CBD topicals and your ECS sounds sort of vague, right? It’s definition time. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a component of cannabis, or for this blog, hemp. ECS, or endocannabinoid system, is standard equipment on all human beings.
To understand the correlation between CBD topicals and your ECS, we need to explore the nature of each a bit more.
CBD topicals and you
CBD topicals are just that, topical creams, lotions, salves and balms. Physicians have used CBD medicinally for ages, going back as far as the 8th century. These topicals are nonpsychoactive – you won’t get high – and have almost no side effects.
Full-spectrum CBD is best, meaning it contains all the cannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp plant. In addition, it contains many essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, proteins, chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids and terpenes. FSHO contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most abundant is CBD, which makes up 90% of this full-spectrum oil. Other cannabinoids contained in hemp oil are CBD, CBG, CBN and trace levels of THC (under .2%).
Extracted FSHO also contains vitamins A, C and E, as well as B complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. In addition, it’s a source of vitamins not sufficiently present in many diets including beta-carotene. As stated above, this FSHO includes numerous minerals, fatty acids, proteins and a host of other components, which further enhance the healthful benefits of this unique oil.
ECS and you
Now that you have a general idea of what CBD is, let’s talk about your endocannabinoid system, or ECS. I’ve already mentioned that everyone has an ECS. It’s our bodies’ balance keeper. With the help of CB receptors, the ECS regulates pain, inflammation, appetite and other body functions.
Two receptors, CB-1 and CB-2, travel the body and endocannabinoids bind to them. There are many enzymes in the body, but two in particular break down cannabinoids. They are arachidonylethanolamine (AEA), nicknamed anandamide from the Sanskrit word for bliss, and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG).
CB-1 is found mostly in the nervous system and brain. CB-2 is found outside the brain and tends to monitor and regulate the immune system. Both are found throughout the skin. Once enzymes break down cannabinoids, the resulting endocannabinoids search for receptors to bind to.
When the ECS is functioning optimally, you’ll have a general sense of well-being and good health. Our bodies create endocannabinoids to stimulate the receptors. When the balance is off, the receptors can’t do their jobs and illness or imbalance can occur. The good news is that you can help kick-start the system by ingesting or applying CBD.
CBD topicals and your ECS
Here we are, full circle. Now you can see how your ECS works and possibly responds to imbalance. CBD topicals, have a great deal of bioavailability, which means we absorb it easily. Used topically, the CBD also doesn’t go through the blood stream, so you feel the effects faster.
When an imbalance occurs in the ECS, it’s usually because of overproduction of an enzyme or protein, or an overexpression of receptors. So, when the ECS doesn’t function properly, your body can’t efficiently regulate its emotions, appetite, memory and all the other things the ECS monitors. Introducing CBD helps increase the amount of endocannabinoids in your system by altering the way the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme works.
FAAH removes excess andanamide, an enzyme that breaks down cannabinoids, by dissolving it. CBD stops FAAH from breaking down the andanamide, leaving more endocannabinoids in your body. More endocannbinoids means your body is able to deal with pain, depression and other conditions.
Why use CBD topicals?
Pain is the common reason that people seek out CBD topicals. CBD is an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibiotic to name a few. Most pain is caused by inflammation and CBD helps cool the heat and ease the pain while it does so. It’s benefits, however, are many when you know what to look for.
CBD, combined with essential and carrier oils, creates chemical-free topicals that nourish and protect skin, muscles, nerves and tissue. Used as medicine, topicals can reduce pain; relax muscles; relieve spasms; reduce inflammation; and relieve headaches and migraines, eczema, psoriasis and burns among other things. CBD is permeable, so it can zero in on a specific area penetrating quickly to help heal wounds or relieve pain, neuropathy, itching, burning – again, a long list. In addition, its moisturizing properties are unparalleled for use in beauty and cosmetic skin products.
So, now you see how CBD topicals and your ECS can be great partners in your health.