The science behind cannabidiol and the endocannabinoid system.
Over the last few years, cannabidiol (CBD) has received major buzz, establishing its reputation as an essential tool for reducing anxiety, pain, skin woes, and even improving hair growth (which we happen to know a lot about). On the surface, it seems to be an elixir that does it all – but there’s a lot more to it!
So what exactly is CBD and why is it a huge hit?
Come along for a crash course on the science of CBD: what happens when it enters the body, as well as consumption tips, and what to look for in products.
What is CBD?
Arguably the most popular cannabinoid in the cannabis plant! In fact, a 2019 Gallup poll found that 1 in 7 adults in the United States have used CBD. It’s best known for its therapeutic, non-intoxicating effects on the mind and body, due to its unique interaction with the endocannabinoid system (more on that later).
On that note, to further understand CBD, we must bust a very common myth: when it comes to ingestible products (gummies, oils and the like), many tend to believe that CBD is non-psychoactive, as it doesn’t produce intoxicating effects like its counterpart, THC. Wrong! Any chemical is considered psychoactive when it acts on the central nervous system and alters brain function, leading to changes in mood, consciousness and behavior. Though topicals like ours are a different story and don’t have any cognitive effects.
Overall, just remember: CBD you eat or inhale is psychoactive even though it doesn’t get you high. When educating yourself, details matter!
CBD & the endocannabinoid system
This is probably the most fascinating thing about cannabis in general. In a nutshell, the human body has cannabinoid receptors – the main ones being CB1 and CB2 – that interact with cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Located in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells, they make up the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex signaling system that maintains homeostasis.
In other words: the ECS keeps us balanced by regulating processes such as immune response, appetite, sleep, memory and more. When you use CBD, it latches onto those CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout your body; think of it as a lock and key solution where CBD and the receptors complement each other. They all fit together perfectly and work in tandem to deliver many benefits, from anxiety relief to reduced inflammation. Isn’t science cool?
How to use CBD
CBD can be used in many ways, including: capsules, dry flower, oils, edibles, and non-ingestible topicals like Safo’s CBD haircare. The options are pretty vast!
To make the most informed decision, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, while also compiling your own research. First, think of what you’re trying to achieve by incorporating CBD into your routine. For instance, if you're dealing with pesky scalp irritation, our CBD scalp serum may be an excellent treatment for you. All you need to do is apply a dime-size amount directly to your scalp and massage it in with your fingertips or a wide tooth comb. Easy enough! With regular use (we recommend 2-3 times per week), you may find the irritation has greatly diminished or disappeared altogether. How? It all goes back to the endocannabinoid system. There are cannabinoid receptors on the scalp, so when you consistently apply CBD serum, it stimulates natural sebum production, which remedies dryness and irritation.
What to look for in CBD products
The market has become highly saturated, but not all CBD products are made equal. It may feel a little overwhelming to narrow down the best options, but trust us… the process is worth it! Once you know which form of CBD you wish to use, we suggest doing some investigative work. In addition to speaking with a professional, here’s a checklist of what to look for:
Check the source. Seek sustainably farmed products free of pesticides, heavy metals or other fertilizers that may compromise effectiveness, quality and safety. Learn all about our commitment to sustainability and healthy ingredients here!
3rd party lab testing is everything. Not only does this provide product transparency, it also establishes a sense of trust. Working with a 3rd party means unbiased testing. In case you’re wondering, Safo products are dermatologist-tested.
Support Black and women-owned businesses! We’re infused with love and centuries old herbal tradition powered by CBD. Need we say more?
And there you have it, friends: a crash course on CBD and how it works with your body. If you have any questions, please get in touch! We’re always here to help. You can also access our blog, Roots, a great resource for CBD haircare and beyond.