The research around CBD and its benefits is increasing every day. Clinical studies continue to learn about the benefits of CBD for joint and back pain, relaxing muscles, reducing swelling, promoting sleep, soothing pain from joint and cartilage discomfort, boosting heart health, and more. But one of the most well-known benefits of CBD is its calming effect. CBD works in the central nervous system to produce calm and relaxation to help soothe feelings of overwhelm and stress.
CBD interacts with our bodies via special CBD receptors to promote calm and relaxation. This article breaks down the basics of CBD and how it works to produce the calming effect you’ve heard all about so far.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant and is a popular healing remedy dating back to ancient medicine. It’s a natural compound, known for its healing, reducing discomfort, and health-promoting properties.
CBD is a type of cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. There are nearly 200 cannabinoids, but CBD is specifically known for its therapeutic qualities. CBD has grown in popularity as a way to soothe aches, pains, and other ailments while avoiding harsh treatments, medicines with side effects, and costly procedures. While CBD does not treat or cure any serious medical conditions, it is an effective soothing agent to relieve pain and discomfort when needed.
To understand how CBD works within our bodies, we must first take a look at two important parts of our bodies: the endocannabinoid system and our cannabinoid receptors.
The Endocannabinoid System
Our bodies naturally contain an endocannabinoid system—even if we don’t use cannabis. This system runs throughout our central nervous system and promotes synaptic development and resilience, nervous system development, and responses to external stimuli.
The endocannabinoid system consists of three important molecule groups: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. It’s important to understand how each of these works individually so we can understand how they work as a whole.
There are some endocannabinoids naturally made by our bodies to promote various functions and processes, so the endocannabinoid system is what receives these endocannabinoids and allows them to work.
The two known endocannabinoids produced by our bodies are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These molecules seek out the endocannabinoid receptors and bind to them in order to carry out their functions.
Cannabinoid receptors are responsible for carrying out the effects of endocannabinoids in our bodies. The two important receptors in our bodies are CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
These receptors are mainly found in the central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord and controls most physical and mental functions. In other words, this is where our thoughts and interpretation of the world around us take place, as well as the control center of all physical movements.
The CB1 receptors are scattered throughout the ganglia, hippocampus, cortex, and cerebellum of the central nervous system. These receptors are expressed at fairly high levels and can be found on some neurons as well. These receptors may receive endocannabinoids that target the CB1 receptors in the spine to relieve discomfort.
CB2 receptors are mostly found in the peripheral nervous system! This system is responsible for all of our voluntary muscular movements. CB2 receptors are expressed at a much lower level compared to CB1 receptors.
These receptors are particularly activated when our tissues are injured or inflamed and our bodies experience pain. For instance, endocannabinoids in the peripheral nervous system may bind to CB2 receptors in the immune cells to target discomfort and relieve it.
Enzymes play a vital role in this process as well. Their job is to deconstruct the endocannabinoids after they have completed their task. The two enzymes present that break down these compounds are the fatty acid amide hydrolase, known to break down AEA, and monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which deconstructs the endocannabinoid 2-AG.
The Calming Effect
The endocannabinoid system supports various processes in our bodies to maintain homeostasis. It can influence pain, discomfort, sleep, mood, memory, heart health, liver function, stress, and metabolism. If we experience an imbalance in these processes, the endocannabinoid system will help calm Them and restore homeostasis.
When our bodies get too stressed out, CBD can target the stress hormones in our bodies to relieve them and promote calm and relaxation. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for the stress response. It regulates important functions when we’re in dangerous situations, but if cortisol levels are too high for too long, our bodies can experience issues with blood pressure, weight gain, lack of sleep, brain fog, immune weakness, and lack of energy.
CBD targets our receptors to soothe and reduce cortisol levels in our bodies. In fact, recent evidence shows that when participants with high-stress levels were given CBD, their cortisol levels decreased significantly and they were able to reduce feelings of anxiousness, lack of sleep due to worry, and promote mental calm.
CBD also contains antioxidants which have many benefits for health and wellness. Antioxidants interact with our bodies and brains to protect us from free radicals. These are harmful chemicals that can cause damage to our cells and tissues if our bodies are undefended.
In addition to protecting us from free radicals, antioxidants are effective compounds that promote calm and eases feelings of stress and tension. Studies conducted by Harvard Health show stress levels reduced significantly when patients supplemented their diets with high levels of antioxidants.
This study found that vitamins A, C, and E, which are packed with antioxidants, were particularly helpful for promoting stress relief and calmness. These vitamins can be found in certain foods, fruits, and even herbs.
However, if you’re looking to supplement your diet with these nutrients, our gummy multivitamins are a convenient and delicious way to do so! Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, they can help our bodies protect against harmful chemicals and promote health and wellness.
How to Use CBD to Promote Calm
The way CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system, receptors, and enzymes in the body is complex, and scientists are still studying the exact workings of this system. However, it is clear that CBD contains calming properties and can be used to promote a variety of therapeutic benefits.
CBD is an effective compound for easing feelings of stress as it targets our endocannabinoid system to support lower cortisol levels in our body. For effective, long-lasting stress relief, consider our CBD gummies. These are a great way to consume hemp for stress relief—plus they’re tasty.
Promote Better Sleep
Hemp has also been shown to target the body’s internal clock and promote a deeper sleep cycle. In addition to this, the calming benefits of hemp team up with the sleep-promoting benefits to help you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
For example, if you struggle with falling asleep due to racing thoughts, worry, or feelings of stress and anxiety, CBD may not only help regulate your body’s internal clock to regulate the overall process of sleep, but it can target your body’s receptors to promote calm and relaxation. This can relieve the initial feelings of stress and worry, letting your mind relax and fall asleep sooner!
If you want to promote better sleep or a CBD product to calm racing thoughts of stress or worry, you may consider trying a CBD tincture. Tinctures are CBD extracts blended with distilled alcohol or vinegar to preserve CBD and give it longer shelf life.
In addition to this, our CBD tincture includes full-spectrum CBD. Full spectrum CBD includes all of the original compounds found in the cannabis plant. When cannabidiol, THC, terpenes, and flavonoids work together, the calming effects may be even more effective due to a theory known as the entourage effect. In other words, these ingredients team up to amplify the effects of CBD on the body.
It’s no secret that life is busy. No matter age or stage of life you’re in, there are stresses that come with life. It’s important to find ways to manage and reduce stress levels as prolonged high stress can cause weight gain, irritability, and even lead to serious health problems if severe enough.
This is where CBD comes in. CBD is well known for its ability to relieve stress and help manage feelings of overwhelm and worry. Whether you’re new to CBD or have used hemp for years, these benefits extend to anyone.