Dr. Montalvo on the Happy Science of Reishi + CBD
It's about time that companies in the wellness space are recognizing and promoting adaptogen power. Little Saints plant magic mocktails contain two powerful adaptogens, Reishi and CBD. Read on to learn my medical perspective on how these adaptogens affect your mood and nervous system.
Before we get into the specifics of Reishi and CBD, I want to explain adaptogens in general. Adaptogens are network regulators, meaning that they impact multiple pathways at the same time. This is different from pharmaceuticals, which are designed to work on one particular enzyme or receptor. Like sleep, adaptogens create an environment that is conducive to health. For example, when our body is in a stressed state, adaptogens activate signals that protect our cells from early death, by shutting down the alarm phase of the “flight or fight” response.
Reishi mushrooms are one of the most powerful adaptogens known. They can protect neurons from the killing effect of cortisol and may help prevent or slow down memory loss. When our body is in a resting state, adaptogens increase resilience and immune responsiveness. They provide a mild stress signal that gets cells ready for a bigger battle down the road. Think of this like doing training runs before participating in a marathon.
CBD is also a powerful adaptogen. We have multiple neurotransmitters throughout our body, and CBD interacts with several neurotransmitters in an effort to help our body maintain balance on the cellular level. We have a lot to learn still about the science of CBD. Researchers believe at this time that CBD helps decrease or stabilize an overactive cellular response by interacting with many neurotransmitters and hormones. This leads to less inflammation, a better mood, and improved overall function.
When CBD and Reishi mushrooms are combined, the benefits multiply. First, both CBD and Reishi mushrooms increase a molecule in our body called 5HTa, better known as Serotonin. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that affect our happiness and stress response. The amount of serotonin each person produces and how serotonin works affects us is a complicated but fascinating process. We naturally produce neurotransmitters, but if one of these chemicals is low, there is no way to directly replace the missing chemical.
What’s great about CBD and Reishi is that, once consumed, they have the potential to nudge our cells to produce more serotonin. When you have the correct amount of serotonin produced, you feel calmer and can handle stress better. Decreasing stress not only feels better but also is a key component in staying healthy and preventing illness.
Science is in its infancy when it comes to understanding the properties of medicinal plants. What we know so far is exciting, and suggests that adaptogens are an essential part of a strategy to live long and well.
Dr. Jessica Montalvo, MD is a certified practitioner through the Institute for Functional Medicine, currently works in private practice, and is the Medical Director for Acute on Chronic. She has a deep interest in botanical and plant-based medicine and its application as an adjunct treatment for pain, mood and sleep disorders.
Ahmad, R., Riaz, M., Khan, A., Aljamea, A., Algheryafi, M., Sewaket, D., & Alqathama, A. (2021). Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) an edible mushroom; a comprehensive and critical review of its nutritional, cosmeceutical, mycochemical, pharmacological, clinical, and toxicological properties. Phytotherapy Research, 35(11), 6030-6062.
Britch, S. C., Babalonis, S., & Walsh, S. L. (2021). Cannabidiol: pharmacology and therapeutic targets. Psychopharmacology, 238(1), 9-28.