By Thomas Wrona
CBD: it's an antidote for inflammation and a savior for skin health.
And the best way to harness these qualities is through using a CBD topical! Part One of this Guide looked at the first three of ten major benefits, and now, in Part Two, we'll be looking at benefits four through six - the ones you see bolded below.
- Less Inflammation
- More Convenience
- Improved Skin Health
- Endocannabinoid Health
- Antioxidant Intake
- Better Mobility
- Massage-friendly Options
- Botanical Benefits
- Less pain
Reason #4: Endocannabinoid Health is Everything.
You've probably already heard about the endocannabinoid system (ECS); it's the biological basis for why CBD works. In short,
CBD may regulate the ECS > the ECS regulates everything else > better health results.
Normally, the best way to boost endocannabinoid function is to take CBD internally. Ingesting CBD via an oil/tincture is a tried and true method that has long lasting effects and decent bioavailability. And while it's also normally true that applying natural substances topically doesn't do much for one's internal state, CBD might be different.
That's because the CB2 receptors that CBD 'activates' are everywhere - on the surface of the skin, deep within the tissues of the muscles, even within the brain. Even if CBD is only supplementing these receptors in one area (in this case, the skin), it could reduce the burden of overall endocannabinoid production in others.
Could this explain why so many studies have highlighted CBD's transdermal benefits? Maybe so - this study saw reduced inflammatory markers reach all the way to spinal ganglia (nerves), and this one describes how transdermal-use-only was enough to permanently reduce the symptoms of drug addiction.
Long story short, if you want to take CBD for overall health and wellness, don't discount the important role that topicals can play!
Reason #5: Antioxidant Abilities
CBD is a powerful antioxidant. And while its oxidation-fighting qualities have already been briefly mentioned (go to Reason #3 in Part One for that), CBD's overall antioxidant impact is enough to warrant a more devoted section - this one.
Even the normally-reserved US government has been looking into CBD's antioxidant qualities over the past twenty years, that much is clear. In a patent titled "Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants" they attest that "cannabinoids [are] useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of [a] wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases" - before going on to say that CBD is most advantageous of them all! "Non psychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use…"
The practical application here is equally clear. If you have oxidation associated diseases (there's lots of them, including many different autoimmune diseases), topical CBD may help you specifically target problem areas.
Someone with joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis, for example, might favor a two-pronged approach, taking a consistent amount of CBD oil every day and supplementing with a CBD topical as needed.
Reason #6: Better Mobility
Could CBD help you become more flexible, more supple...and ultimately more mobile?
This concept is still in its more, well, conceptual stages. But so far, the answer is yes. A fascinating 2014 study looked at so-called cannabimimetics - non-cannabis items or activities that also promote health via the endocannabinoid system - and described benefits within everything from omega 3's to coffee to massage therapy.
The same study also hinted that "stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises impart mild cannabimimetic effects." Even the simple act of stretching seemed to make endocannabinoid receptors in the stretched areas more sensitive!
What does this have to do with you and your mobility? Endocannabinoid-related benefits often flow both ways...and this instance is probably no different. In other words:
You can boost the endocannabinoid system by moving your body...and you can move your body better by boosting your ECS. And what choicer way to boost it, than by using natural solutions like CBD?
It makes sense, if you think about it, that the popularity of CBD-infused yoga would be growing like it is. The two things complement each other perfectly. CBD topicals may reduce pain and inflammation enough that you simply want to be more active.
Of course, practicing yoga isn't the only path to improved mobility. Ultimately it's about keeping your body in motion in whatever ways are most enjoyable to you - and for that, topical CBD might be the perfect tool for the job.
Thomas Wrona is a cannabis consultant, health + wellness advisor, and former professional athlete. He enjoys writing about all things CBD, both here and at Wrona Inc.