The ABCs of CBD By Renee Alwan Percell, MMS, PA-C

About CBD- What is it?

Cannabidiol (CBD) was discovered in 1940. It is a chemical component of the Cannabis sativa (cannabis plant) and constitutes up to 40% of the extracts of the plant. Unlike THC (found in marijuana) it does not have psychoactive properties, which mean it cannot give you a high. Studies have confirmed CBD does not interfere with psychomotor and psychological functions in humans since it is not the part of the plant that creates psychoactive symptoms. In the last decade, there has been a notable increase in the scientific literature on CBD that shows its benefits in anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.  CBD is used for diverse conditions including relieving pain, reducing anxiety and depression, alleviating cancer-related symptoms; Parkinson’s related symptoms, seizures, and multiple sclerosis.

But how does it work?

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) regulates bodily functions. It helps the body maintain homeostasis or balance. If there is an imbalance in the body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) will release neurotransmitters to address the problem. There are numerous receptors in the ECS that help the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells function smoothly. CBD1, for example, is a receptor in the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract that plays a role in memory, pain, emotion, and hunger. Endocannabinoids are naturally released when insult occurs and bind like lock and key to these receptors to reduce pain. TCH and cannabidiol act like the naturally occurring endocannabinoids and bind to these receptors to produce the same effect- alleviating symptoms. Similar to how our immune system works in our body to react to harm of the body, the ECS also works to keep our body neither deficient nor overloaded.

Can I have some?

When the ECS is functioning normally, a person will enjoy a healthy mental state, without pain, and have proper digestive function. The ECS can become unbalanced, however. In conditions like obesity or diabetes, the ECS will go into overdrive, flooding our system with endocannabinoids to try to combat the problems these diseases cause such as fatigue, trouble sleeping, anxiety. In doing that, inflammation may occur as our systems receptors become overloaded. CBD will work against this overload, relieving symptoms, and restoring balance. For example, if you experience anxiety, CBD bind to receptors and tells your body to calm down.

It is also hypothesized that the body can become endocannabinoid deficient which manifests most commonly as chronic pain through migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia. Data has shown that supplementing with CBD can bring the ECS back to normal functioning levels, relieving pain symptoms.

You should talk with your health care provider if you are interested in trying CBD for guidance on dosing and to discuss your specific concerns. It is also essential to get your CBD from a reputable source. Quality can vary greatly, so going to a trusted supplier is best.  We recommend ECS Therapeutics CBD Oil, available here at the Couri Center Retail Center. If you have questions, schedule a visit with your provider at the Couri Center!

Be Well, Renee Alwan Percell, MMS, PA-C