Chances are you’ve heard of CBD, the compound found in the hemp plant that has been the subject of countless news stories and reports of health benefits. Today, I want to share some information with you about what CBD is, and also, what it isn’t. But before we can look at CBD, it’s important to briefly touch on what’s called the Endogenous Cannabinoid System or ECS.

Your Body’s Balancing Act

Discovered as recently as the late 1980s, the ECS is a biological system found in all mammals. It’s comprised of compounds called endogenous cannabinoids (often called endocannabinoids) and cannabinoid receptors found widely throughout the body. The main purpose of the ECS appears to be to maintain homeostasis, your body’s ability to keep everything in balance. Essentially, when something is operating outside of the proper range, your body activates the ECS to help correct it. Because its role is to help so many other body systems maintain balance, it’s no surprise the ECS is involved in everything from pain and inflammation to memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function. The problem is, studies are finding it’s very easy to throw this balancing system out of balance.

CBD Helps Restore Balance

Enter CBD. Unlike the endocannabinoids we produce internally, CBD is a cannabinoid you get externally, most notably from the hemp plant. While more research is needed, our current understanding is CBD helps to rebalance and support the ECS. That’s why one person experiences pain relief, while another finds it helps them fall asleep while yet another reports it reduces anxious feelings. It’s not CBD that’s doing this directly. Rather, CBD is helping to rebalance the ECS, that in-turn helps rebalance so many other body systems.

But here’s what CBD isn’t. CBD is by no means a silver bullet or a cure-all that acts alone in the body. In order to really benefit from CBD, the ECS needs additional support. Managing stress levels, getting adequate sleep, and exercise all play major roles in the health of your ECS, as do diet and nutrition. Researchers have found without Omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics for example, the receptors and enzymes that comprise the ECS won’t be able to properly unlock the benefits of CBD.

Selecting a CBD Product

The final piece of the CBD puzzle is selecting one. There are hundreds of CBD companies and thousands of CBD products available. Like all herbal remedies, it’s very important to understand raw material and processing is critical to getting an effective product. When discussing CBD, it’s also important to note while some may be good, more may not be better. Researchers have learned that in some people, a lower dose of CBD may be more effective for symptoms like pain, than taking the highest dose available.

At Vital Choice, we offer a variety of the best products available from brands like HempLuxe, Charlotte’s Web and PlusCBD in addition to our own Vital Choice Broad-Spectrum CBD (learn more about our CBD here). With a Naturopathic Doctor and Registered Dietitian on our staff, we are ready to answer your questions, and help you find the best product for your needs.

Mike Ventresca is the owner of Vital Choice Health Store located at 9243 Sprague Road in North Royalton’s Timber Ridge Plaza since 1998. The phone number is 440-885-9505. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.