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Five things to know before trying CBD

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CBD oil
CBD can have a range of physical benefits, from pain relief to helping you relax

Whether you suffer with stress and anxiety or chronic pain – or even if you’re just looking for a new way to relax – cannabidiol may well be on your radar – but where to start?

As with anything new, there’s a lot to consider before trying CBD – here are five things you should know before taking the plunge.

What is CBD?

CBD is the second most commonly-used active ingredient of cannabis, and is an essential component of medical marijuana. However, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant, and, while CBD is a component of marijuana, in isolation it does not cause a high.

Hemp has been used for thousands of years and has extremely low levels of THC, the psychoactive component in the cannabis plant.

How does it work?

In the 90s, the human endocannabinoid system was discovered, where naturally produced cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body.

There are two main Endocannabinoids – Anandamide and 2-AG – which are involved with appetite, memory, mood, as well as being identified as the source of euphoria we feel after doing intense exercise.

CBD has been found to play a key role in the workings of anandamide levels within our body.

Is it safe?

Yes. While CBD may cause mild side effects such as diarrhea, nausea or tiredness, it is a natural product and has been used safely for thousands of years.

However, if you currently take any medications that carry a grapefruit warning, such as statins or certain immunosuppressants, then CBD is not suitable, as it is thought to have a similar effect. 

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Furthermore, pregnant or breastfeeding women are also discouraged from using it.

What can I use it for?

CBD has a multitude of uses. Many people use it to alleviate chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, while some women find it helps to ease the symptoms of endometriosis.

Others still find it helps to treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or PTSD, and research suggests it may also be beneficial to treat insomnia.

Of course, plenty of people also simply chose CBD as a way to relax at the end of the day; as a safer and less addictive option than alcohol, it can be a real alternative to a G&T.

How do I take it?

There are a wide range of ways to take CBD, both edible and topical. Edible methods include gummies, drinks, tinctures and taking the oil directly. Topically, balms, creams, gels and even candles are all a way to benefit without having to ingest something.

If you do decide to go for an edible option, it’s vital to get the dosing right – start low and go slow 

While some people are tempted to jump straight in with large doses, this isn’t recommended. Many users find that a small amount can have a big impact, so it’s a good idea to start off with small, regular amount, increasing gradually over several days until you find what works for you. 

However you’re using it and whatever you’re using it for, you CBD journey starts here.

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Beauty & Skincare

Study shows potential benefits of CBG for skincare

CBG serum revealed improvements on irritated skin

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CBG: Skincare and products
Home » Lifestyle » Wellness » Five things to know before trying CBD

In what is thought to be a first of its kind clinical study, cannabigerol (CBG) demonstrated potential anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.

Biotechnology company, Willow Biosciences has announced the results of its peer-reviewed study on the benefits of CBG for skincare

The study involved 20 healthy male and female participants who had sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)-induced irritation (a substance used in studies to imitate the symptoms of contact dermatitis).

The groups were given either a 0.1 per cent CBG serum or a placebo to apply topically over two weeks.

CBG sSKINCARE: A banner advert for Always Pure Organics CBD business support

The CBG serum revealed statistically significant improvements compared to the placebo group, especially for transepidermal water loss or redness.

Transepidermal water loss refers to water that passively evaporates through the skin and can be triggered by skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis or rosacea. Although sometimes dry weather,  over-washing and exfoliating with harsh or perfumed soaps may cause it.

The study noted that bio-synthetically produced CBG may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and skin-repairing properties that would make it perfect for anti-ageing, slowing inflammation and boosting skin barrier functions.

Gene analysis of both CBG and CBD, when applied to a 3D human skin model, demonstrated that cannabigerol outperformed CBD by targeting collagen, elastin and hydration genes.

The researchers wrote:  “CBG’s broad range of in vitro and clinical skin health-promoting activities demonstrates its strong potential as a safe, effective ingredient for topical use and suggests there are areas where it may be more effective than CBD.”

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In a statement, Willow’s CEO Trevor Peters said: “Willow’s FutureGrown CBG continues to exhibit great promise as an exciting new skincare ingredient. We are excited to share the results of our in vitro and clinical work with our stakeholders and proud to have it published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the first of its kind for CBG.”

CBG skincare: A collection of beauty products and candles

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol is one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis. It is sometimes referred to as ‘the mother of all cannabinoids’ because it is the precursor to CBD. Other cannabinoids are derived from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), an acidic form of CBG.

There is very little CBG in plants, often as low as one per cent so it makes CBG more expensive than CBD products. CBD is much more available in plants at 20 to 25 per cent. CBG tends to be made from younger plants which contain a higher percentage. THC and CBD both begin life as CBGA before maturing and THC goes on to become CBN in older plants.

It is thought to work the same as CBD in that it interacts with our endocannabinoid system via receptors that are found all over the body. In particular, it may bind to the CB1 receptors in our nervous system or CB2 receptors in our immune system.

It is thought to potentially strengthen the function of anandamide which is a neurotransmitter that affects our pleasure and motivation. It also regulates appetite, sleep and pain relief.

CBG skincare: A banner advert for cannabis health news sign ups

 

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Does the endocannabinoid system have an effect on exercise euphoria?

What causes a runner’s high? Is it CBD, endorphins or our endocannabinoid systems?

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Exercise runner
Home » Lifestyle » Wellness » Five things to know before trying CBD

The euphoric feeling after exercise, often referred to as a ‘runner’s high’, is associated with a reduction in pain, stress and anxiety.

Research now links the runner’s high to our endocannabinoid system, suggesting that the exercise-induced endorphin release it was always attributed to, is not solely responsible.

But what is our endocannabinoid system? And how does it work? 

We examine endocannabinoids, endorphins and how CBD plays a part in balancing the body and exercise

What is the endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system is thought to regulate different functions in the body such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory and fertility. It is made up of receptors, enzymes and endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoid receptors are found naturally all over the body. There are two major receptors called CB1 and CB2.

CB1 is usually found in the central nervous system, while CB2 is found in the peripheral nervous system. Endocannabinoids bind to the receptors to help with different problems such as pain. It is not fully understood how cannabinoids bind with receptors.

Endocannabinoids are actually naturally produced molecules that are similar to cannabinoids. So far, researchers have identified two key endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG).

Enzymes break down the endocannabinoids once they are no longer needed. The two major enzymes are fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA and monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which typically breaks down 2-AG.

What is the difference between endocannabinoids and endorphins?

Endorphins are chemicals released by the body in response to pain or exercise. They were traditionally associated with the euphoria felt after a run. However, endorphins cannot cross into the brain through the blood-brain barrier which exists to protect the brain from toxins and pathogens. 

READ MORE  Study shows cannabis consumption increased in Australia during lockdown

This is one of the reasons that scientists suspect it may not be the reason for the high. They may keep you from experiencing pain after a run.

How does CBD feature in all of this?

CBD interferes with the receptors found in the endocannabinoid system to help them balance the body. However, it is not fully understood how this happens.

CBD, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid found in the plant, does not bind the receptors. CBD may supplement the endocannabinoid system helping to regulate your system. The cannabinoids travel the receptor that has been stimulated and needs extra help to achieve a balance.  Depending on the dose and which receptor it is, CBD is thought to help anxiety, sleep problems, inflammation and pain.

This is why a lot of runners or athletes depend on CBD as part of their recovery routine after a strenuous workout. It may help to alleviate some of the muscle pain they endure during a run.

 

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Beauty & Skincare

Skin conditions and cannabis – survey finds support for use in acne, psoriasis and rosacea

Almost 89 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to try a cannabis-based product.

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Skin conditions and cannabis products

A new survey of over 500 adult patients in the US, has found widespread support for the use of cannabis products in skin disorders – although few have actually tried them.

Almost 89 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to try a cannabis-based product, if recommended by a dermatologist, according to the survey, which was carried out by researchers at George Washington University and the University of Maryland.

A further 73 percent of participants said they would be comfortable seeing a dermatologist who recommended cannabis-based products.

But only 18 per cent had used an over the counter cannabis product without a dermatologist’s recommendation. Of those who had seen a dermatologist, 15 per cent used an over the counter product and eight per cent used a medical cannabis product which required a Department of Health-approved card, per their dermatologist’s recommendations.

The most common indications which cannabis-based products were used for were acne, psoriasis and rosacea.

The global CBD skincare market is expected to increase to USD$1.7 billion by 2025 according to market. research company, Million Insights.

Lead author, Samuel Yeroushalmi, a fourth-year MD student at George Washington University. School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GW SMHS), wanted to examine consumer attitudes to medical cannabis products in light of limited scientific data.

He commented: “MCPs [medical cannabis products], which are cannabis or cannabis-derived products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and/or cannabidiol, known as CBD, are more available now than they ever have been. However, data supporting use and information regarding product quality assurance is limited, particularly when it comes to dermatologic conditions.

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“We wanted to take a closer look at how patients both feel about and use MCPs as part of their treatment plans.”

The researchers concluded that consumers were in and are already using medical cannabis products, mostly for inflammatory skin conditions, and recommended more education for dermatologists.

Adam Friedman, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at GW SMHS, said: “This study spotlights and provides supporting evidence that the skin care consumer is open to and interested in MCPs. Consumers and patients are already using MCPs to treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis, even without guidance from a dermatologist.

“While acceptance was high, there were clear barriers reported limiting use and uptake, such as patient skepticism and a lack of understanding. This mirrors data our group published regarding the dermatology health care practitioner’s perspective and fund of knowledge, underscoring the need for more research and education for both dermatologists and the public. The future should be bright for MCPs; we just need to show and disseminate the science.”

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