Hundreds of millions of Americans experience stress in some capacity and after the roller coaster year that we had in 2020, we suspect that this number has grown even larger. Stress comes in numerous forms. Sometimes it may manifest as that annoying little voice in your head that reminds you of all the possible negative things that could happen to you or that may have already happened, yet you can suppress it long enough to go about your day-to-day business. Sometimes however, stress can be much more debilitating, rendering its victim completely numb and incapacitating even the most mentally “healthy” of individuals. For most, stress presents itself as anxiety. Sure, there are countless approaches to coping with or even alleviating stress like meditation, exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and pharmaceuticals, but what if you’re someone who doesn’t have time or simply wants to avoid certain methods of stress relief? With the phrase “just staying as busy as ever” becoming the new age greeting for even strangers crossing paths, it should be no surprise that stress and anxiety are both taking a toll on people of all demographics. If you’ve made it to this article, then you likely have a concept of what CBD is and the anecdotal reports by hordes of CBD consumers claiming this naturally occurring compound provides them with the ever-sought-after relief from stress. Naturally, we felt this would be an excellent opportunity to dig a little deeper into the possibility of vapor distilled CBD’s potential as your new tool for stress relief.
Types of Stress
The first step in dealing with any type of stress is understanding the source and category that your stress falls into. Unless you’ve done a great deal of research around the topics of stress and anxiety or you’re professionally trained, diagnosing yourself is usually ill-advised. In the past, society treated things like therapy, mental health awareness, and consulting with trained mental health professionals like things that were only reserved for “crazy people”. Nowadays, we’re fortunately a little more educated and informed which has led to the general realization that, if mental health issues means someone is “crazy”, then we’re all probably a little “crazy” by that definition. Just as staying physically healthy by working out or going to a gym was once seen by society as “vain” or “self-absorbed”, we learned from our mistakes and don’t think twice about someone who proactively cares for their physical health. The same transition is currently occurring in the world of mental health.
There are five categorizations of stress and anxiety that are typically seen as “high-level” categories. The general types are social anxiety, PTSD, generalized anxiety, OCD, and panic disorder. Of course, there are countless sub-categories and variations of these main five (so, don’t roast us because we didn’t include something on our list!)
Mechanisms of Stress
We promised ourselves that we wouldn’t spend the entire article discussing the biological aspect of stress and anxiety but understanding how stress works in the body will help you to better understand how vapor distilled CBD may hold potential in terms of relief. Researchers are continuously working to better understand the pathology of stress and while they’ve made leaps and bounds in the past few years, there is still a lot to unravel.
One thing that we do know is that anxiety resides in our brains (go figure, right?!). In a nutshell, when we experience something that triggers or stimulates the part of the brain where anxiety begins, researchers believe that the processing center of the brain can become hyper-stimulated. This hyper-stimulation leads to our brain saying, “Woah! Too much information at once! This could get dicey!” and when this happens, our adrenal glands do what they do best, release a healthy dose of adrenaline. Where things can become really messy is when this process occurs repeatedly. Adrenaline is, in a lot of ways, a natural gift and curse for us. Without it, the human race would be screwed, but at the same time, repetitive exposure is mentally and physically exhausting on the body.
Just Tell Me Already! Can CBD Help with Stress?
Don’t you love a good tease? There’s good news and some “ehh” news. The good news is that preliminary research has shown lots of promise for CBD’s potential ability to mitigate stress symptoms. The “ehh” news is that we can’t say definitively if CBD will become the household staple for stress until additional clinical trials have been conducted. Let’s take a look at some of the data that has already been published though.
In a study published by the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers gathered existing CBD/anxiety studies in search for a common denominator (these are called systematic reviews). In reviewing work around this topic, both human trials and animal trials were reviewed. The conclusion drawn by researchers was not surprising, but certainly meaningful. The scientists stated, “Future clinical trials involving patients with different anxiety disorders are warranted, especially of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorders.”
Of course, this is simply one systematic review of the litany of research that has been conducted or is currently being conducted. We chose to highlight this though, given the fact that the lion’s share of other studies exploring CBD and stress/anxiety management have very similar conclusions…that there seems to be some significant potential!
As more data becomes available, we believe that scientists will develop a better understanding behind what many CBD users are already touting as one of the compound’s many potential health benefits. Considering the rate at which public interest has grown around this non-psychoactive cannabinoid and the incredible amount of behind-the-scenes funding that is occurring in the medical research community, we expect that there will be more CBD data that becomes available within the next couple of years than we currently have discovered in the past 20 years.
Anecdotal reports fall into that weird category of not necessarily being false, but also not necessarily being “true” either. That said, we want to hear from our readers! Drop us a line if you have found that CBD provides relief for your stress or anxiety. What type of product works best? Do you use it daily or as needed? Have you compared CBD to THC for stress relief? Let us know! We always enjoy hearing first-hand accounts of our readers who have experienced the topics we cover.