“Just relax.” Have you ever been told this when you were feeling stressed? But relaxing can be easier said than done, what with stressors like a global pandemic on top of family and work responsibilities.
But luckily CBD oil can help with that. Cannabidiol may be just the thing you need to relieve stress and live a more relaxed life.
In this article, we will discuss stress and its triggers, how it works in the body, and how CBD can help.
The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety
It is important to be aware that just because you are feeling stressed does not mean you have an anxiety disorder. Oftentimes the words “stress” and “anxiety” are used interchangeably.
However, there are some major differences that can confuse the terms. It’s worth differentiating between these definitions, so here we go:
Anxiety is your body's natural response to stress. It can be defined as a feeling of fear or apprehension about what's to come.
Anxiety can be triggered by things like the first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech. These are all normal triggers.
Anxiety is only an indicator of underlying disorder when feelings become excessive, all-consuming, and interfere with daily life.
These are mental health disorders characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities.
Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety, fear, or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic are difficult to control and are out of proportion to the actual danger. They may last a long time.
It is common for someone with an anxiety disorder to avoid places or situations to avoid these feelings.
The symptom of an anxiety disorder may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood. Examples of anxiety disorders include:
- - Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- - Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- - Specific phobias
- - Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- - Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- - Panic disorder
- - Separation anxiety disorder
Sometimes anxiety can be mistaken for an anxiety disorder but is the result of a medical condition that needs treatment. It is possible to have more than one anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are complex and usually require professional treatment. Stress, on the other hand, happens to everyone.
Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Stress is your body's response to anything that requires attention or action.
Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way you respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to your overall well-being.
So, to sum it up, anxiety can be a natural stress response. However, when anxiety begins to interfere with daily activities, it can be contributed to an anxiety disorder.
But we will only be focusing on stress in this article, and how you can deal with the physical, emotional, and psychological strain of changes in your life.
Common Causes of Stress
Being aware of your stress triggers can help you mitigate their effects. Pay careful attention to how you react to the following kinds of situations:
- - Having a heavy workload
- - Working long hours
- - Working under dangerous conditions
- - The death of a loved one
- - Divorce
- - Loss of a job
- - Increase in financial obligations
- - Moving
- - Getting married
- - Chronic illness or injury
- - Experiencing difficult emotions like anger, grief, guilt, low-self esteem, anxiety, or depression)
- - Taking care of a family member
- - A traumatic event like a natural disaster, theft, or violence
- - Experiencing fear or uncertainty
- - Attitudes and perceptions
- - Unrealistic expectations
Stress can be either chronic or acute. Acute stress is short-term stress while chronic stress is long-term stress.
Examples of acute stress could be anything from a traffic jam to an argument with your spouse.
Chronic stress could include a job in which you always work long hours, or are dealing with a chronic illness. Your stress level will differ based on your personality and how you respond to situations.
For some people, stressors are just minor bumps in the road, and do not let these things consume them. Then some worry themselves sick.
The Stress Response
The stress response is our instinctual reaction to a real or perceived danger in the environment, especially one that appears suddenly. The stress response can be one of the following:
- - Fight
- - Flight
- - Freeze
Being mindful of your stress response can help you identify when it is happening. Your stress response can manifest physically in the following ways:
- - Increased heart rate
- - Increased blood pressure
- - Heavy or shallow breathing
- - Loss of appetite
- - Sweating
When you are responding to stress in this way, you will immediately become more alert.
You will feel attuned to all signs of threat and any possible way to overcome or flee from it. Even after the danger passes, you will more than likely still feel hyper-awareness.
The stress response is produced by the hormones adrenaline and cortisol which are both important to the functioning of your body processes.
If your stress response gets triggered a lot, these physical symptoms can have profound long-term effects on your health.
Long-term Effects of Stress
The stress response is necessary for survival. After all, it came about during early human evolution when natural selection was key for the propagation of our species.
But in the modern age, if the stress response is not signaling an immediate threat like a rabid dog chasing you, it could be telling you to rethink your life choices.
Having stress hormones flowing through your body consistently can have several harmful effects:
1. Heart attack or stroke: Increased risk of heart disease from the high blood pressure that the stress response induces.
2. Immune-system suppression: You are more likely to get sick if you are stressed.
3. Pain from muscle tension: Recurring headaches, neck aches, and stomach aches are common symptoms of stress.
4. Under- or overeating: This is an acute stress response that suppresses appetite. Chronic low-grade stress can lead to overeating, both because of the comfort of food and because of sleep disturbances.
5. Accelerated aging: Work-related exhaustion can lead to aging too quickly. This is due to cellular effects.
6. Psychological and emotional strain: Strains on your mental and emotional health can cause you to become irritable and unhappy. This in turn can affect your relationships, and cause your risk of becoming substance-dependent.
There are many things you can do to relieve stress, like go for a nice grueling run or enjoy a relaxing massage.
But while physical relief is a great way to alleviate stress, cannabidiol’s anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic, antiepileptic, and neuroprotective properties can give you a more stable baseline to deal with stress.
CBD as a Stress Reliever
Derived from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa L.), CBD may be a great natural alternative to relieve both acute and chronic stress.
Its usefulness in a variety of uses is evident in its growing popularity in tinctures and health and wellness products.
The medical use of CBD has already been recognized as legitimate by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is even a brand that is federally approved CBD product.
This pharmaceutical is a drug used for two forms of epilepsy that have passed rigorous clinical trials. CBD can chill you out but will not get you high.
Hemp has much lower concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than the marijuana plant.
THC is a cannabinoid that has psychoactive properties. CBD products are only allowed 0.3% THC, so there should be no mind-altering effects.
How It works
All cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate mood, memory, appetite, sleep, the immune system, and many other functions still being discovered.
Signaling in the ECS can be altered by stress while changing synaptic plasticity in many brain regions. Cannabidiol has more than 65 targets located throughout the body.
This makes it difficult to definitively determine what parts contribute to the different therapeutic properties. It has been theorized that CBD counters anxiety through the stimulation of neurotransmitters and neural regeneration.
Here are a few of the ways CBD may help relieve stress:
1. Serotonin: This neurotransmitter has at least 14 different receptors, but CBD specifically binds to 5-HT1A which is thought to have the biggest connection to anxiety.
2. Endocannabinoids: Chronic stress can dysregulate the ECS, including the production of endocannabinoids. CBD may help restore balance by preventing the overstimulation of the CB1 receptors and boosting the production of endocannabinoids.
3. Neural regeneration: Chronic stress can damage neurons, and in some cases, this happens in parts of the brain that can still be regenerated. CBD may have the ability to boost this process, thus counterbalancing damage to the brain caused by chronic stress.
If you are considering taking CBD to help relieve stress in your life, talk to your doctor first. Your doctor must be aware of any prescription medications you are taking to avoid any dangerous drug interactions.
Side effects of CBD are typically milder than those of medications like SSRIs. However, do not discontinue any medication without consulting your doctor first.
Research on CBD and Stress
The viability of cannabidiol as a stress-reliever has been shown in the following studies:
- 2021: This study surveyed 387 CBD users. 92.2% of those respondents who used CBD for stress said they felt less stressed.
- 2020: This study showed the effects of CBD on participants at risk of psychosis. Stress levels during public speaking were higher in the participants who took CBD than those who took the placebo.
- 2018: This review concluded that CBD has anti-stress effects, which may reduce depression related to stress.
- 2018: This study concluded that high THC/high CBD cannabis was best for reducing perceived symptoms of stress.
- 2017: Public speaking is a common situation that produces stress. In this study, CBD improved performance anxiety.
- 2012: In this rodent study, CBD seemed to alleviate anxiety in response to stress. Mice were placed in a cage with a boa constrictor. The mice given low doses of CBD spent more time finding the most strategic location for them to escape to rather than panicking.
- 2007: CBD appears to reduce the cardiovascular stress response. This study showed that CBD may have a promising effect on heart attack prevention.
CBD Products For Stress
There are three categories of CBD tinctures on the market today. They are:
1. Full-spectrum CBD oil: This form of CBD includes the full array of cannabinoids and terpenes coming from hemp, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Research shows that the combination of THC and CBD can provide very powerful effects. The hemp extract is combined with a carrier oil such as MCT oil, hemp oil, or olive oil. We recommend a full-spectrum oil for chronic or acute stress.
2. Broad-spectrum CBD oil: This form of CBD tincture includes all the same cannabinoids and terpenes, except for THC. This is a great alternative for those who are a little spooked by THC.
3. CBD isolate: This form of tincture is pure CBD, with no added cannabinoids or terpenes.
The dosing of these tinctures is done sublingually with a dropper. Start with a low MG of CBD to ease into it. Hemp extracts are added to products such as topical creams, cbd gummies, and much more.
We recommend our Balance, Balance X, and Ease products, some of the best CBD oils on the market for stress relief.
Anecdotal Evidence from Our CBD Users
Our CBD products are high-quality and third-party tested. This means they are tested for potency, as well as identify any pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and other potential contaminants.
Our products are commonly used to reduce chronic pain and inflammation and to reduce stress and anxiety. Read some glowing reviews of our products about the benefits of CBD:
Balance is great for maintaining a steady baseline for your chronic stress.
“I don’t think I can start my day without Juna Balance drops anymore. Like many of us in 2020, my stress level seems to be through the roof and these drops help me remain calm and feel as sane and steady as possible.” --Katie L.
“I swear this makes me feel ‘on’ my game. I have a very demanding job, especially first thing in the morning, and I’m focussed. I put a dose in my shot of pure juice before I leave the house, and I’m good to go!” --Jorie Spaeth R.
Balance X is a higher CBD potency for that difficult chronic stress.
“This product’s potency worked great for me and helps with calming/soothing both mental and physical stress. Highly recommend!” --Nicole P.
Ease is a combination of equal parts cannabigerol (CBG) and CBD that can help give fast-acting stress relief. This CBG/CBD oil for anxiety is ideal for acute stress.
“So I’m usually a ball of stress between work, 3 kids, & chronic pain & anxiety from being stressed. I’m as my chiropractor would say ‘tense & full of knots head to toe.’ Being bit of a naturopath I only use pain meds in an absolute emergency & have used meditation to combat anxiety opposed to pharmaceuticals. THIS HAS BEEN MOMMY’S BEST LITTLE HELPER by far. It helps with inflammation of my back from standing all day at work & helps me maintain my composure as an ‘essential employee,’ during the covid19 pandemic. Also since I’m less stressed I don’t find myself wincing & scrunching my face causing me to look older & more wrinkled. People have since said I look more serene & at peace. Truth is I am. Thank you Juna!” --KG
Juna Says Relax
Never-ending traffic jams, work assignments piling up, and tending to screaming children doesn’t have to leave you drained at the end of every day.
Including CBD in your daily routine can allow you to better handle the challenges of your everyday life. With Juna, you can let stressors go and you’ll never hear the dreaded “Just relax” again.
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not provided to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. It should not be interpreted as instruction or medical advice to displace the advice of your doctor or other medical professionals.