Why Everyone Needs a Daily Dose of Vitamin Weed By: Dr. Ross You might have heard phrases like Vitamin CBD or Vitamin Weed. But does your body actually make CBD or THC? The answer is no. CBD and THC are two phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The prefix “phyto” means they come […]
Why Everyone Needs a Daily Dose of Vitamin Weed
By: Dr. Ross
You might have heard phrases like Vitamin CBD or Vitamin Weed. But does your body actually make CBD or THC?
The answer is no. CBD and THC are two phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The prefix “phyto” means they come from plants, not humans or other animals. Your body makes endocannabinoids like anandamide, 2-AG, and PEA. The prefix “endo” means that they are made inside your body. While CBD and THC aren’t made in the body, that doesn’t mean they aren’t essential vitamins for wellness. In fact, only vitamin D and vitamin K are produced within the body, while vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E are all derived from foods we eat.
Food is medicine, and cannabis is no different. While the most popular way to consume cannabis today is by smoking or vaping it, cannabis was also eaten as a food or consumed as tea for centuries. Livestock even ate hemp as animal feed, and their meat was enriched in cannabinoids like CBD and eaten by humans. Cannabinoids used to be part of the human diet before prohibition happened in the United States and many parts of the Western world, banning hemp from animal feed and scheduling cannabis as an illegal drug with no medical benefit.
Due to stress, sleep deprivation, unhealthy diet, and environmental toxins, the majority of Americans are endocannabinoid deficient. That means they need to supplement themselves with phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC to restore balance to their endocannabinoid system, the largest neurotransmitter system in your body. Think of it like any other vitamin deficiency that needs support.
CBD increases levels of our endocannabinoid anandamide, the “bliss molecule,” while THC directly activates CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors throughout our brain and body. There are different reasons why someone might use CBD versus THC, including avoiding potential drug interactions, need for stronger anxiety or pain relief, or personal preference. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on using CBD as a daily vitamin for wellness, but microdosing THC at a dose between 1.5-5 mg can provide health benefits of “Vitamin Weed” as well.
When you take a vitamin D pill, you might not feel the effects right away. It may even take a couple of days for the vitamin to build up in your bloodstream. Similarly, some people are concerned that they might not feel the effects of CBD right away. But that doesn’t mean the CBD is not working, unless you purchased a poor-quality product with little actual CBD in it (do your homework on a brand before purchasing)! CBD is working as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, helping protect your brain cells, heart, and other organs from free radical damage.
CBD has numerous activities in the body at a cellular level beyond just increasing anandamide. It can activate a subtype of serotonin receptors, called 5-HT1A that help reduce anxiety, pain, nausea, and sleep issues. It can block GPR55, a receptor that can fuel cancer cell growth. CBD can activate TRPV1, a receptor that modulates pain, inflammation, and temperature, and may underlie health conditions like fibromyalgia. Beyond the receptor level, CBD can turn on hundreds of genes that are anti-cancer and turn off hundreds of genes that promote cancer. We are really at the tip of the iceberg for understanding how this amazing molecule works to promote both short-term changes and long-term health.
While many people are adamant about using only plants over pills, I argue that CBD or cannabis can be used as either alternative medicine or complementary medicine. In fact, in many cases where a medication or treatment is working for a patient, with minimal side effects, it doesn’t make sense to discontinue it for cannabis or CBD. Instead, cannabinoids can boost the overall health, mood, and quality of life for a patient instead of acting as the primary treatment. Consuming Vitamin Weed, whether as CBD oil or microdosing THC products, should become part of everyone’s wellness ritual, whether they consider themselves healthy or have a chronic illness.
Always talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or lifestyle change, including CBD or cannabis. Have questions or a topic you’d like me to cover in the next column? Email Dr. Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.