Stress is something that we will all experience at some point in our lives, in most cases it is a temporary thing that affects us in different ways. This could be by a big project at work or exams or other important life events. But, the stress often goes once the stressor does.
There are lots of cases where people experience chronic stress, which can severely impact their lives both physically and mentally. 74% of adults in the UK last year felt stressed and weren’t able to cope at some point.
What is Stress?
The definition of stress is a feeling of being under a lot of mental, emotional and physical pressure. This pressure then turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People react to stress in different ways, so situations that may seem extremely stressful to one person may be motivating to another.
To some people stress may appear to just be when you have a lot of work to do and just generally busy, however there are many symptoms that relate to stress. These may involve: acne, headaches, chronic pain, frequent sickness, nausea, dizziness, changes in libido, digestive issues, appetite changes, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders.
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As stress is not a medical condition there isn’t a specific treatment for it. However, there is a variety of medications a person can take to help reduce the symptoms of stress. For example;
- – May get sleeping pills prescribed if a person is having trouble sleeping.
- – Prescribed antidepressants if a person is experiencing depression or anxiety.
However, medications like sleeping pills, can have lots of negative side effects. These may include changes in appetite, dizziness, daytime drowsiness and diarrhoea. Sleeping pills are often addictive and this can develop into a major issue also.
There are other forms of ‘medication’ that can help to relieve stress. Many people take to doing exercise to relieve stress and yoga is a route that a lot of people go down to help cope with their stress. Yet, for some people just doing yoga and working out doesn’t necessarily help. Often stress can be so bad that people need something to help them get to the point where they can take part in yoga classes and do exercise.
There are a lot of alternative methods and treatments to help relieve stress and its symptoms, one of these alternative treatments is CBD. There has been plenty of research done into the benefits of CBD. Stress has shown to be one of the many conditions CBD helps.
Causes of Stress
There are many different causes of stress, some more common than others. Quite often things going on in a person’s life can cause stress such as: Being under lots of pressure at work, home, school, facing big changes, worrying about something, not having control of a situation, having a responsibility that is overwhelming and not having enough work, activities or change in your life.
There may be one certain thing that causes stress in a person’s life. Yet stress may also occur when there is a build-up of small pressures, this can often make it hard to identify the cause of the stress.
How does CBD work for Stress?
What is CBD?
Cannabidoil (CBD), is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. These compounds belong to a class of substances called cannabinoids. As CBD is not psychoactive, you will not get high but reap the benefits of CBD instead.
The Endocannabinoid System
To understand how CBD works within the body we need to know about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is active in our bodies before we are even born. It is a physiological system which has receptors spread throughout the body.
The Endocannabinoid System
These receptors work by stimulation from chemicals which we produce naturally. The ECS is in the brain, organs, skeletal muscles and tissues.
The 2 main receptors that are inside the ECS are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Despite sounding similar they have completely different functions. Between them they regulate functions like pain, appetite, memory and mood.
Receptors are a group of specialised cells.They detect changes in the body’s environment. They are most common in sensory organs such eyes, ears and the skin. But are also seen inside the brain to detect changes in temperature.
Each organ has its own specific receptors. They are each sensitive to different stimuli. Examples:
- Receptors in the eyes are sensitive to light.
- Receptors in the skin are sensitive to touch.
The majority of CB1 receptors are in the central nervous system. There are smaller numbers of CB1 receptors found in other areas of the body like the liver, kidneys and lungs. Research shows CB1 may play a role in the body’s internal equilibrium, this means that it maintains balance within the body. Even further studies on CB1 also suggests that it can influence other factors, these include pleasure, appetite, concentration, memory and pain tolerance.
The CB2 receptors are part of the immune system and are also found in bone marrow and blood cells. CB2 receptors affect various other functions like, immune suppression and apoptosis (programmed cell death – important in cancer)
How CBD may help the condition of Stress
CBD may have a positive effect on people with stress due to the large quantity of receptors found within the ECS. Many of these receptors are mainly in the section of the brain that regulates a person’s mood and stress levels.
The communication between CBD and the receptors show a reduction in stress signals and the improvement of a person’s stress response by moderating how a person processes a stressful situation in their body.
There is ongoing research into CBD and stress but the studies so far suggest that taking CBD for stress can have a positive impact on people’s lives.