CBD and Stress: Combating Chronic Anxiety
In our fast-paced world, it’s difficult not to experience the symptoms of stress and anxiety on some level. It’s our biological response to coping with difficult events, and it helps us avoid situations that could threaten our well-being. Unfortunately for some, these natural responses can get out of hand, becoming a vicious cycle of irrational fear and worry.
In fact, roughly 40 million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety, making it one of the most common problems people struggle with today. Suffering from chronic stress and anxiety is not only mentally draining, but it also negatively impacts your health. This is because when your body is in constant survival mode, it becomes overworked and stops functioning normally.
When things like your immune and digestive system stop working as they should, it can cause serious issues down the road. Even more concerning is the possibility that chronic stress may have irreversible impacts on the brain, permanently altering its chemistry. It can also lead to behavioral changes like smoking, drinking excessively, eating too much or too little, and loss of sleep – all of which negatively impact your quality of life.
“More than 70% of people report experiencing the physical and mental effects of stress”
According to The American Institute of Stress, more than 70% of people report experiencing the physical and mental effects of stress, and these statistics are on the rise, particularly work-related stress. It’s no surprise then that big pharma has developed countless prescription drugs meant to help people cope. And while these drugs work for some, others may find them ineffective in alleviating their symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Additionally, many people may want to avoid prescription medications altogether due to their potential for unpleasant side effects. Because of these concerns, it’s becoming increasingly common for anxiety sufferers to seek out alternative remedies like cannabidiol (CBD), a natural compound derived from hemp. When it comes to CBD and stress, not many prescription medications can provide relief without the costly detrimental side effects.
How CBD Combats Stress
Unlike synthetic medications that tend to merely mask symptoms, CBD works naturally with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of receptors that regulates numerous biological processes and helps the body maintain homeostasis.
First identified in the late 1980s, the ECS is a relatively new discovery of which we have only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding its full potential. And while there’s much more to learn, what we do know is that the ECS is one of the most important systems in the human body.
“By binding to the CB1 receptors located in the brain, CBD is able to alter your body’s serotonin levels”
Because of its vital role in mood regulation, researchers have been focusing on the ECS, looking into how and why CBD helps reduce and regulate anxiety while promoting stress relief. They believe that by binding to the CB1 receptors located in the brain, CBD may be able to alter your body’s serotonin levels and stress response. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter and hormone, is directly linked to biological functions like mood regulation, sleep, body temperature, muscle contraction, memory, learning, and appetite.
While serotonin’s effect on stress and anxiety has been recognized for a while now, scientists are still in the process of fully understanding the role CBD plays in serotonin regulation. There is still a long way to go before scientists fully comprehend the CBD-serotonin link, but the future looks promising. And thanks to a large body of convincing research, a handful of human clinical trials have begun to provide even further support for CBD’s ability to ease symptoms of stress and anxiety.
One study focused on CBD’s effectiveness for reducing stress levels in people who expressed a fear of public speaking. Scientists used indicators like heart rate and blood pressure to confirm that the CBD had a potential anxiolytic effect on these individuals. Because of positive studies like these, more clinical trials are being proposed for future research in hopes of providing further health benefits.
In addition to all of these positive scientific findings, there is also a lot of anecdotal evidence supporting the use of CBD for stress. People everywhere are finding that CBD helps them in ways they previously never thought possible. Also, unlike most prescription medications which only target symptoms of anxiety and stress, CBD is unique in that it works with your entire body, soothing more than just your mind or body.
For example, physical pain and restless nights may not be the source of chronic stress, but they certainly don’t help. Luckily, because it works with your ECS, CBD has been shown to be effective in alleviating pain as well as aiding in a good night’s sleep. In addition to helping with everything from sleep to stress, an added positive aspect is that there are virtually no known side effects.
“CBD has been shown to be effective in alleviating pain as well as aiding in a good night’s sleep”
Making the Right Choice for CBD and Stress
Because it’s such a relatively new market, it’s important to be aware that not all CBD oil products are created equal. That’s why it’s crucial to do some research and read reviews before purchasing a product to ensure that you are getting the highest quality CBD oil possible. Spending a lot of money on a low-quality product that yields little results will only contribute to your stress levels.
If you’ve never used CBD before, you may be confused about which product to get, which is completely understandable. There are a lot of different options, which can be overwhelming at first, but it also makes it easy to find an option that works with your lifestyle. When it comes to taking CBD, it’s all about finding what works best for you.
Some of the most common CBD products you’ll find are tinctures, capsules, and gummies, but there are countless other options like topical creams and gels, bath bombs, and even products for your pets. As CBD has become more mainstream, it’s even common to find coffee shops and restaurants adding CBD to their menu items.
For the CBD beginner, a good place to start is with tinctures. These allow for personalized dosing and can also be combined with food or drink, making it a good alternative to pills. Capsules and gummies, on the other hand, are ideal for individuals who feel more comfortable with a pre-measured dose. If you already take vitamins and supplements, adding CBD capsules or gummies to your daily routine is a breeze.
The wonderful aspect of CBD is that it’s easy to experiment with all these different products and find the one that works best for you. It’s important to note that while some people feel the soothing effects of CBD immediately, others may find that relief comes gradually. For this reason, it’s recommended to allow at least two to three weeks to experience the full results. And, as is the case with any health-related matter, please consult a doctor before starting a CBD regimen.
Chronic stress and anxiety are serious issues that can lead to even bigger problems long term down the road, which is why it’s important to find relief sooner rather than later. So if you or a loved one are trying to cope but haven’t yet found the relief you need, it’s worth giving CBD a try. There’s no reason to continue suffering when the solution could be right around the corner.
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