We spent considerable time and effort learning how CBD interacts with other therapeutic molecules in the herbal and plant extracts blended in our Applai products. CBD is called a “promiscuous molecule” because it binds to over 64 receptors in the human body. Medicinal chemists and MD’s don’t like a molecule that affects more than one biological process, and CBD is one such molecule. It isn’t as predictable as they’d like, and it will take awhile to find out how it interacts with other drugs or food you may take or eat.
How Do We Use CBD in Our Essential Oils?
At Applai, we prefer to use CBD sourced from hemp, and we prefer to formulate it for topical use. You apply our formulas directly to areas of inflammation, discomfort, pain, or tightness. If your knee or shoulder hurts, you certainly don’t need to ingest a pill which will be diluted throughout your entire body. Topical formulations reduce the uncertainty of ingested CBD.
The Entourage Effect Explained
If you are a reader, you have read about the “entourage effect” for CBD and THC with various terpenes found in cannabis, hemp, and other plants. The terpenes in cannabis and hemp are not unique. They are found in all plants in varying combinations. Linalool is found in lavender, and you can buy lavender oil extracted from the lavender plant. Lanalool is found in some amount in cannabis, hemp, and other plants. We call the fragrant oils “essential oils”, and most of you are certainly trying and buying them for topical, aromatherapy and medicinal uses.
How Does CBD Interact With Other Molecules in Our Body?
As it turns out, CBD does in fact interact with other molecules in our body. Many of your cellular receptors for inflammation, pain and other biological processes may require two (or more) molecules to enter and bind to sites in the receptor. One may enter and change a conformation within the receptor (shape). This may change an exterior opening and change function. A helper molecule may change in “rate” or how fast the receptor may act.
It may change the “volume” – how hot or cold does that feel to you? That feeling can be affected by the amount of stimulus (hot or cold), or the amount of molecule that causes the same sensation. For example, we use capsaicin or hot pepper in our products. Get that on your tongue or your face, and you feel a very painful burn. The molecule does not damage your cells, but it binds to receptors that create the sensation of heat or burn. This is a defense mechanism for the plant – you should recoil. You certainly aren’t going to eat and entire Thai red pepper plant. It survives.
CBD Interacts With Capsaicin. What Happens?
We know that CBD (cannabidiol) binds to the capsaicin receptor. Unlike capsaicin, CBD does not generate a “burning” or hot feeling. Yet we know it enters and binds to the receptor. Clearly, it’s not binding to the site that makes you sense burning. I can write about how this receptor works in a later blog. The receptor is formally called the “vanillin” or TRPV-1 receptor, and it is normally activated by temperature of 43C or 109.4F. If you place pure CBD on your skin or tongue, you will not feel a thing. If you place a hot pepper on your skin or tongue, you will experience the burn. What’s going on? They both bind, but only one makes you sense a burn!
CBD Meets A Hot Pepper in Our Essential Oils
The CBD molecule may be a “volume” knob. It doesn’t turn on the receptor, but it modulates the volume. So, if you combine CBD with capsaicin, what happens? Does it turn up or turn down the volume? We have found that CBD turns up the volume. You need less capsaicin for the same burn with added CBD. CBD increases the burning sensation. The two molecules work together. Science has a name for this: orthosteric and allosteric interactions. The molecules change shape and function of the receptors they enter. Therefore, we use so many forms of extractions for our various Applai Relief products. Ginger, turmeric and plai have similar or in some cases identical molecules. All work together to create an effect or sensation. We extract these plant materials using various methods to get the combination of molecules we find effective.
What Makes Our CBD Essential Oils Different?
So, what about CBD? Properly formulated topicals take CBD into account. We don’t just “add CBD” to other essential oils you may find “soothing” or familiar. We have done sensory analysis by combining CBD with other molecules in plant extracts to determine the changes in sensation like cooling and heating, and the sense of inflammation and pain. CBD is a valuable ingredient, but “more CBD” isn’t better. It is best to use it as a helper, and we feel it is best used as a topical for inflammation, pain and symptoms of arthritis and neuralgia. That said, we have formulated our products to work exceptionally well without added CBD, and you will find this to be true. All ingredients are natural, many are organically grown, and all are sourced from Thailand (except for organic MCT and Jojoba carrier oils. The products are natural topical formulations.
Turn Up the Heat at Home
Our Applai Relief PLUS products, from balms to massage oils, will give you the heat needed to relax your sore muscles and soothe your stresses. We carry a variety of natural relief products incorporating CBD to create the entourage effect for total relaxation. Our Applai PLUS is available in the Traditional, Modern and Natural Relief depending on your levels of discomfort. If you need a more intense Thai massage, our Applai Relief Extra Plus can help work out the knots and strains in your body. Shop our Applai Relief Products that include CBD and capsaicin to bring the heat home with you.