CBD: A botanical superstar by Lola Ross

Guest Author: Lola Ross

date: 21 August 2019

Thanks to Lola Ross, a member of our Apothem Board of Experts, Nutritionist and Co-founder of @moodymonth, for sharing her expertise on why CBD is important for wellbeing.

 

Botanicals as healing remedies, that work in synergy with our physiology, have become an important part of holistic approaches to health and wellness today. Over the last decades, studies and trials have helped to confirm the traditional uses of medicinal plants, and help us better understand the mechanisms by which these botanicals produce their healing actions. CBD  from the Cannabis sativa plant is one of the phytochemicals that we’ve come to understand further, and with its positive influence on mind and body, CBD is emerging as a botanical superstar.

The cannabis plant has been used intuitively as a plant medicine by cultures around the world for centuries. The healing properties of cannabis lie in its cannabinoids - the phytochemical compounds which have a regulating effect on the body and mind, and they contain anti-inflammatory properties that can encourage protection and healing of the skin. However, it is only recently that science has identified the mechanism by which the cannabinoid CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system to exert these effects. Cannabis contains over 100 different cannabinoids including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the phytochemical that gives you the well-known cannabis ‘high’. But it is CBD that is so interesting to beauty and wellness.  It is non-addictive, and has no mind-altering properties due to the absence of THC, yet holds so many therapeutic benefits and gentle enough to use as an everyday product.

Our endocannabinoids and their receptors, are the neurotransmission sites found in different parts of the human body, from the nervous system, internal organs, connective tissue, glands, immune cells and on the skin. This system has a balancing role in the body, influencing digestion, brain function, immunity and has healing and anti-inflammatory actions in the skin. Growing clinical literature, alongside anecdotal reports, indicate that CBD can be effective in pain management, sleep and digestive imbalances; and there is strong evidence that CBD has as an anti-anxiety effect. 

Anxiety is a common clinical concern which affects up to 5% of the population, and a presentation that I often see in clinic. Anxiety can be complex in origin,  manifesting in ways such as, generalised anxiety, sexual anxiety, social anxiety, fear of public speaking to menstrual cycle-associated anxiety that some women can experience. While it is important to address the underlying causes of any imbalance, and to support your health and well-being with nourishing foods, healthy lifestyle and regular mind support,  CBD can be integrated as natural solution during anxious periods, helping to calm the nervous system, support sleep, mood and well-being.

CBD can be consumed in a way that suits you. Once extracted, CBD compounds are mixed with carrier oils such as hemp seed oil and formulated into vaporising (vape) pens, sprays,  edible products such as CBD oil drops which can be taken alone, or added to foods; and CBD can be found in supplement formulations, such as gummies, or capsules. For protecting and promoting skin health, CBD can be used topically, often blended into balms, lotions, creams and serums. The form and dose of ingestible CBD will impact the onset, intensity, and duration of its effects. It is prudent to do some reading around CBD to help you understand more about dosage for your specific needs and how to integrate it correctly into your health and well-being routine.