Anxiety disorders have been at an all-time high in the last 10 years. The most common cause of anxiety: stress. Even hearing the word “stress” can cause more stress. There is no doubt that anxiety and stressors are even higher among Americans today than in previous years: from COVID-19 to the upcoming election, and everything in between.
As humans, it is natural to seek shelter from the storm. Everyone seeks an outlet. For many, alcohol, exercise, sleep, or tobacco help in coping with stress. Some get routine massages or spend big bucks at the spa every week to reduce their daily stress.
For others, jumping on the CBD and CBDa train has been nothing short of life-altering. In a world plagued with prescription medications for every issue in daily life, there are alternatives. Surely most readers have at least wondered if CBD can lower anxiety and stress, but have been too skeptical to spend the money or too afraid of “getting high” to bite the bullet.
This article will help explain the negative effects of stress and the benefits of the latest CBD “fad.”
What is stress in the body?
Anxiety and stress can often be interchangeable terms to describe the same condition. To be clear, anxiety is often caused by stress. Anxiety is the hyperactive reaction to stress.
Daytime stress is basically stressors that you feel throughout the day, excluding insomnia-related ailments. Stress is commonly defined as negative external stimulation that leaves a person overwhelmed or struggling to cope.
Common Causes of Daytime Stress
Stress can be caused by virtually anything, but some common causes for above average stressors include:
- Illness in family/friends’ circle
- Upcoming events
The list could go on-and-on. Stress is a common human condition to an extent; People have daily stress from making decisions on what to wear, what to have for breakfast, etc., but are typically not completely derailed by these daily stressors.
The effects of high-stress stems from the human condition of worrying or overactive brain activity related to specific negative topics or external factors.
Negative Effects of Stress
The brain’s constant firing of negative neurons takes a real toll on the body. People who worry continuously or have high-stress stakes in their daily lives often feel drained or even immobilized by their stress, but the mental aspect of stress is not the only damaging repercussion.
Many who have continuous stress develop tense necks, backs, and shoulders; they physically feel stress in their muscles, which perpetuates that feeling of immobilization. Stress can even reduce your immune system because your body actually thinks it is fighting off a physical threat.
In fact, leading experts say that people who live above averagely stressful lives are at a higher risk for disease and even cancer.
Yes, those external stressors can lead to major internal issues! People can actually do severe damage to their bodies by neglecting to manage stress and, if managed poorly by smoking or excessive drinking or overeating, can end their life.
Stress typically is a gradual condition:
- A feeling of being overwhelmed by the stressor
- The body reacts to the threat through tense muscles
- The stressor begins to negatively affect daily life (loss of sleep, appetite, productivity)
- If neglected, stress can cause long-term effects
The gradual progression of stress damages is different for everyone, especially based on how well stress is managed. Managing stress is crucial to avoid long-term damage.
Proactive or mindful people know stress must be managed through a healthy outlet. Outdoor activities such as running, biking, sports, or simple evening walks certainly can help relieve regular doses of stress, but the daily stress always seeps back in between activities. Supplements such as routine multivitamins, melatonin, and vitamin B complex can have a positive result in combating stress in some individuals.
Most of these supplements can slightly improve stress symptoms, but they do not significantly improve the effects. There is a product that does.
Today, many Americans are finding the full benefits of CBD and how CBD can lower anxiety and stress.
What is CBD?
Cannabis or hemp flower is made up of multiple cannabinoids (several of which are a naturally occurring compound found in the body). CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid compound found in cannabis and derived from the plant.
CBD is not the same as hemp oil. The term “hemp” can be used to describe even non-potent cannabis compounds. Hemp oil is traditionally derived from hemp seeds and contains no cannabidiol or produces the benefits.
CBD contains a legal limit of less than .03% THC—the primary cannabinoid that produces a high sensation—so its purpose is not to mess with the mental state. CBD instead is intended to create natural homeostasis within the body. CBD is not “smoked” by users unless used as a vapor, so it is not only used in marijuana-legal states.
To further distinguish THC and CBD, THC is all but completely extracted from the product. CBD lacks the negative components of traditionally smoking cannabis and ingesting THC.
Most readers have likely heard of CBD. CBD is legal in America and sold in various forms. Everyone has an Aunt Sheila or cousin’s friend’s Uncle Tom that has fibromyalgia and swears by CBD products. Much like great-Aunt Sheila says, CBD has immense benefits in most ailments plaguing Americans, unlike other supplements.
Uses for CBD include:
- Mental well-being
- Pain and symptom management for various diseases including cancer
Although the most studied is how CBD can lower anxiety, there are many unconfirmed studies linking CBD benefits to curing acne, substance abuse, and even disease prevention, among other benefits.
CBDa (Cannabidiolic acid) is—put simply—one less step in the deriving process to CBD or the “raw precursor” to CBD. CBDa is more able to attach to a serotonin receptor linked to a number of aliments within the body than CBD. In fact, many CBD producers are now mainly using CBDa for this reason.
Uses for CBDa are very similar to CBD. The main distinguisher being that CBDa is more potent. CBDa users can expect a greater margin of results.
Ways to Take CBD and CBDa
CBD, typically produced as an oil, can be consumed by unlimited means. CBD can be eaten on a favorite food, rubbed on the skin, used in a bath, inhaled, etc., and users can receive the full benefit from each form.
The product can be obtained pre-packaged as:
- bath bombs
Users can choose which form to partake in and are encouraged to discuss with a consultant what levels of potency would be most beneficial to them by the aliment.
Potential Side Effects
CBD has few common side effects but some have experienced diarrhea, loss of appetite, or fatigue/drowsiness. Unlike some older generations thought—which may be why it was not studied or taken as seriously as it is today—there are no long-term damages for taking CBD.
CBD is still not considered a viable medical treatment among most practicing physicians.
Can CBD really help?
Everyone suffers from stress; it is an inevitable human condition. People handle stress of various levels differently, but it all needs to be managed in one fashion or another to avoid long-term damages within the body. Whether suffering with decisions of sending children back to school during the pandemic or trying not to get overwhelmed with a friend’s drama, CBD can lower anxiety and stress.
CBD and CBDa are similar in context, the main difference being that CBDa is more potent in healing properties.
Because CBD does not have the altered effects of being high, one can expect to continue to routine productivity.
Using CBD is not just a fad; it is scientifically proven to aid in healing or managing a variety of ailments. CBD aids in stress relief by increasing serotonin reception in the body and creating a relaxing effect. Although CBD cannot change the external factor causing stress, it can promote healthy means to cope with stress.
Use of CBD should always be combined with a healthy regimen to gain full benefit including a healthy diet and exercise.
Discuss CBD with a doctor or professional, especially if aiming to treat a serious disease.