Stress is a constant issue that most of us have to deal with daily. It can affect our moods, our mental stability, and our ability to focus.
People with high-stress levels often need medication to help them remain calm in their life. Common options are Prozac and Xanax, but there are natural versions of these chemicals that we can use instead. We are talking about CBD.
Today we will explain what CBD is, how it works to manage your stress, and the risks you should be aware of.
CBD is the abbreviation for Cannabidiol and it refers to the natural oils found in cannabis plants.
Extractors remove the cannabinoids from the flowers and leaves of a cannabis plant and extract the oil from within. If done correctly, the liquid will be colourless, however, there can be a strong earthy smell depending on the species of the cannabis plant.
There are over 100 different varieties to explore, each with its own unique flavour. The stronger the scent and flavour, the stronger effects the oil can give.
Does CBD make you ‘high’?
Reading the word ‘cannabis’ alongside the word ‘effects’, might put one thought in your mind – getting high. Although cannabis has a big reputation for providing euphoric effects, this aspect of the plant is produced by THC.
THC is the abbreviation for Tetrahydrocannabinol and is the sole psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Both CBD and THC affect your brain, but CBD makes you feel relaxed or sleepy, while THC gives you a boost of energy which quickly turns into a fuzziness or mental slowness.
Depending on the species of cannabis plant harvested, you can receive low or no THC levels in your product.
How does CBD help with stress relief?
There have been multiple studies that follow the effects of CBD on people with an anxiety-based disorder, and each of them has found that CBD has a calming effect. But how does it produce these effects and what does it help with specifically?
Published in September 2010, this study titled ‘Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalised social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report’ was written by Jose Alexandre S Crippa, Guilherme Nogueira Derenusson, and others. In the study, they used CBD on participants with social anxiety disorder.
From the study, they found that cerebral blood flow had reduced pressure when CBD was used as part of the treatment. This lead to stress receptors being blocked.
Compared to resting rates and placebo rates, this showed that CBD helped reduce the amount of anxiety in people with generalized social anxiety disorder.
Published in February 2011, this study titled ‘Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients’ was written by Mateus, M Bergamaschi, Regina Helena Costa Queiroz, and others.
In this study, the researchers also used a participant group composed of people with generalized social anxiety disorder. There was also a control group of people without this disorder and a third group with the disorder to be used as a placebo.
Each was measured using the Visual Analogue Mood Scale, Negative Self Statement Scale, and physiological measures (which include heart rate, blood pressure, and sweating). They were measured for their resting figures, and again during a performance. In the performance, the participants had to make a speech.
The results came back showing that those with a generalized social anxiety disorder who did not receive a CBD dosage had the highest stress levels, while those with the disorder who had the CBD dose showed stress levels that were the same as the control group.
This showed that people with generalized social anxiety disorder can reduce their stress responses to match those without the disorder when they apply a CBD dosage.
Of course, these studies are over a decade old now, but they have been repeated multiple times and proven accurate time and time again. CBD can reduce your stress level, and it does so by blocking the stress receptors in your brain.
What are the risks Of CBD?
Unlike most medications, CBD doesn’t come with any known major side effects.
With Xanax, you may experience blurred vision, weight change, vomiting, memory loss, and slurred speech. With CBD you may experience a dry mouth and drowsiness.
The biggest issue CBD faces is a lack of regulation. This means you may not have the correct dosage for your situation.
CBD can help reduce your stress, by changing your brain’s chemical signals, and blocking your stress receptors.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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