BCP directly binds to CB2 receptors to produce rapid and powerful changes within the body. Essential oils are also incredibly popular, so you might find yourself wondering if using…
Copaiba vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?
Using natural plant products in traditional health has been a practice for centuries. Mother Nature has provided some of the most diverse, complex compounds still used today to promote wellness and address a variety of concerns. When presented with so many essential oil options, you might pose the common question: What’s the difference? How do you compare Lemon and Lime? Lavender and Clary Sage? Cassia and Cinnamon Bark? Or, in this case, CBD and Copaiba?
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a hot term in complementary and alternative medicine, and for good reason. It plays a fundamental role in managing many modern and prevalent concerns, including mood, inflammation, appetite, and relaxation. This biological system, composed of receptors, cannabinoids, and enzymes, is found throughout the central and peripheral nervous system and acts as a regulator for countless physiological processes. What that means is the ECS helps maintain internal balance in a world that is constantly changing.
CB1 and CB2 Receptors
Within the ECS, there are two primary receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). The brain and spinal cord contain CB1 receptors, whereas CB2 receptors are predominately found in our immune system. Due to residing in different parts of the body, activation of these receptors can have very different effects. For instance CB2 activation supports healthy nervous and immune system function, while activating its counterpart (CB1) receptors can modulate mood, memory, or even perception of pain. While binding to the CB1 receptors positively influences many brain functions, research has shown that it may also have some unwanted psychoactive effects 1 .
There are three groups of molecules that can greatly affect the function of the ECS: endocannabinoids (produced by the body), phytocannabinoids (produced by plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (produced in a lab). Phytocannabinoids are different because they are produced naturally by plants, such as Cannabis, Black Truffle, and Cacao, and found within essential oils such as Copaiba, Black Pepper, and Melissa.
Literature suggests that these ECS-influencing substances tend to be selective in the receptors they activate 2 . This means they tend to activate either the CB1 or CB2 receptors, and they do so directly or indirectly depending on their chemical makeup. Furthermore, the stronger or more directly the molecule adheres to its receptor, the quicker it will produce a physiological effect. This is precisely why Copaiba is such a valued essential oil, it is high in a phytocannabinoid called beta-caryophyllene (BCP). Beta-caryophyllene has the ability to bind directly to CB2 receptors to affect the ECS.
The Advantages of Copaiba
At the 2019 Together Convention, doTERRA’s Director of Education and Training, Scott Johnson, said, “Copaiba and CBD work within the same biological system, so people naturally want to compare them, but it’s not really a fair comparison[…]Copaiba has benefits that can’t be achieved with CBD.”
Because BCP directly binds to CB2 receptors, it produces rapid and powerful changes within the body. On the other hand, CBD doesn’t effectively bind to either receptor so it indirectly affects the ECS. In fact, despite having the unique ability to bind (indirectly) to both CB1 and CB2, CBD’s interaction is not nearly as intense as that offered by other compounds.
Exemplifying doTERRA’s commitment to Pursue What’s Pure, Copaiba is a product born from that standard. Unlike CBD, essential oils rich in BCP, such as Copaiba, are easily tolerated compounds that offer countless benefits to the human body. At this year’s convention, Scott highlighted other possible targets and pathways for BCP outside the ECS such as the CD14 receptor, the μ-Opioid receptor, and the α7-nACHRs receptor.* These receptors affect pathways associated with healthy inflammatory response 3 , overall body comfort, and cognitive function.
The Limitations of CBD
Because CBD does not bind directly to receptors, you can expect slower cellular responses. Scott Johnson said it best at convention describing CBD as a “helper molecule that signals the ECS to work more efficiently and modulate our responses to the molecules that do directly bind to our receptors.” Furthermore, as doTERRA’s in-house GCMS testing has shown, CBD—which is an isolate extracted from the cannabis plant—is often mixed with carrier oils, so absorption is limited and the effect is further decreased. In fact, a recent review of clinical data on CBD revealed internal usage may come with potential unwanted risks 4 .
In addition, according to a study published in 2017, 69% of CBD products were mislabeled and found to have higher levels of THC than are currently permitted by regulations 5 . This poses regulatory challenges and also increased risk for unwanted side effects. Not only can formulations of CBD contain some amount of THC 6 , but as previously mentioned, CBD is not an essential oil, it’s an isolate extracted from the cannabis plant. For doTERRA, the fact that it is nearly impossible for CBD to meet CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade™ standards for purity and potency is reason enough to keep it out of the product line.
With its fast and direct bonding to CB2, beta-caryophyllene is a powerful constituent with potential to support well-being in a variety of ways. Try taking Copaiba orally to support a healthy inflammatory response 7 , apply topically to help reduce blemishes, or use aromatically to create a calm and relaxing environment.* As Scott Johnson says, “When used daily, Copaiba helps you live a longer and healthier life with greater periods of homeostasis.”
* 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.
Can you mix CBD and essential oils?
How to determine if it is safe to mix CBD and essential oils.
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Over the last few years, more and more people have been turning to cannabidiol — aka CBD — as a part of their health and wellness routine, and it’s easy to see why. Research shows that CBD offers an impressive list of potential health benefits. It can help address issues like pain, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, which makes it easy to understand why CBD products are becoming so popular across the United States.
Essential oils are also incredibly popular — with essential oil remedies being shared across the internet — so you might find yourself wondering if you can combine these products, whether or not using CBD and essential oils is safe, and how to try it out for yourself.
What is CBD? How does it work?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the main active ingredients found in the cannabis plant. Unlike cannabis, which contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive — meaning it doesn’t cause the “high” feeling typically associated with cannabis use. Plus, CBD is relatively well-tolerated by most people and it has very few side effects, meaning it’s pretty low risk and isn’t associated with potential abuse.
As far as how it works? Researchers are still figuring that out.
“We are still learning how exactly CBD works. It appears CBD interacts with a wide variety of systems in your body, such as your serotonin system,” explains Dr. Jeff Chen, founder of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative and CEO and CoFounder of Radicle Science. “CBD also interacts with your endocannabinoid system, which is spread throughout your entire body. Whereas THC exerts its effects by directly binding to your cannabinoid receptors, CBD doesn’t bind to cannabinoid receptors, but instead appears to slow the breakdown of the endocannabinoids your own body naturally produces.”
Translation? While we don’t know how CBD works with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) and cannabinoid receptors, we do know that the ECS plays a role in bodily functions like sleep, memory, and mood — as well as maintaining our bodies’ homeostasis, AKA the balance and stability of our bodies’ systems.
From there, many believe that CBD works by helping your body return to that state of homeostasis — so if your body needs sleep, CBD might help with that. If you need to boost your energy, it might help with that too. And because cannabinoid receptors within the ECS are located throughout your body, although there’s a higher concentration of these receptors in your brain, that’s why CBD offers such a wide range of potential benefits.
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What about essential oils? Do they work?
Essential oils have been used throughout human history, but before we dive into the science, it’s important to highlight that not all essential oils are safe to consume orally and others can cause damage if they’re applied directly to your skin. Unlike CBD oil, different essential oils vary wildly — and some carry severe health risks if used incorrectly — so you’ll want to do extensive research prior to combining these and you’ll want to consult your primary care doctor.
That being said, when it comes to using essential oils (and deciding whether or not they work), the answer is “it depends.” Different oils offer different benefits, and not all essential oils have been extensively studied. You’ll want to speak with a medical expert before using any essential oils to make sure you’re using them safely.
Is it safe to mix CBD and essential oils?
Because CBD and essential oils use in humans haven’t been studied extensively, it’s hard to give a clear answer on whether or not it’s safe to mix the two. Especially when you’re looking at something like essential oils — where some are considered harmless for both oral and topical use while others can be poisonous — it’s important to act with an abundance of caution.
“Most herbalists and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners usually recommend using multiple botanicals to treat a condition. Rarely, do they ever recommend a single herb,” explains Dr. Felecia Dawson, a physician and cannabis advocate.” Thus, adding additional terpenes via essential oils may give better results. I would recommend working with someone knowledgeable about CBD and essential oils to stay safe, save money and time.
So even though CBD itself might be relatively low risk — and there might be some benefits from mixing CBD and essential oils — the safety of essential oils varies wildly on the specific oil you’re using and the method of delivery. If you’re not sure about mixing the two then it might be worth keeping these two habits separate, or speaking with a medical professional, at least until we know more.