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The benefits of Cannabis and CBD oil

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The marijuana plant or Cannabis sativa contains two main active constituents, Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, the CBD is not psychoactive and therefore has not been found to cause any of the negative psychological affects associated with cannabis intake, such as anxiety, paranoia and memory issues.

Some of the proposed benefits of CBD include:

  • It can help to reduce inflammation by decreasing the production of many pro-inflammatory substances by the immune system. It can also act directly on the immune cells to enhance their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory reactions.
  • It can help treat depression and reduce anxiety.
  • Some studies have suggested that CBD can help with psychosis and schizophrenia, with some reporting similar effects to pharmaceutical interventions, with less instance of side effects.
  • On its own or in combination with THC, CBD has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. This, along with the anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to provide relief of joint swelling, pain and disease progression in sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It can provide relief of digestive symptoms; reducing nausea and increasing appetite, as well as reducing bowel inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. It may be particularly useful for food allergy sufferers.
  • Benefits for diabetes sufferers have also been shown, with lower fasting insulin, and waist circumference after taking CBD. It may also have a protective effect on the insulin producing cells of the pancreas in patients with type 1 diabetes.
  • Cardiac health may also be improved with CBD. Positive effects on arterial stiffness, blood vessel damage, blood pressure responses to stress, and blood clotting have been observed.
  • It has a protective effect on brain function, and has been shown to help preserve brain cells after stroke. It has also shown promise in helping patients with degenerative nerve and brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It may help Multiple Sclerosis patients reduce some of the symptoms associated with the condition, such as muscle tightness, pain and problems sleeping.
  • It has tumour fighting effects in many cancers patients, and can also help the immune system to work more effectively at tackling tutor cells. In addition CBD can benefit the nausea, pain and appetite loss experienced in many cancer sufferers, and it can also increase the effectiveness of certain cancer fighting drugs.
  • The regrowth of broken bones may be expedited with CBD treatment.
  • There have been positive effects on insomnia after taking CBD before bed.
  • Skin problems such as psoriasis and acne have also been improved with CBD.

 

Overall CBD is generally well tolerated by the body with very few side effects. If you want to improve your body function in any of the areas listed above, you may wish to consult with a specialist doctor about how a CBD prescription could help you, when it becomes legal in the UK on November 1st.

 

Chief Scientific Officer – Soza Health

Soza Health Guide to “The Science Behind Junk Food”

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Junk foods are full of empty calories with little nutritional value. Junk food can contribute to obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

So why do we crave these foods and find them hard to resist?

There’s a staggering amount of science being utilised by junk food manufacturers in order to create food that is irresistible to all but the strongest willed. If we understand the science behind junk food, we may just be able to outsmart it and resist the urge to eat it.

Melt in the mouth foods: Many fast foods have been engineered to have ‘vanishing caloric density’. The less time food spends in the mouth before it is swallowed, the more rewarding the eating experience. This confuses the body into thinking fewer calories have been eaten as it spends very little time in the mouth and subconsciously encourages overeating. Examples of ‘melt in the mouth’ foods include; ice cream, cheese puffs and popcorn.

No specific taste or aroma: We are programmed to become tired or bored with food if we eat too much of one taste or aroma. To get around this, junk food is often manufactured to be either deliberately bland tasting, such as in vanilla ice cream or lightly salted crisps, or to contain a highly complex array of tastes and aromas that are not discernible and therefore confuse the brain. Eating these foods can override sensory burnout allowing us to eat more.

Sensory contrasts while eating: Our brain releases endorphins when we eat foods with new and exciting sensory contrasts in tastes, temperatures, textures and visual contrasts. Foods that are both sweet and salty, or crunchy and smooth are designed to give us a thrill and intensify the pleasure of eating them.

Food memories: The smells and tastes of certain foods are almost universally loved and induce cravings when we come across them. The smell of bacon is a prime example for many people. Food companies covertly use many of these smells and tastes within their offerings at once, often without you being able to consciously discern that they are there, thus promoting strong cravings.

Its packed with energy: Our brains are wired to prefer high calorie foods. This is a survival mechanism for when food is scarce, but it is detrimental to health in a society such as ours, where food is largely abundant and easily accessible. Fat is the most calorie dense of nutrients and our brains produce a pleasure response whenever we eat it. Fast food manufacturers look to create foods with close to 50% fat content. This fat content increases their desirability and activates pleasurable ‘reward’ pathways in the brain after eating.

They condition the brain towards addiction: After eating, the constituents of fast food go on to activate many of the same ‘reward’ and pleasure pathways in the brain as recreational drugs. This can create a preference for these foods and encourage addictive behaviour.

Encourage saliva production: We taste food better when there is enough saliva in the mouth to help liberate the flavour compounds and moisten the food ready to swallow. Junk food often contains added acids such as lactic or citric acid. These acids promote saliva production and enhances the taste.

Huge portions: Energy dense junk foods become even more desirable if given in larger than normal portions. If you have a large tub of popcorn or ice-cream in front of you, mindless eating is encouraged, and you will eat on average 34% more than you would with a more normal portion.

Casin: Fast foods often contain the milk protein casin. Casin is broken down during digestion into morphine like molecules called casomorphins that can make the food more addictive. These molecules inhibit the gut hormone enterostatin. Enterostatin functions to tell the brain when we have eaten enough fat. So foods with casin mean you can eat more before you feel full.

They have a high Glycemic Index (GI). High GI foods get broken down quickly by the body into simple sugars which are quickly utilised by the body for energy. This is far more rewarding for the brain than slow release, low GI foods, so the body is wired to crave these ‘instant gratification’ foods over far healthier alternatives.