THE POWER OF CBD
Chronic inflammation in the immune system:
Autoimmune conditions -Rheumatoid arthritis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Chronic infections- Aches
- Swollen joints
Chronic inflammation of the brain:
CBD has become a hot topic in the health world and for good reason! It
has some impressive therapeutic potential. This has seen an explosion
in opportunistic sales and marketing hype…so what do we know when
it comes to CBD oil?
CBD is not just another nutritional supplement!
CBD has the potential to interact with our own body’s natural system of
receptors, a system called the endocannabinoid system, resulting in a
variety of health benefits.
CBD is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are bioactive molecules and can
either be made by the body, found in cannabis plants or can be made
There are a variety of cannabinoids. In fact, scientists believe there may
be upto 200 cannabinoids. Many of which are still unidentified.
Two well-researched cannabinoids are CBD and THC. CBD and THC
are both cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, Cannabis Sativa.
CBD oil in the UK market is has strict regulations around the levels of
THC. This is the cannabinoid that produces the psychoactive effects,
the one we may typically associate with marijuana and being ‘high.’
Our body makes it’s own cannabinoids.
These are called endogenous cannabinoids- they are anandamide and
The levels of these own-made cannabinoids can very from person to person. They are made on demand in the nervous system and the role the naturally produced cannabinoids play in our health and wellbeing, give us a great insight into the role plant-based cannabinoids such as CBD can have on human health and wellbeing.
The World Health Organisation describe it as:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well- being and not rely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
In order to have complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, our physiological systems need to remain in a state of balance, or homeostasis.
Tissue breakdown……………………Tissue build up
These physiological systems have to be in a dynamic balance, a state called homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the ability to adapt to minor changes via a cascade of all signalling molecules involved within that system.
Our own endocannabinoids (the cannabinoids we produce) act to create homeostasis. They enable us to adapt to stressors, things that create an imbalance and help restore balance or homeostasis.
These endocannabinoids act upon the dense network of receptors found throughout the body, the endocannabinoid system. This network of receptors is vast. There are more CB1 receptors in the brain than any other receptors- an indication of how densely populated this system of receptors is.
When these endocannabinoids act upon the receptors within the brain, liver, pancreas, spleen, bones, skin, immune system, intestine and skin, it exerts its powerful effects.
At the level of the individual cell, the cell surface is covered in CBD
receptors (part of the endocannabinoid system). When the CBD binds
to the receptor, it enters the cell, enters the nucleus and effects gene
expression- ie the proteins that are told to be made, or not be made by
All of the proteins in the body are told to be made or not made by genes.
So when CBD interacts with a receptors of a cell in the immune system,
it binds to the receptor, enters the cell into the nucleus where it
up-regulates (increases the amount) of anti-inflammatory molecules
and down-regulates (decreases the amount) of inflammatory molecules.
This happens with over 1000 genes related to inflammation, making
CBD an effective anti-inflammatory compound.
These receptors are able to interact with both own-made cannabinoids
(endocannabinoids) or cannabis-based cannabinoids, CBD.
Our physiological systems are under constant stress! This constant
stress results in systemic inflammation (whole body inflammation).
Inflammation is one of the biggest drivers of chronic illness.
Marked changes in the human diet, food production, environmental
pollutants, work and social interactions have seen skyrocketing rates of
chronic diseases, obesity, cancer, depression and neurodegenerative
Herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals
Wheat, high sugar, mismatch of omega 3:6, gut bacteria imbalance
Adrenal fatigue, stuck in ‘fight or flight’ This constant inflammatory
state can result in a variety of commonly experienced symptoms.
Brain fog, memory problems, lack of focus, anxiety, depression,
insomnia, ADHD, chronic migraines, neurodegenerative conditions.
Individual variations of the endocannabinoids system can result in
lower levels of endocannabinoids (cannabinoids we produce our self)
Sing (by up to 42%)
When we take plant-based cannabinoids (CBD) we impact
the many systems where the receptors are located.
As previously mentioned, the anti-inflammatory power of CBD is an area of good scientific knowledge. The anti-inflammatory cascade created is a result of the ability CBD has to impact the cell at the level of gene-expression…in other words it tells the cell to make less inflammatory compounds and more anti-inflammatory compounds.
The anti-inflammatory effects tend to vary from individual to individual. One person can respond to a very low dose and respond in a short time, for another person, a higher dose may be required at the time taken for the effect to be experienced may be longer.
The science behind why is still uncertain. It has been suggested that the variations in the individual’s endocannabinoids system (the network of receptors) may play a role (potentially less receptors, less ability for the CBD to pass through the cell membrane into the nucleus.)
CBD affects our nervous system by enabling us to shift from ‘fight or flight’ (sympathetic) to ‘rest & digest’ (parasympathetic).
Modern life sees us stuck in a state of over-thinking and constant worry, fear, anxiety, mental and physical tension. This has a long-term negative impact on our health. It can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, early-aging (due to collagen breakdown) and adrenal fatigue.
It is a major contributor of systemic inflammation.
CBD helps shift us our of ‘fight or flight’ by affecting our neurotransmitters (brain hormones) and effectively helps us to relax and switch off. It is through this pathway that is also promotes better sleep as ‘excessive thinking’ can often be a major contributor of poor sleep and insomnia.
The research surrounding improved conditions of the skin is promising. Skin conditions such as acne respond well to CBD oil due to the presence of CBD receptors in the sebaceous glands. When the sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much sebum, the pores become blocked and the sebum is a perfect breeding ground foe bacteria, resulting in spots.
CBD down-regulated the production of sebum, allowing for normalisation of sebum production. The anti-inflammatory effect of CBD also helps calm inflamed skin.
Psoriasis, eczema and itching have all been shown to have symptomatic relief to varying degrees with CBD oil. Topical application and oral use to sores and wounds has potentially beneficial effects for wound healing and alleviating itchiness.
Systemic inflammation is a major driver of neurodegenerative disease. The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD reduces systemic inflammation. Research also shows the interesting effect CBD can have on reducing amyloid plaque formation. These are the plaques found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s, a condition that has reached epidemic levels of incidence and is increasing year on year. Nutritional intervention through improved blood sugar stabilisation and an anti-inflammatory diet is key in the prevention of Alzheimer’s.
There is some very interesting research being conducted in the area of the use of cannabinoids and it’s effects on ALS (a neurodegenerative condition) and Parkinson’s.
Research surrounding the use of CBD and epilepsy is very interesting. The research is such now that pharmaceutical companies have created cannabis-based drugs to treat various forms of epilepsy. It is an area of great interest and the access to high strength cannabis oil and CBD oil is still a major barrier for those individuals who could benefit.
Endometriosis is an area of increasing interest and early research has shown not just the reduction in symptoms of endometriosis with CBD oil but also the regression of the condition. Dosage and strength still remains an area of uncertainty.
Other areas of interest
Tinnitus, Tourette’s syndrome, various forms of cancer, the gut microbiome and autoimmune conditions are all areas of interesting research at present. It is with interest that we will wait for the results of more randomised control trials and clinical studies. There is so much therapeutic potential for this fascinating plant. However, as with all things health-related, seeing CBD as part of a bigger picture and realising that multiple lifestyle and health changes will have a positive synergistic impact on our health and wellbeing. Quality and oil from a reputable company is also key.
Health has to be a broad-spectrum approach CBD oil is not the panacea for all health ailments. Incorporated as part of other health and lifestyle changes, it can be very effective as part of the ‘bigger picture.’
Education Exercise Anti-inflammatory diet Pre and probiotic rich diet Omega 3 Nutrient-dense diet CBD oil
Can all have beneficial impact on improving health and wellbeing.
At Sow & Arrow we produce two varieties of CBD oil, CBD Black and CBD Gold.
This full-spectrum oil has the whole plant present. Full-spectrum means it has the presence of all of the other cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant (without the psychoactive effects). Due to the presence of the whole plant, the CBD oil has a very dark green appearance due to the presence of chlorophyll (the green pigment in plants). The slightly bitter, grassy, peppery flavour of this oil comes from the presence of terpenes. Terpenes are bioactive molecules that can also have beneficial effects on the body.
There is research to suggest that the synergistic effects or ‘entourage effect’ of having full-spectrum oil with the additional presence of terpenes may be beneficial.
This full-spectrum oil has a light gold appearance and a very mild, easy to palate flavour. Full-spectrum means it has the presence of all of the other cannabinoids
present in the cannabis plant (without the psychoactive effects). There is research to suggest that the synergistic effects or ‘entourage effect’ of having full-spectrum oil is superior to having an isolate or CBD extract, without the presence of the other cannabinoids.
The dosage required for each individual varies. There is still very little understood about dosage as CBD seemingly affects each person differently. For one person, 2-3 drops per day may be enough to create a feeling of calm and balance, reduce anxiety and restore peace of mind. For someone else, they may need 4-5 drops 4 times per day. The best way to start with CBD oil is take a small amount, see how it feels, then increase dosage if need be.
CBD can be very helpful in improving sleep, especially when excessive thinking is the problem. If poor sleep is the area you are looking to improve then certainly having CBD oil 10 minutes before bedtime is a good time to take it. With systemic inflammation, it may be more advisable to take the CBD oil throughout the day, morning, lunch and evening. Again this can be in small doses and adjusted to a dose that feels good for you and times of day that work for you.
CBD is best absorbed under the tongue. Using your pipette, drop a couple of drops under the tongue and hold for 30 seconds before swallowing.
CBD…what you need to know
What exactly is CBD?
Why is CBD so important for human physiology?
In order to answer this, we must first ask ourselves
What is Health?
All systems within the body work on opposing systems:
HOW CBD CAN HELP
Where does CBD fit into the picture?
Where does CBD fit into our modern lives?
Causes of inflammation in our modern lives:
The Endocannabinoid System
Endocannabinoid levels increase when we:
Inflammation & Inflammatory pain
Sleep & Anxiety
Which CBD should I take?
How much CBD should I take?