CBD for Stress?
What's in this Article?
- The Difference Between Stress & Anxiety
- How Stress Hurts Us Physically
- Traditional Methods of Treating Stress
- The Science Behind CBD
- Who is Using CBD?
- 4 Stressful Situations
Stress and anxiety are pests. They are like nagging mosquitoes, but instead of sucking out your life from the outside, they do it from the inside. How many hours, days or even years has been robbed from all of us on some level by unnecessary stress and anxiety? Some stress is a response to an immediate need or danger and serves a meaningful purpose. It can push us through a work project or alert us to danger and even save our lives. But, the chronic anxiety I am talking about has no meaningful benefit as far as I can tell.
The Difference Between Stress & Anxiety
For me, stress is the pressure of everything that needs to get done right this moment weighing upon my mind until I find myself unproductively obsessing about it. It is something I think many millenials and professionals in this day-in-age contend with regularly. The technology of today is challenging our minds to beat out algorithms that can calculate faster than we can. Innovative tech also forces us to accomplish more with our days considering all of the collaboration and integration tools that exist relative to just ten years ago. Media pumps catastrophe after catastrophe from around the world in front of everyone making us think about all of the problems humanity is facing. While work and general life stress has always existed, technology seems to amplify our stress, albeit in a fascinating way.
Anxiety on the other hand, at least for me, is the consistent worrying, frustration and anger people feel over things that are out of their control or that are entirely unreal. Anxiety can represent some severe conditions like paranoia, PTSD and obsessive compulsive disorder. These sorts of disorders must be treated by medical professionals. In fact, everyone that is over-stressed or think they have some sort of severe anxiety disorder should speak with a doctor.
Enough of my thoughts, what do the actual experts on stress and anxiety think? According to the American Psychology Association, “Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.”
According to the late Andrew Baum, an esteemed psychology professor from the University of Arlington, Texas, stress is an “emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavioral changes.” That is a straightforward way of looking at it, but it is important to note that stress can be physically damaging to the body. It is not just some problem in our heads. Stress can damage the, “immune, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and central nervous systems,” according to the APA.
How Stress Hurts Us Physically
The ECS exists in abundance in all four of the above mentioned systems, so it stands to reason that phytocannabinoids like CBD can affect those areas. There is also evidence that stress damages neurons to a point of actually shrinking the brain. If that is not a physical repercussion to stress then what is? Many studies show that neurons can regenerate and that CBD even helps with neurogenesis, the regeneration of neurons. If stress increases our blood pressure and heart rate, then it increases the likelihood of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. We have every reason to treat stress and anxiety beyond just wanting to live happier lives.
Traditional Methods of Treating Stress
We all have our means of dealing with stress. My Apple watch tells me to breath periodically throughout the day. I guess I hold my breath. For me, going to the gym is a stress reliever too. I have even dabbled a little in Aikido and I’ll tell you what, nothing will take your mind away from the stresses of life more than focusing on ensuring you fall the right way when you’re thrown to the mat. People meditate and talk to loved ones to deal with their stresses too. Some people even try hypnosis. I don’t think anything will replace those methods of relaxation. One interesting means of dealing with stress that some psychologists suggest is called extinction learning.
Extinction in psychological terms is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy which is often recommended before medication treatment. Let’s say someone has a phobia, something they fear. Many anxiety disorders originate from genetics, but others originate from an event or repeated events that resulted in that person becoming very scared or hurt. They relate some sort of stimulus with those events that either harmed them, or someone else, in some fashion. Extinction learning suggests that if later on that same stimulus repeatedly resulted in something positive, then that person would eventually begin to associate that stimulus with the positive result rather than the negative result.
It sounds good but it can be a challenging process to go through depending on just how deep a person’s anxiety or phobia. Some people have simplified this process and in their minds replace whatever is triggering their anxiety with a pleasant thought. As an example, you could think; am I going up on stage right now to speak publicly or am I going to go lounge on a tropical beach with a rum runner in my hand? If you think the stage actually looks like a beach with soft blue waves and palm trees, then you might start feeling yourself calm down. You get it.
When it comes to medication to treat anxiety there are four different types. The most common type of anxiety medications these days are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. These inhibit serotonin reabsorption making more serotonin available which can improve a person’s mood. Like dopamine, serotonin is a happy neurotransmitter by facilitating synapse firings between neurons. Other types of medications inhibit reabsorption of norepinephrine or relax muscles. Here is a full list of the major types of anxiety medications:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Many patients complain about the side-effects of these medications and how they make them feel like they are not in the driver’s seat. Severe mental health disorders may require stronger treatment.
The Science Behind CBD
One of the main triggers that can turn any situation into a stressful situation is the release of too much serotonin. CBD binds to 5HT1a receptors just like serotonin, preventing the neurotransmitter typically associated with happiness from overwhelming the system. The medical community believes 5HT1a receptors are the ones most associated with anxiety. While many people associate serotonin with happiness, too much of it can overload the brain causing a variety of emotional effects. The human body is magnificent and people are nowhere close to creating anything as complex and efficient as it. But, it is not perfect either.
Too many hormones and enzymes can cause our bodies to get out of sync with the world around us. People attempt to supplement their internal systems with medications, vitamins and other substances to bring them into balance. This is a tricky process for both doctors and their patients. The ECS plays a big role in the human body’s management of stress and anxiety. While CBD does not bind to ECS receptors, it does promote the production of endogenous cannabinoids that our bodies make on their own like anandamide and 2-AG. CBD also helps inhibit the over stimulation of CBD1 receptors, the ECS receptors most associated with anxiety stress.
Who is Using CBD?
You should check out our CBD oil reviews. Millenials are loving CBD! A generation full of people looking to speed everything up with technology also turns to the world of medicine to help them become more efficient as well. Millenials have to contend with a lot of stress from an ever growing population and business competition.
Parents are another group that contend with stress. Not only do they have to provide for their families but rearing children is no easy gig. We love our children but they can wear us out! Waking us up regularly at night, crying, tantrums and being demanding can age people. If CBD gummies can help a parent focus and destress without side-effects, then most parents I know would have more than just a slight interest in CBD, not just for themselves but for the sake of their kids too.
Rumors are that Tiger Woods has used CBD for focus while golfing. The PGA is even considering calling it a performance enhancing drug since golf is a game of concentration and focus is one of the benefits of CBD. Athletes can be put under a lot of pressure and so they too are interested in the mentally soothing effects of CBD.
Business professionals will store CBD oils in their desks these days. Big board meetings, deadlines and other people vying for our jobs have forced business people to do a lot crazier things than drip a CBD 100mg dose under their tongue. Especially if they do not have to fear a drug test by using a pure CBD oil with no THC.
4 Stressful Situations
Why should I feel panicked before going out on a stage to speak about a topic I am familiar with and prepared for? Why shouldn’t a person be excited about going on a date with someone they are attracted to? Why should people spend time worrying about catching a disease they have no valid reason to believe they are going to get? Why should some people spend countless hours in bed doing nothing but worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet? These are all varying forms of stress and anxiety.
Now, I have been taking CBD for a while, so there are a few things to consider. If you have never taken so much as a CBD 25mg dose, your ECS may need to get primed. Eventually you will find a CBD product like CBD gummies and other CBD edibles, or a CBD oil that is to your liking. You will also determine a CBD dose that is right for you through a bit of a trial and error process. Here are some stressful situations you might find yourself in.
Public Speaking or an Interview
So, you have been beefing up your resume or spent the last week preparing a presentation to pitch a potential client or maybe you are going to go out onto a full fledged stage to speak to a large gathering of people. Whether its an interview, sales pitch or speech about a new product launch, they can all get the butterflies in our stomachs going, make us break out in a sweat or leave us staring like a deer in headlights. It's important to take preventative measures to make these sorts of engagements go smoothly.
Before a Date
So, maybe you have found a top match on Zoosk or Elite Singles. Maybe your friend set you up on a blind date or maybe like Ally Wong, the love of your life has been sitting right under your nose for your whole life. Many thoughts might be coursing through your mind. Is he/she the right one? What are they going to think of me? What happens at the end of the date? First, pop a gummy or take some CBD oil under the tongue maybe a half or so before you meet with your date. Second bring your CBD gummies or CBD oil tincture with you. There is no way to know how the date will last. Hey, CBD is a trending topic these days too, so talking about your favorite brand of CBD, Sugar and Kush, wink wink, could be a nice conversation starter. “Hey, what are you doing with that oil under your tongue?”....”Oh, it’s just my Sugar and Kush Vanilla flavored CBD oil. It has zero calories and tastes delish! Want to try some? Look at how cool the branding is...”....Ok, maybe not, but you get the point.
A heavy workload is probably the biggest reason why I experience stress. Not that long ago I found myself rubbing my face and neck frequently, staring out the window with no brain activity and unable to come up with intelligent responses to work related questions. There was just so much going on in my head that finding focus and making my day as productive as can be was just out of my reach. I was stressed out. There is no 30 minutes before a scheduled event for something like this. Stress solutions for heavy workloads are necessary just to keep your job.
Unfortunately depression affects way too many of us. According to one study I read, 1 out of 4 American contend with chronic anxiety. For many of those people it turns into a mental health disorder like depression. Unfortunately not even 37% of those people even seek treatment. Depression can be embarrassing and just taking a breath can hurt. If you struggle with depression, you should go see a doctor.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a division called SAMHSA and a hotline tel:1-800-662-4357. You can go to their site: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
People need a comprehensive anxiety treatment plan in order to combat severe anxiety and stress. Research is still out on whether CBD can help. Treatment may include professional help, SSRI medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy and normal stress relievers. For those of us that experience stress, but not severe amounts of it, some exercise and other basic stress relievers can go a long way towards refocusing your efforts and becoming more productive. It is important to seek a medical professional’s opinion too.