Stress, Anxiety, and CBD

Stress, Anxiety, and CBD

It seems that, as a society, we have become a stressed out, anxious bunch these days. In fact, a 2005 study showed that better than 1 in 4 Americans will suffer an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, 28.8% to be precise. What’s the leading cause of anxiety, you ask, well it is stress, that old , familiar, “I wish I was anywhere other than here” feeling. You know the one that triggers that reptile brain into the fight or flight mentality. That was a pretty good instinct when getting eaten by something was a viable possibility, but a little less useful in an office setting or traffic. 

We aren’t wired to be perpetually on edge, and it shows. Stress causes big problems for people physically too. Fatigue, headaches, digestive issues, heart disease, and weight gain are just a few. Mentally, stress can alter brain chemistry. It gets scarier, the structure of the brain can change. Some areas atrophy, others become hyperactive. That is why we spend so much time and money trying to de-stress our lives.

At this point in time, it is a fair assumption that most adult Americans have at least a familiarity with cannabis products, if not experience. Let’s try something, think about somebody getting high. What is the image in your head?  It’s probably one of two images, one being a relaxed, laid back enjoyable one, the other a sweaty, paranoid, twitch fest that just looks unpleasant. That takes us to the Endocannabinoid System(ECS), There are two receptors, the CB-1, and the CB-2. The CB-1 is the head, the CB-2, the body. THC binds with CB-1 receptors, CBD with CB-2 receptors. This accounts for both images.

Since the advent of medical marijuana and the legalization of marijuana in several states, scientific research, botany and production technology, it is now possible to produce plants rich in CBD with little or no THC, allowing for the creation of products with the healing properties of cannabis without undesired side effects.

Evidence is accumulating through research indicating that CBD might be effective in treatment of stress and anxiety. Most research has involved rodents, although some human research has been conducted. Indications are that CBD might help maintain ECS balance by preventing overstimulation of CB-1 receptors and promoting the body’s production of ecdocannabinoids. Additionally, chronic stress has been shown to damage neurons and shrink brain tissue. Some areas of the brain are known to be capable of regeneration, and the brain’s capability to develop new neural pathways is well documented. Research now is indicating that CBD may help encourage neural regeneration and stimulate the growth of neurons. 

As the increasing demands of the 21st century world create a perpetual motion stress generator, more and more people are adopting a more holistic approach to health and healing. The medical community has increasingly embraced combinations of traditional medicine, psychotherapy, meditation, yoga, and even herbal remedies such as CBD. CBD offers many wonderful options for the improvement of quality of life when it comes to stress and anxiety, but it is always a good idea to consult your physician, especially if taking prescription medications to avoid any possible complications. Stress and anxiety are monsters, I hope this has given a little insight into the possible benefits that CBD can offer.