It’s not just you. Stress and anxiety affect millions globally and are at record highs since the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it was reported that during the early days of the pandemic, 4 in 10 US adults reported anxiety and depression symptoms, up from 1 in 10 in June 2019.
There is also a shift towards more organic and natural products, not just for our food, but for the ways we heal and live. As the two trends connect, it’s only natural that a growing number of the population is seeking more earth-friendly ways to combat their anxious, stressful moods.
Hence, the rise in the use of hemp CBD for combating stress and anxiety. Over the years, through anecdotal evidence (real-time use!) and small studies, we’re finding out that hemp may just be one of Mother Nature’s way of helping us calm our nerves. That's why we set out to find out just how!
In this blog, we’ll cover:
- How stress affects your overall health
- How CBD is able to physiologically combat stress and anxiety
- The current research backing up these effects
- How to consume CBD to best harness its stress and anxiety relieving effects
The Effect of Stress on Your Health
Stress and anxiety aren’t just lingering thoughts and feelings of worry. In addition to affecting your mood and behaviors, stress can have a negative effect on your physical health, too. In fact, the American Psychological Association notes that stress “affects all systems of the body, including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.”
Even more, health experts like the Mayo Clinic cite that “unchecked” stress may cause heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Knowing the more serious consequences of allowing your stress to fester makes it even more important to find ways to relax and relieve anxiety.
Between the rising levels of stress and the trend toward healing more naturally, enter hemp and CBD. Rest assured, CBD isn’t just a fad or modern-day snake oil, as some may say. The cannabinoid is proving to affect our inner physiological systems to improve the way we feel, inside and out.
How Does CBD Work for Anxiety and Stress?
One physiological system you might not be very familiar with is your endocannabinoid system. This system wasn’t understood until the late 1980s, when cannabis research began to increase. It was then that researchers discovered this network of messengers that facilitates communication between all other systems.
These messengers, or cannabinoid receptors, have one mission in mind: to maintain homeostasis, or the overall feeling of feeling "well," also known as optimal health. As a result, when CBD and other cannabinoids found in hemp plants are consumed, their distinct effects influence and affect these receptors. This allows CBD’s pain-relieving, stress-relieving, and other benefits to be felt by the consumer.
CBD For Anxiety and Stress Research
Don’t just take our word for it or the other millions of CBD consumers'. Here are some facts on the benefits of CBD for anxiety and stress through research conducted so far.
CBD is anxiolytic in nature
A 2013 study reported, “CBD was shown to offer benefits, including acting in some experimental models as an anxiolytic agent.” Anxiolytic is the key word for anxiety relief, considering it means "anti-anxiety."
CBD for anxiety disorders
Another 2015 study review concluded that preclinical and clinical trials suggest that CBD could be potentially therapeutic for specific anxiety disorders including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder (PD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
CBD for social anxiety
In 2011, researchers found that taking CBD helped people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) helped lower their anxiety levels.
CBD for anxiety and sleep
It should come as no surprise that levels of anxiety can affect sleep quality. In another small study on anxiety and sleep, it was found that after CBD treatment, up to 79% of the participants reported an improvement in symptoms.
Anti-anxiety effects for quality of life improvement
The most recent study was conducted in 2020 and set out to review the benefits of CBD for anxiety that can help improve an adult's overall quality of life. In the study, the small group of people who took part said that CBD's effects on reducing anxiety and pain made a big difference in “their ability to perform daily functions.”
CBD for PTSD
CBD is also proving to improve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. In 2019, a study showed that, when accompanied by psychiatric care, the use of CBD reduced symptom severity for the majority of participants.
Even more, it’s been found that PTSD symptoms specifically may benefit from CBD being consumed in combination with THC (read about full-spectrum CBD below!).
From here, it’s not a question of whether using CBD for anxiety really works, but how one can harness its benefits.
How to Use CBD for Stress and Anxiety
The first thing to note is that not all CBD products can be treated equally. There are a few important differences you need to know about to figure out which one will work best for you. For example, the quality of each brand will vary, and each product will have different ingredients, blends, and formulas.
When you first start shopping for CBD stress relief products, you’ll notice some are full-spectrum, some are CBD isolate, and some are broad-spectrum. These terms refer to the type of extract that’s inside. Full-spectrum is a whole-plant extract that contains the entire profile of plant cannabinoids and compounds (including terpenes) as well as up to 0.3% THC. Broad-spectrum is the same, just without any level of THC. Isolate contains only CBD.
The second decision you must make is which type of CBD stress and anxiety product will work best for your specific lifestyle. The two most common products being edibles like chocolates or gummies, and CBD oil. The most important difference to know here is that when swallowing the edibles or oils, the cannabinoids will be metabolized by the digestive system. This process will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours when the effects kick in. The effects will then last between 4-6 hours, making this an ideal method for those seeking long-lasting stress relief.
For those who need more fast-acting effects, sublingual consumption of CBD oil for stress and anxiety might be preferred. This happens when you hold the CBD oil liquid under your tongue for up to one minute. The cannabinoids are absorbed directly into your bloodstream through your sublingual artery, which is under your tongue. The effects will be felt almost immediately and will last for about 2-3 hours.
Finding Peace from Stress and Anxiety
At Peaceful Lane, one of our mottos is “farm to counter CBD to help you handle hard things better" because, let’s face it, life’s going to be hard. But it’s all about finding your balance and tools to get through life with less stress and worry. That’s where CBD might be able to help.
Hemp has been used to heal for hundreds of years, and as you can see the research is building up confirming its healing properties. It may be “just a plant,” but it has benefits that can help you find that optimal balance in healing—both physically and mentally.
Explore CBD’s powers in the most peaceful way possible with Peaceful Lane. Your go-to for single-source, organically grown extracts that harness the plant’s effects to the fullest. Shop our full collection of CBD products now, and get an exclusive 20% off your first order by subscribing to our mailing list!