Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a molecule extracted from hemp, also called cannabis. Unlike the second molecule present in the plant, the TetraHydroCannabinol or THC, CBD has no narcotic effect. All sorts of ways to consume CBD now exist on the market like CBD vape, CBD cream or even CBD gummies. The main virtue of CBD is the ability of that substance to have a calming effect on body pains and anxiety.
It is the anti inflammatory effects of CBD that can temporarily help with muscle pain and joint pain for example, scientific research have now proven that CBD blocks pain neurotransmission by blocking its signaling pathways (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7700528/).
Consumed in many different ways, whether with a vape or even in drinks, CBD can help alleviate the level of pain one can feel and lower anxiety which as a result can also help its users sleep better without the possible side effects a regular medication could induce.
Despite all its positive effects CBD remains an exogenous substance that is being used to compensate for the inability of your nervous system to reach a relaxed mode or the ineptitude of your body to not be in pain. On the subject of pain you need to be mindful of the fact that the aches that you feel are the results of imbalances somewhere in your myofascial and musculoskeletal structure that will need to be addressed for you to not have to rely on any exogenous help to mitigate those uncomfortable sensations. Let’s see below how the holistic approach we have at Functional Patterns can help you find balance and restore the ability of your own body to generate what it needs to stay out of pain and relax.
CBD: A relevant temporary tool
CBD consumed in vape, drinks or even gummy form is primarily used to fight symptoms of anxiety, stress, trouble sleeping and is also increasingly used to help reduce pain levels. To understand how CBD acts on the body we have to talk about an important system: the endogenous cannabinoid system (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789136/.
The endogenous cannabinoid system (also called endocannabinoid system) has an important role to play in many hormonal regulations in the body including some crucial missions in the proper functioning of the nervous system and of the immune system. That endocannabinoid system is composed of neurotransmitters based on endogenous lipids that bind to cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoid receptor proteins. The human body has got many of those receptors on a large number of cells (liver, spleens, intestines) and our body can also produce several endogenous cannabinoids. This whole system can produce thousands of different chemical reactions.
When you use a CBD vape or have a CBD drink the CBD molecules have an impact on the two main cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2 that are partially responsible for the regulation of the nervous system and the immune system. CB2 more specifically regulates the immune system so anything linked to inflammation and pain, which explains why CBD consumption or CBD applied as a cream can have a calming effect on body aches.
To understand a bit more the impact of CBD on the human body we also have to consider its link with another important neurotransmitter called serotonin that also plays an important role in the optimal functioning of our bodies. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in mood management and also involved in the regulation of the circadian rhythm. Just like the receptors CB1 and CB2 serotonin has an impact on our nervous system and on our immune system. The serotonin receptors can also be impacted by the consumption of CBD. By binding with the serotonin receptors CBD tends to enhance a feeling of calmness and help you sleep better.
A daily consumption of CBD drinks, gummies or in any other form is not medically contraindicated if you respect the dosage. But one might wonder about the mere fact of having to use an exogenous substance to cope with pain for example on a daily basis. Although CBD can help in the short term to mitigate some acute or long lasting pain the goal should be to find a way to endogenously resolve your pain issue.
Endogenous VS Exogenous
Even though very low levels of THC can be found in CBD vape or drinks their level is not high enough to make CBD a psychoactive substance. However, that does not mean that your body will not get used to the dosage you give it to stay out of pain or lower your level of suffering.
Like any substance used exogenously it is likely that your body will adapt to CBD and will need an increasing amount to get the same benefits day after day without a significant improvement in the long run.
Also CBD being an active substance it can therefore interact with other medications in the body and expose to risks. It is strongly not recommended to use CBD especially in case of:
- Hepatic insufficiency
- If you take an antiepileptic treatment
- If you suffer from cardiac arrhythmia
- If you take antidepressants
- CBD can also interact with some type of painkillers
The list of side effects (when CBD is taken outside of the medical conditions listed above) can range from dizziness and lack of alertness to a decrease in blood pressure and issues with your digestive system, at a light or higher dosage.
Going back to our point in the previous section, your body is supposed to initially have the tools to deal with pain, anxiety, trouble sleeping or any other imbalances CBD vape can help you cope with.
Anandamide: The Body’s Natural Soother
In the previous section we were talking about the fact that CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors and helps with the functions of the immune system by reducing inflammation and pain. It turns out that our bodies actually produces just by itself an endocannabinoid that has the same functions as CBD in that specific chemical reaction, it’s called anandamide. What does that tell us? It tells us that if your body is in a state of balance it’s actually able to produce the substances to help you reach a more parasympathetic state and help you relax. As researched by scientists (https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/38/5/536), one can boost the endogenous production of Anandamide through exercise. But if you are exercising in such a way that is resulting in pulled muscles from overexertion, or agitating a chronic injury, the Anandamide your body synthesizes probably will not be significant enough to be experienced, which is why people will gravitate towards products like CBD creams. Your body cannot sustainably produce extra resources for mechanical dysfunctions.
You might wonder how to get to that state of balance if you have been relying on CBD cream or drinks for a while or even if you are currently considering the options to help with your pain level?
The holistic method that Functional Patterns is will help you start addressing your aches with a movement-based approach. Finding balance means adopting a First Principles approach and focusing on the “FP First Four” humans have evolved with: Standing, Walking, Running and Throwing. The better you can execute those functions the closer you can get to a pain-free life.
CBD products such as CBD vape, CBD creams or in gummy form can be a useful tool to help one deal with pain and help the body reach a more relaxed mode in a short period of time. But like many exogenous substances it is important to realize that your system will get accustomed to it and will ask for an increasing amount in order to get the same benefits.
Training with the Functional Patterns method will get you on the track to regain some balance in your whole anatomy in order to build up again the endogenous tools you need to feel better without having to rely on exogenous substances such as CBD.