Our daily lives are full of stresses — money worries, family issues, deadlines at work — all of which can prevent us from living our best lives and, in some cases, lead to anxiety disorders.
CBD oil is a natural way to fight stress without the side effects and danger of addiction associated with many pharmaceutical stress remedies. Indeed, stress reduction is one of the most common reasons many people turn to CBD oil.
Is It Stress or Anxiety?
Before understanding how to use CBD oil for stress, it’s important to understand what you’re actually experiencing. Stress and anxiety are related, but are very different animals.
The symptoms of anxiety are similar to those that may be experienced during times of intense stress:
- increased heart rate
- tightness in the chest
- shallow breathing
- muscle tension
- digestive issues
- spinning thoughts
- sleep disorders
The difference between stress and anxiety is more than temporal. Stress is episodic, experienced situationally, and can come and go, depending on what’s happening in your life. Stress is related to our daily experiences and we all have different coping mechanisms for managing stress. While stress doesn’t necessarily cause anxiety, for some of us, unrelenting or compounding stresses may eventually lead to anxiety.
In contrast to stress, anxiety is a medical diagnosis. Anxiety is chronic, experienced daily or almost daily and for long periods of time. It is also pathological, meaning it is disruptive and can prevent you from participating in normal daily activities. When someone has underlying anxiety, an added daily stress can have even more impact on them because of the underlying condition.
CBD oil is thought to help relieve anxiety disorders, and can also help you cope with the stresses of daily life.
Is CBD oil good for stress?
One of the most common reasons people buy CBD is to relieve feelings of stress. CBD oil appears to have a variety of anti-stress effects in the body, backed by both scientific studies and anecdotal reports. In fact, even people using CBD for other reasons often notice this stress-reducing benefit.
In one study, subjects were given CBD prior to performing a simulated public speaking test. According to the trial, CBD “significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance and significantly decreased anticipatory anxiety. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort when compared with the control group.”
But how does CBD actually help stress and anxiety? CBD blocks the enzyme responsible for breaking down a key neurotransmitter called Anandamide, so there is more Anandamide available for your body to use for a longer period of time. Anandamide is also known as the “bliss molecule” and is the compound responsible for the runner’s high. It is relaxing, so the more that is available, the more relaxed your body can feel on an ongoing basis.
Additionally, as you’ll read below, CBD affects many other receptor and enzyme pathways that are involved in stress and anxiety.
CBD Oil for Stress and Anger
While CBD may not be an “anger remedy” per se, anger is one way our stress can manifest itself. CBD oil is one of several natural remedies for the anger caused by stress, in addition to exercise, meditation, and mindfulness.
CBD works for stress-induced anger by reducing cortisol production. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and its overproduction can cause everything from sleep disorders and low libido to depression and irritability. Reducing cortisol alleviates anger and irritability and helps bring emotions into balance.
CBD Oil for Stress Eating and Stress-Related Weight Gain
Another common manifestation of stress is stress eating, overeating or binge eating, which, for many of us, can eventually cause weight gain. CBD oil might help address stress eating and stress-related weight gain in several ways.
CBD oil activates the 5HT1-A serotonin receptor in our brains, which helps control mood and anxiety. Spanish researchers found that premium CBD oil might be superior to antidepressants such as SSRIs that interact with serotonin production. By supporting mood or reducing anxiety via this serotonin receptor, CBD oil may help curb stress-induced eating and other emotional symptoms of stress.
CBD may also help reduce appetite in general. One study found that CBD could actually reduce food intake by helping to block the overflow of neurotransmitters that control appetite.
Another study found that CBD speeds up “fat browning”, which is the process that turns the white fat cells linked with obesity into healthier brown fat cells that generate energy. These researchers also found that CBD may increase the activity of mitochondria, boosting the body’s ability to burn calories while decreasing the number of proteins involved in fat cell generation.
Finally, CBD has been found to minimize insulin resistance, decreasing fat build-up. For all of these reasons, CBD oil may be beneficial for combating the weight gain associated with stress and can even be an aid in weight loss.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take for Stress?
If you’re considering using CBD oil for stress, finding the dose that works for you is crucial. Unfortunately, there are no one-size-fits-all guidelines here.
Just as your experience of stress is unique, how much CBD oil is needed is unique to each individual. A general rule of thumb is to start low and gradually build up until you feel your symptoms have been reduced. Choosing CBD oil is a great way to have precise control over your dose, as you can easily scale up or down the number of drops you take to find what works best for you.
For people who have daily chronic stress or anxiety — taking a scheduled daily dose of CBD or microdosing CBD (5 mg or less per dose) throughout the day might be helpful to reduce your baseline level of stress or anxiety. For people who don’t have daily stress or anxiety, but have more episodic spikes of anxiety — you might just reach for oil drops when you start to feel stress coming on since they can work relatively quickly to nip symptoms in the bud. In this way, oil drops can be used more like a “rescue medication” — as needed. People who have daily stress or anxiety as well as more acute “flare-ups” of stress or anxiety might combine both routine daily dosing or microdosing along with rescue dosing.
Best CBD Oil For Stress
The best CBD oil for stress is a full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp oil. Broad spectrum and full spectrum hemp CBD oils contain not only CBD, but also hundreds of other molecules naturally found in the hemp plant, which work best as a group in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is most likely why full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oils have been shown to be more effective than isolated CBD in alleviating stress. The only difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum is that broad spectrum hemp oils remove all traces of THC, making it ideal for those who want the benefits of hemp without this compound.
All of SHEbd’s CBD oil comes from hemp that is organically sun-grown in the USA and has been third-party verified to contain all of hemp’s beneficial goodness without the THC.
What Types of Drugs Should I Not Take With CBD?
Because CBD can interact with certain prescription medications, if you are currently on physician-prescribed medicine you should consult with that physician before taking CBD oil. Some examples of types of medication that can adversely interact with CBD oil are:
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- HIV antivirals
- HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
We all get stressed, from job and money worries, to keeping a balance between the demands of our family and friends. CBD oil is a natural way to help alleviate the symptoms of daily stress that we all have in our lives and to help keep our mood in balance before those daily stresses turn into lasting anxieties.
The Knox Docs, Certified Cannabinoid Medicine Specialists