In today's stressful world, maintaining your health is critical. While stress 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 finals!
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.
Is CBD Good for Stress Relief?
CBD is a great option for managing your everyday stress and for helping you to get better sleep. CBD is used to make edible oils for health and wellness applications, including stress relief. CBD products are widely used for stress because they naturally have a calming effect on your body and mind.
CBD products help with stress because of the cannabinoids they contain, primarily cannabidiol (CBD) which is sourced from the sticky resin of the cannabis plant. 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 into an edible, plant-based oil like MCT oil, creating CBD oil tinctures. While cbdMD uses MCT oil as a medium for their CBD oil tinctures, other manufacturers may use different oils. Placing the cannabinoids into an oil like this makes it easier to get it into your body (cannabinoids are very tiny) in the form of CBD tinctures, CBD capsules, CBD gummies, and other forms of CBD products.
This versatility helps you use CBD for stress relief. You can take one product twice a day, a gummy as needed, a combination of CBD products, or simply focus on getting better sleep with a CBD sleep-aid at night. Whatever works best for your stress is best for you.
How Does CBD Work for Stress Relief?
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.
Can I Take CBD for Stress and Anxiety?
That depends on what you mean by “anxiety.” If you just mean it as a synonym for everyday stress — the anxiety you feel making a presentation at work, sending the kids away overnight, or going on a first date — then CBD can help you maintain your calm.
If you mean an anxiety disorder, however, that’s another story. CBD is not approved by the FDA to prevent or treat any illness. If you have debilitating anxiety due to trauma or a chronic condition, consult your physician or other experts in the field about the best treatment plan. You can still enjoy taking CBD if you like it, but it should not substitute for your doctor’s recommendations..
How Do You Use CBD 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 before swallowing. By that method, the CBD usually reaches your bloodstream in about 30 minutes.
Swallowing CBD oil by capsules or by putting it in your food or beverage 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 if you prefer that over taking CBD tincture drops.
For instance, a mint-flavored CBD oil could make a good addition to a mug of tea. Or you can use natural (unflavored) 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.
What Does It Feel Like to Take CBD for Anxiety?
Be warned that you may not see the results you want instantly. In addition to the time it takes for your body to metabolize a serving of CBD, it may also take some time to build up CBD in your system over the course of days or weeks.
So the best way to start is with a steady regimen of CBD every morning and evening. If you’re not sure how much to take, start with the serving size indicated on the bottle.
Over the course of 30 days, monitor how you feel, especially when it comes to stress. Keep a journal if that helps you remember any changes. If over that time you’re not seeing the results you want, try gradually increasing the amount you take or try a higher strength CBD.
How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work 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 Gummies can be especially helpful for this because there are several different kinds you can use for an added measure of calm.
Improving your sleep may also help you to feel more calm during your day. 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 societal issues that cause stress. 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.
Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?
If you’re taking CBD for stress, the last thing you want is the added worry that you might fail a drug test. But whether that’s actually something you need to worry about depends on what type of CBD you get.
CBD that’s labeled full spectrum has a small amount of THC in it. That’s the substance that most drug tests are looking for, because in large enough quantities it leads to intoxication. Our full spectrum CBD oil doesn’t have enough THC for that, but it could appear in a drug test that’s sensitive enough.
On the other hand, CBD products labeled “isolate” or “broad spectrum” should not contain any detectable THC. To make extra sure, you can check out the lab test results of your particular CBD product to find out exactly what’s in it.
For more details, see our blog post “Does CBD Oil Show Up on a Drug Test?”
Can CBD Gummies Help with 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. Need a little extra boost of calm? Try a CBD calming formula with the soothing addition of ashwagandha, L-theanine, and a relaxing blend of herbs like lemon balm and valerian.
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. Our strongest gummies have 6000 mg of CBD per bottle or 200 mg per gummy, available in a tropical mix flavor.
What Is the Best CBD to Take for Stress?
That depends totally on your preference. Each method has its pros and cons.
CBD oil is preferable if you’re trying to avoid sugar and other additives. The highest-quality CBD brands make CBD oil simply by infusing the CBD extract into an edible oil, and perhaps adding natural flavors. CBD oil is also highly versatile in that you can use it in recipes in place of regular cooking oil or other fat.
If you don’t consume it with food, CBD oil can get into your body more quickly if you hold it under your tongue for at least 30 seconds before swallowing, as described earlier. That way at least some of the CBD bypasses your digestive system and gets into your bloodstream through the mucous membrane.
You can’t do that with gummies, which also aren’t as versatile when it comes to preparation. But the upside to gummies is that they’re delicious! If chewing on a sweet treat helps you calm down, a CBD gummy might be just the thing. CBD gummies can also be handy for traveling, since they won’t make you run over the TSA limits on carry-on liquids. But check with your destination location to be sure you are allowed to bring CBD products with you, and what types are allowed.
CBD capsules are another popular CBD to take since it’s so easy to simply swallow with a glass of water. Many people prefer this no-measuring method to take CBD regularly.
Does CBD Stop Panic Attacks?
As noted earlier, CBD has not been approved as a treatment for any long-term anxiety disorder, including panic disorder. Moreover, since CBD takes a bit of time to get into your bloodstream and build up in your body, it’s not going to work quickly enough for anything that comes on suddenly.
As with other anxiety disorders, if you’re suffering from panic attacks you should consult your physician or other expert. Anxiety disorders are complex conditions which often require multi-part treatments, not quick fixes.
CBD and Stress: Final Thoughts
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. With scientific research going on all the time, and CBD now 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, try out multiple products and mix and match until you find the best routine for you.