The Endocannabinoid System Explained

December 27th, 2021 by Brandy Palmer

Here at Green Wellness, we talk about all things hemp, and the endocannabinoid system has been part of that, but our primary focus has always been CBD. CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids, or compounds, found in cannabis – both hemp and marijuana. It’s the second most prevalent compound (behind THC) in cannabis and is quickly on its way to becoming the most well-studied. In order to really understand it, though, we need to take a step back to how these compounds work in our body – in something called the endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System Explained

The Endocannabinoid System or “ECS,” is a biological system possessed by all mammals that regulates a range of functions in our bodies, including:

  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Appetite & Digestion
  • Memory
  • Reproduction and Fertility
  • Pain & Inflammation
  • Muscle Formation

This system exists and is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis. It’s goal is to promote homeostasis (balance) at ever level of biological life. The ECS is made up of cannabinoids, or compounds, and receptors for them to act upon. The function of cannabinoids in your body (regardless of whether they are naturally produced by your body or from a plant – which we will talk more about later) is to act as receptors for cells. These receptors act as conduits for messages from the brain to the cells. They are the “bridge” that enables your body to operate as it should.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis is the ability of the body or a cell to seek and maintain a condition of balance as it deals with external changes. We know that the world we are in is always throwing changes at us, and our body is always working to stay in balance and perform, using the endocannabinoid system as that primary tool. For example, if an outside force, such as pain from an injury, throws off that homeostasis, your ECS will kick in to get you back in balance.

How Does the Endocannabinoid System Work?

Cannabinoids – Endocannabinoids & Phytocannabinoids

It feels appropriate to add an “oh my” to that phrase. It’s not quite so complicated as the vocabulary words make it seem. The cannabinoids, or compounds that work in your body’s ECS to keep it balanced can come from one of two places. We’ve written a whole blog about it, but here’s the quick version:

  • Phytocannabinoids
    • The prefix “phyto” simply means that the cannabinoids are derived from a plant source (such as the hemp plant). Most people drop the “phyto,” and simply refer to these compounds as cannabinoids.
  • Endocannabinoids
    • The human body also produces its own cannabinoids, known as endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids. The prefix “endo” means within, which indicates that these cannabinoids originate within the body.

The difference between phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids is where they are produced. Phytocannabinoids are produced by plants, while endocannabinoids are produced by mammals (including dogs and cats). Both types of cannabinoids allow the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to function.

The hemp plant produces over 100 different cannabinoids (or phytocannabinoids); the human body (as well as other mammals) also naturally produces cannabinoids (or endocannabinoids). This means that your body already produces and uses cannabinoids very similar to CBD for many of its functions, such as regulating mood, appetite, pain-sensation, and memory.

Endocannabinoid Receptors

The ECS is composed of two primary endocannabinoid receptors:

  • CB1 (found predominantly in the brain, nervous system, and outlying organs and tissues)
  • CB2 (found predominantly in white blood cells, tonsils and spleen)

Scientists and researchers have determined that these two primary endocannabinoid receptors in the body, known as CB1 and CB2. Others do of course exist, they are just less researched and less understood. This is still pretty young science. Cannabinoids can bind to either receptor in an effort to get those cells back to homeostasis. The results of that effect depend on where the receptor is located. As an example, cannabinoids could target CB2 receptors in your immune cells to signal and try to reduce inflammation, a common indicator of autoimmune disorders.

What Bodily Systems are Impacted by the ECS?

Dr Sanjay Gupta, an American Neuro-Surgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent changed his stance on the provision of cannabis while investigating its powerful therapeutic properties and witnessing CBD successfully treat Americans for his documentaries, Weed and Weed 2. He shocked mainstream America saying “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my role in that.” Through Dr. Gupta’s review of the history of the cannabis he found that it has been a legitimate medicine for at least 3000 years.

cbd bodily

That makes alot of sense when we realize that our body is creating the very compounds that make plant based cannabinoids so effective. We have naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors all over our body that interact with CBD. They take in the CBD and use it to neutralize any processes that are misaligned. These receptors exist because our body is already making its own cannabinoids. The receptors and cannabinoids make up our Endocannabinoid system. Our Endocannabinoid system is always in action and is a major factor in keeping our bodies in a balanced, neutral state. Neutral is different in our heads, hands, digestive systems, etc, which is why people may include CBD in the vitamin regimen to support different needs.

As such, that impact can be to our full systems.

THC and the Endocannabinoid System

Besides THC and CBD, there are now more than 100 known cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana plants. THC interacts with the ECS by binding to receptors, just like the endocannabinoids that our bodies produce. That allows it to have a range of effects on your body and mind, depending on which receptors it’s binding to. There are some definite benefits that have been found with THC – like pain reduction and appetite stimulation. But there can be negative effects from that interaction as well, such as paranoia or anxiety.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

Unlike THC, CBD is not intoxicating. It does not bind to receptors in the same straightforward manner that THC does, but instead serves as a protectant for other cannabinoids. It also affects the CB1 and CB2 signaling, which is why CBD can actually diminish the effect of THC. Additionally, CBD inhibits an enzyme, FAAH, from breaking down anandamide, which is a fatty acid transmitter that will keep more endocannabinoids intact in the body. It’s a complex process and we are definitely learning more every day.

Endocannabinoid Deficiencies

Think of your body like a small town with bunches of telephone lines or electric lines spreading out across the area. Those electric poles & wires are like your neurons and help to spread information or “power.” What the cannabinoids do in this system are to act like a lineman (someone who works on power lines and phone lines), cleaning up and maintaining the system. While they aren’t needed for the lines to operate, they make sure that it works smoothly.

When there is a deficiency of cannabinoids in the body, the system is essentially lacking what it needs to operate smoothly. There are simply too few linemen. And what happens to all of the electric wires? They don’t function as they should. In the same way, when your neurons lack enough cannabinoids, it can cause problems.

According to Dr. Ethan Russo, who conducted a study on the relationship between cannabinoid levels in the body and ailments, “migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.” Not just Russo’s study found this link. Another study, conducted around ten years after Russo’s, found that “underlying endocannabinoid deficiencies indeed play a role in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and a growing list of other medical conditions. Clinical experience is bearing this out.”

Many doctors now think some people suffer from an endocannabinoid imbalance known as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency or CED.

How Does it Happen?

Due to the lack of research on the topic, it is difficult to say. One explanation is that the body doesn’t produce enough cannabinoids on its own to supply its own needs. Normally it does, but, for whatever reason, some people may find that they do not have enough ECBD to satisfy their bodies’ needs. Since it is not stored in the body, but rather made upon demand when it is needed in the neurons, additional cannabinoids are needed from a different source when there is a shortage.

Summary

As this research is fairly new (the receptors of the endocannabinoids system were only definitively proven to exist in the human body at the end of the 1980s), there are a lot of questions about the conclusions that some research has drawn. While there is a correlation between various physical ailments and a shortage of endocannabinoids in the body, there have only been a few studies to look at this relationship.

As it currently stands, the research in no way claims that these problems can be cured with CBD or other plant based phytocannabinoids. Logically, it seems that CBD should help, but this is not concrete. We’re excited to see this new science progress with growing awareness about CBD and other phytocannabinoids. As always, there is plenty more room for additional research, and we at Green Wellness will try to keep you informed.

Want to learn more? check out our CBD Buyer’s Guide page or sign up for our newsletters!


CBD 101 A Beginner’s Guide To CBD

November 12th, 2021 by Brandy Palmer

 

Cannabinoids, or compounds found in hemp and marijuana plants, are definitely a popular topic these days.  So what’s all the fuss about? What are these compounds and how do they work? How do I take them and how much do I take? And most importantly, what will it help me with? 

Whew, that’s a lot of questions. Let’s start with our bodies and the system that these compounds interact with. It is often assumed that the benefits derived from CBD and other cannabinoids are a result of introducing some substance not already found in the body to your system. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Let’s talk it through. 

What is CBD?

Before diving into how cannabinoids interact with the body, it’s first important to have an understanding of what CBD is. CBD is a natural essential oil that is rich in nutrients and one of over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Scientists are still researching cannabinoids and there may be more we haven’t yet identified. 

CBD can be found in all of the different types of cannabis plants, but it is more prominent in hemp plants where it makes up about 40% of the cannabinoids extracted from the plant. CBD is not psychoactive like THC, so it will not produce any kind of high. 

What is the ECS…Endocannabinoid System?

The Endocannabinoid System or “ECS,” is a system that provides the body with many similar cannabinoids to those of hemp oil. Cannabinoids are complex chemical compounds that act on receptors in cells. The hemp plant produces over 100 different cannabinoids (or phytocannabinoids); the human body (as well as other mammals) also naturally produces cannabinoids (or endocannabinoids). This means that your body already uses cannabinoids for many of its functions, such as regulating mood, appetite, pain-sensation, and memory. These cannabinoids promote homeostasis (balance) at every level of biological life. 

What do Cannabinoids do?

The function of cannabinoids in your body (regardless of whether they are naturally produced by your body or from a plant) is to act as receptors for cells. What these receptors do is act as conduits for messages from the brain to the cells. They are the “bridge” that enables your body to operate as it should. Because of this, they are essential for a healthy body, which includes memory, appetite, and mood.

While your body uses the endocannabinoids produced internally, it also reacts to phytocannabinoids from sources like cannabis and hemp. This is where CBD and other plant-based cannabinoid oils come in.

Endocannabinoid Receptors CB1 and CB2

The ECS is composed of two primary endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 (found predominantly in the brain, nervous system, and outlying organs and tissues) and CB2 (found predominantly in white blood cells, tonsils and spleen). Although CBD has low affinity for either of these receptors, it does interact with other nominal receptors with remarkable effects. For example, CBD activates the receptor GPR55, which has been shown to assist in treating pain and inflammation. CBD has also been shown as a partial agonist (which is a term referring to something that attaches to a cell receptor and causes an action to occur in that cell) to the 5-HT1A receptor, which may lead to cannabidiol’s anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and neuro-protective effects.

Why take daily CBD?

Because the ECS is involved in the body’s communication with its cells and their functions (including repairs), cannabinoids are crucial for the body’s constant repair of cells and their functions – maintaining that balance. When more cannabinoids are introduced to this delicate system, they can stimulate the cells into functioning as the brain directs them to, and can facilitate healing where the body’s own ECS has failed. In this, it is clear that when the ECS is failing to do its job, phytocannabinoids from CBD oils can “pick up the slack” and act as receptors for cells that were malfunctioning due to a lack of endocannabinoids. This makes CBD crucial for maintaining (or, in many cases, restoring) a healthy balance of receptors in the body.

Isolate, Full Spectrum or Raw?

Finding the right CBD for your needs and body can be confusing. We answer customer questions all day long and we have found that there is no one size fits all. Each individual is different. So let’s take a look at the different forms of CBD: What is the difference between them? Who would use which version, and why?

Is CBD all that I want from the plant?

First of all, it’s important to understand that cannabidiol (CBD) is only one of the major compounds that are present in the cannabis plant – both hemp and marijuana. It happens to be one of the most studied compounds by scientists because of its powerful potential and the fact that it occurs in greater quantities in the plant than some of the other more than 80+ compounds. As evidence of its interest to scientists and researchers, CBD has been used in multiple pharmaceutical solutions. One of the most recent to be approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug used to treat childhood epilepsy.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil: A Rainbow of Compounds

Despite its fame, CBD is not the only major compound found in cannabis sativa. There are a range of other compounds that make up the plant. When we are talking about all of those compounds together, we use the term “full spectrum.” This is just another way to say “whole plant”. A full spectrum CBD oil means that manufacturers use the whole plant and all the cannabinoids that are naturally occurring as active ingredients in your product. 

Full-spectrum is unique in that it can introduce the user to the possible positive effects of the other components of cannabis working together, often referred to as the “entourage effect”. Though there are many different cannabinoids in the plant, here are a few of the better-known ones included in full spectrum products.

  • THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – Full-spectrum CBD from the hemp plant does include trace amounts of THC, which is well-known as the psychoactive element of cannabis – or the part that makes you high. That THC level can’t be more a .3% concentration when coming from a hemp plant, so it has no psychoactive effect. There is technology that is isolating the THC out of some full spectrum products making it what is now being referred to as a “broad spectrum.” This means that it started as a full spectrum (whole plant) product, but the THC was isolated and removed. These products will usually specify 0 THC.
  •  CBN (Cannabinol) – This component of cannabis does not occur in as great a quantity, so we don’t know quite enough about it yet. What science is finding is exciting, though. Some early studies are showing that there may be real benefits for people struggling with sleep issues.
  • CBG (Cannabigerol) – Interestingly, CBG has been shown to stimulate growth of new brain cells and bone growth. These unusual properties make it a fascinating compound for researchers to study.
  • THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) – THCV has a similar molecular structure to THC and is also psychoactive. Research is finding that it’s very similar to CBD as well, in working to balance and neutralize cells.

All of these compounds, and many more, interact in a full-spectrum product. Who would this form of CBD work for? A full-spectrum CBD oil would work great for someone who wants to work with all the elements of the cannabis plant for a holistic approach. It would be very useful for those who are interested in other compounds, like CBG and THCV, and their effects. We have often seen excellent results for people living with inflammatory pain. 

It’s important to keep in mind that unless clearly stated to be a 0% THC product, full spectrum products will likely contain a trace amount of THC. That legal limit, if coming from hemp, is 0.3%.  While it’s not likely that quantity would cause you to fail a THC drug test, it is possible. 

CBD Isolate

In a product made with a CBD Isolate, only one cannabis compound is present – CBD. It’s been individually extracted from the plant without any of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, or plant matter. Some might say that the isolate is missing some of the other compounds that make full-spectrum oil special. While this is true to an extent, there are plenty of reasons why someone might want just the CBD oil.

For one, maybe they’re only interested in specific CBD oil impact. If a customer has discovered that CBD works best alone to treat their particular disorder or ease their symptoms, then they would definitely want to stick with what works. Other people might feel uncomfortable with even trace amounts of THC. In this case, an isolate CBD is a perfect solution. 

Others may actually be allergic or have had bad reactions to other cannabinoids or plant matter. In this case, a CBD isolate would be the best choice.  Additionally, we have seen excellent results with isolate CBD for people looking for help with mood stabilization.  The other cannabinoids and plant matter aren’t usually as necessary to see a benefit there. 

Raw CBDA-CBD

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is a chemical compound found in the resin glands (trichomes) of raw cannabis plants.” In this case, raw means unheated and uncured. Many of the conditions that respond with CBD also respond well to CBDA. There is a growing body of information that is talking about the benefits of raw or CBDA having a greater effect on people living with chronic pain. There is also a patent pending by GW Pharmaceuticals using CBDA in conjunction with CBD for anxiety and psychotic disorders.

Product Options

Now that you understand the way that the ECS works and the different processing types of products that come from cannabis plants, let’s talk about products. In short, CBD and it’s fellow compounds can come in pretty much any package type that you’re interested in – from chocolate to bath bombs to hemp flower. 

Pricing will vary but will be based on total milligrams of active ingredients per container.  When you see a 300mg lotion, that means that there are 300mg of cannabinoids in that whole bottle – not in each amount that you put on your skin.  You’ll see the same thing on a tincture, bottle of gummies, etc.  Those package sizes can vary as well.  Some are much more concentrated than others, so you may have the same amount of cannabinoids (your active ingredient) and a similar price point in a tiny 10ml bottle and a large 2oz bottle.  When you’re product shopping, you will want to look at that total strength per package as well as how much you’re going to take every day. 

We break it down into three main product categories – let’s talk them through: 

1) Topicals

These cover anything that you’re applying to your skin.  

  • Benefits in 15-30 minutes.  
  • The downside is that it won’t last as long – usually 4-6 hours.  
  • Topicals are a great fit when you’re dealing with a skin issue or are looking for inflammation relief at that site.  
  • Topicals won’t generally get into your bloodstream (with the exception of some CBD patch molecules that are small enough to do so).  
  • Intended to provide relief to the muscle, joint, and skin tissue.  
  • You can definitely use a topical along with a booster and a daily supplement. 
  • Use them where it hurts – when it hurts. Consistency isn’t key here.  

2) Boosters

Boosters avoid the digestive system to get to work quickly. 

  • Benefits in 15-30 minutes.
  • Like a topical, they get to work and then dissipate within 4-6 hours.  
  • Absorbed through your cheek or taken in through your lungs.  
  • The intent is to provide a bit of extra CBD on a day when you need it.
  • Use them as needed – consistency isn’t critical.  
  • As they are quick to leave your system, we wouldn’t recommend a booster as your only source of CBD and other cannabinoids. 

3) Daily Supplements

If you’re only going to take one type of cannabinoid, we would ask that you make it a daily supplement.  You’ll ingest these – and they come in all kinds of forms: 

Raw Oil

This is the plant extract in its most natural form – it’s likely been filtered 1 or more times and will taste grassy and earthy. Your serving size will be measured in paste quantity. We use the term “grains of rice.” Raw Oils will always be Full Spectrum. 

  • Pros: No additives, Flexible Serving Size
  • Cons: Difficult to Measure/Take, Earthy Flavor

Tincture

This is a liquid that you place under your tongue. It starts with the raw oil, but has a carrier oil and possibly flavoring added to it. Serving size will be measured in drops or dropperfulls. Tinctures can be Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or Isolated CBD. 

  • Pros: Flexible Serving Size, Added Flavoring, Quick Sublingual Absorption 
  • Cons: Can be Difficult to keep Serving Size Consistent

Capsules/Softgels

Capsules and Softgels are encapsulated tincture.  Serving size will be measured in capsules. 

  • Pros: Consistent Serving Size
  • Cons: Lack of Flexibility in Serving Size

Edibles (Gummies, Candies or Chocolate)

These options take a raw oil or an isolated CBD powder and add it into a gummy, candy or chocolate recipe. Raw Oils taste earthy, so full spectrum edibles are harder to come by than more filtered options. Serving size would be measured per piece. 

  • Pros: Easy to take
  • Cons: Lack of Flexibility in Serving Size, Priciest Option

How Much Do I Take?

Our goal is always to see the best possible results with a minimal amount of stuff in your system.  We talk in terms of serving size rather than “dose” because CBD is considered a food supplement – not a drug. In our experience, most people see benefit between 15-50mg daily.  We do have customers that do well with 5mg daily, and others who need 100mg, but 15-50mg taken consistently is the standard. 

We know that when you’re hurting, it’s always tempting to take a high serving to feel better.  We encourage you to step away from that and start small.  Some people do very well with a small amount of CBD to get their body back into neutral. We all want to be that person! Start there and work up if you need to. CBD supplements are intended to work over time – not instantly.  Don’t jump your serving up on a bad day – that’s what boosters are for.  If you’re not consistent in your serving size, you may not see the benefits that you are hoping for.

Getting Started

If you’re new to CBD, here’s how we recommend getting started: 

  • Day 1-5: Start with 10-15mg daily
    • Be consistent with the time of day that you take it. Raw CBD can be energizing, so we recommend morning. 
    • Any supplements that are sleep aids should be taken 30-60 minutes before bed. 
    • We always encourage you to take CBD on a full stomach.
  • Day 6-10: If you aren’t seeing the benefits you’re looking for, double your daily serving to 20-30 mg. 
    • Stay consistent
  • Day 11+: As long as you are seeing some benefit, stay the course. 
    • You can continue to increase your serving as needed, giving your body a couple days to adjust
    • You’ve got cannabinoids in your system, so your adjustment time will be quicker
    • If you’re not sure if you are seeing benefits, stop taking it for 3-5 days. That’s enough time for you to see if there was a difference for your system. 

We love starting with a tincture (liquid) because that serving size is so flexible, but if you’re more comfortable with a gummy or a softgel, go with that! The best CBD for you is the one that you will take every day. I’ll say it again: The best CBD for you is the one that you will take every day

No One Size Fits All

Whatever your choice when it comes to CBD, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of your options, in both product type and serving size. What your body needs may change. Every system is unique. We know it’s hard to hear, but there truly is no one size fits all. At the end of the day, the best CBD for you is the one that you are most comfortable with and see the greatest benefit from. 

Sources 

 


Sore Muscles & CBD

November 3rd, 2021 by Brandy Palmer

The concept of May Day (May 1) dates way back to ancient agricultural rituals in Greece.  It’s traveled through medieval and modern Europe, to us here today – celebrating the return of Spring. Spring has definitely sprung – even here in West Michigan.  I definitely think we are all ready for the new life and growth that we’re seeing after what felt like the longest. Winter. Ever. At least since last year. 

What else comes with all this new life and growth? Our desire to get out into it!  We are definitely spending more time outdoors, both working and playing! We’re prepping gardens, cleaning up yards, playing spring sports.  You name it, we’re doing it.  If you’re anything like me, you hibernate a bit in the winter.  I’m moving my body less and camping on the couch more.  So when that Spring activity level kicks into gear, it’s a big change! Sometimes, it’s a big, painful change when those muscles and joints start getting stressed.  Luckily, I have CBD to help – and I’m hoping you do, too!

Why does CBD help with muscle recovery?

We’ve talked a great deal about the endocannabinoid system (ECS) over our blog history. The ECS works to promote balance in our bodies – keeping everything in neutral. It’s made up of a system of CB1 & CB2 receptors that cannabinoids can bind to. 

endocannabinoid system

CB1 receptors – found primarily in our central nervous system

CB2 receptors – found in peripheries like skin

Cannabinoids can bind to either receptor. The neutralizing effect that they have depends on where that receptor is located. So, if it’s a CB1 receptor in the brain, the result may be a reduction in anxiety. If it’s a CB2 receptor in a joint, neutralizing will mean pain and inflammation relief.  

Should I use CBD on the outside or inside?

Both! They even work really well together. 

  • Outside – Cannabinoids and our skin are primarily made up of lipids, so one melts quite nicely into the other. That allows you to get that anti-inflammatory right to the source of your pain. CBD applied to your skin gets to work quickly (within 15-30 minutes), and will last about 4-6 hours.  Lotions and balms don’t get all the way into your bloodstream – they stay local, working their neutralizing magic on those muscles and joints. 
  • Inside – Anything that you take in orally will get into your bloodstream and travel to those hard to reach receptors, resulting in internal benefits. Those capsules, liquids, gummies, etc will take more time to get to work for you (60-90 minutes) but they will bind and keep working for you for at least a full 24 hours.  

Do I have to take it all the time?

Yes, and no.  

  • In order for you to see the best results from an internal CBD, consistency is key.  You want to build up a reservoir that your ECS can keep tapping into.  When we’re talking about sore muscles and joints, CBD can really be taken “as needed.” It gets right to the source of the soreness quickly and easily – and doesn’t need to be taken every day.  You’ll just want to reach for it after a long day in your yard spreading that mulch or pulling those weeds. 

We’re not the only ones coming out of hibernation in the spring – the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees are, too! (Isn’t that a song?) That means a return to bug bites and allergies.  Good times! Luckily, CBD can help there, too. Those same salves that can sink in and soothe sore muscles can offer a break for irritated skin. Anytime that you are looking for a skin soother, pay close attention to those ingredients.  You want to keep the list limited and it’s generally a good idea to avoid things you can’t pronounce! Stick to natural options.  The last thing we want to happen is to irritate the skin more when we’re trying to soothe it.  Make sure that you have a great natural bug spray in your arsenal as well.  You’ll need it for your celebration of spring. Happy May Day! 

Do you have any great tips for soothing tired muscles or angry skin? We’d love to hear them and we’re always here to help! You can find us on social media, live chat, by email at support@greenwellnesslife.com or by phone at 616-275-1039 (toll free 888-772-7875)  Stay well!


CBD for Cramps

September 4th, 2021 by Brandy Palmer

CBD For Cramps

As anyone who menstruates can tell you, periods aren’t fun. Physical symptoms of menstruation can include tender breasts, bloating, muscle aches and joint pain, headaches, acne, and cramping. We’re regularly asked the question “Can I try CBD for cramps?”  It’s a great question – let’s chat about it.

For 10% of people who menstruate, cramps can be particularly debilitating. They can be so bad that a person can’t get out of bed or go about their daily lives. The most common ways to treat these cramps include taking an anti-inflammatory medication, going on birth control, and using hot water bottles or heating pads to alleviate pain and inflammation.

However, there may be a better option. While additional research is needed, CBD may be helpful for reducing the pain, inflammation and other symptoms associated with menstrual cramps. Below, we outline the emerging science on the issue — and offer purchasing tips if you decide to try CBD.

What Research Says about CBD and Cramps

Menstrual cramps — or dysmenorrhea — involve period pain in the lower abdomen, typically occurring just before and during a menstrual period. The severity of these cramps can vary significantly, with some people in so much pain that they cannot continue their normal activities.

Beyond typical period pain, cramps may be caused by conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and cervical stenosis. All of these conditions are associated with pain and inflammation in the abdomen and pelvic region.

Traditionally, menstrual cramps are treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve. A prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) may also be used. Hormonal birth control can also help to alleviate the severity of cramps for some people. Each of these treatment options carry significant side effects.

As you may already know, CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of naturally-occuring chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. These compounds are known as cannabinoids. Another well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the intoxicating component found in marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a feeling of being high or stoned. We’ve got plenty more information on CBD in our Beginners Guide.

Research on how CBD affects the human body is still in its preliminary stages. However, scientists believe that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body.

Scientific studies have found that CBD may promote health and wellness by interacting with one or more of the three components of the ECS: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. This may include relieving pain and inflammation when the ECS is triggered by painful conditions such as menstrual cramps. A recent study found that CBD may help to alleviate chronic pain and reduce inflammation by affecting ECS receptor activity.

According to a 2018 review of research performed over a 43 year period, CBD may be effective at relieving multiple types of pain. Researchers concluded that CBD can help with pain management without the negative side effects associated with traditional treatments.

A 2016 study of rats with arthritis found that CBD gel applied topically helped to reduce both pain and inflammation in affected joints. Other studies involving rats found that CBD is effective in relieving pain at surgical incision sites and chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

So Does CBD Really Provide Period Pain Relief?

The short answer is that it may. While research on this issue is still developing, CBD may also inhibit the production of prostaglandins. The cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme system is the major pathway for certain acids to be converted into prostaglandins. CBD may selectively inhibit COX-2 activity, which may affect prostaglandin production — and reduce menstrual cramping. That would mean that in addition to relieving cramps after they start, CBD may prevent them as well.

CBD may also help people who experience other symptoms with their menstrual cramps. Studies have shown that CBD can reduce nausea and vomiting. For anyone whose digestive system is affected by menstrual cramps, CBD may be helpful.

What to Look for When Buying a CBD Product for Cramps:

Since the production of hemp was legalized in the United States through the 2018 Farm Bill, the market for CBD has exploded. In many ways, this is a positive development, as it makes CBD more readily available to people throughout the country. Unfortunately, because CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, it can be hard to know what you are getting when you pick up a bottle of oil or edibles at your local pharmacy or big box store.

There are ways that you can make sure that you are buying a safe, effective product.  When shopping for CBD, look for products that have been independently tested by third party laboratories. Most reputable CBD product manufacturers will post these results on their websites, so that you know exactly what you are buying.

If you have questions about a product, how it was made, or what it contains, reach out to the store for help. A representative should be able to assist you and answer any questions about a particular product. If they can’t or won’t work with you, then you may want to shop at another retailer.

 Best CBD Products For Cramps

If this is your first exposure to CBD, you may not know where to start or which products would be best suited to help with cramps. We’ve put together recommendations below based on both our own experiences and customer testimonials.

Hemplucid Water Soluble CBD Tincture

Hemplucid Water Soluble CBD TinctureHemplucid’s CBD water soluble tincture is known for their rapid onset and potency. In a water soluble product, the cannabinoids have been broken down into very tiny particles which enable them to be more easily and quickly absorbed. Because of this easy absorption and fast acting ability we refer to water soluble as a “booster” making them great for quick pain relief.  Hemplucid offers both a full-spectrum and 0 THC option to meet your needs.  Both contain 1,000mg of CBD per bottle. The drops are intended to be mixed into your favorite beverages so you don’t have to worry about an earthy flavor.  You can find both of the Hemplucid options here.

Bluebird Full Spectrum Gummies

Gummies are one of the fastest growing products in the CBD market today.  They are more bioavailable than a softgel and taste better than a liquid.  The pre-measured serving (15mg) makes it easy to get a consistent amount of CBD into your system daily.  When we are talking pain, we prefer a full spectrum, or whole plant, option.  Bluebird has been manufacturing high quality CBD out of Colorado since 2002 and is certified by the US Hemp Authority.  They’re a natural fit if you’re looking for a great-tasting CBD gummy solution.  Find them here. Bluebird Botanicals Full Spectrum CBD Gummies

cbdMD CBD Bath Bombs

cbdMD CBD Bath BombsIt’s no secret that the application of heat is a good way to get cramping muscles to relax. Hot baths can help to increase blood flow, which in turn eases muscle cramping. When you combine a hot bath with the soothing effects of CBD, you get a true recipe for relief and relaxation. The bath bombs from cbdMD contain 100mg of premium broad spectrum CBD with no artificial dyes or preservatives.  They go beyond lovely smelling essential oils (no worries – they do smell amazing) to provide real relief.  You can find all 6 options here.

The Good Patch Period Patch

It may seem counterintuitive to use a topical solution for pain that is internal, but these Period patches from The Good Patch are made up of CBD, Black Cohosh and Black Pepper compounds that are small enough to really penetrate and provide lasting benefits.  Simply apply the  2×2 square patch to your abdomen or lower back and the 15mg of CBD will get to work to provide relief that can last a full day. Each packet contains 4 individual patches that will gradually release over a 8-12 hour time frame. The Good Patch also offers patches that are condition specific for calm, sleep, and a hangover relief blend. Find them here. The Good Patch CBD Patches

Buy High Quality CBD from Green Wellness Life

If you are interested in using CBD to manage the symptoms of menstrual cramps, Green Wellness Life is a great place to start. While we aren’t doctors and can’t diagnose or treat any medical condition, we can provide you with scientific research to help you make a decision. We can also offer insight into the best CBD products on the market for your needs.

Every product that we sell has been independently tested, and is made from industrial hemp grown in the U.S. You can use our product finder to choose a product, or reach out to us with any questions or to get help picking an item. We are available by phone Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 888-772-7875, or via email. Our team has significant knowledge about CBD, and is excited to help customers learn more about the best products for them.

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CBD Deals On Groupon: Are They Safe?

October 8th, 2020 by Brandy Palmer

Brandy Selfie By Brandelle Palmer GWL Founder/Owner

Like many of you, I love to check out Groupon.  It can be a great way to score a deal and try a new restaurant or fun activity.  But is it a great place to buy CBD? That was the question we wanted to answer.  We were so interested that we made a video of our findings. Complete with poorly trained (is there any other kind?) cats moseying in and out of the frame.  You’d rather read about it? You’re a person after my own heart. So let’s dive in! 

Intro to CBD

If you’re new to CBD, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.  I’m impressed that you’re still reading, so let’s talk that through.  Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 compounds found in both hemp and marijuana plants.  CBD and THC (the compound that is psychotropic) occur in higher percentages than many of the other compounds(cannabinoids), so we know the most about them.  However, we’re learning more about those minor cannabinoids every day.  For now though, CBD is a pretty big deal.  The global market is expected to exceed $2.1 billion dollars this year.  That’s a lot of people finding benefits.  Read the rest of this entry »


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