Stressed Out? CBD May Be Able to Help
Can CBD promote stress relief? It seems like everyone is talking about how CBD can help you feel more relaxed. Does this mean it can help with reducing stress as well?
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of the hundreds of naturally occurring compounds found in marijuana.
You’ve probably heard of THC, CBD’s popular cousin - the compound in marijuana that gives uses the ‘high’ or intoxicated state that it’s known for. Although CBD and THC are similar in many ways, CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects.
The use of CBD in recent times has exploded with people discovering its numerous benefits. One of CBD’s most notable potential benefits is stress relief. The natural compound is famous for its relaxing and calming effects.
Read on to learn the benefits of using CBD for stress relief.
What is stress?
We associate stress with the strains of the modern world and a negative reaction to the body. Stress is your body’s physical reaction to a threat. It is what gives birth to the fight or flight reactions.
Stress can be a good thing as it aids in protecting you. It makes you alert and in particularly dangerous situations, stress helps you react faster than you normally would.
So, if stress is that great, why do we need relief from it?
The answer is simple. Stress is not meant to be a prolonged state and the body should return to its normal relaxed state after the danger or challenge is over.
Stress becomes a problem when the root of it is not resolved.
When stress becomes chronic, it affects every aspect of your life. From your physical body to your relationships with loved ones and even your career.
Symptoms of stress
Stress manifests itself in various ways which can be divided into physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms.
The stress hormone cortisol is made and released by your adrenal glands and it’s what causes the fight or flight reaction to stress. This is short-term and is designed to help us handle stressful and potentially dangerous situations.
However, when you’re permanently under stress, your adrenal glands will constantly produce and release cortisol.
Excess cortisol has been associated with physical symptoms like:
- Aches and pains
- Chest pain
- Headaches which can worsen and become migraines
- Nausea and digestive problems
- Muscle spasms
- Weight gain or weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Frequent colds or infections
- Risk of heart disease due to high blood pressure
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- Detachment from reality and day-to-day activities.
- Inability to remember events
- Concentration problems
- Making poor decisions
- Constant worrying
- Poor self-care
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Withdrawing from family and friends
Causes of stress
The important thing to keep in mind is that the causes of stress are very dependent on the individual. What may be stressful to one person may be a nonissue to another.
Causes of stress are divided into internal and external factors:
As the word suggests, these causes come from within a person and include:
- Negative self-talk that escalates and turns into chronic stress
- Inability to handle life’s disappointments
- Unrealistic expectations of self and others
These come from our environment and vary. Here are just a few examples:
- Workplace stresses
- Major life changes like death or illness
- Financial problems
- Family problems either from a spouse or children
- Job loss
How does CBD work to reduce stress?
Now let’s get into what you’re here for – can CBD actually help you to be less stressed?
The human body has various receptors attached to the cells whose job is to receive signals from different stimuli.
CBD is believed to interact with two receptors found in the central nervous system and the peripheral system. These receptors regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviors.
While studies are not conclusive, CBD is also thought to have anti-depressant properties and to ease symptoms of stress-related conditions like PTSD.
Improves focus and concentration
Stress is known to rob the sufferer of the ability to focus and concentrate which can have far-reaching effects, especially in the workplace.
More studies are needed in this area, but users of CBD report improved concentration and focus. Research done in 2014 showed that CBD can promote alertness in some people.
Helps with sleep
Sleeplessness or insomnia is a condition associated with high levels of stress.
Studies on CBD and sleep showed that people who took CBD had lower levels of cortisol, which suggested that it acts as a sedative.
Because of its effect on the pain that may be caused by chronic stress, CBD can have a rippling effect. Reduced pain will lead to better sleep and thus decreased stress level.
Helps with the anxiety that is associated with stress
One of the symptoms of stress is persistent anxiety. Studies have shown that CBD may potentially treat anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and general anxiety disorder.
How to choose CBD products for Stress relief
Unfortunately, CBD products are not well regulated by the FDA and thus it is left up to the user to be extra vigilant when buying these products.
When buying CBD products:
- Check that the product has undergone third-party testing. Third-party companies are honest about which ingredients are present in the product.
- Check that the company you’re sourcing your products from has customer service support. A company that can answer your questions and guides you is a company invested in its products.
- Check the product contains not more than the recommended 0.3% of THC.
- Consult your doctor before buying and using any CBD products.
Taking CBD for stress relief
There are a few different types of CBD products for stress relief. A few of the most common include:
Tinctures and oils
These are the most popular forms and are placed under the tongue with a dropper. They are absorbed into the bloodstream through capillaries under the tongue.
This is an inhalation method of consuming CBD. It comes in the form of a juice that is placed in a pen which is then inhaled. Like tinctures and oils, this is an effective method of getting CBD into your body. However, using a vape pen to take CBD isn’t the safest method. There have been many reports of health problems associated with vaping, so it may be best to stay away from this method if that concerns you.
These forms of CBD include creams, lotions, and balms infused with CBD.
Topicals are mainly used to treat joint and muscle pain as well as skin conditions though they can certainly be used as a stress reliever when used to treat the symptoms of stress.
As one example, our Calming and Anxiety Relief Salve is a great topical product to try for stress relief.
It contains 500mg of CBD along with a variety of all-natural essential oils to promote relaxation and calm. Simply rub it into your skin to release the calming scent, then enjoy the calming effects.
All of our products are third party tested and are completely THC-free.
The benefits of using CBD to relieve stress
There are lots of benefits of using CBD. Unlike other drugs used to treat chronic stress, CBD is not addictive. It’s all-natural, so you don’t have to worry about side effects from harmful ingredients.
CBD has lots of health benefits, too! It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties which help in treating the symptoms of stress and may protect against heart disease.
In addition to treating stress, CBD may also help treat pain as well. This can certainly reduce stress and may help you sleep better as well.
The side effects of using CBD for stress
CBD is often a well-tolerated substance; however, it can cause side effects in some users. Some of the side effects include:
- CBD is a naturally occurring product and as well tolerated as it is, it can interact with other drugs such as blood thinners, lowering your blood pressure to dangerous levels.
- CBD can also occupy enzymes used by medications to treat HIV, posing a serious threat to one’s health if taken with those medications.
- For breastfeeding mothers, note that CBD can travel from the mother’s breast milk to the baby. Lactating mothers are therefore advised to refrain from taking CBD products until they are done with breastfeeding.
- CBD can cause fatigue and nausea. Users are advised to lower their dosage to tolerable levels. Another alternative is to start with a low dose and slowly increase the dosage.
- High doses of CBD have been shown to worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- When taking liver disease medication, CBD can cause liver problems and users are advised to consult their doctor or health care provider before using CBD products.
CBD is considered safe to take as a potential stress-reliever because it is all-natural and has calming effects.
Always speak to your doctor before using any CBD products and make sure you buy your products from reputable companies who use third-party testing.