We asked our health and wellness trend-spotters and followers to share what they thought would be the hottest trends in food, beauty, and movement in the coming year. And for anyone keeping an eye on rising stars, it is no surprise that CBD was the clear winner as the ingredient to watch both in snacks and beauty alike. So what’s all the buss about? We take a dive into CBD to ease the nerves and expand the mind of those interested in the plant compound.
For a generation with overwhelming knowledge about health and wellness, we spend the majority of our time on phones and at desks. Between commuting, long work hours, well-rounded meals, daily exercise, and proper attention to loved ones, a balanced day requires effort. It’s no wonder rest takes a backseat. While “elevated cortisol” and “adrenal fatigue” have become common terms in your social circle. While there is a sweeping rise in anxiousness, more people are seeking natural remedies for stress reduction. Some examples are yoga, meditation, exercise, and CBD – the new socially acceptable medicinal “drug.”
Since medicinal and recreational marijuana has become legal in may states, Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has taken over. You can eat it in the form of gummies, chocolates, or cookies. There are vape pens and tinctures. You can relax with bath bombs and body lotions. Calm your pet with flavored treats. Drops have even found a home in craft cocktails. So, what gives? Is this just another health trend or is it here to stay? First, let’s talk about what CBD is and isn’t.
The cannabis sativa plant, or marijuana, produces over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. We’re most familiar with Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid that causes the feeling of being “high” once smoked or ingested. CBD, however, is a cannabinoid that reacts differently with the body’s receptors. Most notably, it does not give you that “stoned” feeling – at all. The smell and taste are unmistakable to cannabis, but the effects of CBD are slow and subtle. This distinct reaction is noticeable, but skims right over that “wow” (or “whoa”) factor.
Our bodies contain a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates our sleep, appetite, nervous system, and immune system. We produce endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to our cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. When a person smokes or eats THC, it directly plugs in and attaches to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. This overwhelms the endocannabinoid system and can cause effects such as slower reaction time, memory loss, or anxiousness. CBD, on the other hand, works indirectly to increase the levels of your endocannabinoids, which interacts with your cannabinoid receptors.
While you may not be glued to the couch pondering questions of the universe, CBD boasts a wide range of health benefits. Some use CBD to find relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety and depression, seizures, acne, and spasms. Let’s break it down.
Since CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system and other systems that signal the brain, it has the potential to provide benefits for those with neurological disorders. The most extensive research on CBD has been done to discover a treatment for pediatric epilepsy. Earlier this year, the FDA approved Epidiolex, the first drug containing CBD, to treat severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older. During clinical trials of Epidiolex, it shows to be effective in decreasing the frequency of seizures.
Other studies of CBD treatment have shown an improvement in the quality of life and sleep for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. In addition, animal and test-tube studies have discovered that CBD may reduce inflammation and help prevent neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
While treatment for seizures has been the primary proven research, CBD testing on animals has shown positive results. Preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD, administered acutely. CBD can be used as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder just to name a few. However, there are few studies that have explored the use of persistent CBD dosing. Studies on mice have also shown potential antidepressant effects, which could help for treatment of depression. Also, there are clinical studies that suggest CBD could help treat PTSD by preventing the effects of stress on emotional function and memory processes and may decrease symptoms such as poor sleep quality, the frequency of nightmares, and the fight-or-flight response.
Up there with stress-relief, many people commonly use CBD for the treatment of pain. Research has found that CBD increases a molecule called anandamide, which decreases pain and inflammation and increases neurons that control mood and anxiety. Whether you eat it or rub it on your skin, CBD has many benefits. It has eased pain for people experiencing everything from muscle aches, arthritis, and nerve pain to migraines and menstrual cramps.
The endocannabinoid system is involved in various functions that regulate health and diseases. When it comes to the skin, a disruption of balance could cause concerns such as acne, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, and more. Since CBD works with the endocannabinoid system and is known for its anti-inflammatory effects, it has the potential to treat skin conditions caused by inflammation or overproduction of sebum. So hey, might be time to add CBD to your makeup bag as well!
While the possibilities are endless when it comes to using CBD, it’s worth mentioning that not all cannabidiol is created equal. Because this wellness craze is new to the market, there have been few studies on results and little regulation on products – which can cost a pretty penny! Before going all in on beauty products or edible treats, be sure research what best suits your lifestyle and personal needs.