CBD 101

What Is CBD and How Do You Use It?

Living an active lifestyle can lead to boundless adventure — and maybe a few aches and pains. Enter cannabidiol, or CBD. The non-psychoactive component in the hemp plant — meaning it won’t get you high — CBD is thought to help reduce inflammation, increase mobility, improve sleep and more. Discover the science behind what CBD is, why it works, the best ways to use CBD and the many benefits you can expect from adding this plant-based powerhouse to your wellness regimen.

What is CBD?

The cannabis plant contains two main chemical compounds: CBD and THC. Both interact with receptors in the body to encourage a wide range of health benefits. Research has found that CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, a biological system that is crucial for homeostasis. By inhibiting endocannabinoid signaling and increasing a molecule called anandamide, aka the “bliss” molecule, CBD impacts homeostatic balance, affecting everything from your mood to your experience of pain to your quality of sleep.

Unlike THC, though, CBD is non-psychoactive and legal across the U.S. when derived from hemp, which are cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent of THC.

While some CBD products are sold as “CBD isolate,” which means they have been refined to contain CBD and nothing else, other products like Level Select’s CBD products are broad-spectrum and contain a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds. Experts believe this wide range of compounds improves the efficacy of CBD’s many purported health benefits, referred to by many as the “entourage effect.”

Benefits of Using CBD

There are many types of CBD products on the market, including oils and creams, that are designed to achieve a specific health benefit. Depending on the product you take, studies have confirmed that CBD can help users achieve the following:

Reduced Inflammation

Studies have shown that CBD helps to reduce inflammation by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity. CBD is also thought to affect a person’s perception of discomfort by interacting with the serotonin and vanilloid receptors in the brain.

If your goal is to reduce inflammation, try applying CBD sports creams or roll-ons onto your troubled areas. Massaging CBD oil into these areas may help also.

Increased Joint Mobility

CBD may also help with soreness and stiffness in muscles and joints. Studies have shown that athletes who use CBD for muscle soreness and injury have faster recovery times than those who don’t.

Athletes or those that live active lifestyles can benefit from increased mobility by using topical CBD products, which will allow you to apply CBD exactly where you need it most.

Reduce Stress

Studies have linked CBD to a reduction in stress-related nightmares and memories. Research also shows CBD may also help reduce feelings of nervousness due to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas. This is likely due to the increased production of anandamide linked to CBD, which is thought to help balance both your mind and body.

Looking to soothe everyday stress? Try using CBD oil under your tongue.

Better Quality Sleep

Because of its stress reducing properties, CBD may improve sleep. Multiple studies show that participants gradually slept better over time after taking CBD.

We recommend incorporating CBD oil with melatonin into your nightly routine to help you sleep better. All you need to do is place a couple of drops under your tongue and let sit for about 30 seconds.

Improved Memory

According to a study led by researchers from University College London, CBD may improve memory processing. By increasing blood flow in the hippocampus region of the brain, it is thought that CBD can boost memory function while positively affecting mood.

Trying CBD oil today may help you improve your memory for the future.

How to Take CBD Oil and Other CBD Products

The variety of CBD products available today allows users to target a specific health benefit. Oils and balms applied topically are ideally intended to reduce body aches and inflammation or increase mobility in a particular area of the body. Oral CBD, such as in oil drops, may contribute to improved mood, better sleep and a more balanced mood. They can also reduce inflammation, though in a more whole-body approach. Additionally, some CBD products are combined with complementary supplements like vitamin C for immune support or melatonin for sleep.

CBD products are available in a number of doses, so if you’re taking it for the first time, be sure to start with a small dose and gradually increase over time. Try our CBD products to improve your health and wellness.

Follow us at @LevelSelectCBD on social media for more information on CBD and our Level Select products.

Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in TIME, Glamour, Health, VICE and Good Housekeeping.

References:

HHS Author Manuscripts - “ Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs”Frontiers in Neurology- “Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis”American Sleep Association (ASA) - CBD: For Sleep and InsomniaFrontiers in Psychiatry - The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol's Promise for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder

Journal of Pain Research - “ Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases

Current Neuropharmacology - “ Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins - “ Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis”Sports Medicine-Open - “Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research

Frontiers in Psychiatry - Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials

Journal of Psychopharmacology - “ Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report

Journal of Psychopharmacology - “ The effects of acute cannabidiol on cerebral blood flow and its relationship to memory: An arterial spin labelling magnetic resonance imaging study