Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive substance from hemp and cannabis and boasts a ton of therapeutic benefits. Oils, edibles and vape juices are being used by people all over the world, even by those resistant to traditional cannabis, to give them natural relief from all sorts of medical conditions.
In the coming years, much more research will be conducted on CBD, and it has the potential to replace current painkiller, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant drugs, as a safer, less addictive alternative that comes with few side effects.
But as well as being a medicinal compound, CBD can also be used for general wellness purposes – in that sense, it has much in common with omega-3 fish oil capsules, and the vitamins and minerals we take daily. This also means that the right CBD product could make the perfect ingredient for a recipe, to enhance its overall nutritional value.
Let’s take a look at the reactions that CBD initiates in the body, and the benefits that a CBDistillery oil could offer us in our food.
The endocannabinoid system: a hidden but essential network
Scientists and health experts always seem so certain about how our body works and what we need to be taking to improve our health, but what about when new evidence presents itself? This has been happening over the past 20 or 30 years, with the unearthing of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) upending how we think about our health.
This is a system that contains receptors and chemicals we never even knew about, that function in a system that is connected to our immune system, and general physical and mental wellbeing. Healthy people may not require external assistance, with their naturally-produced endocannabinoids keeping their ECS in balance, but if you find yourself lagging, endocannabinoid deficiency could be at the root of your problems.
That external assistance for the ECS comes in the form of cannabinoids, with CBD appearing to do more than any other to support ECS regulation. ECS science is extremely complex, and we are learning more about it all the time, but the main role of CBD is to promote anandamide-mediated activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Anandamide fits into these receptors as a key does in a lock, and binding with the former helps to soothe pain and enhance mood, while connecting with the latter facilitates reduced inflammation.
The benefits of cooking with CBD
CBD oil is the most suitable product to cook with, as it can be added in precise quantities using the dropper that is supplied with the bottle. Feel free to mix in the oil at any point during the recipe but bear in mind that CBD evaporates at around 160°C to 180°C (320°F to 350°F) – if you exceed these temperatures when cooking, you’ll lose the benefits of the CBD.
Sugars and processed foods can trigger inflammation and eradicating them or at least balancing them out with an anti-inflammatory diet is vital. Adding a splash of HempBombs CBD oil to your meal works wonders, as endocannabinoids are immunomodulatory substances and can stave off hyperactivity in the immune system. CBD may also help to manage autoimmune diseases by treating the symptoms of ‘leaky gut’.
Rich in antioxidants
Research has repeatedly confirmed the potent antioxidant properties of CBD and other cannabinoids – in fact, they are even stronger than vitamins C and E. Antioxidants help to protect cells in the body from degradation by free radicals. They also reduce oxidative stress on the brain and may improve heart health.
Mood food is not a myth – the right diet really can make us feel better about ourselves, and it’s all to do with chemicals. By indirectly stimulating anandamide, CBD is making more of a natural antidepressant available in the body. When we’re in a good state of mind, our physical health is often enhanced, too.
The ECS is involved with the process of bone growth, preservation and strengthening. From a medical angle, CBD could potentially be used to speed up fracture healing. From a general perspective, strong bones allow us to live an active lifestyle and maintain a high quality of life.
CBD stimulates neurogenesis
The physical structure of our brain can change over time, and this the explanation behind neurodegenerative diseases. CBD has been shown to speed up the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, protecting our short and long-term memory as we age. Adding CBD to your meal, therefore, promotes good brain health.
Dick Benson Editorial Director