By now you’ve likely heard of CBD and the multitude of benefits it has for health and wellbeing. It’s in everything from pain cream to after-shave lotion, and for good reason. The natural cannabinoids found in high-quality CBD products are hard to beat for supporting the nervous system and reducing aches.
But with all the hype, we have to ask ourselves, “How exactly does CBD work?”
Enter the endocannabinoid system or ECS. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Despite having evolved in vertebrates more than 500 million years ago, the ECS wasn’t discovered in humans until the 1990s when scientists identified a “new” signaling molecule functioning behind-the-scenes called an endocannabinoid.
These natural, cannabis-like molecules, which we call cannabinoids, are made on-demand from lipids in our cell membranes and function as messengers all throughout the body. Super versatile, cannabinoids have the ability to bind to everything from skin and muscle cells to the immune system, GI, nervous tissue, and even the heart and brain. That means the ECS plays a role in learning and memory, eating, sleeping, emotions, and our protective mechanisms. So not only can the ECS support well-being, but the perception of well-being, as well.
The Role of CBD
How does CBD fit in? While our bodies produce natural cannabinoid molecules, recent research has linked many chronic diseases with endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome. Essentially, the body may produce fewer natural endocannabinoids due to stress, diet, or other lifestyle factors. CBD can help fill in the gaps by literally binding to cannabinoid receptor sites such as CB1 and CB2 receptors found all throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, shifting the body back into balance for a host of health benefits.
Choosing the Right Product
So maybe CBD does live up to the hype. Even so, it’s hard to know what kind of product to choose.
Topical vs. ingestible? Broad-spectrum vs. full-spectrum? The key is to look at your particular goal.
Since CB1 receptors are most concentrated in the brain, research has shown that the ingestion of CBD products can be particularly beneficial to the nervous system, GI, and endocrine system. CB2 receptors are particularly concentrated in the skin and smooth muscle, so topical applications may be beneficial for soreness or irritation. Either way, new research is showing that full-spectrum products that contain not just CBD, but also a variety of terpenes, fatty acids, and other phytonutrients, are more effective than CBD isolate products. Plants hold a variety of phytonutrients that can help incorporation into the body, and taking out the supporting characters just makes for a less effective product. That’s why here at B GREAT we are committed to producing all of our products using full-spectrum CBD that adheres to a rigorous 5-star standard.
As one of our lesser-known and lesser-appreciated systems in the body, it’s no wonder there’s still a lot of confusion around the endocannabinoid system. But as this behind-the-scenes player interacts and underlies all the other systems in the body, clearly supporting the endocannabinoid system’s function plays an important role in health and wellbeing.
Ready to give CBD a try? Check out B GREAT’s selection of products, all designed to help you feel great, look great, and be the best version of yourself.