Chinese medicine is popular in western countries due to its widespread acceptance. Some of them are cupping, tui na massage, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutrition, and so on. Among these, acupuncture is the most familiar one and there are many practitioners of it in the US. With the legalization of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the US by the Farm Act of 2018, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners are incorporating cannabidiol infused products into their treatments. In this article, we will investigate why Chinese medical practitioners are using CBD.
Chinese Medicine And The Use Of Hemp
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been harnessing the therapeutic use of extracts derived from the hemp plant. They have been used for mitigating pain, reducing inflammation, providing relaxation, etc. Also, there are ancient medical texts that explain the symptoms of ailments that can be treated with cannabis-derived medicines.
The Endocannabinoid System And Chinese Medicine
You must be knowing that CBD uses are due to cannabidiol’s positive effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Remember that the ECS is a network of chemical messengers that regulates homeostatic functions like pain perception, temperature regulation, mood, etc. Likewise, TCM treats ailments by accessing the ECS because many of the medicines and techniques used are closely linked to the cannabinoids. For example, studies have shown that acupuncture reduces discomforts by stimulating the release of neuromodulator adenosine; it calms pain due to its anti-nociceptive effect.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system regulates homeostasis. It is made up of cannabinoid receptors, enzymes, endogenous cannabinoids, and cannabinoid antagonists.
Cannabinoid Receptors: The cannabinoid receptors with cannabinoids in the hemp plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with CB2 receptors and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) interacts with CB1 receptors.
Endogenous Cannabinoids: These are cannabinoids naturally produced by the body. Phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC produce their effects because they are similar in structure and function to the endogenous cannabinoids.
Enzymes: Enzymes are compounds that accelerate the rate of interaction between molecules. They are also involved in the metabolism and creation of cannabinoids.
Cannabinoid Antagonists: These are compounds that inhibit the action of cannabinoids. For this, they occupy the receptor site of target molecules, i.e., cannabinoid receptors. For example, when CBD and THC are consumed together, CBD acts as the antagonist of THC. This is useful because cannabidiol reduces the adverse effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, like paranoia.
These are some of the important reasons why traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners use CBD in their treatment plans.