We hear about all the many benefits and uses of hemp and CBD, but in order to truly grasp why it’s such an amazing plant, we have to understand how we're connected to it.
Brief History of Cannabis Use
6,000 years ago, the Pan-p’o village of Ancient China regarded cannabis as a major food crop. In 2700 BC, Emperor Shen-Nung, considered the Father of Chinese Medicine, recognized hemp's treatment properties for pain relief and 100 other ailments. Ever since then, cannabis has been discovered and transported throughout the world.
In 1619, the first American cannabis law mandated each farmer to grow hemp. This lead to over 16 million acres of hemp cultivated in the U.S by the mid-1800s. During this period industrial hemp was used to produce the majority of ship sails, ropes, nets, uniforms, papers, and oils.
In 1839 William O’Shaughnessy, an Irish doctor, was responsible for introducing the therapeutic uses of cannabis to Western medicine. This sparked the "Golden Age" of medical cannabis in the U.S. Throughout the 1800s up until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, cannabis was a pharmaceutical commodity accessible at most drug stores.
With a history that is rich with cannabis use, the difference between then and now is the amount of education and scientific research relating to how we benefit from its properties.
Our natural regulatory system
All animals, including humans, have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS mainly consists of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes that help regulate our Nervous, Endocrine, and Immune Systems.
The two main types of receptors are CB1 and CB2, which sit on the surface of cells throughout your brain and body. These receptors help activate or inhibit cellular activity.
Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, which are molecules similar to cannabinoids produced by hemp plants.
Endocannabinoids are made exactly when they are needed and then broken down by enzymes after they are used.
Ultimately, this means we carry receptors that bind perfectly with cannabinoids produced by hemp.
So, how do we benefit from cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, or CBN can be used to provide your regulatory system with additional help when needed.
Here are two examples of how cannabinoids interact with our bodies to achieve chemical balance.
Stress and Anxiety
When you're stressed out, adrenaline is being pumped throughout your bloodstream in order to provide your brain with extra oxygen. This increases alertness and activates flight-or-fight mode.
When the stressful situation is over, your regulatory system will decrease this activity and you'll return to a relaxed state.
For many, their regulatory system may not do this enough, resulting in conditions like anxiety, stress disorder, lack of sleep, and many more.
With the right dosage, CBD can bind with receptors responsible for regulating your Endocrine and Nervous System in order to reduce activity and bring your body back to a more balanced state.
Pain and Inflammation
When experiencing pain, sensory receptors in that area register the sensation of pain which activates signaling to your brain. This information is processed and the feeling of pain is perceived.
To relieve pain, your regulatory system releases endorphins that bind with receptors in your brain in order to block the perception of pain.
For many, their regulatory system may need extra help in blocking the signaling of pain when dealing with serious conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, cancer, etc.
CBD works in the body as an inhibitor to the receptors that can often over-promote pain and inflammation responses. Blocking this over signaling helps bring your body back to a balanced healing state.
The world has had a strong connection to hemp for millennia and it will continue to help many achieve wellness.