Many people want to improve their nutrition and overall health naturally. If you’re considering trying CBD, or to improve your general nutrition, Christy Thiel, our Director of Education at Seed2System weighed in on some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic. Here’s what you need to know.
WHAT ARE THE BASICS OF ADAPTOGENIC CBD AND GENERAL NUTRITION?
Cannabidiol (or CBD) is an oil derived from the hemp plant. It’s an adaptogen, that is a non-toxic plant that may help reduce stress and stabilize the body, returning it to homeostasis. In general, CBD works on three major mechanisms that impact overall health. These include the:
- Endocannabinoid system
- Inflammation response
- Parasympathetic nervous system
One of the roles that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for is regulating your metabolism and body temperature, both of which play a part in weight management.
In addition, CBD acts on the inflammatory response through specific receptors and cellular signaling in your body. This is a normal and protective response our body has. Unfortunately, this system and signaling can kick into high gear under certain circumstances, like chronic stress or other health conditions. In turn, this can lead to weight gain and a myriad of other symptoms.
Finally, our parasympathetic nervous system is the system that restores the “rest and digest” response. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” mechanism that’s dominant under chronic stress. CBD oil has the potential to calm this chronic stress response.
IS CBD GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND HOW DOES IT WORK WORK AS AN ADAPTOGEN?
So, how does CBD work on these three mechanisms in the body to promote balance, weight management, and decrease inflammation? As Thiel explains, research showcases a few major benefits of CBD for your body.
METABOLISM AND APPETITE
Low metabolism can result from chronic stress, poor nutrient absorption, and compromised sleep. CBD works on receptors throughout the body that can support calming which could bring chronic stress more into balance and out of survival.
A 2017 study found that feeding behaviors in mice changed significantly when CB cannabinoid receptors were stimulated. These changed behaviors resulted in weight loss and a more regulated metabolism.
These results were first achieved in a 2015 study of mice that focused on the CB2 receptor (CBD’s primary target). This study also found a reduction in food intake, fatty tissue, and inflammation.
It’s a vicious circle: inflammation increases your chances of obesity, and obesity increases inflammation. Chronic inflammation also increases both the size of fat molecules and their density—both of which (you guessed it) can lead to obesity.
In some cases, oxidative stress is the culprit behind this increased inflammation. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals overtake the body’s ability to counteract them with antioxidants. However, CBD oil has the potential to help reduce inflammation by reducing oxidative stress in the body.
Other research found that CBD oil also had the following effects on inflammation:
- Reduced inflammation in the gut
- Delayed the development of diabetes in mice with an inflamed pancreas
- Reduced overall inflammation in the body
BALANCE THE STRESS RESPONSE
Stress affects every system in the body, and chronic stress can lead to weight gain. With additional stress, the body also begins to store fat around the organs, the most dangerous place for it. Not only is more fat created and stored due to stress, but the type of fat (white, as opposed to healthier “brown” fat) is also increased. CBD, because of its adaptogenic properties, can promote the production of “brown” fat, a process that protects against some of the most dangerous health conditions linked to obesity. This “browning” also helps to regulate body weight and maintain a stable body temperature, both of which are associated with weight loss. CBD oil may also help the body to use fats more efficiently.
Overall, CBD helps the body combat and counteract the damaging effects of stress, because of its affinity to receptors throughout the nervous system and adaptogenic properties.
Another factor in your stress response is disrupted sleep. When poor sleep becomes chronic, cortisol production in the body increases. People who use caffeine to stay awake further increase their cortisol production. Additionally, sleep-deprived people consume more calories in unhealthier forms than those who are well-rested.
CBD might support the systems, receptors and hormones that help us fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up rested, CBD might improve poor sleep, especially poor sleep linked to anxiety (which is itself tied to stress). With each solid night of sleep, cortisol production evens out, and the stress response calms.
WHICH TYPES OF CBD ARE BEST FOR BALANCE?
Christy Thiel notes that the best types of CBD utilize the plant in its most complete and natural state:
“Look for full-spectrum or broad-spectrum hemp products. These products have more than just the cannabinoid CBD in them. Since the endocannabinoid system regulates metabolism, try supporting it with hemp that comes from a full plant extract. Full-spectrum CBD includes the highest levels of cannabinoids and terpenes that existed in the plant naturally—before the oil was extracted.”
Many consumers who have been utilizing CBD are also curious about the proper serving size. The answer? It depends. A good rule of thumb is start low and go slow—adjusting accordingly. Everyone’s body chemistry, lifestyle, and weight loss goals are different, so, the dose for each person will be as unique as they are.
The best approach is to observe your progress over time and make adjustments (up, down, or a different delivery method) as needed. Seed2System’s 1500 mg gold tincture (or our 600 mg silver tincture) are a great place to start. Talk to your doctor and the producer of the CBD you choose before you start taking it.
While CBD oil is legal when it has less than .3% of THC or less in the final product (like ours produced at Seed2System) keep in mind that even this very small amount may be enough to appear on a drug screen. If that’s a concern, it’s best to speak to your employer before using any full-spectrum CBD product.
HOW CAN I FIND THE BEST CBD PRODUCTS?
The origin of CBD oil matters. Many consumers may think that all brands and products are created equal, but that’s far from the truth. A recent study found that 70% of all CBD products were mislabeled, either in terms of the concentration of the CBD or in the type of oil (e.g., full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate).
“Consumers looking for high-quality and safe CBD products should be able to trace the hemp oil back to the farm it was grown on and learn about the farming practices used to grow it,” notes Thiel. “Retailers, websites, and trusted sources should have this information readily available.”
At Seed2System, we start with hemp seeds from High Grade Hemp Seed Inc., a producer that works with Colorado State researchers for quality and consistency. Our vapor distillation process extracts the maximum amount of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids to produce clean CBD without the use of harsh solvents or chemicals. We never add coloring or artificial ingredients, and you can track our CBD products from the seed to your body’s system.