CBD’s juggernaut-like progress from the obscure compound it once was, to the must-have game-changer it’s become, is meteoric. No longer occupying a scientific niche, you can now ask your barista to pop a few drops of CBD oil in your coffee. CBD is everywhere, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of its benefits; it has brought relief to millions from various pains and inflammations, and eased the world’s mind by reducing stress and anxiety. So have we reached peak CBD? Are we now at a point where the market has become awash with indistinguishable CBD oil, caps, drinks, gummies and elixirs? Or can we continue to evolve our understanding of this benevolent compound?
Curcumin and Boswellia for inflammation
Firstly, it’s important to recognise that different combinations of supplements are geared towards different objectives. We’ll start with the most popular usage of CBD, which is for the treatment of inflammation. Inflammation can be either long or short term, and CBD works for both, but there are ingestible supplements naturally geared towards each, depending on the kind of inflammation from which one might be suffering. Curcumin, found in turmeric, and widely acknowledged as an effective natural anti-inflammatory, can be combined with CBD to maximise relief from inflammation. The same studies suggesting this correlation also found that Boswellia – Indian frankincense common to the Punjab region – has the same effect. Much like curcumin, both have been used in traditional herbal medicine for centuries. Combining the two with CBD has a profound effect on the enzymes which worsen inflammation, blocking them and neutralising their effects.
Glucosamine, and Chondroitin Sulphate for joint pain
Another popular application of CBD is for joint pain. There are several laboratory and animal studies that suggest CBD might be a promising approach in treating arthritis, both of which highlight CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. In fact, a controlled trial that took place back in 2005, tested the cannabis-based medicine Sativex on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain, swelling and stiffness, and found that disease activity was significantly suppressed following Sativex treatment.
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, causes the protective cartilage between bones to break down meaning that joints don’t move as smoothly as they should and the rubbing bones cause joint pain. Whilst CBD can be successful in reducing joint pain and inflammation, it can’t help repair degraded cartilage.
This is where glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate come in handy. Both of these natural supplements help repair the structure of cartilage as well as stimulating the production of synovial fluid, a liquid that lubricates joints and grants ease of movement.
Combining CBD with these two supplements could be a winning combo. Whilst CBD has the properties to ease symptoms of pain and reduce inflammation, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can assist with increasing cartilage and the fluid surrounding joints.
CBD & Ashwghanda (KSM-66) for stress
In 2020, a study established that 79% of British adults in employment commonly experience work-related stress. The percentages for monetary-related stress and family stress were also fairly high, highlighting how common problem stress can be.
If you are one of many that struggles with stress daily, you might want to consider a combination of CBD & Ashwagandha (KSM-66) Whilst we are all triggered by stress in individual ways and we will all cope with it differently, on a biological level, stress is the same for us all. Stress is a natural, mental and physical reaction that is caused by internal and external pressures. When you’re stressed, the adrenal glands produce a hormone called cortisol, widely known as the stress hormone. If your body is on high alert from danger or pressure, cortisol is released and can have both positive and negative effects. Cortisol plays a part in metabolism, stimulating the liver to increase the production of blood sugar and enhancing your brain’s use of glucose. Cortisol also restricts functions that would be redundant or harmful in a fight-or-flight situation. A complex natural alarm system, cortisol communicates with the parts of the brain that are in control of motivation, fear and mood.
Although highly practical in short periods of stress, chronic or persistent stress leaves our fight-or-flight reaction switched on. Long-term activation of our body’s stress-response system can lead to an overload of cortisol that can be damaging to the body and put one at risk, causing issues from anxiety to weight gain.
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that has multiple health benefits. It’s best known for its stress-lowering effects through its ability to reduce cortisol hormone levels. Scientific studies have found that high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root can safely and effectively improve an individual’s resistance towards stress.
As CBD has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate under stress through its interaction with the cannabinoid system, combining this with the cortisol-reducing Ashwagandha serves as a two-pronged attack on stress, both supplements working on the body in different ways.
CBD & St. John’s Wort for depression
Sadly, the occurrence of depression is increasingly prevalent these days, and 1 in 4 people in the UK are prescribed an antidepressant. More often than not, these take the form of ‘SSRIs’ – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – which increase the level of serotonin in the brain. CBD cannot do this, its primary defence against depression is as an anti-inflammatory. Neuro-inflammation and depression feed into each other, and the more one increases so too does the other. But one can combine CBD with something else naturally occurring that does have the desired effect on serotonin reuptake. Research suggests that some of the active ingredients in St John’s Wort seem to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, in turn, lifting one’s mood.
By combining increased serotonin with the strong anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, you can conjure up a more reliable source of natural medication to ease symptoms of depression.
If you are on antidepressant medication, never combine this with St John’s Wort – there have been reports of the combo being dangerous due to an overload of serotonin. Always consult with your doctor before taking any medication to treat depression!
We know that CBD can be used to treat various conditions and is a remarkable natural supplement. Combining CBD with other health supplements can give a welcome boost to its already wide-ranging homeostatic benefits. Look carefully at the issues you are looking to treat and spend time doing your research to decipher which herbal allies work well together.