Of all the healing botanicals that adorn our planet, few offer the astonishing phytochemical bounty of cannabis. This flowering plant contains a cornucopia of 400 unique chemicals, with approximately 70 non-psychogenic but potent bioactive cannabinoids.1,2 These non-psychogenic cannabinoids are amazingly versatile. Breakthrough research shows cannabinoids may treat everything from opiate addiction to epilepsy, the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia, and even enhance the efficacy of mainstream treatments for cancer.3-5
Humans discovered the healing and balancing power of cannabis as long ago as 500 BC, in Xinjiang, China.3 Chinese legend tells of the emperor Shen Nung (circa 2700 BC) recommending cannabis for over a hundred different ailments in his pharmacopeia. And no wonder we gravitated to this plant so long ago—for cannabinoids are a fundamental communication system built into life—present in all plants and animals. Cannabinoids are critical for bioregulation and homeostasis throughout our body and brain. So if you’re looking for balance, consider the bioactive gifts in cannabis.
We actually synthesize our own cannabinoids and have a built in endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was first discovered in 1992.4 Cannabinoids play a significant role in regulating inflammation, pain, appetite, sleep, mood, insulin sensitivity, fat and energy metabolism, and might potentially help treat many neurologic and immune conditions.5,6 The impact of cannabidiols is so broad because the cellular receptors that they bind are found in many types of cells throughout the body, and are expressed at high levels in the central and peripheral nervous system and immune system. Cannabidiols shift activity of more than 1,000 genes, and help increase our cellular antioxidant defenses as well as downregulate many inflammatory chemicals.7 Cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 and CB2, are highly expressed in the hippocampus and central nervous system (CNS), the immune system, and peripheral nervous system.8
Until recently, the cannabis we all knew was that oh-so-iconic marijuana—Cannabis indica, the plant with psychoactive effects caused by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). But ordinary hemp—a cannabis cousin known as sativa, with less than 0.3% THC and no psychoactive effects, has recently come into its own. As culinary historian David Shields, author of Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine, puts it: “The fear of getting high while dining on a salad dressed in hemp oil and vinegar kept hemp off grocery store shelves for a long time.”9 In fact, you can eat as much hemp as you want and you’ll never have to worry about getting high or failing a drug test. And times are changing now, with hemp being grown, with federal approval, in Kentucky, Minnesota and other states. This has opened up our access to the healing cannabidiols from hemp oil.
Here are some of the astonishing benefits and healing properties offered to both your brain and your body by cannabidiols purified from hemp oil:
- Your brain. Cannabinoids may protect your brain and nervous system. They are a potent neuroprotective antioxidant, superior to Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and Vitamin C (ascorbate) in preventing toxicity from excess amounts of the neurotransmitter glutamate.10 Cannabinoids help ameliorate mood disorders by their effect on a serotonin receptor known as 5HT1A, which is now being studied as a target for new antidepressants.11,12 Because they are a great balancer, these healing molecules may also lessen anxiety.13 They can reduce epileptic seizures, which strike about 150,000 Americans a year.4 In fact, they seem to offer an overall tonic for the brain, protecting against chronic stress, which can decrease the growth and density of new neurons in parts of the brain. They also modulate mechanisms that govern the life and death of neurons, suggesting they may be ultimately helpful for neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.14,15 They contribute to the innate capacity of the brain to adapt, change and remodel itself in response to experience.16
- Your body. The onslaught of toxins and stress in today’s modern world is a great burden on our bodies. Cannabinoids are particularly beneficial in combatting the oxidative stress that burdens us all. It can help offset the dysfunctions of cardiac damage from diabetes,17 retinal disease,18 kidney damage,19 leaky gut20 and more. Cannabinoids fight inflammation and pain, ranging from fibromyalgia to neuropathic pain to rheumatoid arthritis.21 They may even help improve sleep, according to a 2017 review of scientific research, which found that cannabadiol may help treat disturbances in REM sleep leading to excessive daytime sleepiness.22
In summary, nature in her infinite creativity, has gifted us with a flowering plant perfectly calibrated to our own endogenous, innate regulatory cannabinoid system. We might think of it as a great harmonizer, helping us to regain equilibrium and balance.
Watch this video for more information on the therapeutic applications of CBD Oil in clinical practice.
This information was brought to you by Quicksilver Scientific.