Cannabis has been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years, dating back to 2800BC when it was listed in the Emperor Shen Nung's pharmacopeia.
While it has been used throughout human history, the era of cannabis prohibition is actually a tiny portion when the bigger picture is taken into account. It feels that slowly but surely, we are coming towards the end of this particular chapter, with legislation paving the way for medicinal and recreational use in an increasing number of countries across the globe.
One particular derivative of cannabis that has enjoyed more acceptance than others is cannabidiol (CBD).
As a result of the legalisation of CBD as an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine around the world, we have seen the industry explode. This has led to rampant innovation and a deluge of new, advanced delivery methods ranging from CBD lube to topical CBD patches.
While these choices can be overwhelming, it is undeniable that one of the more traditional methods, CBD capsules, remain one of the most popular choices.
What is CBD?
Let us begin by defining exactly what CBD is.
CBD is typically derived from cannabis or hemp plants. It is one of over 100 different phytocannabinoids found within the plant.
While CBD is close to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – another of these 100+ phytocannabinoids) genetically, it is unique in that it does not produce a high – unlike its cousin.
This means that it is entirely safe to use from a therapeutic standpoint and explains why many countries, including the UK, have stringent regulations to ensure that THC levels do not exceed an extremely low threshold. In the UK, this legal threshold is set at 0.2%.
What are CBD capsules?
CBD capsules are capsules that contain CBD (who’d have thought it!?). They typically come in two different forms, hard pressed powdered pills (similar to paracetamol) or capsules that have CBD oil suspended inside.
At Cannacares we opt for CBD capsules as the body tends to have an easier time breaking these down and they get to work quicker than hard pressed pills. What’s more, we are one of the few brands in the UK that offer vegan-friendly CBD capsules!
CBD capsules typically contain anywhere between 10mg-30mg of CBD, depending on the manufacturer. Each Cannacares’ CBD capsule contains 30mg of CBD, making them one of the strongest and most effective on the market.
CBD capsules are taken just like any other capsule, vitamin or supplement. Simply swallow once capsule twice a day with a glass of water, or drink of your choice.
What are the Benefits of CBD Capsules?
There are a multitude of reasons why people choose to take CBD capsules on a daily basis and the benefits are myriad.
CBD capsules can help sleep
A 2017 study by Aviva revealed that approximately 16 million adults in the UK experience poor sleep, with nearly a third reporting insomnia. What’s more, over half of these UK adults are not actively taking any measures to improve the situation.
This is understandable with the alarming number of potential side effects that accompany traditional sleeping pills, namely addiction and perpetual drowsiness. There is an alternative however.
Various studies have suggested that CBD may have the potential to improve sleep. For example a 2014 study by Murillo-Rodriguez et al reported that CBD helped to alleviate sleep problems as a result of its ability to control the sleep-wake cycle.
A more recent 2019 study by Shannon et al specifically examined the role of CBD capsules in individuals with insomnia. They found that 66.7% of participants who took a 25mg CBD capsule before going to sleep each night reported improved sleep after just a month of use.
CBD capsules in particular are a good choice for sleep as they release CBD more slowly into the body than many other delivery methods. This means that effects are less likely to wear off throughout the night, allowing you a sound night of sleep.
CBD capsules can help to reduce pain
One of the most popular reasons for people deciding to try CBD is that of pain relief. Regardless of the severity, pain can be incredibly debilitating in daily life – whether that is acute pain for a few days or longer term chronic pain, including that caused by disorders such as fibromyalgia.
Many existing pain relief medications such as NSAIDs are accompanied by a raft of undesirable and in some cases fatal side effects. This is why many are open to trying more natural alternatives such as CBD.
CBD acts on the vanilloid receptors found in your brain. These are responsible for regulating pain perception and inflammation throughout the body. Once CBD triggers the aforementioned vanilloid receptors, pain and inflammation is often reduced.
Furthermore, a comprehensive meta review of CBD and pain studies between 1975-2018 by Vučković et al (2018) found that CBD promised to help with a variety of different types of pain including cancer, neuropathic and fibromyalgia pain.
CBD capsules can help to combat anxiety and depression
It is true that people have always been stressed to some degree, but there is no doubt an increasing number of us that are reaching breaking point in recent years, such are the demands of modern life.
While there are numerous traditional remedies on offer, many of these pharmaceutical anti-depressants carry potentially dangerous side effects. This is one of the key reasons why many are turning to CBD as a natural alternative. There are a number of ways in which CBD can help combat the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Firstly, we know that CBD binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors. These play a crucial role in our endocannabinoid system, helping to regulate serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that plays a crucial role in happiness, anxiety and general mental wellbeing. The most common manifestation of low serotonin levels is depression.
It is widely accepted that CBD helps to ramp up serotonin production. There are a number of studies that support this including a comprehensive 2019 study by De Gregorio et al. Furthermore, Crippa et al also found CBD to have a positive effect on participants suffering with social anxiety disorder (SAD) in their 2010 study.
There are also links between anxiety, depression and adenosine. CBD delays the reuptake of adenosine which leads to a de facto increase in adenosine levels in the brain. This lessens the feelings of anxiety and paranoia experienced by those struggling with SAD.
While further research is needed to acquire a deeper understanding of CBD and its relationship with mental health, the current general sentiment is undoubtedly positive.
CBD capsules can help to protect your body and brain
CBD is widely renowned as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that have the potential to either inhibit or slow down damage to cells that are caused by free radicals (unstable molecules produced by the body in response to environmental pressures).
In general parlance, free radicals are typically associated with the aging process and damage to the skin. However, free radicals can also have a negative effect on your brain.
The accumulation of free radicals is one of the contributing factors to neurodegenerative disorders, including the most common - Alzheimer’s disease.
While primitive, some studies, such as that by Xiong and Lim, conducted in 2021, have drawn tentative links between the antioxidant properties of CBD and its ability to counteract the effects of Alzheimer’s and other such neurodegenerative diseases.
CBD capsules can help reduce seizure activity
Much of the publicity that led to the increasingly prominent calls for legalisation or cannabis and its derivatives has centred around its ability to suppress seizure activity in children.
This is particularly true in the UK, where the much-publicised case of Billy Caldwell made many stand up and take note, including decision-makers in parliament. Billy suffered from severe epilepsy and experienced up to 100 seizures every day. However, after the tenacious campaigning of his mother, Charlotte Caldwell, Billy became the first person in the UK to be granted a legal medicinal cannabis product by the NHS in 2020. This led to him being completely seizure-free for 300 days.
While this anecdotal evidence is clearly fantastic, more clinical research is required in order to firmly draw conclusions. One recent example of this is a 2019 study by Silvestro et al that credited the neuroprotective activity induced by the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of CBD.
CBD capsules can help lower blood pressure
The British Heart Foundation estimate that over a quarter of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, which equates to approximately 15 million. What’s more, it is estimated that high blood pressure causes almost 100,000 deaths per year in the UK and undoubtedly plays a contributing role in many more.
However, there is a growing bank of research to suggest that CBD has the potential to help lower blood pressure levels. For example, a 2017 study by Jadoon, Tan and O’Sullivan found that a single 600mg dose of CBD was sufficient to lower blood pressure in healthy male participants.
An alternative study from the same year that was conducted on mice, found that CBD significantly reduced stress-induced increases in blood pressure and heart rate.
CBD capsules can suppress nausea and stimulate appetite
CBD has multiple benefits when it comes to being utilised as a digestive aid. Firstly, it suppresses nausea, which can often prevent people from taking in the calories that they need to maintain a healthy diet. Furthermore, it can also help once you have eaten by ensuring that those calories remain in the body - where they should be!
There is also evidence to suggest that CBD has the potential to stimulate appetite - further facilitating the ability to consume the necessary calories.
This is particularly useful for those who struggle with eating disorders. Additionally, such properties can also benefit those going through particular treatments, such as chemotherapy, that make eating a real challenge. By maintaining a balanced diet, it is easier for the body to heal in the correct manner.
CBD capsules can be used to treat acne and other skin conditions
As a result of the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, it represents a fantastic treatment option.
A 2014 study by Attila et al examined the effect of CBD on human sebocytes. Sebocytes are specialised cells whose role is to secrete sebum. An excess of sebum is the main driver of acne outbreaks. The conclusion of this research was positive, and many other studies also agree that CBD can help prevent excessive oil build up in the skin, ultimately preventing outbreaks of acne.
While topical CBD products are typically associated with the treatment of skin conditions, there is no doubt that combining these with ingestible CBD products, such as CBD capsules, only enhances performance.
CBD Capsules can be used to treat psychotic disorders
Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, are associated with lower anandamide levels in the brain. There are traditional pharmaceutical treatments available that raise these levels – namely powerful anti-psychotics that can carry extreme side effects such as blurred vision, weight gain, hallucinations and sedation.
CBD on the other hand comes with far more palatable side effects, which are considerably less prevalent. It also has the potential to increase anandamide levels in the brain. This is referenced in a 2012 study by Leweke et al into CBD and specifically its potential as a treatment for schizophrenia.
Why Choose CBD capsules?
This is one of the most common questions asked by potential new consumers of CBD, alongside “what is best delivery method”? With the myriad innovative products on offer today, there is no simple, blanket answer to this question. It is all down to the individual. However, we will outline a few of the advantages of CBD capsules below so that you can make your own informed decision.
Ease of use
There is no doubt that CBD capsules are one of the easiest CBD products to consume. Everyone has taken some form of capsule or tablet before in their life, so will know how to consume. This makes them a far more attractive proposition than CBD oil for example, which can be very difficult to drop under the tongue – particularly without the aid of a mirror!
Great for travel
CBD capsules are a great option for those who live life on-the-go. They are easy to pack in your bag and you can take them anywhere with you. They are much easier to travel with than CBD oil, which can cause widespread damage if it leaks in your bag (speaking from experience!).
Easy to dose
CBD capsules are pre dosed. Cannacares offer 30mg CBD capsules, which make dosing a doddle. It is much easier to keep track of how much you have taken and what your optimal dose is. This is not the case with CBD oil, which must be measured in a pipette and the total sum recorded in order to control dosage.
While there are so many positives related to CBD, taste is certainly not one of them! Anyone who has taken an unflavoured CBD oil or ingestible product will attest to that. Thankfully the absence of taste that comes with taking CBD capsules means that you don’t have to screw your face up at the earthy taste of CBD oil ever again!
While CBD is totally legal in the UK, we are fully aware that there are many still stuck in the past who will view cannabis and its derivatives in a negative light. This may mean that you want to avoid any awkward questions from co-workers or family members. CBD capsules offer you the discreteness to do this.
While CBD capsules may take slightly longer to take effect than alternative products such as CBD oil or CBD e liquid, these effects also last longer. While capsules take up to 60 minutes for you to feel the effects, they typically last somewhere between 6-8 hours.
Where Cannacares CBD capsules are on the stronger side at 30mg, this will be closer to 8 hours than 6. This makes them a great option for those wishing to use CBD for sleep or chronic pain relief in particular.
As mentioned at the start of the article, cannabis has been used therapeutically for thousands of years. Recent research and technological advancements have led to a proliferation of new delivery methods within the CBD industry.
While CBD is not the cure-all answer, there is no doubt an increasing array of evidence to suggest that CBD may be able to reduce the symptoms of many common ailments ranging from chronic pain and insomnia to anxiety and acne.
Anecdotal evidence is even more promising and should lead to further clinical research that is desperately needed in order to take the next step. This will allow companies to develop even more efficient and effective CBD products in the coming years.
Finally, the lack of prevalence and severity regarding CBD side effects mean that it is well worth a try when it comes to combatting common ailments. It is important to note that CBD must be used regularly over a period of approximately 8 weeks in order to experience its full effects, as it works cumulatively in your body, building up over time and enhancing its efficacy. That is not to say that effects won’t also be felt immediately, this simply refers to optimal levels.
Why not try Cannacares’ vegan-friendly CBD capsules today. They are also available on a subscription service, of which the frequency and number is decided by you. This means that you will never run out and even better, will save 20% on every order!