plant. More often than not, someone will hear “CBD” and their mind instantly goes to getting high from smoking marihuana.
This simply isn’t the case. In fact, the use of CBD can actually lessen the high or buzz someone gets from THC. While both compounds are extracted from the cannabis plant, they serve two different purposes. CBD doesn’t produce the psychiatric effects one receives from smoking marijuana. A man much wiser than me put is best. “THC is smoked to produce an effect on the mind. CBD Oil is used to produce an effect throughout the body.”
Unless you are purposefully going out of your way to find something different, every CBD product will contain a THC level of .3 percent or lower. Because this amount is so low, regardless of how much CBD you are using or the method of use, you will not get high from using a CBD product. Yes, some effects are felt almost immediately, but none of these effects your mind the way smoking marijuana does. CBD products are used for health and wellness purposes.
Which method of use is best for me?
This is usually the second question someone brand new to CBD oil will ask. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, here. It all depends on your personal preference. It’s common for trial and error to be part of the process of finding the CBD product that works best for you.
One of the first questions you will need to answer is why are you wanting to use CBD oil? Just wanting to use it simply isn’t enough. You need to have a reason. Are you wanting a better night of sleep and to wake up feeling more energetic? Do you want relief from muscle or joint pain? Are you wanting to address some issues with your skin and its appearance? Maybe you need help when it comes to stress and anxiety?
By identifying exactly why it is you want to use CBD oil, you will better be able to monitor the success of the product. Also, depending on why it is you are taking CBD will play a role in determining which method of use is best for you. For instance, if the amount of stress you are dealing with at work is becoming unbearable, you more than likely want something you can use and begin feeling relief as quickly as possible. Using a tincture or CBD e-juice with your vape will deliver quicker results than you will get with a lotion or cream.
If you have specific pain in a muscle or joint area, these lotions and creams may make more sense. They allow you to focus your attention on a specific area of the body where you want to feel better. If a better night’s sleep is what you crave, your best bet may be something you mix with a cup of tea before going to bed for the night.
What’s important here is your willingness to experiment with different methods of use. Don’t limit yourself to one type of product and determine CBD is a joke if you don’t get the results you are looking for. Also, keep in mind, CBD isn’t going to be a miracle cure with your first use. It needs a chance to build up within your body. Some methods of use will do this quicker than others. Give CBD a fair chance to be what your body needs. As we mentioned earlier, there might be some trial and error involved. Be willing to experiment until you discover which product is best for you and your needs.
How much should I use?
Regardless of the method you choose to use CBD in, the dosage is very important. While it’s common to have the belief that more is always better, this isn’t necessarily the case with CBD, especially when you are first getting started. It’s always recommended to begin with a small amount, gradually increasing the amount you are taking as you go along.
The method you use CBD will determine how much measuring needs to be done. As an example, if you’re using a tincture, you will use the dropper to measure out how much CBD you will be taking. If you are using a cream or lotion, while you will determine the amount you use, the CBD is already mixed with the product. If you’re using a CBD vape juice or eating edibles, there’s really no measuring to be done by the consumer at all.
Regardless of how you use CBD, you should always start out with a very low dose. After using the product for a week, begin increasing the dose just once a week for 14 days. Once you have been using the product for a few weeks and know what to expect as far as how you feel, then begin raising the amount, twice a week, until you find the dose you’re comfortable with.
As we mentioned earlier, CBD needs to have a chance to build within your system. As a result of this, your body will build a tolerance. When you’re not receiving the benefits you are used to, this could be a sign you need to increase the dose. However, this could also be a sign that you need to go 7-14 days without using CBD oil. These are instances you will learn and be able to recognize as CBD becomes a part of your daily routine.
Can I use CBD with other medications?
The simplest answer to this question is yes. That being said, regardless if you are regularly taking medication that is prescribed or you are buying over-the-counter, you need to have a discussion with your doctor. Yes, the answer may be that you can’t mix your medication with using a CBD product. Very few instances is this the case. More often than not, a simple change needs to be made to your dosage and there will be limits when it comes to using a CBD oil product.
Regardless of the answer, you need to discuss this with a doctor who knows your medical history. Be prepared for the conversation. Make sure you are ready to explain why you want to use CBD and some of the results you have heard of with others using CBD for the same reason. When it comes to using CBD, yes, there’s still a lot of research and study to be done. That being said, don’t allow this to be what keeps you from doing your own research.