Although it’s tough to admit, we live in a different world. Increased levels of communication mean that we’re constantly exposed to new sources of stress, not the least of which is anxiety related to social media and technology use. When you experience high levels of stress, it can adversely affect other areas of your life, including your health and personal relationships. You may relieve some stress and anxiety using CBD products. But first, it’s important to understand how the key ingredient, CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, works.
The Background on the Endocannabinoid System
It might surprise you that researchers are still learning much about this system, which exists in your body even if you never use any cannabis products. We understand it is a complex system of cell signals that became apparent to researchers as recently as the nineties because they were studying THC. This is the component of cannabis that creates that high feeling, but there are many other chemicals in the plant itself. To date, we understand the Endocannabinoid system affects many different life functions and processes within the body. There are signals that affect your mood, appetite, sleep, memory, fertility, and reproduction. Remember, you have this system regardless of any exposure to cannabinoids.
#1. CBD for Anxiety
One of the leading uses of cannabis is to relieve anxiety. The Cannabis sativa plant contains hundreds of chemicals, which are known as cannabinoids. You’ve probably heard of the two most popular chemicals in the media. There’s tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a euphoria-inducing substance, and CBD, which relieves anxiety, muscle spasms, depression, pain, and other conditions. There is still much research being done on how endocannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), help the brain deal with conditions such as anxiety and depression. People who often suffer from anxiety may also feel depressed. They often struggle with feelings of sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, or other negative emotions.
One reason could be that they are overwhelmed by their fears. Everyone has fears, but people with high levels of anxiety cannot cope with these fears as well, which begins to impact their health and lifestyle. One marker of depression, for example, is when people do not experience feelings of happiness or pleasure from daily experiences, including actions or using material things that they would normally enjoy. Alternatively, individuals may feel anxiety about possible experiences, such as bumping into a former romantic partner or being in a crowded space, and avoid those experiences altogether.
#2. How We Feel Matters
If you are struggling with feelings of anxiety (overwhelming fear or anxiousness from various sources and different physical symptoms) or depression (feelings of severe despondency and dejection), you deserve relief. There are two types of happiness that affect how we feel at any time. There is a temporary emotional state of happiness known as hedonia, and there is a relatively stable state of happiness, known as eudaimonia.
One study found that genetic variations in the human cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) affect how the brain responds to social reward systems. “The striatal activity in the cytosine (C) allele carriers was higher than that in individuals with a thymine-thymine (TT) genotype when happy faces were presented, suggesting that the C allele of the SNP of the CNR1 may enhance CB1 activity.”
Another recent study from Japan built upon these findings by aiming to explore the relationship between people with genetic traits, those having the marker of cytosine (C) or thymine-thymine (TT), and how they would respond to happiness. The latter study found that “the cytosine to thymine single-nucleotide polymorphism of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene is associated with sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli.” The same researchers suggested that broader studies are needed to understand how the cannabinoid receptor system and, more specifically, a person’s marker of C or TT increases their subjective happiness level by means of trait optimism. Remember, one’s subjective happiness level is based on how he or she rates their present emotional state on a predetermined scale.
#3. CBD Helps Manage Stress Levels
If you have regular fears that overwhelm you and/or you often feel down and dejected, these realities can begin to impact all areas of your life. When you have anxiety, it’s challenging to go to work and to socialize with others. You may start to avoid family and friends, who may be used to your moods. When anxiety makes you feel depressed, you may not even get out of bed. You are most likely reading this piece because something is upsetting the balance in your life. According to the National Institutes of Health, “continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression or anxiety.” While it is non-addictive, CBD is proven to relieve anxiety.
If you wish to stay balanced, review the aspects of your daily environment, including your work and home conditions. Make time for exercise, vacation, and social activities. Consider using a CBD-containing product to relieve feelings of anxiety and/or depression. A CBD product may help to take the edge off, allowing you to use other coping strategies to manage daily stress levels. Most importantly, determine the level of CBD that works for your present condition, which includes discussing potential products with a medical provider.