Tens of thousands of people use hemp and cannabis products for healing and therapeutic purposes. From tinctures and balms to edibles, topicals, oils, and more, cannabinoids such as CBDa (cannabidiolic acid), CBD (cannabidiol), and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are being used by individuals everywhere to promote health and well-being and bring relief from discomfort and symptoms of illness.
But why are hemp products so beneficial for your health? Why was hemp the chosen healing herb of our ancestors? The answer lies in the complex relationship between cannabinoids and the human body.
Cannabinoids are hemp compounds that your body instinctively absorbs and uses. It's no coincidence that cannabinoids are so powerful for health — your body already has a built-in system for recognizing and utilizing cannabinoids to promote optimal health and well-being.
The interconnectedness of hemp to human health is complex and multifaceted, but the science is clear — your body has a natural affinity for hemp compounds like cannabinoids.
Continue reading as we explore the power and potential of cannabinoids and how hemp oil can benefit your health.
What are endocannabinoids?
Humans and, as far as scientists understand, all animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and even invertebrates like sea urchins and mussels, produce their own endocannabinoids.
These endocannabinoids have nothing to do with cannabis or hemp product use. Rather, they are the body's natural way of regulating various physiological functions, including appetite, energy balance, pain sensation, mood, and memory.
The most studied endocannabinoids are anandamide (AEA) — also known as the bliss molecule — and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG). They act as neurotransmitters, sending signals between cells throughout the body, affecting health and mental wellness in numerous ways.
Endocannabinoids are part of your body's endocannabinoid system (ECS).
What is the ECS?
The ECS is a complex and vital physiological system that helps the body to maintain homeostasis or balance. Perhaps you've never given it a second thought, but your body is in a state of constant flux as it adjusts to the environment, diet, and stressors — both mental and physical. The ECS supports your body, allowing for optimal function by acting as a finely tuned internal regulator.
There are three major components of the ECS:
- Endocannabinoids that convey signals
- Cannabinoid receptors that receive information
- Enzymes that break down endocannabinoids once they've done their job
There are two primary cannabinoid receptors — CB1 and CB2. You'll mainly find CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 is mostly found in the periphery, especially within the immune system.
When something upsets the perfect balance of your body or mind, the ECS helps restore equilibrium by releasing endocannabinoids which then bind to the receptors and exert an effect.
For example, if you're feeling anxious, the ECS jumps into action and releases soothing anandamide to reduce stress and help you feel calmer.
Ultimately, the ECS plays a large role in maintaining physical and mental health.
How can cannabinoids from hemp oil support health?
Life is tough on your body! You're continuously bombarded with stressors from the environment, food sources, and lifestyle choices. If your ECS cannot keep up with the demand — or if it becomes damaged due to illness, poor nutrition, or environmental toxins — it can't function properly, leaving you vulnerable to physical and mental health complications.
A shortage of cannabinoids can leave your system unbalanced and unable to respond to stressors efficiently. But what if you could supplement your ECS with an external source of cannabinoids? That's where hemp oil comes in.
The hemp plant contains numerous non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids or plant-derived cannabinoids. Think of cannabinoids from hemp oil as providing an extra layer of support, nourishing the ECS and enabling it to perform its role more efficiently.
Cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and its parent compound, cannabidiolic acid (CBDa), are being studied for their many potential health benefits. Research supports CBD as valuable for those with pain, inflammation, anxiety, and sleep issues. Although CBD is far more studied than CBDa, researchers are finally recognizing this powerful phytocannabinoid's potential.
CBDa has numerous therapeutic effects similar to CBD, but it's even more effective in some cases. For example, CBDa is 1,000 times more powerful than CBD in reducing nausea and in binding to serotonin receptors — which is important for those with depression and anxiety.
So, if you crave balance and relief from symptoms, hemp oil could be the answer you've been looking for. Bathing your ECS with precious hemp cannabinoids can help support your body's amazing balancing act so it's ready to face whatever life throws in its path.