A Match Made in Heaven: The Sunshine Vitamin and CBD

Getting a sufficient dose of Vitamin D can be as easy as sprawling yourself out on a sun lounger by a pool in the south of France. Or even spending 5 to 10 minutes a day catching some rays in your garden. Basically, getting enough vitamin D can literally be a walk in the park. However, as cultural and behavioural shifts continue to take place, more of us are spending longer times indoors. Wearing sunscreen and long-sleeved clothing can protect us from the sun’s more harmful effects, but it seems that an increasing number of people are also ending up deficient in this crucial vitamin.

Despite widespread knowledge of vitamin D’s ability to strengthen our bodies and build up our natural defences, the UK and this compound have not always gone hand in hand. Our stereotypical rainy and grey weather is not exactly famous for providing us with abundant sunshine, and rickets, a condition caused by a lack of vitamin D, has even historically been referred to as the ‘English disease’. In recent years, vitamin D deficiencies have only worsened. With 1 in 5 UK citizens currently suffering from a lack of the sunshine vitamin, we stand to face nothing short of a global health problem. Before panic ensues, we should ask ourselves what this ignored epidemic means, and what can we do to prevent it.

Enter CBD. By now, you’ve probably heard the term CBD, or Cannabidiol, being thrown around quite a lot. Whether you’re already an avid CBD user, or you’ve caught wind of it through an article, a friend, or celebrities like Kim K, you’re probably aware that CBD is  being widely accoladed for boosting you wellness. But have you ever thought about boosting its power by combining it with vitamin D?

Hold tight while we jump down the vitamin D rabbit hole together, and explore the various benefits and obstacles to receiving this vital compound. We will then uncover how its advantages can be amplified through the use of CBD.

The sunshine vitamin – what does it do?

Before we get into CBD’s and vitamin D’s harmonious relationship, let’s first take a closer look at what is often dubbed the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Doing so will help us understand how it works in our bodies, and why these nutritious compounds are so critical to our overall mental and physical wellbeing.
 
Vitamin D’s primary role is to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate absorbed in the body. Both calcium and phosphates are necessary for the healthy formation of bones, teeth, and muscles, and the two compounds play vital functions in nurturing and maintaining these parts of our body. Vitamin D also regulates the function of over 200 genes. For these reasons, amongst others, a healthy dose of the sunshine vitamin can help out in the following ways.
 
Aiding healthy growth in children
Remember being told as a child to ‘eat your vitamins’ and to spend more time outside? It was all with good reason. Since calcium and phosphates are key for encouraging muscle and bone health, vitamin D’s ability to help you absorb these nutrients allows bones and muscles to grow to their full potential. This is especially critical when bodies are young and still at a developmental stage. Consuming a healthy amount of vitamin D, as well as other vitamins like A, B, C and E, is therefore a great way to help assist the growth of a strong and healthy body.
 
Improving your body’s overall strength
The same reasons that make vitamin D so essential for the development of strong and healthy muscles in children also make the increased absorption of calcium and phosphates useful for adult bodies to gain and retain strength. We all know how easy it is to fall in and out of healthy lifestyles, but if you want to stop yourself from developing a brittle or achy body, vitamin D is one of your best bets. As a study into spinal injuries has shown, 40% of 450 participants who were experiencing back pain also displayed deficiencies in vitamin D. This indicates that there is a clear correlation between muscular and skeletal health and vitamin D levels.
Building immunity
Making sure you’re getting an ample dose of the sunshine vitamin can also help your body to build up its natural immune defences– something that has been proving more topical now than ever, *cough, COVID-19*. Vitamin D is critical in helping you fight off invading infections, autoimmune diseases, and viruses. Before the advent of antibiotics, the benefits of food rich in Vitamin D were used for a long time to treat infections like Tuberculosis, but the vitamin’s immunity-boosting powers are now being understood to help against a range of other infections, from the seasonal cold to more serious diseases like HIV.
 
Reducing levels of anxiety and depression
It’s no surprise that basking in the sunshine for a couple of hours can lift your mood, and a lot of this comes down to the fact that vitamin D has been shown to play an important role in regulating mood and alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression. Many studies have shown that participants suffering from depression were also suffering from acute vitamin D deficiencies. Although the reason for this is still being debated, a possible explanation is that vitamin D receptors are located in the same area of the brain associated with depression. This is also thought to be the reason why Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects up to 2 million people in the UK.
Encouraging weight loss and helping the prevention of heart disease
Due to vitamin D’s powerful ability to help the body absorb calcium, the vitamin also works to suppress your appetite, which can prove very handy for those looking to shed a couple of pounds. As one study concluded, people who took daily vitamin D and calcium supplements saw a more noticeable loss of weight than the placebo group. This evidence shows promise for the sunshine vitamins’ ability to encourage weight loss. Furthermore, vitamin D’s supplementation has been proven to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in overweight people who have suffered from vitamin D deficiencies.

How can you get your much-needed dose of vitamin D?

This all sounds great, right? But how can you actually reap all the benefits of this nutritious vitamin? Here are the best ways to keep your vitamin D levels tip-top and ensure a healthy body and mind!
Sunlight
You probably saw this one coming. The way you get 50-90% of your sweet vitamin D is through simple exposure to ultraviolet B rays – otherwise known as sunlight. Your body, when exposed to sunlight, is able to synthesise the cholesterol under the surface of the skin into vitamin D. Though we don’t condone basking in the sun for too long without sunscreen – for obvious reasons – catching as little as 5 to 10 minutes of sun a day can be all you need to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D. The NHS recommends that giving your skin some sun exposure, specifically on the forearms, hands and lower legs from the months of March to September, can dramatically improve your health by increasing the circulation of the vitamin in your body. As if you needed any other reasons to curl up in the sun!
Eating vitamin D-rich foods
Unfortunately, soaking up rays isn’t always a convenient option, especially for those of us living in the UK. Whether you’re used to covering up your skin outdoors, you’re confined indoors or housebound for whatever reason, or it’s simply a long grey winter with no signs of letting up, there are many reasons that can prevent you from getting a healthy amount of sun exposure. But fret not, as the sunshine vitamin is also in many foods, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms. So, you don’t need to rely on the sun exclusively for your dose of vitamin D, and you also get the excuse to switch up sausages for some smoked salmon for your Saturday brunch. Nice!
Taking vitamin supplements
Finding it hard to soak up rays and struggling to find vitamin D-rich foods that are in line with your dietary preferences? Vitamin supplements are also an efficient and easy way for you to up your vitamin D levels. If you’re taking pure vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day should be enough for most people. However, with the clue being in the name, supplements should be used in conjunction with, and not in replacement of, a healthy diet and lifestyle. Today, there is a huge variety of vitamin and other nutraceutical supplements out there, so you can even combine vitamin D supplements with other beneficial compounds that you’re looking to try out!
UV lamps
UV lamps, or lightboxes, are artificial sources of light-emitting ultraviolet rays that substitute the natural light of the sun, which is often missing during the winter months. They work as a form of light therapy for those struggling with a low mood and depression and are especially beneficial to those suffering from SAD. Simply sitting by one of these UV lamps for half an hour each morning has been proven to considerably elevate one’s mood, because of their ability to increase levels of vitamin D – and thus the production of serotonin.

Why are so many people becoming vitamin D deficient?

As we mentioned above, a whopping 1 out of 5 people in the UK is vitamin D deficient. This number actually increases to 2 out of 5 people in the US, with 77% of the population living with vitamin D insufficiencies, which simply refers to a milder decrease of the vitamin. But why are these numbers so stark, and why does the situation seem to be getting worse?
Change of lifestyles
A massive reason why more people are becoming vitamin D deficient is because of a shift of lifestyle in recent decades. With today’s population spending as much as 90% of our time indoors, we rather deserve the title of the ‘indoor generation’. But despite that sobering statistic, spending so much of our lives pent up indoors is only a recent development, and even up until the industrial revolution most of us spent our time outdoors, working agricultural jobs to make a living. For better or worse, modern urbanisation and contemporary conveniences have meant that there’s little today that can’t be conducted from within the comfort of our own homes. Additionally, we’ve become increasingly likely to cover ourselves up in clothing or sunscreen while outside, which further reduces our absorption of that all-important sunshine vitamin.
Change in climate
Another important reason why people are getting lower doses of vitamin D has to do with the changes in the climate, leading many people to get less exposure to sunlight, especially in northern areas. As one study concluded, low sea level pressures are continuing to increase the cloud cover across the UK and northern Europe, while simultaneously decreasing average temperatures. This decline in sunlight exposure is understood to correlate with a lower level of healthy vitamin D production, which partly explains why countries like the UK have been witnessing a larger spike in deficiencies in recent years.

What happens when you don’t get enough vitamin D?

We don’t want to scare you, but not getting enough vitamin D can result in a variety of adverse health conditions. Obviously there’s a spectrum to their severity, and if you’re only experiencing a mild vitamin insufficiency, symptoms will be milder and possibly unnoticeable. However, if you are very deprived of the sunshine vitamin, it can potentially have one or more of these health consequences.
Fatigue and tiredness
Feeling a bit more lethargic than usual? Research has found that there’s a link between your energy levels and your vitamin D consumption. In a study measuring vitamin D deficiencies in young women, those who lacked a healthy level of vitamin D in their blood were much more likely to feel fatigued. The vitamin has also been shown to have a chronic effect on energy levels when someone is severely deficient.
Depression or low mood
Depression can be a very debilitating condition and impair human functioning on many levels. As we’ve touched on previously, a clear link has been found between vitamin D deficiencies and depression. Although these are unlikely to be the leading cause, in a consistent amount of studies people with low levels of vitamin D were also at a much greater risk of developing depression.
Cold and flu
Since one of vitamin D’s primary roles is to improve immune function, lacking the vitamin can weaken immune function, making you more vulnerable to invading viruses and bacteria that can cause infections like the cold and flu.
Higher risk of autoimmune diseases and certain types of cancer
Because of the negative impacts of low levels of vitamin D on your immune system, someone lacking in the vitamin is likely more susceptible to autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, lupus, and IBS, neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, and even types of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
 
In addition to these various health issues, vitamin D deficiency can also lead to growth stunting, impaired wound healing, hair loss and muscle pain, among other things. But we reckon you’ve probably got the picture by now. So next we’re going to explore another useful way to get your fix of vitamin D, while also reaping the benefits from a healthy injection of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Enter the superstar cannabinoid, CBD.

What is CBD?

CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids present within the cannabis plant. CBD is a completely non-toxic compound, unlike its chemical counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so you can explore its therapeutic benefits without being subjected to the risk of any intoxication. The reason why CBD has been recently making a massive splash in the wellness industry is because of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial qualities that make it incredibly effective at improving a range of mental and physical symptoms. Most notably, this remedial compound has proven to be especially effective at reducing levels of anxiety, helping you get a better night’s sleep, soothing chronic pain, and improving a variety of skin conditions.

CBD products come in a variety of forms, which are bound to increase as the compound gains in popularity. The most common forms include CBD oils, tinctures, capsules, topical creams and cannabinoid-infused food and drinks.

How does CBD work?

The reason why CBD is able to elicit such positive responses in the body is the way this cannabinoid reacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a biological signalling system that is present throughout our entire body. The ECS is made up from a network of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids, and its overarching job is to regulate our natural bodily processes, to help achieve a natural state of balance. In particular, the ECS is very effective at regulating mental and physiological processes like sleep, cognition, our immune defences, and our memory function.
 
When CBD is consumed, it prevents endocannabinoids from being broken down, and this helps them to bind to cannabinoid receptors. This process improves the function of the endocannabinoid system and helps it carry out all its beneficial duties.

CBD and vitamin D – why they’re such a dynamic duo!

Having read about all how important it is to get your daily dose of vitamin D, and all the benefits that CBD has to offer for improving our health and wellbeing, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that combining CBD and vitamin D is a great way to add to your standard vitamin D supplementation or to boost your standard CBD oil. Whether you’re already taking either vitamin D or CBD and want to level up, or if you’re new to both and are looking to benefit from CBDs properties whilst also boosting your immune system – we have the product for you!
Give your immune system that extra push
Vitamin D is known to play an important role in our immune system, and now research is also finding robust evidence that CBD also interacts with, and can help in the functioning of, our immune system. These two compounds therefore complement each other perfectly if you’re looking for an extra immunity boost.
Vitamin D and the ECS
As we just saw, the endocannabinoid system is critical in helping the body maintain a healthy balance. For this reason, the complex system has been shown to dramatically help those who are suffering from vitamin D deficiencies. Since the ECS works to regulate so many different bodily responses, there are a variety of ways it can be thrown off-kilter – and one of these ways is through a vitamin D deficiency. When someone is considerably lacking vitamin D, cellular signalling in the ECS is negatively affected. This can mess up the body’s natural regulatory system and risk making you feel even worse.
 
Consuming CBD and vitamin D together are therefore perfect for recalibrating your ECS and correct the way it’s been thrown off balance due to a lack in vitamin D!
CBD helps to balance out the symptoms of vitamin D deficiencies
The therapeutic and medicinal agents in cannabidiol make it effective in counteracting many of the symptoms that come hand in hand with poor vitamin D intake. This key herbal extract is useful for alleviating low moods, soothing chronic pain, and building up general immunity levels, and since these are all consequences that can stem from vitamin D deficiencies, CBD is an effective and natural way to balance out these symptoms and restore a healthy state of mental and physiological wellbeing.
A vegetarian and vegan source of vitamin D

Aside from the benefits of direct sunlight, various types of meat and dairy are also a great way to ensure you’re maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D. However, since foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D are neither vegetarian or vegan, they are not a very attractive option for those on plant-based diets. Luckily enough, CBD is also completely vegetarian and vegan, so if you’re plant-based this is a great option for you too. In addition to this, CBD is naturally great at boosting your endurance and is thus perfect for vegans or vegetarians who may struggle with their energy levels.

How do I get my fix of CBD and vitamin D?

Okay, by this point you’re probably converted to the combined power of vitamin D and CBD. But with a plethora of CBD products out there and multiple ways to consume the extract, you’re probably not alone in wondering about where to take things from here.
 

As luck would have it, here at Goodbody, we offer a diverse range of CBD products that cater themselves to everyone from seasonal users to those looking to dip their foot in the cannabinoid pool. All of our cannabidiol products feature high cannabinoid counts, and we offer vitamin D and CBD combination products that tailor specifically to those of you looking to top up on your vitamin D intake. Here’s a rundown on all the best ways to get your fix of vitamin D through CBD.

CBD Oils

CBD oil is the form of cannabidiol that comes with the most effective and useful applications. You can infuse it into food and beverages, massage it into your skin, consume it sublingually by squeezing a couple of droplets under your tongue with a pipette, or even with a syringe to help you get the perfect quantity of CBD every time.

We’ve just launched our Goodbody vitamin D and CBD oil range to help you reap the most benefits from cannabidiol and the sunshine vitamin side by side. Our oils come in fresh peppermint and zesty orange and lemon flavours and they all contain different levels of cannabidiol and vitamin D, to cater to a range of different tolerance levels. Our vitamin D and CBD products are the best way to sample the immune-strengthening powers of vitamin D alongside the therapeutic agents of CBD, and they also come with

If you’re looking for an extra CBD pick-me-up and have already got your vitamin D dose for the day, Goodbody Wellness also has a wide range of CBD oil drops in multiple delicious flavours like oranges and lemons, peppermint and chocolate and hazelnut. They also come in a variety of CBD strengths, ranging from 5%, 10% right up to 20%.
CBD Capsules
Capsules are a great way to take CBD if you’re always on the go or don’t fancy the fuss of using a poppet to administer your dose. At Goodbody Wellness we have a wide range of full-spectrum CBD capsules that come in a cushiony gel coating to ensure super high rates of bioavailability. They come in cannabinoid strengths of 2.5%, 5% and 10%. Our CBD Cacao Gel Tabs are infused with mouth-watering white chocolate, for those looking for a little extra indulgence in their CBD experience.
CBD Edibles
Looking for a novel and tasty way to incorporate CBD into your lifestyle? Then CBD edibles may be the perfect option for you. Despite their lower levels of bioavailability, cannabinoid-infused food and beverages can be a great way to try out the effects of CBD for those who are new to the game. From delicious CBD infused milk and dark chocolate, to CBD olive oil, chewing gum and mints, there’s something here for just about anyone who’s curious about the benefits of cannabinoids to sink their teeth into.
For more information about our therapeutic products and what we do here at Goodbody Wellness, take a browse on our site.

*Note: All our case studies are reflective of individual experiences and are not part of a scientific study so we cannot comment on whether other individuals would have a similar experience.

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