In a world of ever-increasing pressures, too much to do, too little time, social pressures, lack of a boundary between work and home, increased traffic, over-stimulus, crying children, delayed trains and a wealth of other factors, stress is a major problem in today’s society.
There are a million and one reasons why we put pressure on ourselves, and other people and society mounts pressure on us, and this can result in us feeling like we are being attacked from all angles, resulting in rising stress and anxiety levels.
It is difficult to quantify stress, but when we are stressed, it can result in the release of hormones and chemicals such as cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Stress can manifest itself physically in the human body in a number of different ways – the worsening of previous conditions, anxiety, IBS, headaches, nausea, upset stomach, problems sleeping, weight gain or loss, rises in blood pressure and low sex drive. Stress comes as a result of the body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ reflexes. This means that when it feels that it is being attacked it will either try and defend itself or flee from the situation and it is these mechanisms which can result in health problems.
These health problems are not good for us in the short term, but especially in the long term. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that cultures are going to be able to change quickly in a way that reduces stress levels for its population, and so it looks like lowering stress levels is down to us personally.
The main ways that we can reduce stress in our lives is by either eliminating the issue that is causing the stress or by taking a break from a situation. This means that if there is something specific that is making you stressed out, trying to deal with it and ‘ticked off the list’ will give you relief.
However, if your stress is closely linked to your everyday life, things can be more difficult to deal with.
Maybe you have a stressful job, have a stressful commute to work or a stressful family life.
Sometimes it’s not as easy s simply ‘eliminating’ the stress, and in this case, we need to find out own stress relief.
Everybody has their own ways of lowering stress levels, including exercise, art, going out with friends, writing things down and laughing.
Another possible way to reduce stress is by taking CBD.
CBD for Stress Relief?
We have all seen the films about stoners who are so laid back they’re lying down. They seem to walk around without a care in the world, finding everything hilarious. Well, one of the reasons why they act like this is because there are some compounds in the cannabis plant which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
CBD is one of those compounds – but, unlike the compound THC – it won’t make you high. Instead,
CBD will give you a ton of other health benefits as well as being able to reduce stress. Taking CBD isn’t going to turn you into a drug addict, layabout or giggle at things that aren’t funny. In fact, what CBD can do is enhance your life and make you healthier.
You can find out more about CBD here.
How does CBD work for stress?
Although there has been anecdotal evidence for years about how CBD can help to lower stress levels, more research is still needed to be able to scientifically explain it in humans.
Scientific research has only really been carried out properly since the 1990s with regards to the effect of different cannabis compounds on our body. Due to recent changes in the law, however, we are now beginning to see more and more research being done, giving us more and more understanding, and giving out more and more hope.
We are, however, beginning to see some studies coming through which can show the link between stress and CBD.
A 2011 study by the Department of Neurosciences and Behaviour at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, for example, looked at blood flow in the brain for people with generalised social anxiety disorder (believed to occur as a result of specific or general stress). It found that compared to a placebo, when CBD was taken, it reduced the stress for those people. 
In another study carried out in 2011 looked at a group of 24 people – some with social anxiety disorder and some as a healthy control. The study which was carried out by Brazilian scientists gave some of them CBD and some a placebo before being given a public speaking task. By measuring their blood pressure, heart rate and skin conductance, the researchers were about to compare the differences. They found that the group who had been given CBD showed signs of less anxiety, discomfort, cognitive impairment – all signs of stress – than the placebo group. 
The way that CBD can help with stress is mostly in the same way that it can help you to deal with anxiety.
Serotonin is a chemical which is partly responsible for managing mood. It is a chemical which can make us feel happy – in fact, it is sometimes called the ‘happy chemical’. The 5-HT1A receptor is a type of serotonin receptor which can send serotonin messages to the brain. Research shows that CBD can enhance the transmission of serotonin to the brain and have anxiety-reducing – or anxiolytic effects. 
There is research which shows that people who suffer from anxiety have a smaller hippocampus, and by being able to help regenerate the brain cells in the hippocampus, we can start to help people who suffer from anxiety. There is research that shows that CBD can help brain cells to regenerate and therefore help to deal with anxiety – which is closely linked to stress. 
CBD is completely natural, safe to use, non-intoxicating and non-addictive. However, if you are thinking about taking it for the first time it is very important that you first speak to your doctor. This is because CBD can affect the enzymes which break down medication and change the effect of some medication.
There are no long term side effects of CBD, which is also beneficial to our overall health. There are many conditions relates to stress as well as symptoms such as headaches which can result in the taking of medications which are not good to be used in the long term. Whether it is opioid, NSAIDs, antidepressants or other medication, the long term use can be dangerous, making the need to be able to deal better with stress even more important.
Aside from dealing with the symptoms of stress, the fact that your body is going through a stressful situation is not good for it. It is therefore important that each person finds their best way to deal with it, whether it is through exercise, dancing or DIY – or trying CBD.