Relax and make yourself comfortable as this article explains how to use CBD oil as a remedy for stress. While our present COVID-19 pandemic traces back to China, stress comes from the Old French word ‘estresse’ – which means narrowness and oppression. Lockdowns and restrictions; protests and presidents. Sound familiar? It is safe to assume that the year 2020 has given most of us a solid definition. Thankfully, self-care is not a new concept either. Throughout history, people have turned to nature to keep stress at bay and perhaps it is time we take a leaf from their book. In case you are looking for ways to enhance your wellbeing, read on to explore some unique CBD benefits.
How Stress Affects Mental Health
According to the NHS, stress is a normal reaction that takes place in our bodies in times of danger or risk – for example, when a fire alarm rings or we engage in public speaking. In the short term, our adrenaline levels peak and drive us to take prompt and appropriate action to meet the challenge of the moment. However, stress can sometimes get out of hand; especially when we are put on constant high alert by unavoidable long-term situations such as family conflict, financial hardship or national crisis.
Signs Of Stress
Some symptoms of enduring stress can include:
- Feeling overwhelmed;
- Muscle tension;
- Worry and anxiety;
- Insomnia (which worsens mental health);
Experiencing these symptoms for extended periods can damage our physical and mental wellbeing. Chronic stress can eventually lead to more serious issues like digestive troubles, heart problems and even depression. The Mental Health Foundation reports that 45% of the UK population is experiencing anxiety and worry, as of August 2020. If you’re stressed out, you are not alone. All the more reason to join the millions of people who are exploring CBD as part of their wellness plan.
If you are in an urgent situation with regards to your mental health, please contact a licenced professional as soon as possible. Natural remedies such as CBD can help improve your overall well being, but in no way should they replace talking to your GP or therapist. Always prioritise your doctor’s opinion above anything you read online.
What Is CBD?
First identified in 1940 by American Scientist Dr Roger Adams, CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over a hundred naturally-occurring compounds called cannabinoids that are present in cannabis plants. Yes, the same cannabis that is currently a class-B drug in the UK. The reality of facing up to five years in prison for possession is far from stress-free. However, there is no need to panic. CBD products are safe enough to be found on the shelves of your local health store, and they are rapidly taking over the wellness market. Some CBD companies in Britain have attracted enough new business to grow by 300% since March this year.
How Is It Extracted?
Lab technicians extract and test CBD by weeding out the unwanted fibres, waxes and fats from cannabis leaves and stem structures. Since hemp is the strain of cannabis that contains the highest levels of CBD oil, it is the preferred plant for these purposes. Once the emerging CBD has been purified to the desired effect, developers add it to a wide variety of wellness products, whether it is CBD capsules, gummies, vapes or topicals.
Is CBD Intoxicating?
While its wild-child sister THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) creates the signature “high” that cannabis is most known for, CBD has earned a good reputation for its calming and soothing properties. Due to processing methods, CBD may contain trace amounts of THC, but regulations require it to be below the British legal limit of 0.2%. On a broader scale, the World Health Organisation writes: ‘there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.’ While CBD has created a buzz in the wellness community, it is not psychoactive.
What Does CBD Do?
We’ve established that CBD doesn’t break the law or make you feel sedated, but what exactly does it do? And how does it do it? This is a topic of great interest among researchers – particularly those in medical and mental health spheres.
How CBD Interacts With Your Chemistry
Scientists are exploring this matter in growing depth, but here is the story in a nutshell. When you consume CBD, it eventually enters your bloodstream and begins to interact with the messenger cells (neurotransmitters) in your body. More specifically, CBD bonds with cells known as B2 cannabinoid receptors which are closely linked with the immune system. CBD prevents the breakdown of anandamide – an important feel-good chemical present in your body. It also attaches itself to the receptors associated with heat, pain signals and inflammation.
Impact On Stress
When it comes to relieving symptoms associated with stress, Dr Gail Basch, M.D, observes that “CBD shows great promise”. The conclusive evidence required to take CBD from promise to proof is still being gathered, but to many users, the proof is in the pudding. Convinced by their positive firsthand experiences, they waste no time crediting CBD as a valuable part of their self-care rituals.
So far, studies suggest that CBD can benefit wellbeing by:
- Reducing anxiety (Moreira and Wotjak, 2009);
- Relieving stress without being addictive (Cuttler and others, 2018);
- Improving sleep quality (Shannon and others, 2019);
- Decreasing stress-related depression (Crippa and others, 2018);
- Calming PTSD and the nervous system;
- Diminishing pain and inflammation.
CBD is not a cure-all. Instead, cannabidiol is a unique tool that can accompany other stress-relief and wellness practices. Taking a holistic approach to mental health, which includes professional and social support, results in a greater likelihood of recovery.