CBD For: Chronic Pain & Inflammation
Clinical evidence suggests the use of CBD for chronic pain relief could be a long-term replacement for conventional medical treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) or opiates, which have a high potential for addiction and abuse.
Remember how CBD acts as an inverse agonist on the CB1 receptors in your brain? It also acts as an inverse agonist on the CB2 receptors in your body – the receptors responsible for inflammation and pain!
That means that in the same way CBD is able to immediately stop your brain from producing stress and anxiety-inducing chemicals, it is also able to stop your body from producing inflammation response and, in turn, the feeling of pain. Chronic pain is one of the most ambiguous and poorly treated medical conditions facing our culture and CBD has the power to change that.
NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen (Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc.) work by blocking Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzyme production. By blocking these enzymes, your body stops producing prostaglandins responsible for swelling, inflammation, and pain. The problem is, prostaglandins (groups of fat tissue cells) are vital for dealing with injury and illness and, by blocking these, it takes your body significantly longer to actually heal.
CBD does not block prostaglandin production and does not inhibit your body’s natural ability to heal and fight against tissue damage. Instead, CBD acts as an inverse agonist on your CB2 receptors and reduces inflammation and pain through your body’s endocannabinoid system. That means that CBD has the potential to relieve chronic pain by actually healing damaged tissue, not just masking pain as NSAIDs do!
CBD For: Better Sleep
Now that you understand what is CBD and how CBD’s interaction with your brain’s CB1 receptors and your body’s CB2 receptors can relieve stress, anxiety, and chronic/inflammatory pain, you’re ready to learn how CBD can help with sleep!
Earlier we discussed the job of the endocannabinoid system on your sympathetic nervous system and the fight-or-flight response this system generates. We also discussed how your ECS is responsible for your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle).
Your central nervous system (CNS), as a whole, is always responsible for keeping you alert and alive, but sometimes it doesn’t do a good job of recognizing safety. Before falling asleep, your CNS has to decide that your surroundings are safe, or else your brain remains alert for potential threats while you sleep. In the wild, this is a very useful tool – but not so much in a comfy bed.
CBD is able to relax your CNS and send signals to your brain saying that you are safe. Remember when we talked about what is CBD? CBD is a messenger molecule – it sends information to your brain. Some of that information is simply telling your brain “you are safe” and allowing your brain to fully accept that safety as you sleep. When your brain believes you’re safe, you are capable of achieving crucial deep sleep and REM sleep, which means you’ll wake up feeling rested and full of energy!