An introduction to CBD
At the turn of the 21st century, CBD (or cannabidiol) went from being a little-known molecule to one of the most significant medical breakthroughs due to its potential holistic healing and medical benefits. CBD is now hailed as the holy grail of alternative medicine, owing to its holistic healing potential.
During the last decade, CBD hit the shelves in a variety of formulations. You can eat CBD, drink it, rub it on your skin, and even vape it. From both business and therapy points of view, cannabidiol has shown great potential so far. And when combined with the practice of traditional Chinese medicine, its benefits may be even greater.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical compound and a member of the phytocannabinoids family. It’s one of the hundreds of compounds derived from the cannabis plant, mostly from the non-psychoactive strains of cannabis, called hemp.
As you will learn throughout this eBook, CBD can be consumed in different forms to provide the health benefits of the plant without the psychoactive properties usually associated with cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (another widely known compound, known as THC for short).
The two compounds differ from each other in their intoxicating potential. While THC induces a high state in users, CBD does not, which makes CBD ideal for personal use. It can provide a gentle, relaxing feeling that has been shown to improve the general well being of users.
CBD has gripped the attention of the global community due to its high therapeutic potential. The compound has active properties that make it a rallying point for the medical community and the general public. But CBD and traditional Chinese medicine have a longstanding relationship dating back thousands of years. Chinese cultures used CBD and cannabis more broadly during treatment to boost health and complement other medicines. Today, CBD can boost those same benefits of traditional Chinese medicine, even if the practices themselves have been modernized.
How to boost the results of traditional Chinese medicine with CBD
Traditional Chinese medicine recognized the healing potential of CBD and its effect on the endocannabinoid system thousands of years ago. This is perhaps most evident in the practice of acupuncture, when fine needles are inserted into the skin to stimulate the meridians. According to the Chinese tradition, meridians are the channels for the life force of the body. Points along these meridians are also where the CB1 and CB2 receptors are located.
CB1 and CB2 receptors play a significant role in the endocannabinoid system by interacting with the neurons that communicate with your brain. They also support the potential of CBD, which can improve the effects of these receptors. Stimulating these receptors through acupuncture, like when they are stimulated through CBD, can cause numerous health benefits by allowing the endocannabinoid system to function at its optimal level. This includes the release of adenosine, which increases pain tolerance and increases the ability of the body to fight inflammation.
Electroacupuncture is a modernization of traditional Chinese medicine where small electric currents pass between the needles—and it, too, can work well with CBD. CBD can increase the amount of anandamide, known as the “bliss module,” which plays an important role in pain relief. CBD has been similarly shown to increase anandamide levels. When used together, CBD and acupuncture can support the body’s tools designed to fight a number of health problems.
What benefits of traditional Chinese medicine can CBD improve?
Traditional Chinese medicine offers a range of health benefits, many of which CBD can enhance. Practices like acupuncture help people suffering from pain and discomfort, symptoms that CBD is also helpful for. Both traditional Chinese medicine and CBD may also be used by people to improve general physical wellness and bring natural remedies into their lifestyle.
A key purpose of traditional Chinese practices like acupuncture is to relieve pain. The stimulation of the needles releases adenosine, which heightens pain tolerance. Inflammation is often a cause of pain and plays a large role in conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Another key benefit of the release of adenosine during acupuncture is that it improves the body’s ability to fight inflammation. CBD does the same thing, and the combination of both can help ease inflammatory issues, which might also be a source of pain.
There is a two-way relationship between pain and anxiety. Acupuncturists work with patients who might be suffering from anxiety due to chronic pain. And while acupuncture can help relieve the tensions that anxiety causes in the body, CBD can help relax the mind and ease stress. CBD also has muscle-relaxing properties to support the work of traditional Chinese medicine techniques and ease the tension caused by or causing anxiety.
Improved balance in body functioning
Modern scientists explain that acupuncture causes the body to release the chemical in the endocannabinoid system needed for biochemical balance. When turned, the inserted needles stimulate cannabinoids, which improve the balance in the body on a cellular level. CBD similarly works on a cellular level to stimulate this same sense of balance. By combining both acupuncture and CBD, you can stimulate homeostasis in the endocannabinoid system in a natural yet effective way.
Which form of CBD is best for traditional Chinese medicine treatments?
CBD is both natural and safe, and all forms of CBD are great for use with acupuncture treatments, especially considering many people want to keep traditional Chinese practices drug free. Some might prefer to use CBD products that can be directly applied to the skin to soothe the external areas treated by the needles of acupuncture. However, all CBD products will support the benefits of this traditional Chinese medicine technique.
Creams are a good option for people who have pain or soreness in a specific part of the body, as topical CBD products impact the area on which you apply them. If you have a certain pain in a specific place, you can apply the CBD cream to help alleviate the discomfort in that particular spot. You can apply it just before or after acupuncture and also use it on days between your treatments.
CBD oil and other solutions often come in a bottle with a dropper. You can mix the oil with food or drink or ingest it by dropping the recommended dose under your tongue and holding it there for a minute before swallowing. But you can also apply oil to your skin like CBD creams.
Capsules are a good option for absorbing CBD evenly into your body. They are a tasteless alternative to ingesting CBD oil, and the effects are very similar—though they might take a little longer to take effect. You can expect to feel the effects of CBD capsules within about 35 minutes. It is easier to measure your dose with capsules than with CBD oil.
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