Benefits of CBD Oil

Article courtesy of http://www.elixinol.com

By Andreea Macoveiciuc April 17, 2016

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One of more than 80 active cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant, CBD does not produce euphoria or intoxication, and has a very low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors when compared to THC (100 times less than tetrahydrocannabinol).  Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that interacts mildly with the endocannabinoid system, and acts as an antagonist for substances that do bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, activating them and causing biological responses. The term “antagonist” refers to a compound that inhibits or dampens the functions of a receptor, while agonists are chemicals that bind to receptors and active them. Being an antagonist, CBD doesn’t activate the receptors directly, but it helps other cannabinoids to be better absorbed and keeps the receptors working effectively.

CBD increases the density of CB1 receptors, amplifying the effects of cannabinoids that bind to those receptors, and reduces the effects of substances that make CB2 receptors less responsive. Through its interactions with the endocannabinoid system, CBD contributes to the transmission of certain signals within our bodies, and most of the existing studies suggest that this compound causes only clinically desirable effects, or no effects at all. So in today’s article we’ll take a closer look at some studies that investigate the interactions between CBD and the brain’s signaling system in order to identify the proven and potential health benefits of cannabidiol and CBD-rich products.

Health benefits of CBD, as supported by research

Cannabidiol may be effective as a natural solution for pain relief, research suggests. A review article conducted by US scientists from GW Pharmaceuticals has shown that cannabinoid analgesics have been well tolerated in clinical trials, and might be a useful addition to pharmacological treatments of pain. Although the pain-relief mechanisms of CBD aren’t fully understood, this cannabinoid is regarded by many health professionals as an effective solution for treating central neuropathic pain in patients with multiple scelrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and even some types of cancer.

A potential alternative to strong analgetics for patients suffering from chronic pain,  CBD has less potent analgesic properties when compared to most opioid painkillers, but exerts natural anti-inflammatory effects, and this may enhance its effectiveness against acute and chronic pain. Also, it has fewer side effects than strong painkillers, and may help in easing pain from chemotherapy drugs.

The anti-inflammatory effect of cannabidiol recommends this compound as a natural solution for relieving arthritis pain, the use of this cannabinoid in the early stages of the disease showing promise for slowing down or even reversing the symptoms. In lab studies, CBD has been found to reduce acute inflammatory pain and it seems that the compound is effective against several types of joint diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

CBD may also be effective in treating mood disorders, anxiety and depression, as it possesses anxiolytic properties and inhibits stress and anxiety without causing psychoactive effects. Some studies suggest that the compound may be a viable treatment for patients with generalized anxiety disorder thanks to its action on the limbic and paralimbic brain areas. Brazilian researchers have found a rapid onset of therapeutic effects in SAD patients treated with a single dose of CBD, the compound exerting no psychoactive action and being well tolerated.

The list of positive health effects of cannabidiol doesn’t end here. The compound seems to help protect the brain and may be a suitable solution for treating neurodegenerative disorders, studies suggest. In patients with neurodegenerative disorders, the loss of nerve cells leads to a decline in cognitive and motor functions, and it is believed that inflammation plays a role in the progressive nature of neurodegeneration. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and the lack of psychotropic effects may recommend this substance as a promising agent for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases.

According to researchers from the University of California – Irvine, CBD seems to help in treating certain psychotic symptomsand may be a potential solution for patients affected by schizophrenia. The compound has been found to be superior to conventional antipsychotic medications, has fewer side effects and is more cost-effective than most of the available medications, scientists say. German researchers found that cannabidiol seems to work better than medications onschizophrenia’s “negative symptoms”, which are difficult to treat, and doesn’t cause weight or movement problems, as often happens with other drugs.

A controlled animal study conducted by Italian researchers showed that topical application of cannabinoid-rich creams may help in reducing the brain damage caused by autoimmune encephalomyelitis. The mechanisms that cause this disease are similar to those that lead to multiple sclerosis in humans (damage to the myelin in the central nervous system), so scientists concluded that CBD could be used in the clinical management of multiple sclerosis and its associated symptoms, in association with current conventional therapy.

Another animal study found that the administration of cannabidiol may be useful in reducing the damage caused by intervertebral disc degeneration. At the same time, research suggests that CBD may be the first non-toxic exogenous agent effective in killing breast cancer cells. Cannabidiol may be a viable addition to epilepsy treatments, and may block the formation of plaques in the brain that favor the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re curious to do a little research on your own, you’ll see that there are lots of articles and studies talking about the beneficial effects of cannabidiol in patients with epilepsy, the available data suggesting that CBD is able not only to significantly alleviate the symptoms of this condition and decrease the intensity of seizures, but also to reduce their frequency. Although there’s still no official recommendation for adding CBD to epilepsy treatment plans or for replacing the established anti-epileptic medications with this natural compound, results from clinical trials are promising and encouraging.

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White Bean & Kale Soup

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Vegan White Bean & Kale Soup – easy to prepare and delicious.

This is a perfect weeknight meal!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 c diced carrots (2-3 carrots)
1/2lb (4 cups) kale, removed stems, chop
1 14oz can diced Italian tomatoes
1 14oz can white beans, drained & rinsed
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable broth
*optional – red pepper flakes or cayenne

Directions:
Saute onion, celery, carrots and garlic in 2-3 TBSP of vegetable broth for about 5 minutes. Add seasonings and kale and saute for anoth 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low until vegetables are tender. Enjoy!

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New Vegan Restaurant in Santa Monica

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As an advocate of a plant based diet (and a follower myself), I’m excited to see new offerings around town. How wonderful to be able to peruse an entire menu…so many choices. I’m especially excited about Santa Monica’s newest vegan kid on the block. eLOVate Kitchen, located just a block south of the Santa Monica pier.

If you haven’t been there yet, you’ve got to put it on your list. The menu is fantastic – I’d expect nothing less from famed Chef, Roberto Martin. Here are just a few of their menu items that will definitely delight your tastebuds – Hearts of Palm & Artichoke Ceviche, Guajillo Jackfruit Tacos, Sake Braised Daikon Scallops – sounds great, right? They also have plenty of kid friendly choices and delicious desserts…namely, hancrafted vegan ice cream.

eLOVate will appeal to vegan and non-vegans alike. I’m putting on top of my list for recommendations.

Follow the link below to read more about eLOVate and view their full menu.

Let me know what you think!

www.elovatekitchen.com

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Why Should You Choose a Plant Based Diet?

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Regardless of what dietary path you follow, we can all agree that consuming more whole, plant-based foods means you are getting more nutrients, antioxidants and fiber – and that, of course, has benefits for your health. A plant-based diet emphasizes the quality of the food you eat rather than just the omission of animal products.

Let’s look a little deeper though, as to why a plant-based diet is a good choice.

Read more here…

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Plant Powered 4th of July Feast

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The 4th of July usually involves backyard BBQ’s and potluck dinners, but those fun festivities don’t have to center around a slab of meat on the grill. Did you know that grilled meat (any meat – chicken, fish, beef and pork) contains carcinogens?

You can still fire up the grill – just toss veggies on instead! Grilled corn on the cob, eggplant, zucchini, onions, mushrooms and peppers are delicious and don’t forget about the fruit – pineapple, nectarines and peaches are simply amazing. Just load up some skewers with your favorites and toss them on the grill for a few minutes.

These plant strong recipes are definite crowd pleasers:

Spicy Watermelon Salad

This recipe is delicious and refreshing – a perfect summer side dish. The sweet watermelon is enhanced with the flavors of lime and mint and the kick from the chili’s rounds it out perfectly.

*adjust ingredients to taste

  • 5-6 cups Watermelon diced
  • 1-2 *chili peppers finely minced
  • 3-4 mint leaves minced
  • lime juice (1-2 limes)

*You can substitute red pepper flakes or sambal for the chili’s if you prefer.

Cut up watermelon into large chunks. Reserve any juice and mix it with the lime juice, mint and chili peppers. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate.

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White Bean & Wild Rice Veggie Burger

  • 1/2 c uncooked wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 c red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 c celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash Original no-salt seasoning
  • 1/2 c almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 1/2 c cooked white beans or
  • 1 (15 ounce can) no-salt-added or low sodium white beans, drained 100% whole grain bread crumbs or old fashioned oats if needed to adjust consistency

Instructions:

Combine rice and 2 cups water (or no-salt-added or low sodium vegetable broth for additional flavor) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain any excess water.

While rice is cooking, water saute onions, celery and garlic over low flame for 10 minutes or until tender. Stir frequently to prevent burning; cover sporadically to soften vegetables, but uncover to let water steam off. Stir in basil, parsley, and Mrs. Dash.

Finely chop almonds in food processor. Add beans and process until beans are pureed and mixture is well combined. Place in a bowl and stir in wild rice and onion mixture.

Form into burgers. If mixture is too wet, a small amount of whole grain bread crumbs or oats may be added. Place burgers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes.

 

 

Israeli Couscous Salad

  • 1 1/2 c Israeli couscous
  • 1 c cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c minced fresh flat leaf parsley 10 to 12 basil leaves, thinly sliced (to taste)
  • 3 ripe nectarines, pitted and diced
  • 1 c halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 to 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Mixed baby greens, as needed
  • 1/4 c toasted pine nuts or toasted slivered almonds green onions, chopped

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the Israeli couscous and simmer for about 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water until the couscous is at room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, combine the couscous with the remaining ingredients except the last two. Toss well to combine.

Line a large serving platter with some greens. Mound the salad over them. Sprinkle the top with the toasted nuts and green onions. Serve at once or cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

 

 

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen is fine)
  • 15 dates, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • Pinch sea salt

Directions:
Place all ingredients and only 1 cup cherries into the blender and mix well. Add remaining cherries and pulse a bit to break them up. If you don’t like chunks in your ice cream, blend until smooth.
If you have an ice cream maker, chill the mix so it’s cold and process in the ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze in a large, airtight glass container. No ice cream maker? Just pour into a large, airtight glass container and freeze.
Thaw for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

 

 

No Bake Berry Cheesecake (vegan)

* even though this is made with healthy ingredients, it is still calorie dense, so watch your portion size!

The recipe is definitely a labor of love – but it’s perfect for a special occasion.

Crust:

  • 1 c raw nuts (any combination works. I use walnuts, almonds and cashews)
  • 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 8 Medjool dates, pitted (soaked in water for 5-10 minutes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a food processor, process the nuts and coconut to the consistency of course sand. Add the dates and vanilla and process until combined well.  Press the crust into the bottom of a nonstick spring-form pan or a pie plate. Place the crust in the fridge while you make the filling.

Filling:

  • 2 c macadamia nuts (soaked overnight)
  • 1 package (organic) firm silken tofu (drained)
  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 2 TBSP vanilla extract
  • ½ c lemon juice
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for 5-10 minutes (blended into a paste with the lemon juice, using a blender or food processor)

The day before you plan on serving, blend the soaked macadamia nuts in a Vitamix or other high powered blender with just enough water to blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth and let drain overnight.

To make the filling:

In a food processor or high powered blender, process the macadamia cheese and the rest of the filling ingredients until smooth. Pour the filling into your crust and place in the freezer for an hour.

Topping:

  • 1 package of defrosted raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries (or a combination of your favorites)
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 Medjool dates (blended into a paste with a small amount of lemon juice or water)

Mix all ingredients and leave in the fridge for several hours.

Right before serving, pour the berry mixture over the cake.

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Fat Flush Water

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This recipe will make 1 gallon.
Ingredients:
  • Water – as much water as it takes to fill up your container
  • 2 *grapefruits, sliced
  • 3 tangerines, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 2 slices of watermelon (no rind)
  • 5-6 peppermint leaves
    *Grapefruit is contraindicated if you are taking certain prescription medications. Lemons can be substituted.

Directions:

Wash and slice grapefruit, tangerines, limes and cucumber. Cut watermelon into chunks. Add all ingredients to a pitcher and fill with cold, filtered water. Keep refrigerated. Stir & Enjoy!

The grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C to help your body turn fat into fuel. The tangerine increases your sensitivity to insulin, stabilizes blood sugar, and stimulates genes to burn fat. Cucumber helps you feel full and acts as a natural diuretic, which means less bloating and water retention. Lemons and Limes are high in Vitamin C, aid weight loss and improve digestion. Watermelons are high in Vitamin C, Lycopene and potassium. And lastly, it has peppermint, which is not only refreshing but also promotes better digestion and stomach calm.

Make a big pitcher of Fat Flush Water every morning. The longer it sits, the better it will taste. Drink at least one 8 oz. glass 3 times/day for 10 days straight.

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