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Austin Therapeutic ​Bodywork

Nan Hofer, LMT, CKTP

CBD (Cannabidiol)

Primary CBD Properties

The human body has an endocannabinoid system, just like the hemp plant. The role of CBD is to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system to produce a variety of beneficial effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the auto-immune system.

The Best Explanation of How CBD Works In Your Body

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Discovered over 30 years ago, the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a vital molecular system for helping maintain homeostasis via CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain while the CB2 receptors are spread throughout the rest of the body. These receptors act as cellular agents helping to modulate the vital systems that keep the human body on an even keel. Because of its crucial role in homeostasis, the ECS is widespread throughout the animal kingdom. Its key pieces evolved a long time ago, and the ECS can be found in all vertebrate species.

Endocannabinoid Regulation of Brain Cell Firing

Brain cells (neurons) communicate by sending electrochemical signals to each another. Each neuron must listen to its partners to decide whether it will fire off its own signal at any given moment. However, neurons don’t like to get too much input. If they get overloaded by signals, it can be toxic. That’s where endocannabinoids come in.

Endocannabinoid signals regulate the activity of the brain cells.

Under normal circumstances, a given brain cell (neuron) will get just the right amount of input from its partners—not too much, not too little. However, some of its partners can become overactive, and send an excessive number of signals. The neuron that’s listening will detect this, and release endocannabinoids that tell the other neuron to quiet down. This kind of mechanism helps maintain homeostasis because it helps prevent neurons from sending out too many signals. Endocannabinoids allow receiver neurons to regulate how much input they’re getting, and they do this by sending retrograde signals (endocannabinoids) back to overactive sender neurons.

Endocannabinoid Regulation of Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural protective reaction the immune system has in response to infection or physical damage. The purpose of inflammation is to remove pathogens (germs) or damaged tissue. The inflamed area is produced by fluid and immune cells moving into the area to do the dirty work and return things to their natural state.

It’s important that inflammation be limited to the location of damage and doesn’t persist longer than needed, which can cause harm. Chronic inflammation and auto-immune diseases are examples of the immune system getting activated inappropriately. When this happens, the inflammatory response lasts too long, which results in chronic inflammation, or gets directed toward healthy cells, which is known as auto-immunity.

In general, endocannabinoids seem to suppress or limit the immune system's inflammatory signals. By tightly regulating inflammation, the immune system can destroy germs or remove damaged tissue and then stop. This prevents excessive inflammation allowing cells, thus the body to return to their natural state. 

How Cannabis Can Help Arthritis

A scientific consensus has emerged on CBD’s therapeutic value based on a growing body of successful preclinical and clinical trials. Those studies show that cannabis has anti-inflammatory effects that can help arthritis patients live happier, healthier lives.

All CBD is not equal. 

By now, you have undoubtedly heard of CBD, and you see it for sale everywhere....even gas stations! With so much of it out there and so much conflicting information, you need to educate yourself. Often, people try a CBD of poor quality and/or the wrong dosage and assume it doesn't work for them. 

Nan started her research of CBD 5 years ago, well ahead of the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized CBD in all 50 states. The result was a flooding of the market with CBD products. 

Before you buy, educate yourself. Below, is a list of the qualities you should consider before purchasing CBD. Armed with this knowledge, you will likely have a better result from your experience.

Hemp Source

Many CBD products are produced using less expensive, industrial-grad hemp, which is imported from outside our country. In this case, there is no control over how the plants are grown, what pesticides or fertilizers may have been used and what contaminates may be found in the product. It is critically important to look for CBD that is produced from organically-grown hemp. 

Extraction Method

There are various methods for used to extract the cannabidiol from the plant. As you can guess, the cheaper methods result in a less pure, and consequently less effective CBD. Not to mention that some methods use chemicals in the extraction process, which leaves the CBD contaminated and less than healthy to consume. Look for CBD that is extracted using a Super Critical CO2 process, which is 100% caustic solvent free.

Lab Tested

Quality CBD is tested for potency by independent lab. Ask to see the lab results before you buy any CBD.

Full Spectrum

Look for CBD extract which is Full Spectrum. This means in addition to CBD, it will also include CBDA, CBG, CBN, Terpenes and more.


The FDA does not allow for dosage instructions on CBD products. Everyone's endocannabinoid system is different, so dosage can and does vary. It is a bit of a trial and error process to get the dosage right for you and your condition(s). With that said, here is a link to some useful information on dosing. Please read all of the information provided and don't just jump to the dosing chart. We are merely sharing this site and are not necessarily endorsing or recommending the information on the page.

Where to Purchase

After much research, Nan settled on Highland Pharms as her personal source for CBD. Their hemp is sourced from an organic boutique farm in Colorado, and they use the proper CO2 extraction method. No heat, solvents or mechanical pressing is used, which results in a high-quality, full-spectrum product. They offer 20% off your first order (with code: FIRSTTIME20) + FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $25. This company does a great job of educating the consumer. Visit their website for more information

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