The Basics of CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from the cannabis sativa plant and is the non-psychoactive component of marijuana. Its counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), does contain the psychoactive element, so you can’t get “high” or experience any hallucinations when you ingest only CBD.
CBD facts include a long list of health benefits and are even helpful in treating our pets. Both humans and our pets have receptor sites within the body called endocannabinoid receptors.
There are two primary endocannabinoid receptors — CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptor sites are mostly found in the central nervous system, and CB2 are primarily located within the peripheral nervous system, including the immune system. When CBD is ingested, either through inhaling or consuming edibles or tinctures, it binds to these receptor sites found throughout the body.
CBD is perceived by many to be a “medical miracle” because there isn’t much that CBD can’t help with, especially when it comes to chronic pain. In response to an ABC News poll, 38 million adults in the U.S. have chronic pain, and of those, 12 million have utilized cannabis for treatment, but are the benefits and side-effects different for men and women?
How CBD Affects Men?
The endocannabinoid system also includes areas of male reproduction, including sperm and testicular tissue. CBD has also been found to have a positive effect on testosterone, which undoubtedly contributes to a man’s reproductive health.
Benefits of CBD for Men
CBD benefits for men include some of the same advantages as women, such as being an anti-inflammatory, which helps with chronic pain. Others include reducing anxiety, depression, and insomnia, but there are some benefits of CBD that are entirely exclusive for men.
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED) – Approximately 30 million American men of all ages experience ED. The causes of ED can be physiological, psychological, or a combination of both. Other contributing factors include having diabetes, being overweight, and being over 50 years of age, but performance anxiety can play a huge role.
- Since CBD helps reduce anxiety, it is no surprise that it can also assist with ED when it is caused by performance anxiety.
- When CBD is also combined with other healthy lifestyle choices like diet and exercise, it can assist ED by improving mood and metabolic function
- Heart Health – Several health conditions can affect men of all ages, including stroke, heart attacks, and metabolic syndrome, all linked to high blood pressure.
- The anti-anxiety and stress-reducing properties of CBD help to regulate blood pressure.
- CBD helps reduce the cardiovascular response to various types of stress, which can improve overall heart health.
How CBD Affects Women?
As with men, the endocannabinoid system in women also includes areas of the female reproductive system, especially estrogen levels. Estrogen works with the endocannabinoid system to stabilize mood and emotional response. If there is a decline in estrogen levels, that could lead to a drop in the endocannabinoid levels resulting in depression.
Benefits of CBD for Women
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – PMS can include a wide range of symptoms, including mood swings, bloating, cramps, digestive issues, breast tenderness, and of course, anxiety and stress.
- CBD can help with mood irregularities by interacting with the receptors located in the limbic system found in the brain, which is the area responsible for our emotions.
- CBD can assist with bloating, cramps, digestive issues, and breast tenderness due to the anti-inflammatory properties
- Helps Manage Hormonal Imbalance – Hormonal imbalance can occur in women of all ages during child-bearing years and during menopause, pre and post.
- CBD helps maintain a regular hormonal balance by interacting with the neurotransmitters responsible for hormone production and regulation.
- In one study, CBD helped regulate the secretion of cortisol (the stress activating hormone)
Side-Effects of CBD for Both Men and Women
- Interactions with Other Medications – There can be potential adverse side effects when CBD is combined with certain medications. Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist whenever taking CBD alongside other medicines.
- Increased Risk of Sedation or Drowsiness – When CBD is taken in conjunction with alcohol or medicines that slow brain activity, including stress, panic attacks, anxiety, or sleep disorders, it may cause a higher degree of sedation or drowsiness to occur
CBD Shopping Guide
Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently regulate CBD products, it is highly suggested that the CBD products be third-party lab tested. This process will allow you to see the exact ingredients you are putting into your body
Look for products that say organic, U.S.-grown cannabis because organic ingredients mean you are less likely to ingest pesticides or other harmful chemicals
CBD comes in various forms; however, some types are more readily absorbed by the body.
- Edibles – Edibles are a fantastic and discreet way of taking CBD. Because these forms are eaten, it will take longer for the full effect due to the breakdown and digestion process. It could take up to two hours, and research has shown that you end up absorbing 20-30% of the CBD you consume. A few of the most popular kinds of edibles include:
- Tinctures – This form of CBD is placed under the tongue, and because it goes right into the bloodstream, it takes effect much faster than edibles. Some edibles may also contain sugar and preservatives, whereas tinctures will not.
- Topicals – CBD topicals are applied directly to the skin and are primarily used for skin conditions like eczema. These topical forms of CBD can also help with arthritis conditions as they provide concentrated relief to a specific area. The various types of topicals include:
- Vaping and Smoking – When CBD is vaped or smoked, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, making this a much faster way of absorbing CBD. The full effect should be felt within ten minutes.
When it comes to taking CBD, there is no best way; it is just what suits that person’s needs best. Both men and women can find relief naturally with CBD in whatever form they choose.
Is CBD Legal?
Hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3%THC are legal on the federal level but are still illegal under some state laws. It is always a good idea to check your state’s laws or, if you plan on traveling, to research the laws on CBD for that state.
Even though CBD does affect men and women differently, which is primarily due to the differences in hormones, there is still a vast range of health benefits for both men and women when taking CBD. Scientific research consistently shows the health advantages of CBD continuing to grow over time.
What makes CBD so unique is that it is natural and not created in a lab like other synthetic drugs are. However, it is still a good idea to talk with your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you are taking any prescribed medications.
Finding natural ways to help alleviate health problems like anxiety and chronic pain is a definite plus. CBD has been shown to provide a safe and powerful source of relief for many people suffering from debilitating health conditions.
Jasmine Khachatrian, Founder and President of Kanavia Organics. Jasmine is a California-licensed Physician Assistant, and has 25 years of experience in providing healthcare in Los Angeles County.