How Can CBD Oil Help You Manage Stress?
Stress is a critical adaptive response, however, stress is good only for short periods of time and since nowadays we are in a constant state of stress it has become very detrimental to our health.
Here are a few negative effects stress has on our system:
Aches and pains
Low energy levels
… to name a few. The latest research into telomeres shows that stress literally is killing us, meaning shortening the lifespan.
So the question is, can CBD actually help release stress?
And the answer is yes!
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts CBD is a natural chemical that is widely present in our body. CBD is one of the endocannabinoids in endocannabinoid system (endo means internal) and studies show that endocannabinoids are essential for stress response and regulation of stress hormones. (1)
CBD’s main goal is to bring homeostasis into our system, so it does exactly that when it comes to stress response - it balances out cortisol levels. (2) Your body naturally has cannabinoids to help regulate stress response, however, if we are in a constant state of stress over a long period of time having additional help in the form of supplemental CBD oil can really help.
Before I give any recommendation about when and how to take CBD oil for stress, let’s go over cortisol basics.
Cortisol is a hormone that gets produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol has many tasks in the body - it helps regulate mood, energy levels, fat storage/usage, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, inflammation, wake-sleep cycle and much more. Hormones are chemical messengers in our body and they are very complex, so we want to make sure we take care of our hormonal health or hormones quickly can “turn on us”, anyone who has experienced PMS would know what I mean (PMS is actually a symptom of hormonal imbalances, it’s just so prevalent in our society that it became “normal”).
Cortisol is at its peak one hour after we wake up and it gradually goes down through the day so that at night it’s the lowest, which allows us to sleep. Due to the stress that we experience through the day the vicious cycle starts:
High cortisol levels up till the very evening
High cortisol prevents you from falling asleep or sleeping well
In the morning cortisol doesn’t spike because you didn’t get proper night sleep
You drink coffee and eat sugar which raises cortisol
You experience more stress because you are stressed and now also sleep deprived
Cortisol is high before going to bed so you don’t get good night sleep
This is basically how most of us live - lots of stress, caffeine, sugar, and little sleep and relaxation. And that’s where a lot of hormonal imbalances start.
So how does CBD help you get out of that vicious cycle?
It simply helps your body regulate cortisol response. CBD balances out stress response so you don’t experience spikes of cortisol and thus avoid the burn out.
How to take CBD oil to have the best effect on cortisol response?
As always I start by saying that everyone is different.
However, I find that if you don’t allow your body to “get stressed out” by taking CBD oil in anticipation of stress then you can manage stress much better and not feel the burn out/tiredness after. By taking CBD oil before stress you basically keep your body in natural state without going through cortisol roller coasters.
CBD does work if you take it after or during stress too, it will help bring cortisol more in balance. Sometimes that will make you feel tired in a short run (or help you sleep at night if you take it before bed). For example, if you take CBD oil after you come home from a stressful day, you might feel like taking a nap, which would be exactly what your body needs, but might not be what your plans are. However, if you respect your body’s wishes and let your body rest, you will feel rejuvenated and rested in no time.
The correct CBD dosage has to be figured out by you, so it takes some trial and error, but eventually, you will know exactly how much to take.