CBD for Stress? Does It Work?

CBD for Stress? Does It Work?

Nearly 10,000 people search  CBD for stress every month.  They want to know if CBD helps with stress, what the best CBD is for stress, and a litany of other facts about it.  This post will help you understand what CBD is, how it works, and if it will help you with stress. 

What is CBD?

First off, you should know what CBD is.  CBD or Cannabidiol is an extract from the cannabis plant.  There are two main categories of cannabis plants, marijuana and hemp.  Marijuana is known for giving people a “high”.  This high is created by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).  

By contrast CBD (cannabidiol) is primarily extracted from hemp plants.  The 2018 Farm Bill made it federally legal for hemp plants to be grown, as long as they contact 0.3% or less of THC.  CBD is a naturally occurring compound that early studies are showing has a positive effect on relieving stress. 

How Does CBD Work?

Our bodies have a wide variety of receptors.  These receptors are chemical structures that attach to cells.  Various types of stimuli transmit signals to them.  CBD is believed to interact with two primary receptors, the CB1 and CB2.  These receptors are primarily found in the nervous systems.  While we do not have a full understanding of how CBD works with these receptors, we do believe it may change serotonin signals. 

Serotonin plays a vital role in each person’s mental health.   It is a chemical that our bodies naturally produce.  Serotonin plays a role in eating, digestion, sleeping, and can impact stress and depression.  

Traditional treatments for low serotonin levels are anti-depressants.  Commonly SSRI, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are prescribed.  These drugs limit the “reuptake” of serotonin in our bodies, which leaves more of it in our system.  This causes people to have a better sense of well being and improve all serotonin related functions.

Scientific Research

In addition to numerous CBD users believing it helps with feelings of anxiousness, there are studies which also point to its potential benefits. 

CBD For Feelings of Anxiousness

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has stated that CBD has been showing the ability to reduce stress in animals.  

These studies involved administering CBD to test rats and then subjecting them to stressful situations.  In these studies the animals exhibited lower levels of anxious behavior.  In addition the scientists observed that CBD helped mitigate increased heart rate, a common symptom of elevated stress. This is preliminary research and more must be done to definitively and scientifically prove that CBD helps treat GAD in humans. 

What Is The Best CBD For Stress?

The best CBD for stress is one that works quickly, absorbs more fully, and is convenient.  CBD can be swallowed, taken sublingually (absorbed under the tongue), vaped, and applied topically.  Vaping is considered one of the fastest ways to take CBD, but it does have a higher potential for being dangerous.  CBD ingestibles, such as gummies, brownies, or additives to drinks are limited in how much CBD actually enters your bloodstream.  This is due to your digestive system limiting the amount to about 10% of what you take.  CBD oil and CBD chewing gum both help you absorb more of the compound, and faster than virtually any other way.  

How To Use CBD For Stress

Depending on if you have regular or just occasional stress, the approach can be different.  Some CBD users like to make sure they take it every morning, afternoon, and before bed.  Your reasons for taking CBD will affect how you use it, and when it will be most beneficial.  For example if you have stress over something like public speaking, you would take it about 30 minutes before the event.  

3 Ways To Take CBD

There are 3 primary methods of taking CBD for stress.  These are Sublingually, Orally, and Inhaled.  As we have already discussed, topical CBD has little to no effect on mood.  

1. Sublingually – Gum, Sprays, and Tinctures

The best way to take CBD is sublingually, which means absorbing it under the tongue. This method of taking CBD bypasses digestion and enters the bloodstream via the blood vessels in your mouth.  It has two primary advantages, it helps you get more of the CBD in your bloodstream, and it does so about five times faster than the CBD you swallow. 

CBD Gum specifically has an advantage as you keep it in your mouth much longer than sprays and tinctures.  Most tinctures are held in your mouth for a few seconds, where gum you can chew for hours.  That means that as you chew the gum, the CBD is released slowly over time and continues to be absorbed sublingually.  By contrast, as soon as you swallow CBD oil 90% of it is filtered out by the digestive system.

2. Inhalation – Vapes and E-Liquids

CBD can be taken by vaping it.  It does boast one of the highest rates of bioavailability, but it does potentially pose a risk.  If the oil is overheated, or if the user has any kind of pulmonary diseases, it can exacerbate the issue.  For people who already want to take CBD for stress, adding the potential for health problems may cause additional stress. 

3. Oral Administered – Edibles and Capsules

 Lastly, CBD can be swallowed.  While this is one of the easiest ways, ingestible CBD is illegal in many states.  It also is widely known as one of the least effective ways to take CBD.  The is due to most of the CBD being filtered out by your digestive system.  It limits the amount of CBD that actually enters your bloodstream and has an effect to less than 10%. 

Does Topical CBD Work For Stress?

Topical CBD, such as the lotions, creams, and other products are ineffective at helping treat stress.  This is due to the fact that no CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream by applying it to your skin. Topical CBD absorbs at different rates depending on how porous the area of skin is applied to.  It soaks into the tissues and cells to help relieve inflammation.  This makes it a great option for localized discomfort.  However it is not effective at helping ease feelings of anxiousness. 

How Soon Does CBD Work For Stress?

The amount of time it takes for CBD to work hinges on the way you take CBD, along with your own particular biochemistry.  Generally if you take CBD under the tongue (sublingually) in a chewing gum or tincture, you will feel the effects in about 15 to 25 minutes.  For more information about how long it takes for CBD to work, click here


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