CBD and Stress Management
Following on from our previous recommendations about incorporating CBD into your wellness routine, we would like to use this post to take a closer look at the topic of stress management.
It’s safe to say that there isn’t a single prospective CBD user for whom this topic isn’t relevant. Some people might just be looking for ways to occasionally decompress after a hard day, while others want supplemental methods for managing chronic anxiety. For both those groups and everyone in between, CBD is an option worth considering.
How It Works
Research into the effects of CBD is substantial, scientists have developed a general picture of how it functions to influence brain chemistry. It’s important to note that this influence does not extend to cognition or perceptual awareness. The research is clear in showing that CBD does not get you high like its sister substance, THC. But in other ways, the two “cannabinoids” are remarkably similar. This means that CBD could possibly stand in for marijuana in many of its medicinal uses.
CBD and THC both interact with the endocannabinoid system. Science is still refining its understanding of that system, but it is known to play a role in a wide range of psychological processes including mood regulation and memory formation. This is apparently why medical marijuana is effective in treating problems like post-traumatic stress disorder. It compensates for deficiencies in serotonin and dopamine levels, while also modulating the release of neurotransmitters that cause continual retrieval of traumatic memories.
Now there is research that suggests CBD could play the same role, giving patients an opportunity to manage the symptoms of PTSD without experiencing the side-effects of marijuana use.
Of course, more research needs to be done on this topic, and even if CBD becomes approved for clinical usage with PTSD patients, it will be necessary for those patients to consult their doctors before making any changes to a current treatment regimen. In the meantime, though, existing research provides plenty of support for the idea of trying out CBD as a way of dealing with less serious anxiety issues.
About 20 percent of Americans have some such issues, but many of them just accept it as a fact of life. It doesn’t have to be this way. In studies on small animals, CBD has been shown to reduce both the behavioral and the physiological effects of stress. If these results extend to human beings, then CBD products could prove useful for people who are prone to nervous habits or whose heartrate increases in anticipation of stressful events.
In fact, this latter application has been the subject of at least two similar studies. In 2011 and in 2018, researchers administered CBD and a placebo to different groups of people who were each given a public speaking task. Those who received CBD reported lower levels of anxiety before and during their speeches – even those who had previously been diagnosed with the social anxiety disorder.
Other studies, including one in 2019, showed a long-term reduction in general anxiety as a result of extended use of CBD. The effects were notably different from those seen with traditional anti-anxiety medications, because it seemed to target specific neurotransmitters instead of suppressing the entire central nervous system.
This speaks to one of the selling points that dedicated CBD users tend to highlight: the benefits of CBD products are conferred without major side-effects. Though a small percentage of users experience tiredness or diarrhea, the overall experience is an increased quality of life, with less stress, less pain, and reliably improved moods.
It’s still too early to make any definitive statements about how CBD should be used or what its users should expect, but there’s more than enough information to support trying it out in certain situations. We recommend starting with a moderate dose before a stressful event, then assessing whether you managed that stress better than at other times. If you did, then you might find it worthwhile to use it on regular basis, as a safe option for managing everyday stress and anxiety.