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Here’s a familiar scenario: you wake up at seven to an alarm buzzing you awake. You stumble through your morning routine, scramble to get to work, labour through your tasks. You make it till five, fight traffic to get home, try valiantly to fit in some exercise, and then pass out on your pillow. Repeat. In between that draining routine, there’s not much leeway to deviate, and even twenty-four hours in a day can seem insufficient. Busy modern lifestyles make it increasingly difficult to fit in everything we want to achieve or execute everything we want to do with the energy and attention they deserve.
One compound is increasingly being used by consumers to try and get a little more out of their day. CBD can be incredibly useful as long as you understand its benefits and how best to use it- but what exactly does this intriguing compound have to offer you in your day-to-day life? We’ll break down exactly that here, and detail just how CBD can support you during your nine-to-five grind.
How CBD works
CBD, also known by its full name of cannabidiol, is a non-toxic, non-neurotropic phytocannabinoid - a compound produced by the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa) that is of great interest to us today thanks to its potential therapeutic benefits.
CBD and other cannabinoids interact with our systems via a network of receptors and signalling molecules found throughout the body. This is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex biological cell-signalling system which has a hand in regulating a wide range of different physiological processes and functions, ranging from sleep and mood to pain, immunity, metabolism, muscle and heart function, cognitive processes and more. The titular endocannabinoids are messenger molecules which are structurally similar to plant-produced cannabinoids like CBD. By binding to and activating the corresponding cannabinoid receptors in tissues and organs, various biological pathways can be triggered and signals from the brain can be modulated.
CBD itself does not interact with the ECS directly, instead, it acts as a modulator of the ECS, though the full extent of its mechanisms and interactions have yet to be fully researched and clarified. Research has revealed that CBD has a low affinity for cannabinoid receptors, and instead of binding to them it ‘antagonises’ compounds that would activate these receptors, and thus regulates receptor activity.
CBD also has effects on different receptors. It may act as an indirect agonist to the 5-HT1A autoreceptors - otherwise known as serotonin 1A receptors - and may reduce the availability of serotonin. CBD also interacts with and activates TRPV1 channels, which are central to how the body detects and regulates body temperature, as well as in detecting harmful environmental stimuli related to heat. It also interacts with TRPV2 channels, which are activated by, and strongly involved with, systems of inflammation and pain.
Scientists are still mapping out all of CBD’s pharmacological effects and intricacies, and understanding them is key to discovering and taking greater advantage of all of this compound’s benefits. All of these interactions tie into CBD’s more visible benefits, which can be utilised to aid people in many different aspects of their daily life.
Good mornings: CBD for energy and rest
Mornings are difficult for many people. It can be difficult to work up the energy to start your day, especially for those who work later in the day or tend to stay up longer, and many people suffer from excessive sleepiness or conditions such as narcolepsy that further affect their wakefulness. This can have a huge impact on mood, mental acuity, and your ability to carry out tasks and do work effectively.
CBD offers a solution to a grey morning - CBD can be taken to help keep you awake, to counter grogginess and to increase your capacity for attention and focus. In a roundabout manner, CBD can also help with your sleep cycle and to help you rest more holistically. There are also all kinds of factors that can disrupt your sleep cycle, like coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks, and this may negatively affect your sleep and health in the long term. Ingesting CBD appears to aid in alertness and dispelling grogginess, all without affecting your circadian rhythms and the quality of your sleep later.
Additionally, CBD may offer some relief for those who suffer from certain disorders with disturbed sleep. Normally, during REM sleep, the limb muscles are temporarily paralysed and become immobile, but people affected by disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and REM behaviour disorder have mobility and can flail and move during REM sleep, thus enabling them to act out their dreams and nightmares. Preliminary studies investigating CBD’s therapeutic efficacy for these patients show that CBD may be able to settle their poor and agitated sleep.
Clearing your head: CBD for mental stress
Another common issue that many of us face regularly at work, at home, or while studying, is psychological stress. From the nerve-wracking anxiety of having to give a presentation or a surprise meeting, the agony of trying to meet a deadline, or simply the mental drain that comes from having to carry out monotonous tasks regularly, people today are plagued by stress.
Stress also plays a major role in the onset and maintenance of many mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. Untreated chronic stress can also result in high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and contribute to the onset of obesity. While stress is at its core a natural psychological process that is vital to our ability to adapt, it is undoubtedly negative in excess, which is why so many of us search for ways to manage it.
One of the major reasons people take CBD is for mental wellness- specifically, to alleviate stress, fear and anxiety. CBD has been shown to relieve anxiety in general - in one study, when analyzing patients who took CBD daily for some time, 79.2% of patients reported lower anxiety levels within one month of using CBD. Another study looked at people with social phobia and asked them to prepare a speech - treating people with CBD beforehand significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased their alertness levels compared to a placebo control group.
This set of benefits is thought to be in part thanks to CBD’s ability to interact with serotonin receptors and alter serotonin signals. Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter that is central to regulating your emotional state and mental health, and low serotonin levels are strongly linked to depression and anxiety. When in the body, CBD may cause increased serotonin levels and affect how receptors respond to available serotonin, which can help manage symptoms of these disorders in the people who suffer from them. It comes as no surprise that CBD is also thought to be responsible for much of the cannabis plant’s soothing and calming effects.
Research also indicates that CBD calms overactivity in neurons in the brain and contributes to regulating cognitive and emotional processing, which can further improve a person’s ability to control their own mental and emotional state. CBD may also be beneficial for your brain in the long term - some studies indicate that CBD may have neuroprotective properties. Cannabidiol can protect nerve cells from a lack of oxygen and various poisons, including alcohol poisoning, as well as slowing down the cellular ageing process.
Soothing aches: CBD for pain and inflammation
Daily life can take its toll in more physical ways besides the psychological - pain is a familiar companion to everyone, whether it arises from a gruelling full-body workout, the stiffness and compression from a desk, or from injuries and strains old and new. According to a 2016 survey by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 20.4% (50 million) of adults in the U.S.A. deal with chronic pain, and it’s seen more frequently in women, older adults, retirees, and those living in poverty or in rural areas. Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons that people seek medical care, and people who have it deal with restrictions in mobility and daily activities, higher risk for anxiety and depression, and overall reduced quality of life.
Even if you may not deal with serious chronic pain yourself, pain often comes as a consequence of living, and it can be a serious deterrent to productivity if your back is killing you through your workday. Post-workout aches and pains are also familiar sensations to most, and while they are indicators of natural muscle regrowth and repair they can also really impair your ability to get work done.
CBD is a potent analgesic - a compound that relieves pain. When ingested, CBD has proven its worth as a method of managing chronic pain and is effective in alleviating many different types of pain. It has been used by people for dealing with muscle aches, chronic neuropathic pains, and even more severe conditions like fibromyalgia. By reducing pain, CBD helps to significantly improve the quality of life for people, and with little adverse side effects. This rising public interest and growing pool of scientific evidence have led to CBD becoming increasingly popular as an adjunctive method of pain management.
The main mechanism by which CBD relieves chronic pain is thought to be by affecting the ECS, which plays a role in regulating pain and inflammation. More specifically, CBD modulates hepatic cytochrome p450 enzymes, which play a part in drug metabolism, and increases the availability of naturally-produced pain mediators like serotonin or externally-supplied analgesics so these substances directly interact with cannabinoid receptors. CBD has also been seen to inhibit tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), a molecule involved in inflammation.
One study using a rat model of neuropathic pain showed that repeated treatment with low doses of CBD induced pain relief and alleviated the hypersensitization that comes with pain, as well as rescuing neurotransmission in the pathways that carry pain signals. CBD also may have a preventative effect for many health disorders and illnesses that arise as a consequence of excessive inflammation.
CBD is also an effective muscle relaxant and has been applied successfully to manage epilepsy and other conditions involving frequent muscle spasms, seizures, and convulsions. One form of CBD, called Epidiolex, is approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for people with two rare types of epilepsy - Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome.
These properties are why CBD has gained traction as a method of managing pain for people who suffer from musculoskeletal diseases as well, particularly in treating arthritis, where it may treat the swelling and tenderness of joints and resulting joint pain. In rodent models of rheumatoid arthritis, CBD has shown promise by modulating inflammation, decreasing pain responses, and even blocking the progression of collagen-induced arthritis. However, the human-based evidence is lacking, and in-depth research into CBD in relation to arthritis is still underway.
Eating well: CBD for nausea and appetite
Nausea and vomiting are both protective, natural defence mechanisms of the human body, and in the short-term are usually therapeutic - though the experience itself is miserable. They can arise from a whole host of triggers, from migraines and motion sickness to gastrointestinal disorders, bacterial or viral infections, medications, toxins and more. However, for those who have to live with nausea as an unavoidable side effect or a chronic condition, it can sorely affect their quality of life. And even for those who only deal with momentary episodes such as from hangovers or travelling in moving vehicles, nausea is an unpleasant and undesirable sensation, which many seek ways to relieve.
CBD is an effective anti-nausea and anti-emetic agent- meaning that when taken, it reduces feelings of nausea and helps prevent vomiting. By interacting with serotonin receptors and blocking nauseating serotonin release, CBD has been shown to successfully help alleviate both nausea and retching in animal models. These properties are why CBD is often taken by cancer patients with nausea caused by chemotherapy, radiation or other reasons. It’s an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic method that is accepted by many physicians.
Some preliminary research indicates that CBD may also help individuals who are looking to reduce their food intake and boost their metabolism, thus contributing to weight loss. This may be by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in lymphoid tissue in the brain, which play key roles in regulating food intake and metabolism.
However, other conflicting reports say that CBD may cause weight gain - it has been shown to increase appetite in some studies. In one study, when interviewing parents of children being treated with CBD to control epilepsy symptoms, 30% claimed that the treatment caused significant increases in their child’s appetite as a side effect. Another review, looking over 2,409 CBD users, found that 6.35% of those investigated experienced increased hunger as a side effect. The effects of CBD yield mixed results when it comes to appetite and hunger, and more research is still needed to understand the variance in the effects of CBD on appetite.
While the evidence currently doesn’t support CBD as an effective way to lose weight on its own, in tandem with its bevvy of other therapeutic effects it’s worth taking into consideration for your CBD experience. Appetite changes are one of the most common side effects of CBD usage and can be a boon if you know better what to expect. For those who suffer from bouts of nausea, CBD can offer invaluable relief and allow you to continue your work or get some rest unhindered.
Fitting CBD into your day
CBD has many wellness benefits that can aid people in many aspects of their daily lives, but the way in which you take CBD has a big impact on what your experience with CBD will be. Different methods have their pros and cons, and what works best for an individual will vary.
Taking CBD infused in food or drink is one of the most delicious and easy methods, as CBD oil is perfectly edible and safe. It is, however, also a relatively ineffective method of taking this compound, as the liver’s first pass breaks most CBD down when it passes through the digestive system. Applying CBD topically in the form of creams or lotions can have good results, but it largely only works for localized pain relief, so while this may work wonders for people suffering from muscle aches or pains it’s of no help to stress, anxiety, wakefulness and other similar conditions. These methods are also slow to show any effects, which may not appeal to people with busy schedules who want to see results quickly.
The more efficient ways of taking CBD are those that can be absorbed directly - mainly sublingual tinctures and vaping. Sublingual refers to the sublingual gland located just underneath the tongue, through which CBD can be absorbed in a quick manner. For sheer efficacy and rapid effects, CBD vaping is hard to beat, as absorbing CBD through the lungs allows for it to be distributed quickly via the bloodstream to locations throughout the body so you can feel relief within minutes. It’s also discreet, and easy to do while on the go.
All of these methods can help you incorporate CBD into daily schedules in different ways. For instance, if you’re using it in the morning to wake up, add it to your coffee or absorb sublingually while doing morning yoga or meditation. If you’re looking to ease the post-workout burn, you can massage it in as a balm or mix it in with your protein shake. If you’re tight on time and want it on the go, or need something to quickly settle your nerves before that big presentation, a short session of CBD vaping in between working can take effect by the time you’re back on the job.
It should also be noted that while CBD is a relatively safe compound, certain adverse effects have rarely been reported with CBD usage. These include fatigue, diarrhoea, appetite and weight changes. It can also interfere or be affected by prescription medications or dietary supplements, most notably those that contain a “grapefruit warning”, as CBD interferes with enzymes involved in metabolizing drugs.
Additionally, rapidly growing access to unregulated CBD products that might contain potentially toxic compounds can put consumers at risk. When purchasing your CBD products, make sure to only acquire them from trustworthy, certified retailers and manufacturers, and check the labels to make sure that they’re tested by third-party laboratories and free of toxins and harmful compounds, so you can enjoy your CBD without worry.
Where to get your daily dose
For those looking for some extra help with their daily lives, Amphora’s signature CBD vape cartridges are refined and tailor-made to boost energy, calmness,pain relief and rest. Made with innovative recipes and sourced from organically grown hemp plants, all Amphora products are certified THC-free and undergo third-party testing to a stringent medical standard, to ensure our vapes are free of harmful compounds. Each vape cartridge is formulated with CBD distillate, combined with all-natural terpenes to augment health benefits and add aromatic flavour to your vape experience.
From an invigorating start to your morning to get you alive and energized, to settling your mood and bestowing some focus and mental clarity, to soothing and mending your muscle aches and pains after a strenuous day or workout, to finally ending the day and lulling you into a deep and tranquil rest, any one of our blends can offer you something to suit your needs any day of the week.
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.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.