Well, the time is almost here and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. In just a few weeks many Americans will take part in the annual tradition of stuffing themselves with as much turkey, potatoes, gravy, and pie as humanly possible.
When you’re a kid, your favorite holiday is almost always the one where you get presents. As adults, however, I think I speak for many when I say that my favorite holiday has since become Turkey Day. You get to watch football, start drinking earlier than is normally socially acceptable, feel unashamed while stuffing your face, and go to bed by 8pm. The only problem is, on Thanksgiving you often eat so much that you find yourself stuck in your chair or on the couch feeling like a zombie stuck in a food coma.
Why is this the case and how can CBD help you digest after your Thanksgiving feast?
What Is a “Food Coma”?
Most of us have been here before: you scarf down a big, delicious meal and then you hit the couch and spend the rest of the evening in an almost vegetative state. Commonly called a “food coma”, the scientific term for this condition is postprandial somnolence. Typically, it is described as a feeling of extreme fatigue or lethargy that happens after eating a large meal. In other words, this is a real medical condition that, in addition to lethargy, can cause the following symptoms:
- Feelings of laziness
- Feelings of heaviness
- Tightness in the stomach
Causes of Postprandial Somnolence
There is not a consensus among researchers about what the exact cause of food comas are. One of the most common theories is that eating a large meal causes a slight shift in your blood flow away from your brain to your digestive organs. The way this theory goes is that your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is triggered as your stomach expands and directs more blood to the organs working hard to digest the meal. This slight diversion may cause us to feel sleepy and tired.
Another theory is that eating high fat or high calorie meals triggers the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which suppresses hunger but may also activate sleep centers in the brain. The last theory is the most relevant for Thanksgiving. What it asserts is that tryptophan, an amino acid found in certain meats (like turkey) and dairy products, enters the brain and boosts serotonin levels, which decreases arousal. As a result, you're likely to feel more relaxed and even lazy when serotonin levels are elevated.
How CBD May Help Food Comas
There are several ways to fight your food coma this Thanksgiving. The two most common methods are trying to keep moving after the meal (like taking a walk) or just giving in and taking a nice 30 minute post meal power nap. But there’s also increasing evidence that CBD may be another possible solution for our post feast woes.
According to numerous pharmacological studies, there are thought to be high levels of endocannabinoids (specifically, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol), CB1 receptors, and enzymes related to the endocannabinoid system throughout the digestive tract. Studies have also shown that CB1 receptors produce the relaxation of the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus, inhibit or accelerate gastric motility (the movement of food through the digestive tract), and cause the secretion of stomach acid.
In other words, CB1 receptors are found throughout our digestive systems, strongly indicating that our endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in supporting digestion and helping our bodies absorb nutrients. There’s also evidence that CBD may act as a wake inducing drug in certain situations. Taken together, these properties mean that CBD products may work as a digestive aid while also helping to alleviate groggy feelings that arise after the Thanksgiving feast.
As a quick side note, for those of you who use CBD to help you sleep, you might be confused at the idea of it possibly acting as a wake inducing drug. The key thing to remember is that CBD assists in regulating our sleep cycle; meaning it helps us sleep in certain situations and stay awake in others.
CBD and Ginger Is a Powerful Combination
At Urban Roots, our CBDigest capsules combine the anti-inflammatory and mediating effects of CBD with essential oils and other ingredients designed to aid digestion. One of the critical ingredients is ginger.
The phenolic compounds in ginger have been shown to help relieve gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and suppress gastric contractions as food and fluids move through the GI tract. Additionally, ginger appears to have a positive effect on certain enzymes found throughout the digestive system, which may help prevent constipation and even possibly reduce the risk of colon cancer.
By combining CBD and ginger, our CBDigest product helps you naturally deal with digestion issues like bloating, cramps, and indigestion.
How to Use CBD on Thanksgiving
Some people may feel awkward about using CBD at a family event. However, the good news is that, whether using a tincture or capsule, the great thing about the CBD products from Urban Roots is that you can give yourself the right dosage quietly and discreetly. Capsules simply look like vitamins and tinctures can be quickly and easily dropped under your tongue.
If you really want to get a jump on Turkey Day, it’s best to start consuming CBD sooner rather than later. The reason is that it often takes time for the cannabinoids to build up in your system before it starts having a positive effect. If you just take a dose one time on Thanksgiving, you probably won’t feel much relief. The earlier you start using CBD, the better!