Let’s talk holistic for a moment. When it comes to the health and wellness industry, it is a word that has certainly made its presence throughout the market. But what is “holistic” trying to say? It’s telling us that there’s more to being healthy than having a fit body and drinking plenty of water. Our stress levels, sleep patterns, and even the way we talk to ourselves play an important role in our overall health. Holistic is about looking at the whole picture. To break it down, our entire body is a giant web of connected pathways that are constantly in communication with each other. When one system falls off kilter, other systems will not only be affected but will have to over compensate for it. For example, someone with chronic stress may have overstimulated adrenal glands, which tells the thyroid to slow the body’s metabolism, which can lead to unwanted weight around the midsection, which causes more stress on the body, and the cycle is perpetuated. As you can see, for anyone who experiences stress on a daily basis, it is just as necessary to find ways to relax as it is to eat a balanced diet.
It is important to acknowledge this concept when we find ourselves searching for the root cause of our chronic symptoms or general feeling of lousiness. Functional medicine uses natural modalities to reach greater health by peeling back the complicated layers to our chronic symptoms. This holistic approach to medicine enables us to dig deep into our bodies and start unraveling some of those knotted and damaged pathways. One way to do this is to supplement the body with therapeutic nutrition and natural compounds to repair damage and regulate proper function.
Steadily gaining momentum and credibility in pockets of the medical field is Cannabidiol, or commonly known as CBD oil. CBD is just one of over a hundred different phytocannabinoids (organic plant compounds) found in the Cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC, is another commonly known phytocannabinoid. There are many positive effects from consuming phytocannabinoids, especially CBD in particular. Some examples include support for inflammation, anxiety, body aches, sleep, and even seizures. When consumed, phytocannabinoids enter a system in our bodies called the Endogenous Cannabinoid System, or ECS. It was discovered in the 1990’s, while doing research on the body’s reactivity to Cannabis, that our own bodies make cannabinoids similar in structure to phytocannabinoids. Hence the name Endocannabinoid System. The ECS is a complex network of neurotransmitters that connects various systems such as the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system with messenger pathways. Because our bodies produce cannabinoids so similar in structure to those found in Cannabis, the compounds in CBD oil are easily recognized by the ECS and can be used to supplement where there is a deficiency.
The role of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis within the body despite fluctuations from our external environment. Due to various stresses we impose on our bodies like diet, chemical exposure, and poor sleep, our ECS receptors can become deficient. After a deficiency has begun, chronic conditions such as disease and autoimmunity can develop.
Now that you know more about how CBD works, it is important to know what to look for when purchasing a CBD product. Just as you would look for high quality produce at the grocery store, you want to keep that same integrity when it comes to the quality of your CBD oil. Organic, non- GMO, and sugar-free are best. Full Spectrum is also important to find on the label, as this ensures the whole plant was utilized, which generates optimal nutrient availability. CBD works best when all other phytocannabinoids and terpenes are ingested with it. Terpenes are the plant compounds responsible for aroma, taste, and color of the plant and are found in several other plant species other than Cannabis. They are essential for a high-quality product due to their abilities to intensify the positive effects of CBD. This is known as the entourage effect. Hemp plants alone carry over 200 different terpenes each.
Research is still ongoing to discover CBD’s truest potential in supporting our health. Whether you are someone who depends on it daily to manage arthritis, or someone who uses CBD as needed to cope with stress, it works best when incorporated with a healthy lifestyle and nutritious diet. Nutrition 16:24 carries a full line of high-quality CBD products available in many different methods to accommodate a wide range of needs. We look forward to discussing your questions and concerns regarding your own health and CBD oil.