Stress affects approximately 8 out of 10 Americans. This translates to about 79% of a population of roughly 330 million people. Take a minute to let that sink in!
There is a high chance that as you read this, you realize that you have been one of the many victims of stress, whether from a harsh boss or a vindictive relation. Stress affects almost all of us in different ways.
Acute stress does more than just negatively impact your mental wellbeing. Chronic stress can cause medical problems like heart palpitations, chest pains, high blood pressure, or headaches. While anti-anxiety medicines like Prozac and Xanax are an option, would you not prefer a natural, organic remedy?
One such natural remedy is CBD. Though still in its infancy, medical research has indicated that CBD oils can go a long way in reducing stress when consumed consistently.
Here we discuss how CBD can help with stress relief.
In simple terms, CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is officially considered a cannabinoid and is one of more than 100 cannabinoids that naturally occur in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are generally located in the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant from where they are extracted and separated.
Upon extraction, pure CBD is colorless and has a crystalline structure when kept at room temperature. It is possible to extract CBD from both the hemp and marijuana plants, however, the CBD extracted from the marijuana plant is usually more potent, hence more effective.
CBD is known to help with stress, anxiety, acute or chronic pain, seizures, and more.
Is CBD Psychoactive?
Along with CBD, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the other well known and sought after cannabinoid. Unlike CBD, THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid compound and leads to mind-altering effects or the ‘high’ associated with marijuana use. CBD is 100% non-psychoactive.
CBD and THC both bind with specific receptors in the brain. However, the difference lies in the fact that CBD binds directly to the receptors while THC does not. Therefore, users do not feel any mental effects when consuming CBD. That said, given the way that CBD binds with the receptors in the brain, the effects of CBD may take a bit longer to be noticeable.
Using CBD for Stress – What Do the Studies Show?
Being a victim of stress threatens our physical, mental, and social health on a daily basis. CBD oil is a natural and organic way to relieve daily stress and allow you the freedom of enjoying your best life.
A study in 2010 showed how CBD can help reduce anxiety in people suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). The study demonstrated how CBD can help reduce current anxiety levels as well as change the way the brain initially reacts to this anxiety. The study showed brain scans that indicated a change in blood flow patterns in the region of the brain associated with anxiety and stress.
Another research in 2014 showed how the dosage of CBD oil can produce effects similar to anxiolytics and antidepressants. This was animal-based research and used a range of experiments like Forced Swimming Tests, Vogel Conflict Test, Elevated Plus Maze, etc.
An analysis in 2015 showed how CBD can continue to relieve stress and social over a period of time. The study called out CBD as a ‘potential treatment for anxiety-related disorders’. These anxiety-related disorders can include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), SAD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Finally, medical research in 2016 focused on understanding the effectiveness of CBD specifically on insomnia and PTSD. The research concluded that CBD is able to significantly reduce anxiety brought on by PTSD and also helped encourage a healthy and consistent sleep pattern.
Stress vs. Anxiety
Before deciding on the best medication for you, it is important to understand what ails you. The terms ‘Anxiety’ and ‘Stress’ are often used interchangeably and both share a number of the same emotional and physical symptoms. And both can be devastating for your mental health.
The difference between anxiety and stress can be difficult to spot but it is important to understand which of the two you are dealing with. Stress is your body’s reaction to a specific threatening situation. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a reaction to this stress.
Once the right problem has been identified, the proper treatment can be used. CBD oil helps with both stress and anxiety. That said, some anxiety problems may require additional treatments – whether through medication or therapy.
What are the Risks Associated with CBD?
Though the research on CBD is relatively new, the insights into the long term health effects of CBD is somewhat limited. However, some medical researchers have cautioned that smoking CBD can have some negative side effects.
Specific research on CBD has negligible side effects when compared to medication like Xanax. Xanax produces a number of side effects including but not limited to memory loss, dizziness, slurred speech, vomiting, changes in weight, etc.
Due to the fact that CBD is not yet fully regulated, it is difficult to nail down the frequency or correct dodge of consumption. Appropriate dosage per person varies and the general guidance is to start with a lower dose and gradually work your way up. The dosage of CBD also differs based on the product consumed – oils, edibles like gummies, topicals, and creams or tablets.
Users need to keep these factors in mind when dealing with CBD and CBD products.
CBD products that are derived from Hemp and contain less than the prescribed .3 percent of THC are legal per federal law. However, certain state laws may still deem it illegal.
CBD products that are derived from Marijuana are illegal per federal law but remain legal under the laws of certain states.
It is advisable to check the appropriate state laws in case of travel. It is important to note that over-the-counter CBD products are not approved by the FDA.