CBD Is Booming as a Treatment for Stress in 2021
Find Out How CBD Can Help You with Stress
In this article, based on the results of scientific research into the effects of cannabis on the human body, we will look at the effect of CBD on stress in humans.
So, first of all, what is stress?
To answer this question, let’s turn to Wikipedia.
“Stress” (Physiological stress) is a set of nonspecific adaptive (normal) reactions of the body to the effects of various unfavorable stressors (physical or psychological), disrupting its homeostasis, as well as the corresponding state of the nervous system of the body (or the body as a whole)” – this is what says Wikipedia.
Simply put, stress is a reaction of the human body that occurs in response to the action of a stimulus, regardless of whether it carries a charge – negative or positive.
Wikipedia also tells us that as a result of single or repeated stressful, psycho-traumatic situations, such as participation in hostilities, severe physical injury, sexual violence, or the threat of death, post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a serious mental condition, can occur.
Based on this information, it should be understood that the state of stress must be suppressed in order not to cause severe mental states.
Let’s consider whether CBD can help you fight stress
Stress is accompanied by a state of anxiety and worry.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico found that cannabis induces a feeling of relaxation and found that inhaling cannabis was more likely to reduce anxiety. It’s worth noting here that cannabis overdose has the opposite effect and is alarming. It is precisely a moderate correct dosage of cannabis, calculated based on age and the general condition of the human body, which can reduce the feeling of anxiety.
The same studies explain that the short-term effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active component of cannabis) have long been figured out: in small doses, it is soothing, in large doses it can cause anxiety, nervousness, and even paranoia. To this day, cannabis researchers do not have a clear answer to the question of whether cannabis can overcome stress. But some statistics show that regular users of cannabis in moderate doses and its derivatives are calmer than those in whose body THC does not enter.
Such a study was carried out by a group of psychologists, drug therapists, and neuroscientists from the University of Washington. Scientists recruited 40 people who used cannabis every day for at least a year, and 40 people who used cannabis less than ten times in their lives, and put both of them in a stressful situation: they forced them to put their hands in very cold water and count back from 2043 to 17, yes they were also scolded for mistakes. In another group, the water was dipped in warm water, and they did not scold for mistakes. After that, a sample of saliva was taken from all participants in the experiment, and the content of cortisol, a stress hormone, was assessed.
Experienced CBD users were found to produce significantly less cortisol than non-users. The analysis data matched the subjective assessment of stress levels. Long-term regular intake of THC in the body does make a person stress-resistant, the scientists concluded, but this is not always good. Stress is an important reaction to unfamiliar and dangerous stimuli, the authors of the work note, it allows you to mobilize resources and fight in any incomprehensible situation, according to the official website of the University of Washington.
Jarrett Patton, MD, a cannabis-based practitioner in Pennsylvania, put it this way: “Cannabis can be a great medicine for relieving symptoms of anxiety and stress.”
Dr. Patton also believes that if very soon you have an important event that you know will be stressful, such as a family meal or a day of shopping, or making an important decision, Patton recommends using cannabis in advance to prevent stress symptoms. … To these words, Dr. Jordan Tischler, MD, President of the Cannabis Professionals Association and CEO of Inhale cannabis, emphasizes that the dose of cannabis consumption should be lower.
There are also experts’ opinions that the stress relief they get from cannabis depends on whether they use indica or sativa, a strain. In contrast to these words, Dr. Tischler believes that it doesn’t matter which variety you choose, the main thing is to choose the right dosage. “There are thousands of varieties, but honestly, everyone will help,” he said. “For the most part, the chemistry of the strains overlaps to the point that there is no discernible difference when evaluating medical results.” Instead, pay attention to the CBD: TH ratio.
On this point, Dr. Patton believes that if a person has no experience using cannabis for stress relief, it is best to start with the dominant CBD strain, as it tends to have the most relaxing effects. Plain CBD is a good bet if your main goal is stress relief.
There is a free Releaf App where cannabis users can record how cannabis affects them. This app helps to research and compare the effects of cannabis on the body and mental state of a person.
There, users can write down factors on how well cannabis helped their symptoms and whether they had any side effects. They can also write down details such as THC and CBD in the cannabis they used, the way the cannabis was used, the dosage and the duration of the session.
In total, the researchers analyzed a small sample of 2,306 cannabis sessions from 607 people. Specifically, they focused on sessions in which respondents reported symptoms of distress (distress is a state of suffering in which a person cannot adapt to stressors and exhibits maladaptive behavior) before using cannabis. These symptoms included anxiety, stress, and agitation/irritability.
So what did the research data show us based on the metrics of this app? Comparing rates, the researchers concluded that symptoms associated with distress, including anxiety, stress, and irritability, were reduced in 95.51% of sessions. The negative symptoms worsened only in 2.32% of sessions, and in 2.16% of sessions, there were no changes.
Positive effects, which were observed in 66% of the sessions, included calm, optimistic, relaxed, comfortable, and happy states. Meanwhile, there were also negative effects, which included anxiety, irritability, and paranoia. Naturally, these factors were due to cases when a person chose the wrong dose of cannabis, in simple words, an overdose.
This study is titled “The effectiveness of inhaled Cannabis flower for the treatment of agitation/irritability, anxiety, and common stress,” and here is a screenshot is taken from the official website where the research results are published.
Stress can be caused by various factors. Let’s consider the stress that was caused by trauma, such as injury or terrorist attack.
In Israel, back in 2011, Dr. Irit Akirav discovered that cannabis blocks the development of abnormal stress responses. She conducted experiments on rats, injecting cannabis intravenously.
Investigating the reaction of rats to these shots, Dr. Akirav found that if the drug is administered after a traumatic event, it blocks the development of symptoms characteristic of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Data, published by her in the professional scientific journal Neuropsychopharmacology, indicates that the use of medical marijuana in patients admitted to hospital soon after an accident or terrorist attack may help prevent PTSD.
During this experiment, Dr. Akirav noted that cannabis does not help to forget the event, no matter how strong its dosage, but helps to relieve PTSD. It follows from this that even with post-traumatic stress, cannabis can have a positive, relaxing effect on the human psyche.
What are the negative consequences of using cannabis to relieve stress symptoms?
Based on the above data, which were found during research in different parts of the world, we can conclude that cannabis can be harmful if overdosed. This can cause anxiety, anxiety, and, in worst cases, even paranoia. Cannabis paranoia comes from our brains. Cannabinoids (THC) bind to receptors located throughout the brain, and of these receptors, many are found in the amygdala. This organ is involved in the processing of emotions, managing reactions such as paranoia, stress, fear. And under the influence of THC, the amygdala changes the neural connection for the better or the worse.
THC can overstimulate the nerve pathways, which can lead to anxiety and paranoia, especially if the person chooses the wrong dose. This is why the dose, the way cannabis is used to suppress stress symptoms, is so important.
The frequency of cannabis use is also important. With uncontrolled and unrestricted use, a negative effect is very possible.
When choosing the right dosage and frequency of cannabis use for yourself, the following factors should be considered: genetic vulnerability, personality, gender, history of paranoid attacks, the presence of an anxiety disorder, and basal anxiety levels.
The researchers acknowledge that their observations have some limitations, especially because the data is rather subjective. However, they say their results show that cannabis therapy may help treat moderate anxiety.
This article is not intended to promote cannabis use. The article is informative in nature and is based on research conducted by scientists in this field.