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Medicinal mushrooms and CBD

Čínské tradiční medicinální houby

Medicinal mushrooms have been attracting attention lately, and no wonder. As some studies suggest, their potential ranges from fighting infectious diseases to antitumor activity. Today we will introduce you to the most famous medicinal mushrooms and their effects, and look at whether they can be combined with CBD and why it might matter.

What are medicinal mushrooms?

Medicinal (functional, vital) mushrooms are mushrooms that are used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes . In folk medicine, their benefits have been known for centuries. Functional mushrooms were used to treat infections especially in Asian countries , for example in China, Japan and Korea.

Today, they are widespread all over the world in the form of extracts (dietary supplements) and interest in them is growing. Some of these mushrooms are viewed as adaptogens , which are substances of plant origin that increase the resistance of the human organism and help bring the body back into balance .

What effects do medicinal mushrooms have?

Functional mushrooms are used for the prevention and treatment of various diseases, as they contain a number of biologically active substances with beneficial health effects, the most significant of which are:

  • Polysaccharides – structural components of the cell wall of mushrooms, which show antitumor , immunomodulatory , antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antidiabetic activity. The most well-known and widespread are alpha and beta- glucans . Beta- glucans help regulate the body's response to inflammation, which is key to treating some inflammatory diseases.
  • Triterpenes – Terpenes that consist of six isoprene units. They stimulate the activity of certain genes in our cells and thus support the production of proteins that are necessary for the immune response. They also have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumor properties.
  • Lectins – proteins that, in addition to mushrooms, are also found in seeds, cereals, legumes, some fruits and vegetables. Lectins have the ability to recognize and bind to certain sugar structures on the surface of cells, thereby helping cells to identify and respond correctly to other cells or molecules in their environment. This is useful, for example, in the diagnosis or treatment of cancer.
  • Antioxidants (phenolic compounds) - help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, oxidative stress, some studies indicate that they inhibit the growth and multiplication of cancer cells and induce their apoptosis (programmed death).

So what is the greatest benefit and healing potential of medicinal mushrooms ?

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Regulation of metabolism
  • Cardiovascular and nervous system support
  • Protection of cells from oxidative stress
  • Antitumor effects
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Muž v kostýmu supermana a kruhové spektrum úrovně imunity. Síla imunity jako symbol lidského zdraví

Where to buy medicinal mushrooms?

You can find medicinal mushrooms in pharmacies, health food stores, e- shops specializing in the sale of natural supplements and organic stores. They are sold in the form of powder, capsules, tinctures , or as dried mushrooms .

When purchasing, it is important to choose high-quality and safe products from reputable manufacturers and suppliers . Make sure the product does not contain any harmful ingredients such as artificial colors, preservatives or fillers. This information should always be listed on the packaging or on the seller's website. Also read what the concentration of active substances is, for example polysaccharides or beta- glucans .

The most famous medicinal mushrooms

In Asia you can meet more than a hundred species of medicinal mushrooms . In the following overview, you will find the best-known ones and their potential benefits, which are based on scientific studies published so far.

Mushroom

Latin name

Health benefits

Reishi​​​

Ganoderma lucidum

  • It has antioxidant effects.
  • It strengthens the immune system.
  • It supports the cardiovascular system (regulation of blood pressure and reduction of cholesterol levels).
  • Regulates blood sugar levels.
  • It can help to calm down, relieve anxiety and stress.
  • Studies also indicate antitumor activity (in prostate, lung, breast and colon).
  • It supports the health and normal function of the liver.

Chaga ( Slanted rust )

Inonotus obliquus

  • It has antioxidant effects.
  • May lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Some studies suggest that it has the potential to reduce inflammation.
  • It could help fight some viral diseases.

Lion's Mane ( Hericium )

Hericium erinaceus

  • It supports the brain and nervous system, it could work as a prevention of some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.
  • It has the potential to improve cognitive function.
  • It could alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Support for diseases of the digestive tract, possible protection against the formation of stomach ulcers.

Cordyceps (Chinese caterpillar)

Cordyceps sinensis

  • One study suggested that it increases exercise performance in the elderly.
  • Some people believe it can prolong life and increase energy and sexual performance.
  • It could lower blood sugar, has the potential to fight diabetes.

Oyster mushroom

Pleurotus ostreatus

  • May lower LDL and total cholesterol.
  • Some studies mention a positive effect on blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
  • It has the potential to reduce inflammation.

CBD and medicinal mushrooms

Are you wondering if it is appropriate to combine medicinal mushrooms and CBD? Supporters of natural and alternative medicine as well as some scientists believe that the combination of these substances could increase their effectiveness due to a synergistic effect, thus strengthening , for example, the function of the immune system, helping to reduce inflammation, supporting the cognitive functions of the brain or slowing down the degenerative processes associated with neurological diseases .

CBD ( cannabidiol ) is a non-psychoactive substance from the hemp plant , known for its therapeutic potential. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our body, especially with the CB1 and CB2 receptors , which are found throughout the body, in the brain, reproductive and immune systems, but also in the pancreas, spleen, organs of the excretory and digestive system or in skin cells. Research shows that CBD can help with a number of problems, such as insomnia , inflammation, pain , anxiety or stress .

Medicinal mushrooms are also believed to interact in some way with the endocannabinoid system , perhaps not with CB1 and CB2 receptors, but with other receptors found on immune cells, for example. The mechanism of exactly how medicinal mushrooms "work" in the body is a subject of research.

Tip: Because Hemnia also believes in the joint power of CBD and medicinal mushrooms, you will find vegan Power in our offer Mind Gummies to support concentration and memory . Each piece contains 10 mg of CBD , vitamin B3, Lion's Mane and Cordyceps extract and other natural ingredients. Keep them handy whenever you feel the need to calm your mind and increase productivity.

Medicinal mushrooms with CBD and the accompanying effect

As we indicated above, there is a theory that the combination of CBD and medicinal mushrooms could induce an entourage effect effect ), that is, that these substances could influence each other's effects and work better than when they are used alone . This is the same synergy that is often highlighted in, for example, full-spectrum CBD oils , which contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids , terpenes and other compounds from hemp and are believed to be more effective than broad-spectrum oils or CBD isolate .

In 2022, she was in the international Journal of Fungi published a scientific study that investigated the immunomodulatory effect of medicinal mushrooms and CBD on the immune cells of mice , specifically on macrophages. Macrophages are cells that play a key role in the body's defense against infections and inflammatory processes.

The researchers used a natural-based preparation consisting of CBD isolate and extracts from the following medicinal mushrooms :

  • Reishi ( Ganoderma lucidum )
  • Cordyceps ( Cordyceps military )
  • Trametes variegated ( Trametes versicolor )
  • Edible tapeworm or shiitake mushroom ( Lentunus edodes )
  • Velvet-footed moneyworm ( Flammulina velutipes )

Selected fungi activate the immune system through stimulation of innate and adaptive immunity , by binding their specific molecules (ligands) to pathogen-recognizing receptors. This binding then triggers an immune response to these pathogens.

The researchers found that the preparation significantly reduced all inflammatory markers tested , which was not the case in studies examining these substances individually. Thus, it seems that products combining medicinal mushrooms with CBD could be a promising candidate in the field of anti-inflammatory substances of plant origin and be of value in the treatment of some inflammatory diseases .

However, this study is quite unique and more detailed research is needed to prove that combining CBD and medicinal mushrooms is a meaningful, effective and most importantly safe strategy for improving health.

 

How to take CBD and medicinal mushrooms together?

over-the-counter products on the market that contain CBD and medicinal mushrooms. Most often, this is an extract from the mushroom reishi , chaga , cordyceps or Lion's mane . E- shops and specialized stores offer capsules, powder mixtures, teas, tinctures and gummies .

Medicinal mushrooms are sold as a nutritional supplement , not a medicine, and on the product label you will only find the recommended dosage, which may not be based on thorough clinical studies , as is the case with drugs. At the same time, in the case of CBD products and medicinal mushrooms, the effects also depend on the age, weight, gender, metabolism and sensitivity of the user.

Although medicinal mushrooms are generally considered safe for consumption , side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea or allergic reactions may occur . Of course, it is also necessary to pay attention to drug interactions . If you are taking prescription medication, it is a good idea to check with your doctor about whether using medicinal mushrooms is safe for you. Be especially careful with blood thinners, blood pressure medications and diabetes medications. Medicinal mushrooms are also not recommended for children under 3 years of age and for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Conclusion

Medicinal mushrooms, also known as functional or vital mushrooms , have been used for their therapeutic potential for centuries. They are attributed, for example, the ability to strengthen the immune system, regulate metabolism, protect cells from oxidative stress or the potential to reduce inflammation . The health benefits are due to the biologically active substances that medicinal mushrooms contain, such as polysaccharides (beta- glucans ), triterpenes , lectins and antioxidants .

Initial research suggests that combining medicinal mushrooms and CBD could also be of value . It is believed that if they are taken together, a so-called synergistic effect could occur , enhancing the effects of both of these substances. However, the lack of clinical studies and possible drug interactions should be taken into account. Although medicinal mushrooms are generally considered safe, side effects are not excluded. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about their use, especially if you are taking prescription drugs.

If you want to try medicinal mushrooms, check the ingredients that the product contains, and their concentration . You can find this information on the label or in the package leaflet, and you can verify it in the laboratory report , the so-called Certificate of Analysis, which is prepared by an independent laboratory. Many sellers publish this analysis directly on their e- shop websites .

Make sure that the product does not contain any harmful ingredients such as artificial dyes, toxins or pathogenic microorganisms. Organic, 100% natural ingredients are ideal. The reviews also tell a lot and feedback from other customers .

Author: Hemnia

 

Resources:

  • National Cancer Institute
  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library
  • Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

 

Photo: Shutterstock

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