We’ve talked about how stress affects your immune system, we’ve gone over some ideas on how to battle stress when it hits you throughout the day, but sometimes you need a bit more support when it comes to tackling stress. Which is where CBD may be an option for supporting your mind and body to support your goals to relieve stress and anxiety. Keep reading to learn how CBD may help you relieve stress and the anxiety it brings along without feeling the highs of THC.
How Does Stress Affect Your Body?
Stress, day to day, keeps our fight or flight response up and active. Small amounts of stress are good for the body, but too much can do a lot of damage. Not only to places like your immune system, as mentioned in a previous blog post, but also to the brain.
Animal and human studies have found that uncontrollable stress alters the firing properties of the hippocampal neurons. The hippocampus plays a role in stress management, and this alteration of neurons can affect your ability to handle stress as well as retain new information and could be a source of mood disturbances.
Studies on CBD and Stress
CBD has been shown in some studies to regenerate those neurons in the hippocampus, making it a very powerful anti-stress treatment. Cannabidiol has at least 65 targets in the body, making it hard to point out the source of how it can make us feel. However, evidence has shown that the stimulation of neurotransmitters and neural regeneration is how CBD could counter anxiety.
CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptor CB1R and serotonin receptor 5-HT1A in the brain, which help regulate fear and anxiety behaviors. Research from preclinical and clinical studies has established that CBD is also a potential treatment for other disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), PTSD, and OCD. At the end of 2009, an animal study showed that thanks to CBD’s antioxidant properties, mice feared predators less than the mice who were not administered the CBD. Another study showed that the anxiolytic properties of CBD acted on the hippocampus as well as other parts of the limbic area of the brain to help lower the effect of social anxiety.
What About Serotonin?
Did you know that more serotonin is not always better? Serotonin is known better as the ‘happiness hormone', but too low or too high levels of serotonin can lead to dysfunction and receptor malfunctions. While serotonin has more than 14 different receptors in the brain, CBD specifically binds to 5-HT1A, the receptor that has the strongest role in anxiety disorders. Along with CBD, the anti-anxiety drug buspirone also binds to 5-HT1A, which explains CBD’s success in relaxing rats during what’s called “extinction learning” trials. “Extinction learning” is the process of learning how to let go of triggers when there’s nothing left to fear. During these trials, rodents froze in fear when they were conditioned to expect an electric shock. But when given CBD, they showed to be less likely to freeze up when expecting the shock.
Cannabinoids In Your Body
We’ve mentioned before that our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids. They travel through our body through the endocannabinoid system, which also can become dysregulated under chronic stress. Stress can overstimulate the CB1 receptors within the endocannabinoid system, which are found mostly in the central nervous system. CBD could potentially restore balance to the system by preventing that overstimulation by boosting the body’s production of other endocannabinoids. A rodent experiment showed that through the endocannabinoid system, CBD relieves OCD behaviors along with other anxiety behaviors through its rapid antidepressant effects.
With stress being such a large constant in our lives, people turn to a more natural approach to handle their anxiety rather than getting a prescription. Medical doctors have even started to suggest the combination of traditional pharmaceutical treatments with relaxation techniques. Overall though, if chronic stress and anxiety have affected your brain to the point of rewiring, it will take work and time to fix the damage. Changing mind patterns is possible, but it is a long process, however, with the help of things like CBD added to the process, you could get the results you need faster by helping rebuild your brain neurons.
How To De-Stress?
For more tips and tricks on how to prevent stress, check out our article here. You may just find your next best tip!
CBD is not an approved treatment by the FDA to prevent or relieve stress or any disease or ailment. Talk to your doctor prior to starting CBD or any supplement regimen.