What the Research Tells us About CBD

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is an extract of the cannabis plant that has gained a powerful following amongst healthcare practitioners since becoming legal in recent years. As its use becomes more widespread, it is emerging as an effective alternative to medications for anxiety, depression, inflammation, Crohn’s and more. And that is without the side effects that come with many medications.

But are the health claims surrounding CBD warranted?

As a non-psychoactive extract, CBD is touted to provide all the health benefits of the cannabis plant, without the high. Let’s take a look at 7 research-based ways that CBD has been shown to support or improve health.

1. Pain Management

CBD is well known for its ability to decrease chronic pain, greatly improving quality of life in conditions such as fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It has a particular affinity for arthritis, effectively reducing pain, inflammation and swelling. With pain comes anxiety, and CBD can bring that right down too. Try CBD in a topical oil, cream or gel for maximum absorption and pain reduction.

2. Supportive Cancer Care

CBD is a major player in adjunctive cancer care, supporting conventional cancer treatments and reducing side effects. CBD has been shown to significantly reduce common cancer treatment side effects such as nausea, loss of appetite, and neuropathic pain. CBD actively supports conventional cancer treatments by increasing the effectiveness of common cancer drugs and chemotherapy.

3: Mood and Mental Health

Anxiety

CBD has a powerful impact on mood, effectively reducing anxiety and depression. Whether you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder or are simply feeling more stressed lately, research indicates that CBD acts quickly to tone down anxiety.

Mental Disorders

Anxiety is a common symptom of many mental health conditions, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for example, driving unhealthy behaviour patterns. Cannabis with a higher CBD content has been shown to reduce compulsive behaviours by an astonishing 60%.

CBD even has a role to play in mental health conditions such as Schizophrenia, having been shown to help reduce psychotic symptoms.

With mental health concerns increasing across the globe, CBD has two big advantages over other treatments. First, CBD helps you get deep, solid sleep. Better sleep is strongly linked to improvements in all mental health conditions. Second, CBD does not have the addictive properties or side effects that come with many anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs.

4. Inflammation

CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory, effectively reducing both chronic and acute inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is a key driver of classic inflammatory diseases like arthritis. But it also increases the risk of developing a variety of chronic diseases including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, cancer and asthma (just to name a few).

Recent research demonstrates that it is particularly helpful for gut inflammation. In inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, CBD can reduce pain and discomfort, drastically improving quality of life. CBD also protects against intestinal inflammation. This is important because inflammatory conditions such as Leaky Gut Syndrome can increase the risk of chronic disease development.

5. Skin Health

Natural beauty brands are increasingly using CBD in skin formulations – with good reason.

CBD is a powerful anti-acne agent, reducing inflammation and bacteria levels. CBD is easily absorbed through the skin and has been shown to accumulate in oil glands, fighting excess oil production.

CBD is also effective against common skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. CBD ointments applied directly to the skin of those suffering from these conditions can significantly improve symptoms like dry, scaly skin, fluid-filled blisters and red, itchy bumps. It is particularly effective to reduce the thickness and size of scars.

6. Neurological Function

CBD protects our valuable nervous system from damage and improves neurological function. Its effect is most marked in those with neurodegenerative diseases.

In Parkinson’s patients, CBD can help increase mobility, emotional well-being, cognition and communication as well as decreasing body discomfort. CBD is especially effective for improving sleep, psychosis and helping those with Parkinson’s more fully engage in daily activities.

CBD’s impact on epilepsy is perhaps the most well-known and well-documented use. In fact, it is the plight and activism of the late American teenager Charlotte Figi that inspired the movement to legalise CBD, and CBD has subsequently become an FDA-approved epilepsy treatment. CBD can reduce the severity of seizures by a whopping 82%, even in children.

7. Addictions

CBD is not addictive. In fact, it can help break the chains of addiction.

How does it work? Addictions work via our reward pathways, causing us to keep chasing that high by taking larger amounts of the chosen drug. CBD directly impacts these pathways, reducing the strong effect of a drug reward.

High-dose CBD can help reduce cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol use. In heroin users, CBD quickly reduces cravings and anxiety. CBD also shows great promise in reducing the risk of a relapse.
Stress is a strong relapse trigger, and CBD’s anti-stress action may be a key to helping reduce drug-seeking behaviours.

Cocaine abuse can lead to serious health effects such as liver damage and seizures. CBD offers additional benefits in addiction by protecting the liver and nerves from such toxic effects.

References:

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4 Surprising Factors that Contribute to Stubborn Weight Gain

Eat less, exercise more. Is it really that easy? You may not be surprised to hear that losing excess weight and keeping it off goes way beyond such one-dimensional recommendations. In fact, the concept of calories in and calories out may be the biggest misunderstanding people have about weight. It turns out that weight gain and shedding extra pounds are not as black and white as many seem to think.

Let’s look beyond fad diets at a functional approach to weight loss. We’ll explore some lesser-known factors affecting weight and metabolism that you need to know if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

The Top 4 Factors That Contribute to Stubborn Weight Gain

1. Insulin Resistance

Insulin’s job is to help us transform food sugars into energy. But when we consume too many sugary foods and drinks, our body starts to lose its ability to respond to the insulin in our system. The pancreas tries to bring down blood sugar levels by pumping out more insulin, and as insulin resistance goes up a vicious cycle is created which over time can raise blood sugar and blood insulin to dangerous levels.

That extra sugar in the bloodstream that cannot be converted into energy is stored as abdominal fat and creates an addiction to sugar. This is called insulin resistance and it is widespread, affecting 1 in 3 Americans and in many cases leading to Type 2 Diabetes.

2. Hormones

Do You Feel Full after eating?

The hormones leptin and ghrelin control how full we feel after a meal, and the strength of our food cravings. When you are overweight, your fat cells produce excess leptin signaling your body to eat more as you aren’t feeling full. It’s a vicious cycle!

How is Your Thyroid?

Your thyroid regulates your metabolism, managing the speed at which you burn calories. When the thyroid is underperforming, it can cause fluid retention, weight gain, constipation, among other issues, making it nearly impossible; to manage your weight. The stats are shocking as 5 out of every 100 people have a low functioning thyroid in the US.

Estrogen Dominance

When your estrogen and progesterone hormones are out of balance, that is called Estrogen Dominance, even if levels of both hormones are low. Having too much estrogen in the body relative to progesterone causes a myriad of symptoms, including weight loss resistance, bloating, mood swings, PMS and heavy periods.

Adrenal Stress

Our adrenal glands rule how we respond to stress by regulating the body’s stress hormones. Chronic stress leads to wildly fluctuating cortisol levels, which means more weight gain and water retention.

3. Genetics

Genetic testing can tell us a great deal about how and why we gain weight, and can be the game-changer for people who have tried everything.

The FTO Gene Variant

One gene that is particularly well documented, the FTO gene, is also known as the human fat-mass and obesity associated gene. It controls leptin, ghrelin (the satiation hormones mentioned above) and adiponectin (which regulates glucose levels). Several other genes affect how we metabolize fats, carbs and proteins.

Genes that impact stress play a big role in weight management too, especially if you’re a stress eater. These genes impact reward pathways, which can affect how you use food to reward yourself.

4. Toxins

Toxins that are present in our environment can be so dangerous that our body needs to protect us by “walling them off” in a casing of fat. The more toxins we have, the more fat cells we need to imprison them. Get rid of the toxins, and the excess weight may very well follow.

Lifelong Sources of Toxicity

Current exposure to toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides aren’t the only concern. Research shows that even early-life exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) can increase fat levels, and with microplastics having recently been found in the placentas of some women, the concern is legitimate.

Many toxins are major contributors to thyroid dysfunction, potentially leading to hormonal weight gain.

7 Easy Ways to Maintain a Healthy Weight

1. Cut Down on Natural and Artificial Sugars

Are you replacing real sugar with artificial sweeteners? Sugar causes weight gain, and this is the case for both natural and artificial sugar since anything our body doesn’t recognize as a natural substance is treated as a toxin – including aspartame. Monk fruit and Stevia are two much healthier sugar free sweeteners.

2. Eat more Fiber

One of the biggest benefits of eating more fiber when you are trying to lose weight is its ability to satiate. Soluble fiber such as that found in beans, flaxseeds, oatmeal and sweet potatoes helps you to feel full longer and slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. Soluble fibre cannot be broken down by your own enzymes, so it reaches the gut undigested where it feeds the good bacteria and helps them to flourish. One important aspect of soluble fiber is that it needs water to reach its potential, so staying hydrated is a must.

3. Green Coffee Extract

Don’t like the taste of coffee but want to take advantage of its weight loss benefits? Green coffee extract (GCE) helps maintain a healthy weight and reduce BMI and waist size – in fact it has been proposed as a low-cost and safe obesity treatment.

4. Eat Real Food

Much of what we eat isn’t actually “real” food. Make sure you fuel your body properly by avoiding pre-packaged and processed foods that are chock-full of preservatives, dyes and other chemicals. Focus on fruits, veggies, organic meats and healthy fats. Remember the more toxic your food, the more those toxins will get encased in fat cells.

5. Aim for 10,000 Steps Per Day

Getting those steps in can be hard when you’re spending more time at home. But where there is a will, there is a way! A combination of dietary changes and walking 10,000 steps per day was shown to help significantly reduce total weight, BMI and hip size. Bonus: lower anxiety levels are a natural outcome of making these changes as well.

6. Meditation

Did you know that calming your mind can be a powerful weight loss tool? Adding meditation to standard weight loss treatments can result in additional weight loss in as little as two months. Managing your stress will help your adrenals and can positively affect your weight loss goals.

7. Intermittent Fasting (IF)

One of the most effective ways to get rid of toxins and their corresponding fat prisons is intermittent fasting. How does it work? Designate several hours per day as your ‘eating hours’ and stick to it. This gives your glucose and insulin levels a chance to even out, gives your body a break from the hard job of digestion, and puts the focus on getting toxins out of your body. However, IF is not for everyone, so be sure to check in with your healthcare practitioner before you begin.

Are you ready to step out of the diet roller coaster? Give us a call! We can assess your insulin, stress response, thyroid, genes and toxin load. Together we can design a custom-made treatment plan with targeted supplementation, metabolism-supporting nutrients and nourishing foods. We can’t wait to join you on your health care journey!

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