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Everything You Need To Know about CBD

Arguably the must-have wellness ingredient of 2019, the talk around CBD is only going to gain momentum. If trends in Canada and America are anything to go by, it will soon be in your beauty products, your coffee and even in your lube.

I interview Georgia Branch, co-founder of CBD and hemp brand Hemple, to get the low-down.

What is CBD and where does it come from?

CBD or cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating active compound from the cannabis plant. Specifically, it's one of around 140 cannabinoids (a type of active compound) found in the flower of the female cannabis sativa plant. It won't get you high but it does have a huge number of scientifically-backed health benefits. 

How does CBD work?

Our body has an endocannabinoid system. It's a master signalling system that helps to keep the body in balance. CBD is a phytocannabinoid - a cannabinoid that comes from a plant. Our body actually makes its own cannabinoids - endocannabinoids, which lock directly into receptors in the endocannabinoid system. CBD actually has around 65 different functions in the body, but it doesn't lock directly into endocannabinoid receptors in the same way our endocannabinoids do. The latest research shows that taking CBD allows for the body's naturally occurring endocannabinoids to flow more freely and do their job better, meaning we feel pain and inflammation reduce, our moods balance and that's just the beginning. 

How can CBD benefit our health and wellbeing?

People are using CBD for a tonne of different conditions, ranging from psoriasis and depression to IBS, nausea, and even Parkinson’s disease - and reporting amazing success. However the most common reasons people use CBD are to help manage pain, inflammation, insomnia and anxiety.

Can we raise our internal production of CBD or the body’s equivalent? If so, how?

There are lots of ways you can increase your body's production of endocannabinoids. But why do you want to?  Having healthy levels of endocannabinoids provides benefits like less stress and anxiety, better focus and concentration, less impulsivity and hyperactivity, reduced inflammation, better sleep and an increased rate of new brain cell growth.  
Here are my 3 favourite ways to stimulate the endocannabinoid system without cannabis:1. Cold exposure: turning the taps to cold for the last 60 seconds of your shower can stimulate endocannabinoid production - it might be uncomfortable, but it's worth it! Cold exposure can also boost the immune system and support fat loss.2. Having sex (or doing any other medium intensity exercise you enjoy): the eurphoric "runners high" feeling has now been shown to be a result of the body producing anandamide, an endocannabinoid, rather than releasing endorphins.
3. Eating dark chocolate - yes you read that right! Dark chocolate made from raw cacao (as opposed to cocoa) is a great dietary source of anandamide.

Want more? Here's 15 ways to stimulate your endocannabinoid system naturally

What are the ways we can take CBD?

Wow, where to start. There's everything from edibles, mints, tinctures, vapes, pre-rolls, beverages, skincare, topical muscle and joint rubs, powders and even patches. 
Vapes, nano tinctures (like the ones we make) and smoking CBD are the fastest ways to deliver CBD directly to the cell, so most people find these the most effective to quickly reduce stress and anxiety. As a daily wellness supplement, I like a nano tincture as it's water soluble and doesn't cause any irritation of the respiratory system. 

Whichever way you decide to use CBD, my advice is to look for a company that uses organic hemp and provides third-party lab testing for every batch on their website. Here are is the only way to know you're getting a clean, pesticide and heavy metal free product; AND that the CBD content declared on the packet is actually what's inside the bottle. 

Any long term side effects?

Feeling great.
There are very few reports of side effects by people using CBD in clinical trials. The World Health Organisation in 2018 found CBD to have no public health risks or abuse potential.

READ NEXT: Cannais wihout the high: why CBD is the new true superfood.

Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, is studying a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and is the author of two cookbooks: Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017) and Meal Prep Plan (Murdoch, 2019).

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