According to a survey done by the American Psychological Association, nearly half of all Americans experience enough stress that it has a negative impact on both their personal and professional lives. In fact, 1 in 4 people cite stress so severe that it has alienated them from a friend or family member, with 8 percent citing stress as a factor in their divorce or separation. The takeaway here? Stress is ruining lives. Today we’re going to discuss whether taking CBD for stress can help.
CBD for stress at a glance:
- What the claims are: CBD can help relieve the symptoms and complications of stress, such as headaches, heightened anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness.
- What the studies show: CBD has been shown to help mitigate pain, manage anxiety and depression, and assist in regulating sleep patterns.
- What the facts say: Both anecdotal evidence and early research show that adopting a CBD for stress regimen can be beneficial by addressing many of the symptoms and potential co-existing conditions related to this issue.
What exactly is stress and how does it affect our health?
Stress is the body’s reaction to stimuli that triggers a physical or psychological response that upsets the status quo. Despite its bad rap, some amount of stress is actually good. It can motivate us to perform well, or alert us to and attempt to protect us from danger.
Some days, though, the challenges of life can get to be overwhelming. This causes a burst of hormones known as the ”fight or flight” response. Our blood pressure rises and our heart-rate increases as our bodies prepare to manage the perceived threat. Once the threat is dealt with, the ideal situation is that our body chemistry levels out and goes back to normal. The problem is, due to the constant stresses of daily life nowadays, some people find that their internal stress alarm never switches off.
The physiological and psychological stress response evolved during a time when stressors were short, discreet incidents such as a predator attack. However, in our modern life, we now deal with chronic stress in our jobs and lifestyles, which is something our bodies and minds were never meant to handle.
The result? Chronic, daily stress that can take a major toll on our minds and bodies. Stress has been known to contribute to a host of health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Muscle tension
- Muscle pain
- Issues with sex drive
- Stomach problems
- Sleep problems
- Lack of motivation
- Feeling overwhelmed
While most of us will inevitably deal with stress from time to time, it’s important to learn some coping mechanisms to ensure that it doesn’t become your new “normal.” Some known destressors are:
- Regular physical activity
- Deep breathing, massage, meditation, and other relaxation techniques
- Socializing with loved ones
- Listening to calming music
How can CBD be used to help stress?
CBD (cannabidiol) interacts with our bodies’ own cannabinoid receptors and can affect many of its physiological functions. Some of those effects can provide relief for people suffering from stress symptoms, such as headaches, heightened anxiety, and trouble sleeping.
In order to achieve the best possible results, it’s important to do your research and ensure you’re getting a high quality product. Many people on a CBD regimen also find that consistency is the key to success. Taking it once might not achieve the desired results, while taking it on a regular schedule could be life-changing.
It’s also important to take stock of your symptoms before beginning a CBD for stress regimen and continue to assess as you go along. Many people find the results of CBD to be subtle from day to day. Rather than an immediate feeling of relief, oftentimes there is just the absence of a usual, nagging sense of unrest or discomfort, having slowly dissipated over time.
Medical studies related to CBD for stress
Because of the stigma often associated with cannabis and its related compounds, there aren’t a lot of long term studies available specifically on CBD for stress itself. That said, some early research is promising. One study showed that CBD can block the long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress.
Another indicated that CBD can augment the extinction of conditioned fear by working with the body’s own endocannabinoid system.
It also bears repeating that several studies have shown CBD to be helpful with a host of symptoms associated with stress, such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
What are the risks of using CBD for stress?
One of the more notable facts about CBD is that it’s generally well-tolerated by people who take it, and it comes with very few potential and minor side effects. More importantly, unlike many medications people take to mitigate stress, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization, CBD is not associated with abuse potential.
Anecdotal evidence from those using CBD for stress also seems largely positive. That said, some people find that they didn’t notice any appreciable difference from using CBD.
It also bears mentioning that, if you’re currently taking any prescription medications, it’s always a good idea to check with your pharmacist to ensure that CBD won’t interact with any of them in a negative way.
Should I give CBD for stress a try?
Many people dealing with stress are finding that CBD can help with their symptoms. And, because some of the medications used to treat stress present potential addiction issues, trying CBD for stress might be a good option.
As always, you should check with your medical provider before adding anything new to your healthcare routine and find out if using CBD for stress is right for you.
- Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
- Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
- Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System
- Enhancing cannabinoid neurotransmission augments the extinction of conditioned fear.
- Cannabidiol blocks long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: possible involvement of 5HT1A receptors.
- Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa.
- Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature.
- Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol.
- Stress management
- CBD has SAVED my mental sanity at work.
- Does CBD Really Do Anything?
- What is Stress?