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The Pursuit of Health & Wellness

 

The human pursuit of health and wellness is constant. Our television screens are peppered with shows like Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and Dr. Weil. Remember dancing to tae bo workout tapes and donning on ion-laced sanitary pads?

In McKinsey’s survey of approximately 7,500 respondents from six countries, 42 percent consider wellness as a top priority. They also estimated the $1.5 trillion global wellness market to jump from annual growth of 5 to 10 percent.

With so much hubbub on the topic, you might have come across CBD, a cannabis compound touted for its marketed health benefits. Naturally, quick-fix seeking folks are drawn into this type of conversation.

But is there evidence supporting it? If yes, how does CBD relate to general wellness?

What Is General Wellness?

The World Health Organization defines wellness as “the optimal state of health of individuals and groups.” Wellness is also expressed as “a positive approach to living.”

While you cannot choose your current state of health, you can always choose wellness by adhering to habits your body would benefit from.

Wellness is taking proactive steps in improving your health by pursuing body-positive activities (like exercise, mountain-climbing, etc.), changing your lifestyle for the better, controlling risk factors that might harm your health, and the like.

What Are The Six Dimensions Of General Wellness

Wellness is more than keeping your physical state in top-notch mode; it’s holistic and has six dimensions:

  1. Physical: Physical fitness is the state of the body being able to protect itself from harm such as illnesses and diseases. In achieving this condition, one has to habitually include activities such as exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep.
  2. Intellectual: Mental exercises such as learning new things or solving problems strengthen the mind and promote a better attitude.
  3. Emotional: A person with emotional wellness can cope (although not always easily) with stressful situations thrown at them.

Being emotionally well also means being aware of your feelings and soaking in them without getting out of control. Another sign of being emotionally well is being empathetic to others’ plight.

  1. Environmental: Yes, minding how our actions affect the environment contributes to wellness as It’s even more boosted when we choose to proactively participate in improving our surroundings.
  2. Social: A study on human happiness spanning 75 years of work showed that the secret to living a happy, well and fulfilled life circles around the genuine social interactions humans make in our life time.
  3. Spiritual: Spiritual wellness does not refer to religiosity, although it’s part of the journey.

Spiritual wellness is more about the never-ending search for the meaning of our existence.

We may never find our calling, passion or the ultimate dream in life, but having a life well-lived on our terms may count as one way of exercising spiritual wellness.

What Is CBD?

 

CBD or cannabidiol is the second most abundant active ingredient in cannabis. As one of the hundreds of compounds found in cannabis, CBD is non-psychoactive, it does not give the feeling of a high.

The World Health Organization on CBD safety says, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp (a plant where CBD is primarily extracted), including low-THC derivatives of the plant, such as CBD from the definition of marijuana. However, this does not “absolutely” legalize the selling of all CBD products in interstate commerce.

Check with your local state laws about the commercial legality of CBD and its products.

 

CBD For General Wellness

CBD products proliferating the market cater to the public’s desire for general wellness – it’s everywhere and in every form imaginable. These products include: oils, tinctures, concentrates, capsules, topical solutions such as lotions, salves and lip balms, as well as edibles encompassing coffees, gum/candies, chocolate and bakery products.

According to Grand View Research’s report, “Various industries such as pharmaceuticals, personal care and cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and food and beverages are developing CBD-derived products for health and wellness purposes.”

How Is CBD Associated With The 6 Dimensions Of General Wellness?

Physical

In studies, CBD has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic and neuroprotective effects that can potentially benefit athletes.

A pilot study published in March 2022, explores how the acute administration of CBD affects the physiological responses of humans to aerobic exercise.

Preliminary results show that CBD enhances the feeling of pleasure and soothes exercise-induced inflammation during aerobic exercise.

Intellectual

Data from various research suggest that CBD may have antipsychotic and anxiolytic properties, a promising trait against psychotic and anxiety disorders.

In a review on the impact of CBD on human brain function, neuroimaging studies show that CBD “induces significant alterations in brain activity and connectivity patterns during resting state and performance of cognitive tasks in both healthy volunteers and patients with a psychiatric disorder.”

Emotional

In the 2021 study conducted in Brazil featuring a cohort of 120 ‘frontline health care professionals,’ they explored CBD’s association with depression, emotional exhaustion, and anxiety.

The researchers penned “This randomized clinical trial found that the efficacy and safety of daily treatment with CBD, 300 mg, for 4 weeks combined with standard care was superior to standard care alone for reducing the symptoms of emotional exhaustion, anxiety, and depression among frontline health care professionals working with patients with COVID-19.”

“Cannabidiol may act as an effective agent for the reduction of burnout symptoms among a population with important mental health needs worldwide,” the researchers concluded.

Environmental

Taking CBD doesn’t exactly make you an environmentalist but consuming CBD shouldn’t make you feel guilty.

The process of growing hemp to CBD production only contributes a minuscule amount to the earth’s carbon footprint.

Hemp is biodegradable, renewable, and needs minimum water usage and no pesticides.

When it comes to the process of mass CBD production, there are available environmental-friendly extraction methods such as ethanol solvent and carbon dioxide extractions.

Social

Psychoactive drugs are used in social situations because they mostly enhance social connections but how about non-psychoactive ones like CBD? Initial studies say that it just might.

CBD’s ability to dull our response to the expressed anxiety of others makes us less likely to catch their negative feelings. This makes our presence “easy” for others, improving social interactions and enhancing feelings of social connection.

Spiritual

Although there are no materials on the direct effect of CBD on existentialism, there are literary discussions on cannabis and spirituality.

Initial studies have shown cannabis to boost “divergent thinking,” a type of functioning creativity exploring problem-solving and spontaneous thinking.

A 2014 study shows smoking cannabis can significantly increase “originality,” a type of divergent thinking. However, other studies exploring this subject matter are inconclusive.

Pop culture of drugs may have contributed to the link of genius with smoking pot.

Bottom line, cannabis may or may not help fill our heads with answers to questions like why are we alive? Are there aliens somewhere? Where did I put my cat? But, if it’s the reason for answering what’s the cure for cancer, I’m not going to be angry about it.

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

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