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When you hear about CBD’s myriad health and wellness benefits, you often hear about it helping with sleep and insomnia. What you don’t hear about as much is how CBD helps with energy. In fact, because CBD can help regulate sleep (and is sometimes confused with its sometimes lower-energy cousin THC), people often think that it could make you sleepy or cause drowsiness, but in truth, it’s almost the reverse.
The physiological inner workings
The nuclei of our cells have hormone receptors called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors—or PPARs for short. The genes that PPARs bind to and react with are involved in regulating our metabolism and energy, among other things. In the last several years, studies have found indications that cannabinoid compounds, including endo-, phyto-, and synthetic cannabinoids, have a role in activating the PPARs, increasing cellular metabolic rate, fat breakdown, and insulin availability—and, thus, overall energy output.
Next, we have serotonin. Now, serotonin does not exactly have an intrinsic effect on energy levels. However, the neurotransmitter does affect our emotional state and feelings of happiness and well-being. Research has shown that CBD compounds positively react with serotonin receptors, specifically the 5-HT1A receptor, which promotes the reuptake of more serotonin into our nervous system, causing you to feel happier and more balanced. And when we feel happier and have a general state of positive well-being, we tend to feel much more energized.
And for our last science-y explanation for you, CBD has additionally been found to (1) increase the expression of proteins that affect alertness in the hypothalamus region of the brain, and (2) stop the “bliss molecule” anandamide from degenerating. Much like with serotonin, more anandamide means more feelings of ease and well-being and fewer anxious thoughts that zap energy.
As a side job
Aside from the more mechanical ways in which CBD can improve energy levels are all the ways it does so “on the side,” if you will. Meaning, CBD helps with a whole host of other conditions, and when those conditions become regulated, your energy improves.
For instance, we mentioned sleep above. CBD has been found to help improve people’s sleep patterns, because the cannabidiol compound reacts with endocannabinoid receptors that specifically affect our bodies’ sleep/wake cycles and cause a regulatory effect. So when CBD helps prod our natural circadian rhythms back into a proper pattern, not only does our sleep improve, but so does our time awake. If your natural rhythms are functioning as planned, you feel sleepy when you ought to at night and more naturally alert in the daytime. Of course, this makes us feel more energized. On top of that, when we sleep better, we have more energy anyway. CBD checks both boxes where this is concerned.
Relatedly, CBD has been shown to have an anxiolytic effect, ameliorating symptoms of anxiety. In addition to typically cited symptoms like racing thoughts, worry, and restlessness—and really, because of those symptoms—anxiety can also cause immense fatigue. Some people experience difficulty falling or staying asleep. In general, all that worry and fatigue and restlessness are big energy drains, so when you have something that helps lessen those symptoms, it accordingly lessens the energy drain as well, seemingly giving you a re-supply of energy you didn’t have before.
Speaking of energy drains, as we’ve written about previously on this blog, CBD can significantly help with pain and inflammation. While it might not seem as obvious a correlation, pain and inflammation also suck energy, because your body ends up diverting more resources and energy to tend to those injuries and inflamed areas. On top of that, if you’re in a lot of pain or experiencing inflammation, you’re likely not moving around as easily as you normally can and therefore are neither feeling as energized nor is your metabolism getting kicked in as much, so you truly aren’t as energized. When CBD helps reduce that pain and inflammation, you get the mobility, metabolic boost and overall energy back.