Author: Luke Sholl
Stress is an unavoidable reaction, but that doesn't mean we need to live with its detrimental impact on well-being. To find out how CBD oil could influence stressful situations, and the benefits of healthy stress management, keep reading.
Feeling stressed is a perfectly normal reaction. It forms part of our innate flight or fight response and helps us take on challenging tasks or situations. However, the problem with feeling stressed is it doesn't always fade, and that's when problems can occur.
In the long term, our mind and body don't cope well with stress. In response to stressful situations, the body shifts its focus away from non-essential processes. If you ever wondered why you don't feel hungry when working hard to meet a deadline, it's likely because of stress.
The strain of work may enhance our focus, but to the detriment of digestion. This is great when crunching for a work deadline or feeling under pressure at the gym, but not for longevity—what if the impact of stress disrupts your appetite for days, or even weeks?
When you multiply this shift in priority across all the different functions we rely on day in and day out, it's easy to see how chronic stress damages our well-being. For many, symptoms of chronic stress include:
• Muscle tension
• Sadness and depression
It's also important to keep in mind that stress is a very personal reaction. A stressor for you may not have the same effect on someone else. As such, you'll need to try various stress-management techniques to find what works for you. Fortunately, what doesn't change from person to person are the benefits of stress management.
Because we know we can never eliminate stress, the focus shifts instead to management. Managing stress not only benefits our physical and mental well-being, but it can bring economic and relationship advantages too!
Dealing with the apparent benefits first, keeping stress well-managed can improve the following:
• Sleep quality
• Overall mood
• Disease resilience
• Body weight control
While that alone is reason enough to deal with stress head-on, there are also several broader implications. Being more resilient to disease means a lower chance of getting sick and less need to take unpaid time off work. Given that financial troubles are one of the leading causes of stress, helping your body get back on track proves beneficial on numerous fronts.
There's also the impact stress has on the people around us. It's common for stress to affect interpersonal relationships negatively, whether that be at work or home. Improving mood through stress management is, again, another action that breaks the cycle, enhancing well-being for ourselves and those closest to us. In short, the benefits of managing stress are significant, with ramifications far beyond our own health.
Now that we know why stress management is crucial, it's time to turn to implementation. This is where most people stumble across CBD, an all-natural compound derived from hemp. CBD's potential impact on stress is unique; not only is the cannabinoid free from psychotropic side effects, but it appears safe to consume regularly, according to the World Health Organization.
However, before we dive into the potential benefits of CBD for stress, let's quickly cover the compound's basic attributes. CBD (technically known as cannabidiol) is an organic compound found inside industrial hemp. After careful processing, CBD is removed from raw plant material and added to various oils, hence the name CBD oil. However, what makes CBD oil unique is not the extraction process, but its impact on human physiology.
When CBD enters the body, it interacts with a vast network of receptors. The exact interaction varies depending on how much CBD you take. Still, with potential influence over functions such as mood, sleep, and digestion, you can see why the compound is frequently linked to stress management.
It's important to remember that stress and its symptoms are multifaceted. Symptoms can come and go while also varying in intensity. So, to tackle the impact of stress efficiently, you need an approach that works on multiple fronts. That's where CBD comes into play. With its balancing influence, regular consumption could help manage stressful situations in the following ways.
Restful sleep is the cornerstone of any stress-management programme. Fortunately, CBD may impact the body's natural sleep–wake cycle, improving alertness during the day while also helping us get to sleep more easily. On its own, CBD won't undo bad sleep habits, but it could help tip the scales in your favour alongside other simple lifestyle changes.
Common symptoms of stress include anxiety, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. A 2015 review of CBD examined the compound’s potential for multiple anxiety disorders. While there's still a lot more to learn about the nuances of CBD for anxiety, it points to a promising future.
Much of CBD's influence on mood comes from its regulation of receptors linked to mood and motivation. While the compound doesn't interact directly with these receptors, it modulates their binding affinity, which could prove pivotal in managing the long-term psychological effects of stress.
Usually, our body deals with infection by sending white blood cells to the area as part of our inflammatory response. Some inflammation is essential, but should stress persist, those helpful white blood cells can become confused and start attacking healthy cells. CBD could help to influence the immune response before it starts doing more harm than good, though researchers are still working hard to understand the precise mechanism of action.
One of the areas in which CBD undoubtedly shines is accessibility. With dozens of different concentrations and formulas, finding a CBD oil that fits your needs is simple.
You can take CBD oil on the tongue for a slower onset but longer-lasting effect, or under the tongue (sublingual) for a more immediate, short-lived impact. For example, if you know you have a stressful situation approaching, a few sublingual drops could help take the edge off the situation. On the other hand, for a longer-lasting boost to physical and mental well-being, consume several drops on the tongue at regular intervals throughout the day.
Often, what stops us from practising stress management is the difficulty of fitting it into our day. With CBD, that simply isn't the case—the compound works around you.
We've already touched on CBD's safety, but it's worth clarifying, as there are some caveats. First, the safety of CBD stems directly from its source. By that, we mean the safest extracts come from naturally grown industrial hemp. Second, third-party testing is another significant indicator of safety. Extracting CBD is a challenging process, and without the right expertise, it's easy for the final product to contain unwanted or harmful elements.
To ensure CBD oil is safe for stress, always buy products from a reputable company, preferably one that not only lists the source of its CBD, but publishes independent test results too. With these two factors taken care of, CBD should be suitable for daily consumption. There is the possibility of minor side effects (fatigue, stomach discomfort, lightheadedness), but these appear mild and fade quickly.
Whichever way you choose to take CBD oil for stress, know that every person is different. Not only in how they deal with stress, but in how CBD makes them feel. Always take the compound at your own pace, experimenting with low doses until you feel comfortable. Once you've found a concentration and frequency that matches your lifestyle needs, there's no reason CBD oil shouldn't be a valuable addition to your stress-management routine.
If you’re ready to try CBD oil to help with stress, check out our offerings at the Cibdol store. Our complete selection includes concentrations from 5–40% for a versatile approach to well-being. Or, if you want to learn more about CBD’s balancing influence, visit our CBD Encyclopedia.