CBD AND STRESS: THE RECIPE TO RELAXATION
Kirsten Thornhill |
Nowadays, when someone asks you if you’re stressed, you probably chuckle to yourself because you’re probably thinking, “when am I not stressed”. Unfortunately, we all experience stress in some form or the other, in overwhelming or minor doses, in life-changing times or life standing still times, maybe good stress or maybe really bad stress.
Whatever time, place, amount, or affect, stress can be approached, reduced, and managed. There are numerous avenues to attack stress head on - physically, psychologically, or emotionally, pharmaceutically, cognitively, and naturally.
What if I told you that CBD could be the next best thing to help reduce your stress, naturally? Would you believe me? What if scientists and researchers told you this too?
In today’s article, we’ll be touching on the surface and overview of stress, what it entails, and how cannabidiol research is making waves in stress studies.
1, 2, 3, let’s stress (I mean, less stress)!
WHAT IS STRESS
According to The American Institute of Stress, 77% of US adults regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress and 73% experience psychological symptoms caused by stress. That’s millions and millions of people!
Since there’s really no simple way to avoid it, let’s define it. Stress can be defined as the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body can react to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.
We all may respond differently to stress because of our differences in neurotransmitters or hormones. Stress hormones, such as adrenaline or cortisol, prepare us for the ‘fight or flight’ scenarios.
IS STRESS BAD
The human body is incredible! We are designed to experience stress and react accordingly. Stress can be a positive - keeping us motivated, alert, and ready to avoid dangerous situations. Stress can become negative when an individual faces continuous challenges without relaxation or relief between stressors.
Stress that continues to build without relief in sight can lead to distress - a negative stress reaction disturbing the body’s internal equilibrium.
TYPES OF STRESS
You can think of the different types of stress as fingers on a hand: acute stress, chronic stress, eustress, and distress. Wait, that’s only four fingers…...well, the thumb is no stress, a thumbs up if you will! *Dad joke, dad joke*.
INDEX FINGER: ACUTE STRESS
This type of stress is your ‘fight or flight’ response. Your body is preparing to defend itself, any moment, any time, any instance. It takes ~ 90 minutes for your metabolism to return to normal, once this response is over.
MIDDLE FINGER: CHRONIC STRESS
The cost of daily life…..bills, rent, jobs, family….. This type of stress is typically the one we tend to bury, deep down. Left uncontrolled, however, this stress can affect your health, your immune system, your mental state.
When we experience chronic stress, various brain regions become hyperactive, levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, cortisol, and endocannabinoids change.
RING FINGER: EUSTRESS
The holy grail! This is the stress in your daily life that has positive associations, including:
- New friends
- New jobs
- Having kids
- Getting married
- Positive surprises
PINKY FINGER: DISTRESS
Tiny but oh so freakin’ mighty - distress. This stress is in our daily lives, but has negative associations, including:
- Negative feelings
- Financial issues
- Work difficulties
I like to use the hand analogy when it comes to describing the types of stress because we use our hands everyday to complete tasks, some fingers more than others. Fortunately and unfortunately, the same goes with stress - sometimes we use acute stress to help us type out that powerful email and sometimes we use chronic stress to push away that built-up anger.
So how does stress pair with CBD?
WHAT IS CANNABIDIOL (CBD)
Just one of the 100+ phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant is cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a non-psychoactive powerhouse. Meaning it won’t have you “feeling high” or “stoned”.
There have been consistent findings across clinical studies, exhibiting that cannabidiol is widely considered as safe, generally well-tolerated, lacks toxicity, is non-addictive, and is non-intoxicating with no reinforcing properties, according to an opinion article published in Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM AND STRESS
Cannabidiol supports the endocannabinoid system, for short, the ECS. Each and every one of us has a working ECS in our body.
The ECS has two main receptors: cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Cannabidiol binds to these receptors indirectly, thus, you won’t get the “high” that is typically associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which binds directly with the receptors.
Evidence from experimental and clinical trials have demonstrated that cannabidiol is useful and promising in helping patients with a number of clinical conditions, with the involvement of the ECS.
Published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, a 2013 study suggested that cannabidiol promotes hippocampal neurogenesis via the CB1 receptors, by increasing hormone levels.
The research behind endocannabinoids and stress is well worth your eustress!
WHAT THE EVIDENCE SAYS: CANNABINOIDS AND STRESS
Here’s where the goodness pours into your day!
A 2013 study investigated the effects of CBD on chronically stressed mice. Researchers administered 30 mg / kg a day, for 14 days. The study’s findings supported that the anxiety-reducing effects of chronic cannabidiol administration were preventative in the anxiolytic effects of chronic stress.
This mice study suggested that CBD administration, over a 14 day period, may help prevent chronic stress from worsening.
A 2018 study out of Washington State University examined the perceived effects of cannabis on individuals’ negative affect. Over 11,000 sessions were tracked via an app, asking cannabis users about their changes in dose and strains of cannabis. Researchers found that a ratio of high cannabidiol (CBD) to low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis was associated with the users highest perceived changes in stress, a 58% reduction in stress.
High doses of CBD:THC was suggested to produce the greatest reductions in stress.
A 2018 non-systematic study examined the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol. Researchers concluded that cannabidiol was shown to have anti-anxiety, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties.
Researchers suggested that cannabidiol is a useful and promising molecule that may help a number of patients with clinical conditions, including properties of anti-stress effects.
WHAT DOSAGE DO I TAKE
The amount of CBD an individual may need will varying depending on their size, age, and sex. In most cases, it’s best to begin with a small amount of CBD to gauge your reaction. Then, increase or decrease how much you consume, accordingly.
Each of our CBD Drops contain measurement indicators on the droplet, up to 1.0 mL per full drop of high-quality CBD. You can hold the CBD oil dropper underneath your tongue for up to 90 seconds and swallow. We recommend taking just one full drop a day and deciding how it impacts you.
Each of our CBD capsules contain 25mg of high-quality CBD, with 30 capsules per bottle. We recommend taking just one capsule a day and deciding how it impacts you.
These CBD softgels are becoming increasingly popular amongst customers who are wanting to try cannabidiol, but don’t like the tincture taste or trying to manually calculate their dose with the dropper measuring lines.
CBD IMMUNE BOOST
These potent Immune Boost + CBD Softgels are powered by clinically proven Dry Yeast Fermentate, shown to strengthen cellular defense while providing respiratory support. Within two hours, the active ingredients boost natural killer (NK) cells, block pathogens from passing the mucus membrane, and release a strong dose of antioxidants to fortify your body's defenses. Talk about a stress fighter!
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE CBD OIL?
There are more than a handful of options for where you can purchase cannabidiol. Below we’ve included the most popular purchasing methods. We’re sure one is fit for you!
A) IN STORE
Besides shopping online, you can find CBD oil in retail shops or over-the-counter places like Sprouts, Whole Foods, gyms, nutrition stores, and other similar holistic and natural markets. The advantage here? Seeing the products before you purchase them. You can also ask questions to better clarify what you don’t understand. You also can look at other products that you may be interested in and learn more about others that you may need.
Ask about third-party lab test results. Some companies may take advantage of products and may not put much CBD in their products.
B) MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES
In states where the use of CBD is legal, there are medical cannabis dispensaries who offer cannabinoid-rich products. In this instance, a medical doctor must certify patients before they can purchase any CBD products. The dispensaries must meet the standards set by the state law. The state typically conducts background checks on the dispensary owner(s) as well as the staff working there. In the same instance, licensing guidelines must be met too. The products found at dispensaries should be tested for safety.
The internet can be a dangerous and helpful place, all at the same time. You open up your browser, you Google search ‘Where can I purchase CBD oil’, and bam - 5+ million results pop up (quite literally). Pages and pages of results, websites to click on, and not to mention the difficult decision of choosing which one to purchase product from. So where do you click? Which company is better than the other? How do you know where to start?
The perks of using the internet to navigate endocannabinoids and various cannabidiol companies is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home. No need to ask strangers questions about the products, you can simply type it out. But, be aware that not all products are equal. Not every company provides the same quality control, lab testing, and product descriptions as one another. So, just because one cannabinoid oil is cheaper than the other, doesn’t mean it will be better or stronger.
Here at Nanocraft CBD, all of our products, including our CBD tincture drops, are created using nano-technology, allowing for maximal absorption. Each and every one of our products is independently tested for potency and quality, ensuring that our products are the best of the best.
5 TIPS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR DAILY STRESS
Even though these may seem like simple tips or “common sense” tips, they may help make a difference in your stressful day to day routine. Whether you take only one tip from this article to implement it into your life or you try and practice each and every one of these tips from now on, one step in the right direction is still a beneficial step!
1. EXERCISE REGULARLY
Move your body! A 30 minute walk around your neighborhood, an at-home yoga sculpt workout, or a light jog on the treadmill will do just the trick. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release “feel good” endorphins, improve your lung function, and helps lower your blood pressure.
2. PRACTICE RELAXING
Relax every day. Choose from a variety of techniques - practice deep breathing, meditate, try positive self-talk, or journal. Any of these relaxation techniques may help protect your body from the effects of stress.
3. REDUCE STRESSORS
Sounds easier said than done, right? Many people find that they have too much to do, with little time. Pace yourself. Take your time. Prioritize your “want-to-dos” and “must-dos”. Try and make time for things you enjoy doing.
4. SET REALISTIC GOALS
It”s healthy and completely okay to not be at 100% doing everything all at once, all the time. Set one goal at a time if that works for you. Put in your best effort and know that that is good enough!
5. BOOST THAT SELF-ESTEEM
Yep, you read that right. Be your biggest fan! When you’re feeling stretched thin or totally overwhelmed, remind yourself of what you do well. Have a healthy sense of self-esteem. Telling yourself you rock isn’t being cocky, it’s confidence (+ a stress reducer).
STRESS AND CANNABINOIDS: FINAL THOUGHTS
The findings presented in today’s article are showing promise for the support of cannabidiol for reducing stress. CBD has demonstrated to be a useful herb that may help individuals with a wide array of clinical conditions and stressors.
Whether you’re wanting a new perspective on stress, looking for new breathing techniques for your mid-day work break, are wanting to completely take a hold of your stressors, or interested in trying cannabidiol to help calm you, I hope that this information has been insightful to what you’re looking for.
Stress less, enjoy more.
See ya quarantiners!
*DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not exploit or provide medical advice of any kind. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information below is strictly at your own risk. Please check with your medical provider before starting or changing a CBD routine.
Nanocraft SciencesContent Writer | Physiologist
Kirsten Thornhill was born and raised in a small farm town in Northern California. Kirsten graduated with a Master of Science degree in exercise physiology from Point Loma Nazarene University. She is very passionate about human physiology and the metabolic and nutritional adaptations that occur during exercise in active individuals and athletes. Kirsten has specialized in teaching clinical and practical exercise and rehabilitation applications. She enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of lifetime movement, holistic and lifestyle medicine, and health research and development. Her passion for alternative medicine enables her to strive when promoting health and education.
Appiah-Kusi E, Petros N, Wilson R, et al. Effects of short-term cannabidiol treatment on response to social stress in subjects at clinical high risk of developing psychosis. Psychopharmacology. 2020.
Campos AC, Ortega Z, Palazuelos J, et al. The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: Involvement of the endocannabinoid system. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013.
Crippa JA, Guimaraes FS, et al. Translational investigation of the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a new age. Frontiers in Immunology. 2018.
Cuttler C, Spradlin A, McLaughlin RJ. A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis on negative affect. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2018.
Elms L, Shannon S, Hughes S, Lewis N. Cannabidiol in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: A case series. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2019.