For many people, stress and anxiety are the number one health concern – for some it’s a constant companion. But is there anything you can do about it?
The answer lies in understanding that both stress and anxiety are often caused by our own thoughts and beliefs – which include our perceptions of the world around us.
When we experience stress or anxiety, our bodies react to this as if we were physically attacked. The stress hormone cortisol is released and the body goes into ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. This is not an unreasonable response given our ancestors’ environment – they needed to be alert and ready for danger at any moment.
Our modern lifestyle has changed and so has our perception of what constitutes danger. In fact, most of us live pretty safe lives with hardly any real threat to our physical safety. If someone tries to mug you, your first instinct will probably be to run away and call for help! Your body may release stress hormones but they won’t get you far because you can’t outrun a mugger and you certainly couldn’t outrun a bullet.
If you have ever experienced feelings of panic when driving home alone late at night, it’s safe to say that you know what I mean. You feel like something terrible might happen and although it’s unlikely, you are unable to calm yourself down until you arrive safely home.
We are living in such a highly-stimulating society today that even though there are no more dangers lurking outside our front door, we still feel threatened by a whole host of things, from traffic jams to the noise of city life. It’s not surprising then that stress and anxiety are widespread problems.
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Why does stress cause anxiety?
The link between stress and anxiety is well documented and has been studied extensively. Scientists have concluded that stress causes anxiety because it releases the stress hormone cortisol into the bloodstream. Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal gland (the organ that produces adrenaline) which helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Cortisol also plays a role in regulating glucose levels in the blood. When the level of cortisol rises too high it can lead to insomnia, stomach ulcers and other digestive disorders.
When the level of cortisol stays high for longer than normal periods of time, this can cause serious issues including anxiety, depression, headaches, muscle tension, poor memory and concentration, weight gain and even diabetes.
So, while stress may be bad for our health, it’s important to note that it doesn’t necessarily need to be stressful. Many people who suffer from anxiety and/or stress find that taking CBD oil makes a significant difference to their day to day life.
It’s important to understand that CBD oil is completely natural and does not contain any THC, making it legal to buy and consume in the UK and across Europe. People all over the world are using CBD oil to improve their quality of life and manage their symptoms.
How does CBD work?
In simple terms, CBD works on how the brain communicates with the rest of the body. When we experience stress and anxiety, our body reacts by releasing large amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol travels through the bloodstream and reaches the hippocampus region of the brain where it interacts with neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters produce changes in our mood and behavior. For example, the serotonin neurotransmitter regulates mood swings, appetite, sleep, libido and sexual pleasure. Norepinephrine helps control blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and perspiration, among other bodily functions.
As you could imagine, these changes in behavior and mood can have a major impact on our daily lives. They affect everything we do – every decision we make, every relationship we enter into, every job we go for and every single thing we think, say and do. We become anxious and stressed about almost everything.
How does CBD oil reduce stress & anxiety?
Many people who take CBD oil report less stress after just a few short days compared to before taking the oil. Some users notice reduced anxiety immediately after starting to use CBD oil. Others find that the effects last for weeks or months after the initial intake.
CBD oil targets the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for controlling our mood, emotions and reactions to stress and anxiety. Endocannabinoids play a key role in maintaining mental and physical wellbeing and reducing stress and anxiety. They are found in the brain and throughout the body. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system. Both types of receptor are present throughout the brain and the body in varying quantities. The CB1 receptors are mainly found within the limbic system (the part of the brain that controls emotional responses, motivation and pleasure).
This is why CBD affects CB1 receptors directly and indirectly. CBD binds directly to CB1 receptors which reduces the amount of cortisol circulating in the bloodstream. At the same time, CBD binds to CB2 receptors throughout the body. These receptors are found in nerve endings, immune cells, muscles, organs, glands and organs.
By binding to CB2 receptors, CBD lowers the production of inflammatory chemicals (such as histamine, prostaglandins and cytokines), which further reduces stress and anxiety. CBD also acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting the cells against damage caused by free radicals.
CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties which help treat conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
What else can CBD do?
There is so much more that CBD oil can do. Apart from helping people with anxiety and stress, CBD oil has also proven to help people suffering from PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, pain relief, migraines, and insomnia.
Many studies are underway to determine whether CBD can help people suffering from anxiety and stress related disorders such as social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
While some of these studies have shown promising results, others have failed to produce positive findings. More research is needed to confirm whether CBD really does help alleviate stress and anxiety.
It’s worth noting that CBD is not a cure-all. While it can be used to treat specific medical conditions, it cannot replace conventional medicine. However, it can complement traditional treatments, particularly when combined with other supplements and herbal remedies.