Reading time – 16 minutes
CBD - three small letters, but they come with a significant impact. From its potentially relaxing, therapeutic qualities that have the possible ability to help your mind and your body unwind, to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that supposedly work wonders for your skin, there's a reason why the compound is fast-becoming a household name. Gaining serious traction within the past 10 years, CBD-infused products are now being used by everyone, from A-list celebrities to the grandma at the end of your street. However, with so much information into its 'potential' benefits floating about, it can be hard for the average cannabinoid consumer to separate fact from fiction. That's where we come in.
In this article, we're going to set the record straight by going through 10 ways CBD has been understood to level up your life. From potentially impacting physical pain to promoting heart health and everything in between, we're going to shine a light on the extract's purported benefits by breaking down up-to-date research into its use. Then, for those of you curious about taking the plunge, we'll run you through the best ways to incorporate CBD-infused products into your lifestyle. However, before we jump into the possible benefits of CBD, let's understand a little bit more about this unique cannabinoid.
What is CBD?
Often abbreviated from its scientific name, 'Cannabidiol', CBD is one of over 100 other cannabinoids that are featured within the hemp plant. Existing as the second-most prevalent ingredient of the plant (second only to THC, or 'Tetrahydrocannabinol'), CBD is an essential component of cannabis Sativa. It's understood to [potentially exhibit a range of therapeutic and calming qualities that lend themselves greatly to the wellness world, and unlike THC, CBD does not showcase any intoxicating qualities. Additionally, according to the World Health Organization, the use of CBD is completely safe, and the compound 'exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.'
How does CBD work?
The main reason cannabidiol is understood to take effect in our bodies is because of its purported relationship with something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS is a complex signalling system that is responsible for restoring our body's natural state of balance. It is made up of enzymes, receptors, and endocannabinoids, which are essentially cannabinoids naturally produced by our body. When CBD is consumed, it's understood to possibly impact levels of our bodies' endocannabinoids, which may help the ECS to work more effectively. This may allow the system to regulate a range of processes more efficiently, including our cognitive processes, our pain response, our sleep cycle and our mood.
So, without further ado, let's take a closer look at 10 ways CBD is understood to potentially benefit your body and mind.
How might CBD level up your life?
1. Potentially improving focus
With all the distractions of the modern world, (yes Instagram, we're looking at you), sometimes it can be extremely difficult to pay attention to the task at hand. Unfortunately, with the new working from home (WFH) climate, many people have been grappling with this issue more than ever in the past year. Luckily, CBD may be able to help.
Cannabidiol has been shown to potentially make users more alert, wakeful, and focused, by affecting the root causes that disturb our energy and concentration. As this 2014 research review highlights, the therapeutic use of CBD is reported to promote wakefulness because of its ability to alleviate the severity of symptoms found in various sleep disorders. Additionally, by purportedly triggering the non-endocannabinoid receptor sites in your brain, and minimising symptoms of of anxiety and stress, CBD is also understood to potentially enhance instances of productivity. So, by improving mental clarity and helping your mind to achieve rest at night, cannabidiol shows promise in impacting levels of focus and concentration. However, due to the lack of research into the matter, a deeper investigation is required before we can be entirely certain about the relationship between CBD and focus.
2. May affect mental well-being
Anxiety and depression are extremely common mental conditions that can severely impact people's mental well-being. According to the World Health Organisation, these disorders can also heavily influence the prevalence of people's physical health, with depression being the single most significant contributor to disability worldwide, and anxiety being the sixth.
Fortunately, CBD has shown promise as a supplement for both anxiety and depression, due to its purported ability to act on the brain's serotonin receptors (the neurotransmitter, serotonin, is responsible for regulating mood). Instead of actually boosting levels of serotonin, CBD is understood to potentially affect how your brain's chemical receptors respond to the chemical that is already present in your system. This is outlined in this 2014 animal study, which implied that CBD was able to trigger both anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant effects through its interaction with serotonin receptors.
Additionally, CBD is also understood to potentially impact mental well-being through its interaction with our bodies' ECS. Through assisting the vital function of the system, cannabidiol-infused products have been reputed to optimise mental health by regulating anxiety symptom levels in the amygdala. Also, CBD is additionally purported to calm the brain through the ECS's influence on the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for processing healthy emotions and memories.
3. Potentially relieving aches and pain
Whether it derives from acute cases or chronic conditions, we've all had the displeasure of experiencing pain. Pain can often seem unavoidable- and, in many cases, it is. However, in addition to supporting our cognitive processes and emotional well-being, CBD has also been shown to potentially impact some instances of physical pain.
As a variety of studies have concluded, the agent is understood to possibly affect some symptoms of pain due to its potential anti-inflammatory properties.
Over inflammation can bring about redness, swelling, and hypersensitivity; however, by minimising this response, the body's natural healing process is able to be better supported. As detailed in this 2020 research review, by lowering levels of inflammation in the affected areas, CBD may be able to prompt an analgesic (pain-relieving) effect in the body. This may help the ECS to regulate a range of conditions from neuropathic and inflammatory, to osteoarthritis-related types of pain.
The review also implies that CBD was able to generate these effects, through its purported interaction with endocannabinoids in our ECS. So, this means that if you wanted to reduce whole-body pain symptoms, consuming CBD orally may enable the compound to be felt throughout the body, and, if you were looking to relieve pain symptoms in a targeted zone, rubbing topical products into your skin may potentially be the best way to target the localised cannabinoid receptors in our skin.
4. Possibly improving the quality of sleep
A good night's rest is just as crucial to our health and well-being as a healthy diet and regular exercise. It helps support healthy brain function and overall performance, so it's paramount that we do everything we can to catch those precious 40 winks.
CBD has been reputed (in both studies and anecdotes) to improve the quality and length of sleep by tackling the root problems that contribute to sleeplessness. Since factors like anxiety, discomfort, pain, and stress can lead to sleeping disorders, mitigating these issues helps up to sleep more peacefully at night. As this 2019 study into cannabidiol's therapeutic properties shows, when 72 subjects took a capsule of CBD daily, 79.2% reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7% better sleep. These results are corroborated by this 2019 study on the effects of CBD, which implied that the compound was able to act as a sedative by potentially affecting the release of cortisol, our body's primary stress hormone.
5. May have neuroprotective qualities
Neuroprotection is the ability to salvage, recover, or regenerate the nervous system, its cells, structure, and function. Neuroprotective agents help to protect our bodies nervous system and prevent the likelihood of a range of symptoms associated with neurological disorders, including headaches, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis, from occurring.
As shown in these 2003 and 2007 research articles, the compound has been purported to protect neural functioning because of its possible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Because of these properties, when cannabidiol is consumed, it's reportedly able to relieve symptoms of oxidative stress, which plays a massive role in neurodegeneration and cognitive decline associated with a range of neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, because of its ability to support the function of the nervous system, CBD-infused products have been purported to impact symptoms associated with neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and the rare childhood condition, Dravet syndrome.
In addition to potentially impacting the progression of neurological disorders, the therapeutic use of CBD has also been shown to possibly affect seizure-like symptoms in those living with epilepsy, and instances of muscle spasticity for those with multiple sclerosis, as implied in this 2019 study and this 2018 study respectively.
6. Potentially effective acne treatment
Acne is a widespread condition that has affected about 95% of the UK population at some point in their lives. While acne commonly occurs during pubescence and lasts into peoples early 20s, it can resurface at any age. For those living with the condition, it can be a significant source of anxiety and insecurity.
Based on recent scientific evidence, CBD may also be valuable in the world of skincare, as the extract has been recognised to potentially affect cases of acne when applied onto the skin topically, (such as in a CBD infused lotion).
Since acne is caused by inflammation under the skin that leads to overactive sebaceous glands, by lowering levels of inflammation and preventing sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum, CBD has been purported to lessen the likelihood of acne emerging. Furthermore, as this piece of research 2019 outlines, due to cannabidiol's potential ability to affect collagen levels and the regeneration of skin cells, CBD-infused skincare products are also understood to possibly impact the scarring that often arises in severe cases of the skin condition.
7. Possibly Improving heart health
It's no secret that our heart is one of the most essential organs in our body. With heart disease claiming over 17 million lives per year globally, looking after our heart is paramount to our overall health and well-being.
Fortunately, recent research has shown that CBD may promote heart health, mainly due to its potential in lowering blood pressure levels. In this 2017 study, a single dose of CBD was reported to improve blood pressure levels in the nine male participants, compared to the control group. Since high blood pressure is linked to a range of adverse coronary health conditions, from strokes to health attacks to metabolic syndromes, by keeping blood pressure at a healthier level, these disorders are much less likely to arise.
Another reason why CBD is purported to promote healthy heart functions is because of its nature as an antioxidant. In this 2011 study, where CBD was administered to diabetic mice with heart disease, the antioxidant properties in cannabidiol were shown to reduce oxidative stress and prevent further heart damage from occurring. Since antioxidants are understood to potentially warn of heart disease by preventing cholesterol molecules from blocking blood flow in the artery walls, it's not surprising that the compound has been shown to positively impact heart health.
However, because the medical applications of CBD are still much less-researched than that of other cardiovascular medications, more studies into its potential need to be conducted before it may be used as a reliable therapy, in a non-supplementary capacity.
8. May help you restore a healthy hormonal balance
Hormones are chemical messengers released by cells or glands. They have essential roles in the body, from regulating the function of the immune system to assisting healthy growth and development. Subsequently, when there is a hormonal imbalance, you can feel irritable, get headaches, encounter sleep problems, and many other things. Your lifestyle has a significant influence on your hormonal balance, and research and studies suggest that the most effective technique of regulating hormones is through a healthy diet.
CBD may be useful in this vein of thought, because it has been shown to be rich in omega fatty acids like Omega 3 fats, which are one of the building blocks of hormones and several other constituents in the human body. In addition to this, according to this Health Europea article, CBD extracts also contain many essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the human body. Therefore, due to its high nutrient content, CBD shows great potential in helping people to regain a healthy hormonal balance. However, more research into the link between CBD and hormonal levels must be conducted before conclusive results can be drawn.
9. May exhibit antipsychotic properties
While cannabis commonly shares negative associations with paranoia, psychopathy, and psychosis, CBD is understood to potentially have the opposite effect. Since the plant's intoxicating tendencies derive solely from THC, when CBD is taken in an isolated or broad-spectrum form, it purportedly counteracts these effects by reducing psychotic symptoms.
As this 2012 research review asserts, when cannabidiol-infused therapies are administered to animal models and healthy human volunteers, they may lower the risk of psychotic-like symptoms from occurring. Since the compound has a similar pharmacological profile to other antipsychotic drugs, it's thought to have the potential to target the striatum and temporal cortex, which are areas of the brain associated with psychosis symptoms. Additionally, in this 2010 study, CBD has been shown to reduce the psychotic symptoms induced by THC by blocking the cannabinoid's psychotogenic effects. Further, non-preliminary studies are needed to confirm this; however, if CBD's antipsychotic properties are valid, it supports the idea that CBD could be used as a future therapeutic option or supplement for psychosis symptoms, especially in relation to signs of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.
10. May slow down the effects of ageing
No one is immune to ageing, and with the constant pressures of society, we're all under pressure to stay young (or at least lookingyoung) for as long as possible. Fortunately, though, just like other natural ingredients like aloe vera, pomegranate, and hyaluronic acid, CBD has also been shown to have anti-ageing potential.
One way CBD-infused products are thought to slow down the effects of ageing is because of their beneficial antioxidant properties. Cannabidiol is an effective antioxidant because it is rich in vitamins A, B1, B5, B9, B and E and essential fatty acids like omega-3 and 6. When it comes to skincare, antioxidants are valuable, because they help to effect free radicals- unstable molecules linked to sunlight, smoking, and pollution that are responsible for breaking down our skin's collagen. Therefore, by limiting free radical exposure, CBD skin products are understood to reduce the severity of fine lines and saggy, loose skin.
What's more, the topical application of CBD may be able to reduce the chance of lines occurring in the first place, due to the compound's purported anti-inflammatory properties. So, if you want to minimise the presence of fine lines while slowing down the possible impact of future ageing, it might be wise to find a skincare product infused with cannabidiol.
What's the best way to take CBD?
While there's no wrong or right way to take CBD (depending on what you're taking it for), some methods are better suited than others. So, with this in mind, here's a quick outline of five common ways to sample the extract.
CBD oil vaporisers
Vaping CBD is an excellent option for both novice or experienced cannabinoid users. To consume cannabidiol using this method, you need to choose a vape pen before filling it up with your choice of CBD oil cartridges. At Amphora, the CBD cartridges can come in a range of different cannabinoid effects, so you're able to choose what kind of potential effect you want from the product, be it peaceful, inspiring, relaxing or restorative.
Vaping CBD oil is considered the fastest way to consume the compound. The CBD is inhaled directly into the lungs after being vaporised, and this may deliver it into your system in just two minutes. This makes the method perfect for those looking for a quick and discreet dose of the extract.
Oral CBD Drops
Probably the most common way to consume CBD, oral drops, and tinctures offer a simple way to take the product with high rates of bioavailability (absorption). To use CBD oil, it's recommended to squeeze a couple of drops under your tongue using the sublingual method, before waiting at least 30 seconds for the substance to be absorbed. This delivers the product into your bloodstream via the sublingual gland in roughly 10 minutes, which means the CBD may take effect much faster than with other methods.
CBD capsules, or tablets, are an ideal way to take CBD if you are looking for a fuss-free method or if you're often on-the-go. You take CBD capsules just like you take any other kind of tablet- by swallowing the item alongside fluids, before or after a meal. Due to the way that the capsules travel around your body (they must pass through your digestive system before potentially taking effect), it may take a little bit longer for the possible results to be felt, but for the same reason, the cannabidiol also stays in your system for up to six hours, which is longer than most other products.
CBD Edibles and Drinkables
As it happens, CBD oil can be infused into just about any food or beverage imaginable. From brownies and CBD mints to alcoholic drinks, nothing is exempt, so this opens up a wealth of options when it comes to cannabidiol-infused edibles. This method is excellent for first-timers or those looking up to spice up their method of CBD administration, and, just like capsules, the potential benefits of the cannabinoid stay in your bloodstream for longer than the CBD from oral drops and vaporisers. However, since edibles and drinks are directed into your stomach before entering your system, lots of CBD's possible potency, unfortunately, is lost in this process.
Creams, balms, and lotions- no matter what topical product you're thinking of, you'll probably be able to find one rich with infused CBD. Applying the cannabidiol extract topically is a unique method because, unlike the ones listed above, the effects aren't able to be felt throughout the body. Instead, due to the vast network of cannabinoid receptors in our skin, CBD-infused products may be able to deliver potent and targeted relief to wherever you choose to apply it. This makes CBD infused topicals ideal for potentially addressing a variety of symptoms of skin conditions, as well as localised instances of pain symptoms.
So, from potentially calming your mind and impacting mental clarity to possibly protecting the function of your heart and immune system, here we've covered some ways that CBD is thought to enhance your life, as a supplement. No matter what you choose to take the extract for, we hope this article has equipped you with all the information you need to incorporate this therapeutic and unique natural compound into your wellness journey.If you're curious to learn more about the effects and up-to-date research on cannabidiol, browse our collections of blogs here, and if you want to see what else Amphora has to offer, including our range of vape oil cartridges, vape pens, batteries, and accessories, visit our main website here
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD Oil.
Contributor | Angus Taylor CEO
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.