Does CBD Oil Lower Cortisol

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Cortisol, the “stress hormone”, helps regulate a number of processes in the body. When cortisol levels are out of balance it can cause a number of issues. Learn more. CBD oil has more health benefits than you might realize. These are 6 surprising uses of the non-psychoactive, 100% legal oil. Research indicates CBD oil’s effect on hormones may aid in managing many health conditions, including anxiety, depression, diabetes, PMS, and insomnia.

4 Functions of Cortisol in Your Body and What CBD’s Got to Do With It

Cortisol is often referred to as the “stress hormone” because it plays a key role in our bodies’ response to stress. That said, this steroid hormone also serves several other functions in the body. In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the major functions of cortisol, as well as what can throw it off balance. Lastly, we detail how CBD might be able to help regulate your cortisol levels.

Which Body Functions Is Cortisol Involved in?

In This Article

Stress response

Cortisol is heavily involved in what is known as our “fight-or-flight” response, when we’re presented with a stressful situation or perceived threat. Adrenaline and cortisol spike, putting you into high alert, primed to respond to the danger — whether you’re being followed by a tiger or you have to give a big presentation. Cortisol alters some of our bodies’ “nonessential” functions — that is, things that can be pushed aside while you’re in a situation that needs to be dealt with there and then — so that you’re able to fight (face the situation head on) or take flight (escape the situation).

Sleep-wake cycle

The natural ebb and flow of cortisol levels in the body helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle (or, body clock). A paper published in Natural Medicine Journal describes cortisol production throughout the day as a waveform pattern. “Cortisol levels start to rise approximately 2-3 hours after sleep onset and continue to rise into the early morning and early waking hours. The peak in cortisol is about 9 a.m.; as the day continues, levels decline gradually.” Knowing this, it’s easy to see how an imbalance in your cortisol levels could lead to sleeplessness at night and grogginess during the day.

Inflammation

Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone. If you’re exposed to too much stress, your body may not produce enough cortisol to keep your body in balance, which in turn can lead to inflammation. “Although stressful events may be an inevitable part [of] life, a prolonged or exaggerated response to pain or non–pain-related stressors may intensify sympathetic and neuroendocrine activity, exhaust cortisol, and perpetuate widespread pain and inflammation,” according to an article published in Physical Therapy. This is another reason why keeping cortisol levels steady is so important.

Blood sugar

Cortisol is involved in regulating the glucose levels in your body, and works to increase blood sugar . According to one paper , “The presence of glucocorticoids, such as cortisol, increases the availability of blood glucose to the brain.” Essentially, when you enter flight-or-flight mode, you need enough energy to deal with the stressful situation, and cortisol provides your body with the glucose it needs to “fight” or run. It follows that if you find yourself in stressful situations too often, your blood sugar levels might become too high, which is part of why managing stress should be a priority for your well-being.

What Can Throw Cortisol Out of Whack?

You can have either too little or too much cortisol in the body for it to function optimally — the goal should be to keep your cortisol levels balanced, so that you can go about your daily tasks. A number of factors can throw cortisol out of balance, but the main one to look for is stress, as you might have already gathered. Experiencing some amount of stress is normal and healthy, but if you’re under constant stress, your body might release too much cortisol, which can lead to issues down the line. High levels of estrogen in the body, as in pregnancy, can also heighten cortisol.

CBD and Cortisol: What Studies Show About How They Interact

Many people regularly take CBD in hopes to help them manage their stress levels, and current research tends toward supporting this approach. One study of 11 volunteers found that taking 300 or 600 milligrams of CBD decreased cortisol levels. Other research has found similar potential, showing how CBD may work within our bodies’ natural systems to help us regulate our stress response and balance cortisol levels. So if you often find yourself in stressful situations, you could try taking a CBD daily to evaluate how it impacts you over time.

Ultimately, cortisol has rightfully earned its reputation as the “stress hormone” and is involved in regulating a number of body functions. But when cortisol levels become imbalanced, this can interfere with how well we sleep, heighten blood sugar and lead to inflammation, among other things. Therefore, managing stress is especially important for keeping cortisol levels within a healthy range — and CBD may be able to help with that.

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based writer and editor with seven years of experience creating content for various outlets. Her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Stylist and Cosmopolitan, and she won first place in Writing Magazine’s Grand Prize for a short story in 2020.

6 Surprising Health Benefits Of CBD Oil

There has been a lot of media hype in recent years over the legalization of marijuana and the possible health benefits it can provide. While these benefits may or may not be true, the fact of the matter is that although many states have legalized the drug, many have not. There is still quite a bit of controversy over the subject and it’s not likely to die down anytime soon.

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However, what you may not realize is that marijuana contains two compounds: THC (its psychoactive component that gives you the “high”) and CBD (the non-psychoactive component.)

CBD is 100 percent legal in all of the US and, while many people still confuse the two, it’s important to note the difference. CBD is not psychoactive. In fact, it can actually be quite beneficial for your health. As it becomes increasingly popular, more and more people are turning to the plant-based oil to find relief from aches, pains, and more.

What is CBD?

Hemp plants contain over eighty cannabinoids, and CBD makes up 40 percent of that. In order to produce more CBD, the plants are strategically grown to increase the CBD to THC ratio.

When they’re harvested, the extract is then purified even further to create the CBD product. CBD is a cannabinoid that binds to receptors in your brain (all cannabinoids can bind to those receptors), causing the health benefits that so many people love. It also isn’t associated with some of the side effects of the THC found in marijuana.

How Can CBD Help Me?

Truthfully, CBD has so many reported health benefits that to touch on all of them would take far more than one blog post. Here, we’re going to focus on the top six benefits that will help just about anyone.

1. Lower Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is the hormone your body secretes when you’re stressed. It’s not bad in and of itself; in fact, it’s there to help you.

However, in our fast-paced world we’re often flooded with cortisol, and that’s not a good thing. High levels of cortisol can cause chronic anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches, and weight gain (particularly in your abdomen, where we need it the least).

CBD can significantly lower cortisol levels, improving your mood, sleep, blood pressure, and even helping with weight loss.

2. Decrease Insulin Levels

Type II diabetes is a debilitating disease that impairs your body’s ability to process sugar, and it is at an all-time high. In fact, over 30 million people in the US are affected.

When insulin levels remain high due to a high carbohydrate diet, your body eventually becomes resistant to it. More and more insulin is required until your body can’t keep up. Loss of blood sugar levels ensues and the result is diabetes.

A recent study by the Hadassah University Hospital in Israel showed that CBD lowered insulin levels enough to reverse diabetes in mice; the improvement was statistically significant.

3. Decrease Stress and Anxiety

One of CBD’s most talked-about benefits is its impact on stress and anxiety. Earlier we talked about cortisol, the body’s response to stress. Not only does CBD reduce cortisol levels in those already dealing with chronic stress, but it also improves your ability to be calm and centered, which prevents stress and anxiety in the first place.

Remember when we talked about how cannabinols bind to certain receptors in your brain? There are certain receptors that CBD binds to, specifically, that regulate fear and anxiety. This is especially good news for those dealing with chronic anxiety, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder.

4. Decrease Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury.

Unfortunately with inflammatory diseases like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and asthma, the body’s inflammation response is in overdrive, causing pain and chronic illness. Like the receptors that regulate fear and anxiety, there are receptors in your immune system that regulate inflammation. CBD binds to these receptors causing a significant decrease in inflammation.

5. Reduce Pain & Need For Pain Medication

Due to the increasing opioid crisis in America, researchers struggle to find ways to alleviate pain while also avoiding compounds that are habit-forming and harmful.

Opioid receptors in the body will bind to CBD, meaning that it can provide the significant pain relief of strong medication, without being an addictive substance.

6. Increased Deep Sleep

It’s no secret that modern humans struggle with our sleep quality. Millions of people take some sort of sleep aid in order to get a good night’s sleep. These drugs can be addictive, make you drowsy the next day, and some even have serious long term side effects.

Due to CBD’s effects on stress, anxiety, inflammation, and pain, all these combine to really calm your brain and nervous system, providing you with some of the best sleep you have ever had.

Is CDB Oil Right For You?

If you have wondered about the legality or addictive qualities of CBD due to the fact that it comes from the hemp plant, rest assured that it’s safe and legal.Make sure you purchase it from a respectable source with purity testing results available. If you’re dealing with anxiety, sleeplessness, or any of the other issues highlighted above, CBD may be able to help. It may even be a safer alternative than medications for some individuals.*

If you want to explore this topic in more depth, check out Ben Greenfield’s great podcast on the subject. He delves into the science in greater detail. And if you would like to learn more about how to live a long, healthy life, schedule a consultation with Matrix Age Management. Our customized age management programs, peptide treatments, hormonal replacement therapy treatments, and sexual vitality treatments can help you live you feel better, now.

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CBD Oil’s Effect On Hormones: Potential Benefits

There is much in the news these days about all the positive effects of cannabidiol (CBD) oil on our general health and wellbeing. These benefits are usually cited as anything from inflammation control to addressing anxiety. However, not much is said about CBD oil’s effect on hormones, or how it impacts your endocrine system, the glands throughout your body that produce hormones. These hormones play a very important role in just about all body processes, including hunger, sexuality, mood, and your heartbeat.

While research is continuously being conducted on CBD oil’s effect on hormones, these are the benefits the research has found thus far.

CBD Oil’s Effect on Hormones

In order to understand CBD oil’s effect on hormones, you first have to look at how the endocrine system and its various hormones function. The glands making up the endocrine system include the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenals, ovaries, and testes.

Proper hormone function has a major impact on numerous bodily processes. Amongst these are included your metabolism, reproduction and sexuality, mood, appetite, and even growth. Numerous studies indicate CBD oil’s effect on hormones is both wide-ranging and profound.

CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis Sativa plant. It contains more than 100 phytocannabinoids. These various compounds may, to a large extent, mirror your body’s own endocannabinoids.

The Endocannabinoid System

Your endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system – in it, certain physiological processes employ certain chemicals in the regulation of neurons. The neuromodulators that play a role in central nervous system function, for example, include norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine. Different neuromodulators tend to have an effect on specific target areas.

Neuromodulators are not neurotransmitters, per se, but they fulfill a similar function.

The neuromodulatory system plays a role in your body’s response to internal and external factors, synaptic plasticity, and the development of your central nervous system. Your endocannabinoid system is made up of enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids, enzymes, and various cannabinoid receptors.

How CBD Oil Interacts with Your Endocannabinoid System

Much research has thus far been done on the effect of CBD oil and its impact on our bodies, including our mechanical, physical, biochemical functions, and psychological functions.

Two phytocannabinoids in CBD oil that have undergone much research are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Most marijuana users are familiar with a high that is the result of the THC. CBD, however, has no intoxicating effect on your body.

The CBD oil reacts with CB1 and CB2, cannabinoid receptors found in your brain and body. They are responsible for a number of physiological actions including inflammation, pain, and mood. When these different receptors are activated, the CBD oil stimulates your endocrine glands’ function.

CBD Oil for Cortisol

The body’s cortisol is mainly produced in the adrenal glands. It is commonly referred to as the stress hormone because of its ability to manage the stress response. Your stress response is also known as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response because many systems are affected. Your NEM is governed by the brain, or more specifically, the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis.

When a threat is perceived, the hypothalamus sends chemical messengers signaling this threat to the pituitary gland which, in turn, sends its own chemical messengers to the adrenals. The result is a cascade of hormones issued throughout the body to deal with the situation.

Cortisol, the fight or flight hormone, plays a large role in your body’s ability to handle stress. An increase in cortisol production also causes a decrease in certain bodily functions while others may stop altogether. Your body prioritizes immediate survival. Once the situation causing the stress passes, cortisol production usually returns to normal, as do other processes that were affected.

Constant, high cortisol production is found when stress continues, such as when you have a lot of stress due to your job. This could have a huge impact on your health and result in numerous health issues. Amongst these are adrenal fatigue.

Amongst the various processes affected by higher cortisol production are included:

  • Mood and behavior
  • Libido
  • Sleeping patterns
  • Physical activities
  • Digestion
  • Circulation

The anti-catabolic properties of CBD oil may help with cortisol production regulation. In this way, it may help to reduce stress and mitigate the effects of cortisol on your body.

CBD Oil for Insulin

Insulin is produced in your pancreas. An insulin imbalance may result in heart issues, obesity, and diabetes.

Insulin plays a role in turning glucose into the energy your body needs in order to function correctly. It also plays a role in storing excess energy, i.e. glucose, in your fat cells and helps with nutrient absorption. When your body’s insulin production is compromised, and not enough is produced, blood sugar levels may rise. This could result in damage to your nerves, your blood vessels, and your organs.

Diabetes may be the result of inflammation in the pancreas and a reduction in insulin production. CBD oil may have a beneficial, anti-inflammatory effect which may be of aid for pancreatitis, i.e. inflammation of the pancreas. By reducing pancreatic inflammation, CBD oil may thus have a beneficial effect on the production of the hormone insulin. CB1 receptors have been found at the sites of insulin production.

CBD Oil for the Thyroid

The thyroid gland takes iodine from food and converts it into thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The thyroid is the only organ in your body that can absorb iodine. Every cell in your body depends on thyroid hormones because they control metabolism at a cellular level. In other words, thyroid hormones are needed to convert oxygen and calories into energy so that your body can work at an optimal level.

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An imbalance in thyroid hormones resulting from a compromised thyroid may result in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism which may lead to a number of health conditions. Your endocannabinoid system has a strong influence on thyroid function and thus the production of thyroid hormones.

Research indicates the presence of cannabinoid receptors on the thyroid gland and that CB1 receptors control thyroid hormone release. Studies on CBD oil have found that it plays a role in thyroid hormone production. In addition, CBD oil may benefit those with both benign and malignant thyroid lesions.

Interestingly, the pituitary gland has endocannabinoid receptors and is responsible for the sending of chemical messengers to the thyroid. It thus seems that CBD could communicate with this gland as well. It could potentially play a beneficial role in thyroid function and hormone production.

CBD Oil for Sleep

CBD oil’s effect on hormones could help improve your sleep cycle and sleep quality. Sleep issues are often the result of unbalanced hormones.

The pineal gland in your brain has cannabinoid receptors and is responsible for the production of melatonin. Melatonin regulates your circadian rhythm and your sleep-wake cycle. Your circadian rhythm, to a large extent, helps regulate many bodily functions. Obesity, diabetes, and depression are linked to low melatonin production. By activating the CB1 receptors in the pineal gland, CBD oil may help improve your sleeping habits.

As previously mentioned, CBD may also help manage your adrenal glands’ cortisol production. Higher levels of cortisol in your body may keep you in a state of readiness, alertness, and anxiousness. By helping to manage cortisol production, and effectively lowering its production into a normal range, CBD oil may improve sleep.

CBD Oil for Women’s Health

Women are not strangers to shifts in their hormone levels. They usually have temporary hormone imbalances during puberty, while menstruating, and during menopause. These hormone imbalances are commonly associated with a number of symptoms such as sleep issues, increased stress, weight gain, and pain due to cramps. CBD oil’s effect on hormones may help manage most of these issues.

While CBD oil is known for its pain relief properties, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help with the cramps and pain felt during menstruation. This may also make it beneficial for premenstrual syndrome, or PMS.

Furthermore, CBD oil helps manage your body’s cortisol levels. This means it may be able to significantly reduce your feelings of anxiety during times of hormonal upheaval, while its insulin and melatonin regulating abilities may help prevent loss of sleep and weight gain that often happen during these times.

CBD Oil for Brain Health

Stress is one of the main causes of anxiety and depression. It is also linked to adrenal fatigue and its numerous biological and psychological health implications. Amongst these are included irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, insomnia, stomach aches, weight loss or weight gain, heart problems, and various chronic ailments. Many of these conditions are marked by the presence of inflammation.

Besides its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil’s effect on hormones may be beneficial to brain health due to positive interaction with the brain’s serotonin receptors.

Serotonin is mainly found in the brain, blood, and bowels and is a neurotransmitter that is believed to help in smooth muscle constriction. It is the hormone that is associated with feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It is also the precursor hormone of melatonin, the hormone responsible for circadian rhythm regulation.

With regards to CBD oil’s effect on hormones and dopamine, more studies may be needed. What is known, however, is that CBD oil may have a partial action on dopamine D2 receptors, which could account for its positive actions on certain psychological issues.

Thus far, the CBD oil’s effect on hormones may help reduce feelings of anxiety, mild depression, the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, autism symptoms, psychosis, and even Alzheimer’s.

In Closing

There are too many studies that show positive results with regards to CBD oil’s effect on hormones for one to make it out as a myth hatched up by those propagating cannabis use. Due to our natural endocannabinoid receptors binding so readily with the phytocannabinoids present in CBD oil, one could almost describe this as a product that works in harmony with our own bodies.

However, please consult your healthcare practitioner before you start using CBD oil as a supplement. CBD oil may have an interaction with medications you may currently be using. It could also have an effect on certain health issues. Your healthcare practitioner may also need to adjust your dosage of certain medications for chronic conditions. CBD may also put a strain on your liver, so if you have liver congestion it might worsen your symptoms.

Generally speaking, when starting out with CBD oil you usually start out at a relatively low dosage, slowly working your way up to the recommended dosage. This is because your body takes time to adjust to the oil, with the oil working optimally once your highest recommended dosage is reached.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

Does CBD oil’s effect on hormones help diabetes?

There are many factors connected to diabetes. Insulin production is one of these. Research shows that CBD oil’s effect on hormones may help mitigate insulin production. In doing so, it may thus help address the high sugar levels that are associated with diabetes.

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