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Ever since the dawn of humanity, chronic stress and anxiety have interfered with peoples’ abilities to deal with the ups and downs of day-to-day life. The fact is that many people believe that stress and anxiety are the same thing. However, they’re actually different, as we’ll explain in this article.
If you’re dealing with chronic stress or an anxiety disorder, you likely spend the majority of your day worrying about whether or not you’ll ever find relief. Of course, that sort of thinking pattern can just create more stress and anxiety in your life. While there are certain medications that can be taken to calm the mind, they’re not for everyone.
For those looking to refresh and ease their mind in a natural, holistic way, there’s CBD. New studies find that this cannabis-based compound may be able to provide tremendous relief to those who are suffering with anxious and stressful feelings. If you want to give this cannabinoid a try, this guide is for you.
The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety
Here is a breakdown of both conditions/disorders
Stress is a normal part of life. When things don’t go our way, we feel stressed out. Despite the fact that it’s normal to feel stressed, chronic stress can be quite taxing on the mind and body and even lead to illness. When we’re stressed, our brain releases a hormone known as cortisol that revs up that adrenaline and puts us in “fight or flight” mode. When we’re chronically stressed, our body is always in that mode, meaning that other crucial bodily processes are not being properly cared for.
Unlike anxiety, stress results from circumstances. For instance, someone who is going through a divorce or a recent job loss is likely to experience severe stress due to their current conditions. With stress, there’s always a clear trigger as to why the person is feeling the way they are.
Unlike stress, anxiety is a classified psychological condition. Those who have anxiety will tend to feel stressed out and worried even when they’re not confronted by an apparent trigger. In other words, people with anxiety seem to always be in that “fight or flight” mode even when their life and circumstances seem totally fine.
Anxiety symptoms can worsen when a person is under stress. However, stress tends to go away once the circumstances have changed in the person’s favor. Anxiety, meanwhile, tends to stick around unless the person finds a way to treat it, either by taking certain medications, making certain lifestyle changes or working with a trained professional.
It’s widely believed that anxiety develops as a result of trauma, often during childhood. If a person is in an environment in which they feel unsafe, anxiety symptoms will like manifest, often later in life.
Long-Term Effects of Stress and Anxiety
When a high amount of cortisol is released by the brain, the entire body responds. The immune system perceives excessive cortisol as a threat, causing the body to go into a state of inflammation. Meanwhile, digestion slows down while things like heart rate, rate of breath and body temperature go up. Sustaining this state is very hard on the human body. Over time, severe stress and anxiety can lead to cardiovascular problems, severe fatigue, hormonal problems and chronic inflammation. Stress and anxiety can also manifest as chronic physical pain.
How Stress and Anxiety are Treated
Typically, a doctor will recommend that a person who is extremely stressed or anxious see a therapist or another trained professional who can help a person learn coping mechanisms. If the condition is severe enough, he or she may prescribe certain drugs that inhibit he production of cortisol while promoting the release of GABA, a neurotransmitter known to slow down the nervous system while easing racing thoughts.
The issue is that commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, Valium and Klonopin are highly addictive. They are not meant to be taken over a long period of time as they can cause a person to develop a tolerance and potentially cause cognitive damage. Withdrawing from these medications can be quite dangerous and even deadly.
Ways CBD May Help with Stress and Anxiety
New studies show that hemp-derived CBD may have what it takes to ease symptoms of stress and anxiety. It seems that this compound has a unique calming effect on both the mind and body, slowing down the nervous system, reducing instances of racing thoughts and helping the body feel relaxed. Unlike popular anti-anxiety medications, CBD does not seem to be addictive. Nor does it seem possible to overdose on it as the body simply stores excessive amounts for later use.
CBD’s potential ability to ease stress and anxiety has a lot to do with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system, which was only discovered about twenty years ago, produces cannabinoids that attach themselves to cannabinoid receptors throughout the nervous system, brain and other parts of the body. The purpose of this bonding process is to stimulate homeostasis, a state in which the mind and body are regulated in terms of their various processes.
The endocannabinoid system is believed to control the balance of neurotransmitters in the body. This means that it acts as a gate, preventing too much cortisol from being released. The issue is that many people don’t naturally produce enough cannabinoids to give this system the ability to do its job. So, that’s where hemp comes in.
CBD is a natural cannabinoid that is one of many in the hemp plant. When a person takes CBD, they’re basically giving the endocannabinoid system exactly what it needs to get to work. Therefore, it’s safe to say that CBD might be able to naturally regulate the production of certain neurotransmitters that can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
In fact, various case studies have demonstrated that CBD has a unique effect on anxiety disorders. It seems that people who take CBD daily can see an incredible improvement in their state of mind. In fact, one study found that CBD can improve symptoms of PTSD, a condition that’s known to lead to chronic anxiety later in life.
How to Take CBD for Stress and Anxiety
If you wish to take CBD to treat your anxiety, speak to your doctor first. Then, purchase a CBD product that’s highly potent. Take it daily in order to allow the compound to build up in the body. It’s important to stay consistent as some people need at least a couple of weeks to feel its effects.
Keeping Calm with CBD
CBD may be able to provide incredible relief to those dealing with stress and anxiety. It’s widely believed to be capable of calming the mind and body in ways that few other compounds can. If you want to try it for yourself, invest in a high-quality product and start taking it daily.