CBD & Stress - 10 Most Asked Questions Answered
World Health Day has been on the calendar since 1950, but in 2020 it has special significance.
The coronavirus pandemic has made us all aware that even those of us living in wealthy countries can’t take good health and long life for granted. We’re all grateful for the hard work of everyone in the healthcare industry that’s kept us free of so many diseases that plagued our ancestors, and that will one day affect this one too.
As a humble CBD company, we can’t do anything about a dangerous virus. But we can help with a much stealthier problem that’s afflicting many lately: stress.
In today's stressful world, maintaining your health is critical. While it may seem entirely mental, research shows that long-term stress harms your body, too – increasing the likelihood of heart disease, eroding the immune system, and generally accelerating aging. These effects can also make you more vulnerable to viral infections; in fact, I’m sure I’m not the only one who kept getting colds right before final exams!
Going by search-engine records, there’s been a lot of interest in whether and how CBD products can help fight stress. So without further ado, here are the answers to your top 10 questions about CBD and stress.
1. What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is any form of edible oil infused with cannabidiol or CBD.
Cannabidiol is an extract that comes from the sticky resin of the cannabis plant. While that same resin is useful for making intoxicants like hashish, cbdMD’s CBD comes from a non-intoxicating breed of cannabis called industrial hemp. CBD must come from industrial hemp to be federally legal, though many states have looser rules on the matter.
Pure CBD comes in crystal form, so manufacturers like cbdMD dissolve it in other substances to make it palatable. The simplest way to do that is to put it in vegetable oil, as in our CBD tinctures for sale. We use MCT oil as a medium, but other manufacturers may use different oils.
CBD oils may come unflavored, but you can also buy them in a variety of flavors, depending on your taste. We also use CBD and CBD oil in many other products with more complex blends of ingredients, including capsules, gummies, topicals, and bath bombs. You can also find CBD oil vape juice, although we don’t sell that at retail.
2. Does CBD help with stress?
CBD is a cannabinoid, which means that it interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system of neurotransmitters and receptors found throughout the body appears to be involved in many bodily functions, including mood, sleep, memory, digestion, the immune system, and even posture.
Overall, the ECS seems to help us maintain homeostasis: the natural cycles of waking, sleeping, eating, and maintaining body temperature and other key functions. In other words, it helps keep us in balance.
That includes mental balance: activating the ECS receptors appears to induce calm, which is why people have used cannabis for thousands of years as a way to mellow out. CBD plays a role in that phenomenon, even though it doesn’t get you stoned.
3. How effective is CBD oil for stress?
Research on whether or not CBD oil is effective in reducing stress. Because of its association with cannabis, CBD was difficult for researchers to obtain for experiments. But what studies have found is very encouraging.
Studies on animals dating back to the 1980s have found that CBD seems to lower anxiety in stressful situations, based on physical signs of distress. In humans, a similar effect has appeared in experiments with public speaking, as well as in brain scans of subjects looking at distressing images.
The experiments mentioned above, I should note, used healthy subjects put under temporary stress. While researchers are also studying CBD’s potential for longer-term anxiety disorders, the FDA has not approved it for that use. If you are experiencing unusual levels of anxiety without a clear cause, consult your doctor.
4. How do I take CBD oil for stress?
Before you start taking CBD for any purpose, talk to your physician. CBD has shown few side effects in studies, but it may interfere with the liver’s ability to metabolize long-term medicines you may be on. Many doctors also have experience with other patients taking CBD and might be able to give you advice.
Once you buy a bottle of CBD oil, the next step is deciding how you’re going to take it. The fastest-acting method is to squeeze out the dropper under your tongue and hold the oil there for at least 30 seconds, letting it absorb through the mucous membrane. By that method, the CBD usually takes effect in about 30 minutes.
Swallowing CBD oil means that it goes through your digestive tract, and so may take an hour or two to have an impact. However, if you’re not in a hurry, that might be a more enjoyable way to do it because you can mix it with food or drink.
For instance, a mint-flavored CBD oil could make a good addition to a mug of tea. Or you can use natural-flavored oil in place of vegetable oil in your favorite sauce or salad dressing. Because of CBD’s popularity, you can find plenty of online recipes to give you ideas.
5. How many milligrams of CBD oil is recommended for stress?
Because research is still in the early stages, there’s no standard set of guidelines for this. People’s experience with CBD seems to vary a lot, so differences in age, weight, physiology, and other factors all probably play a role.
If you’re just starting, we advise using a low-concentration product, taking one serving at a time. The real key is consistency. CBD tends to build up in the body over time, so take it every morning and evening for 30 days to gauge the full effect of that amount. You can gradually increase your intake if you feel you need it.
6. How often can I take CBD oil for stress?
As noted, once or twice a day should be sufficient, as long as you’re consistent about it. But there may be some especially stressful times when you feel you need more.
If you want to de-stress more intensively with CBD, you can try fitting in products with a relaxing daily routine that will naturally amplify its effects.
CBD bath bombs can be especially helpful for this because hot baths are useful for stress on their own. The warmth causes your blood vessels to dilate and your muscles to relax. There’s also some evidence that hot baths help you get to sleep, and getting enough sleep also lowers stress levels.
Speaking of which, CBD PM is an award-winning CBD oil specifically geared toward sleep. It includes melatonin, a hormone that your body produces to signal that it’s time to hit the sack, and soothing traditional herbs like chamomile and valerian. It can be the right solution for especially stressful periods when your worries are keeping you awake at night.
Many people also find that exercise helps reduce their stress, thanks to those handy endorphins. The CDC even recommends it as a way to manage anxiety about the current situation. We also have a line of CBD topicals specifically for exercise recovery, incorporating proven painkillers like menthol and histamine dihydrochloride to help relieve muscle and joint strains. This method can also be a way to add more CBD to your anti-stress routine.
7. How long do the effects of CBD oil last?
With all things regarding CBD, lasting effects partly on the user’s unique physiology. Generally speaking, CBD that is taken under the tongue or swallowed yields effects for seven or eight hours. Vaping CBD gives you more of an instant hit, but it clears the body in only three or four hours.
As I said earlier, though, there is some evidence that CBD accumulates in your system over time, so if you’re taking it every day for weeks or months, then you may always be under its influence to some extent.
8. What kind of CBD gummies are good for stress?
CBD gummies can also make a nice “extra” if you’re going through a stressful time. The chewiness and sweet flavors can provide a nice distraction from what ails you, while the sugar can give you a boost of energy to help get you through a busy day.
Don’t go overboard with the sugar because too much leads to a crash, which has the opposite effect. So try eating a few gummies with a high concentration of CBD. We recently launched a version of our CBD Gummies with 1500 mg of CBD per bottle or 50 mg per gummy.
9. Who uses CBD oil for stress and anxiety?
A lot of people – it turns out.
Consumer Reports surveyed about 1,000 CBD users last year and found that dealing with anxiety and stress was the top reason respondents were taking it. Thirty-seven percent of users took it for that purpose, and 63 percent of those said it was extremely useful or efficient at addressing the problem.
That motivation was especially important for younger people; older folks were more likely to take it for physical health.
Several well-known athletes with high-stress lifestyles also take CBD to help them chill out, including some members of Team cbdMD.
MMA fighter-turned-trainer Tiki Ghosn has said that CBD “really helps with my anxiety.”
“CBD has changed the game for pain management, stress, anxiety, and so many other issues,” said BMX rider and Nitro Circus star Brandon Schmidt.
Big wave surfing champ Nathan Florence has found that CBD PM helps quiet an overactive brain.
“I run hard most of the day and still I have trouble sleeping, my mind has too many Star Wars facts to think about!” he joked. “CBD alone helps deepen the sleep and the melatonin will help you get there faster.”
10. Are there people who use CBD oil for PTSD?
As I noted earlier, CBD has not been approved as a treatment for any long-term anxiety disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Nonetheless, many people with the illness have tried it and found it helpful. It’s become notably popular among veterans, some of whom have even founded their own CBD startups.
There is some evidence to support this. One small case series of people with PTSD last year found that patients taking CBD improved over an eight-week course of study. However, it’s worth noting that these patients received CBD on top of their standard psychiatric treatment. So don’t take this as a reason to throw out your meds.
This reason is that PTSD, like most anxiety disorders, is complex and defies a simple cure. Former Green Beret and veterans’ advocate Adam Smith summed it up nicely in an op-ed last year:
“[W]hile CBD continues to help me with my anxiety, sleep, aches and pains and racing mind, it hasn’t fixed me; I had to choose to change. What CBD has done, however, is help me to fight all the things that blocked me from making those adjustments happen.”
CBD and Stress: The Conclusion
There may be no cure for stress in these worrying times. But CBD oil has nonetheless been helping many people through rough patches while helping maintain whole-body wellness. And with scientific research going on all the time, under lighter restrictions than before, we may yet learn even more about CBD’s powers.
If you’re interested, check out our full array of CBD products to decide what’s best for you. If more than one appeals to you, we also have CBD bundles for sale that allow you to try out multiple products at a discount price. That even includes products for your pets – after all, they get nervous too!
Disclaimer: The cbdMD page contains general information about health, diet, lifestyle, and nutrition. Any information provided should not be considered or treated as medical advice and always consult a medical professional before making any lifestyle changes. Products and information mentioned on the cbdMD blog are not intended to be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Any links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience only and cbdMD is not responsible for their content.