If you’re not familiar with CBD – the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis — chances are it won’t be long before you will be. The reason? While medical marijuana is consistently in the headlines, the truth is that it’s not legal in all 50 states. CBD, on the other hand, is. What’s more, CBD provides many of the same therapeutic benefits as medical marijuana, which contains THC (the more well-known “high-producing” compound in the cannabis plant), but without the accompanying “high” that goes along with ingesting or smoking medical marijuana.
Stress: A Fact of Modern-Day Life
Everything in life — events large and small — causes stress in our bodies and minds. Even something as seemingly innocuous and socially positive as exercise puts stress on your body. Problems at work, money problems, health issues, political turmoil, etc., all subject you to everyday stress. Add in life-changing events like a new job, a move to a new area, a birth or a death in the family, and the effects can be even more pronounced.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, stress isn’t always bad. It’s a mechanism that’s there to prepare you for a performance — like a job interview or a big test. It’s also useful as a response to real danger, triggering the well-known “fight or flight” response and possibly saving your life in a true emergency.
It’s when that life-saving stress response goes too far or lasts for too long that you run into trouble. When stress becomes chronic — as it is for many Americans — that same “healthy” response to danger turns against you and manifests in different ways like
- sleep problems
- digestive issues
Too much stress that occurs over a long period of time can even suppress your immune system, making you more vulnerable to that virus that’s going around the office. Over time, continual stress (especially the routine, everyday variety) can even manifest in serious illness such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, diabetes, and chronic mental health problems such as depression or anxiety disorders.
CBD from hemp (a form of cannabis) has been shown to reduce levels of stress and anxiety in those suffering from conditions such as PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. CBD has even been used successfully to reduce the stress and discomfort surrounding public speaking.
Our Bodies Are Made to Receive the Benefits of CBD
Did you know that within your body, there is a system specifically designed to receive CBD (cannabidiol)? It’s called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), and it actually produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It has two receptors for cannabinoids, called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors:
- CB1 receptors are found throughout the body, although the majority of them are in the brain. They affect our mood and emotions, and also our perception of pain.
- CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.
The Endocannabinoid System is always striving for balance, and cannabinoids like CBD work with it by attaching to its receptors and helping to achieve that balance.
Researchers used to think that CBD acts on these CB2 receptors, but it appears now that CBD does not act on either receptor directly. Instead, it seems to encourage the body to use more of its own cannabinoids!
CBD as Part of Your Strategy for Managing Stress
Anna Rogers, writing for Collective Evolution, points out that CBD has the ability to calm the nervous system, and she cites her own positive experiences with CBD oil to drive home her point.
CBD oil and other edible CBD products are a useful adjunct to things like regular exercise, quality sleep, and practices like yoga and meditation in managing everyday — and even traumatic stress for many people. For the highest quality CBD products, visit The CBDistillery. While you’re there, feel free to download The Ultimate CBD User Guide, to learn more about CBD and the potential benefits of CBD supplements.