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Whether it’s related to work, family, or even a relationship, stress can start to feel like it’s taking over your life – but you don’t always have to suffer in silence. More and more, people are turning to CBD oil to deal for stress – but what is CBD oil, how does it work, and can it help you if you’re feeling stressed out? Keep reading for an in-depth look at what CBD oil may be able to do if you’re struggling with stress.
What is Stress and Who Does it Affect?
While people often use the word in a negative context, stress is a normal human body reaction that’s supposed to help your body react to new challenges or stressors. In some cases, stress can be a positive – if you’re worried about an upcoming test, a stress reaction might help your body stay awake to study.
When you’re experiencing a stress response, it’s more than just feeling overwhelmed – your body actually has a physical reaction, such as:
- Rising heart rate
- Muscle tension
- Dizziness, headaches, or shaking
- High blood pressure
- Digestive problems
In certain situations, having a stress response is normal – but if you’re dealing with continuous, chronic stress in your everyday life, that’s when things can become a problem. Stress can affect everyone, and it almost does – in fact, 8 in 10 Americans report that they’re affected by stress on a regular basis, and 74% of people in the UK are stressed or overwhelmed in the past year.
The longer that stress goes untreated, the more that it can become a problem. Research shows that stress can have a big impact on our overall health and lead to conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or heart disease.
Keep in mind that some people may use terms like “stress” and “anxiety” interchangeably, but these emotional responses are different. Stress is often caused by an external trigger, and depending on how long it lasts, it can begin to take an emotional and physical toll on you.
Anxiety, however, may have symptoms similar to ongoing stress, like insomnia or fatigue, but the excessive worries that you get with anxiety don’t always go away in the absence of the stressor or trigger. In most cases, anxiety is the reason for added stress.
While there’s no “cure” for stress or stressful situations, there may be ways to help manage the symptoms of stress. In addition to anti-anxiety medications like Prozac or Xanax, you can also use natural remedies to combat your stress responses, including CBD oil.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is derived from CBD, one of the chemicals found in the cannabis plant. CBD is a cannabinoid, and it’s actually only one out of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in marijuana.
CBD oil doesn’t contain any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana. A lot of the cannabinoids in marijuana, including CBD, are found in the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant and then get extracted.
Once they’ve been extracted, CBD is a colourless oil that you can take directly or infuse into other products. Keep in mind that you can actually extract CBD from cannabis or hemp plants – but many people prefer to extract it from hemp as it has less THC content to remove..
How Does CBD Oil Work?
Now that we understand what CBD oil is, how does it work in your body – and specifically, how does it work if you’re using it to fight stress?
Well, the human body has a system called the endocannabinoid system, which can impact a lot of biological processes, including appetite, mood, sleep, and memory. Part of the system includes receptors, which endocannabinoids bind to.
While researchers are still trying to understand how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and its receptors, it’s believed that CBD doesn’t directly bind with receptors, but it does influence them in some way. The influence that CBD has on these endocannabinoid receptors is responsible for a lot of the benefits that people associate with CBD, including possible stress relief.
What the Research Says About Using CBD for Stress
While some studies for CBD may still be in their infancy, the current research for using CBD for stress are promising. One study shows that CBD may reduce the cardiovascular response to stress – like that rising heart rate or chest pain that you may experience during a stress reaction. There’s even evidence to suggest that CBD could reduce your resting blood pressure, which is also associated with a rising heart rate.
That same research also showed that CBD could influence the death and survival of white blood cells, platelet aggression, and white blood cell migration – which are all linked to stress.
A study on low doses of CBD for stress in mice shows that cannabidiol promotes anti-aversive responses under normally stressful conditions. In the face of predators, mice treated with CBD have reduced escapism and defensive immobility behaviours.
In one double-blind placebo study, people with social anxiety were treated with CBD oil before a simulated public speaking event. The results show that it significantly reduced cognitive impairment in speaking, anxiety, discomfort, and alert levels.
Will CBD Get Me High?
Does CBD get you high? The quick answer is no. Because CBD comes from the cannabis plant, it’s a common misconception that CBD oil gets you high, just like taking recreational marijuana does. However, CBD oil doesn’t produce a “high” as marijuana does.
When CBD is extracted from hemp plants, there are a lot of cannabinoids that get left behind in the process – including THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis. In fact, in the UK manufacturers must follow regulations that keep the concentration of THC in CBD under 0.2% to be legal under federal law.
For many people, this is a relief – you can still get the benefits that are associated with CBD usage, including reducing stress, but you don’t have to deal with the intoxicating effects that come with marijuana usage.
Is CBD Safe?
CBD is regarded as safe, with the World Health Organization declaring that it is "well-tolerated and safe for human use" in a 2018 report.
While there’s still ongoing research in the process of concluding how CBD oil specifically works in the body, evidence suggests that it’s safe to manage certain symptoms, like stress.
Like any natural remedy, it may be important to talk to your doctor about how CBD could affect you if pregnant or breastfeeding. Before diving into the Peace CBD collection, you should find out how it may interact with other remedies or medications that you’re taking.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
The World Health Organization (WHO) published 2018 report claimed that CBD is generally well tolerated and does not appear to have any negative effects, even at large doses. Minor adverse effects such as dry mouth, diarrhoea, decreased appetite, tiredness, and weariness have been reported in rare occasions.
CBD oil also doesn’t have any intoxicating effects compared to THC. but that doesn’t mean this remedy isn’t without its side effects, and one of those is the entourage effect.
The entourage effect refers to the theory that all the compounds in the cannabis plant work better together than if you’re just taking CBD or THC on your own.
CBD and THC may be the most well-known phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but there are over 120 more phytocannabinoids to consider – and some research suggests that keeping those smaller compounds in the mix can actually produce better effects than if you’re using CBD oil or taking THC separately.
One review of certain studies in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that many of these phytocannabinoids and terpenes can be beneficial for fighting the symptoms of pain or stress. These compounds may not be as effective if they were used individually, but when combined with cannabinoids like CBD, they have more potential.
Using these compounds together could also have the potential to reduce some of the unwanted side effects you might experience with just taking THC on its own – like sedation, hunger, or anxiety.
More than that, more research has found that CBD could have a more therapeutic effect if used with some of the flavonoids and terpenes already in the cannabis plant.
How Much CBD Should I Take?
One of the first questions that people have when taking CBD oil for stress is about dosage – unfortunately, there’s no specific answer about how much CBD oil to take. Dosage can vary from person to person but also what you’re taking CBD for. While we can’t recommend specific dosages, it’s important to keep these things in mind when figuring out your own CBD dosage:
- Your sensitivity to CBD oil: People tend to tolerate CBD oil on different levels – while some individuals may be extremely sensitive to CBD, others aren’t as affected by the same dosage. For new users, you may not be able to predict how sensitive you are off the bat – which is why it’s important to start slow and with a small dose.
- Consider what kind of symptoms you’re treating: The symptom that you’re trying to manage with CBD can also play a role in how much you should take. The dosage you use to treat stress will usually be different from the dosage you need to manage sleep quality or to treat an upset stomach.
- Think about individual factors: Individual factors, like your age, sex, weight, and overall health, are also important for figuring out dosage. For example, someone who weighs more may need to take more to achieve the same results, while men could need a higher dose than women and elderly people.
Because dosage can vary greatly based on your individual factors, your sensitivity, and what you’re using the CBD oil for, it’s important to start slow and small – a high dose won’t always yield the same benefits that a smaller dose would, especially if you’re sensitive to CBD products.
Is it Possible to Take Too Much CBD for Stress?
While there are complexities to CBD dosing, it's possible to take too much. While there is no evidence of fatal effects with extremely high dosages, too much or too little CBD may not be the most effective when combatting stress. Finding the right middle ground for your personal consumption will give you the best experience and results.
How Long Does CBD Take to Work?
How long does it take for CBD oil to work? Well, how quickly you begin to feel the effects of CBD can vary based on your own tolerance and sensitivity, what you’re taking it for, how much you’re taking, and even the form that you’re taking it in. Each form of CBD consumption has different bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to how much and how quickly CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream. The mode of delivery has a significant impact on bioavailability and absorption rate. CBD can be ingested in a variety of ways, including intravenously, orally, sublingually, topically, or inhaled.
For example: CBD that is ingested must transit through the stomach and liver before being activated in the bloodstream; as a result, it has a limited bioavailability and takes longer to feel its benefits. CBD that is inhaled enters the bloodstream through the lungs immediately, having an almost immediate effect.
When it comes to managing stress some people may microdose CBD oil from the Peace CBD collection throughout the day as they experience it, others may take their full dose as a supplement in the morning with food or their first meal. Ultimately, when you take it and by which method usually depends on how you’re trying to mitigate your stress during the day.
If you’re interested in using CBD for stress,and whether it’s even effective when it comes to managing symptoms like stress (both temporary and chronic).
Even with CBD oil research and studies continuously being done and its effect on the body’s stress response, the results are promising – so, if you’re feeling stressed, whether it’s temporary or chronic, the Peace CBD collection may be a product to consider.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD Oil.
Contributor | Angus Taylor CEO
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.