Stress is a broad term describing an imbalanced state in the body, when it’s being required to adapt. Stress can affect many parts of wellbeing, including physical, mental and emotional states. When we experience stress for long periods of time without relief, it can begin to hurt our health in a variety of ways, and can cause headaches, upset stomach, increased blood pressure and heart rate, problems sleeping, sexual dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. If not made better, distress can even lead to more serious conditions like heart disease, cancer, lung disease, cirrhosis of the liver, accidents, and even suicide. Stress that isn’t managed well is a leading cause of chronic illness, and 53% of Americans reported suffering stress-induced illness as of 2010.
How CBD May Help With Stress
Research has shown that cannabidiol, or CBD, can reduce the physical stress response that is potentially harmful for health. In one study, CBD administration reduced blood pressure and expected stress response in mice who were restrained. There is research from as early as the 1980s which indicates that CBD can help reduce the anxiety experienced by users that consume THC. A 2011 research study showed that CBD can help reduce anxiety related to public speaking. All in all, there is strong evidence that CBD may be an effective treatment for symptoms of stress and anxiety-related conditions like generalized anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most of the research looking at the anti-anxiety effects of CBD involve single doses, and not long-term use of CBD, so it is currently unknown how the anti-anxiety effects of CBD may change over time if someone is consuming CBD day-to-day.
In addition to helping with anxiety related to distress, CBD may also be useful in helping to lessen the damage to the body dealt through long-term stress by lowering inflammation and protecting healthy cells. CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemical that has shown significant protective effects on cells and tissues throughout the body.
Although CBD is beneficial for reducing stress, it’s always best to integrate other healthy coping mechanisms for stress reduction, especially if additional goals exist for CBD outcomes. Using strategies like exercise, meditation, or similar practices to manage stress allows CBD to better target deeper health goals.
If you have any questions about how CBD may benefit stress response, please reach out to our Live Nurse here.