Modern life is fast-paced and full on. Trying to balance a career, hobbies, relationships and time for yourself can be difficult. 74% of adults in the UK are reported to suffer from stress according to the Mental Health Foundation. Stress leads to an increase in cortisol, when this happens your body goes into survival mode to prepare you for whatever life throws at you.
There are two kinds of stress – the beneficial one is eustress and the harmful one is distress. Both release cortisol when triggered but affect your body differently. Eustress helps you focus and is usually linked with a goal – like working on a project at work. Once you’ve achieved your goal, cortisol levels return to normal. Distress is when your body releases cortisol without an outlet or end goal meaning there’s no signal for it to get switched off. Without a trigger to indicate you no longer need to be in “fight or flight” mode, cortisol continues to build up in your system. While a bit of stress can be beneficial, like anything, too much can have the opposite effect.
Stress and high cortisol levels affect people’s minds and bodies in numerous ways. When you’re under too much pressure it can manifest in a number of ways, both physical and mental:
Stress & High Cortisol Levels Can:
- Lower your immunity, meaning you’re more likely to get sick.
- Affects your body’s ability to relax, fall asleep and stay asleep. Poor sleep in turn can lead to burnout and fatigue. The time you’re resting is when you do most of your cell regeneration.
- Increase blood pressure.
- Your appetite and digestion can be affected.
- You may experience more of a general feeling of anxiety or depression.
Balancing your cortisol levels can help alleviate these symptoms and there’s a dietary supplement you can use which helps with exactly that – CBD derived from industrial hemp.
Back in 2016, CBD was made legal in the UK. Derived from industrial hemp, CBD is the non-psychoactive counterpart to THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets you high. Touting benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory properties, calming nerves and supporting recovery from injury and pain it’s increasing in popularity at a rapid rate.
Research indicates CBD also helps regulate cortisol levels, helping to negate the negative effects of having too much of the stress hormone in your body.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD works with your body’s endocannabinoid system by attaching to receptors spread throughout your brain, nervous system and immune system. Your body produces cannabinoids itself but when you have lower levels than you need combined with higher levels of cortisol, you’re likely to experience increased stress levels and ill health.
The receptors in this system help regulate things like mood, memory, stress levels, immunity as well as motor function and pain. There are two kinds of receptors, CB1 and CB2 – both of which carry out different functions. The CB1 receptors are spread throughout your body but are predominantly found in your brain and nervous system. They help regulate mood, the symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as things like pain and inflammation. The CB2 receptors support a healthy immune system and also factor into pain and inflammation regulation.
Why CBD Is Useful For stress?
By supplementing with CBD you can help reduce your cortisol levels as well as reducing the symptoms of too much stress.
- Mood and memory are improved. When you’re busy at work and need to be firing on all pistons but still want to be able to relax at the end of the day, CBD supports normal brain function. CBD regulates stress signals and improving memory meaning you can achieve your goals on time, without added anxiety.
- Sleep patterns are normalised. When you have a healthy level of cortisol, you’re more able to fall asleep on time and stay asleep. Getting a good night’s rest is important for cell regeneration, alleviating the symptoms of fatigue as well as stress.
- There are cannabinoid receptors in your gut as well as your brain which impact hormone levels, digestion and inflammation. When your cannabinoid system is balanced you’ll have a healthier appetite as well as more normal digestion.
How Do You Use CBD?
There are a number of ways you can administer CBD, each have their own benefits and which one is best for you will depend on personal preference as well as how strong a dose you need. There’s an increasing number of UK CBD stores, both on the high street and online, who can recommend which one is best for you. The most popular options for stress are:
1. CBD Oils & Tinctures
CBD oils were one of the first products to hit the market and they’ve come a long way in the last few years. They’re easy to use, offer a high dose and are quickly absorbed by the body. Tinctures stay in your system for up to 6 hours meaning you don’t need to dose frequently either. Generally speaking all you’ll need is a few drops under your tongue morning and night to experience the benefits.
2. CBD E-liquids For Vaping
Like CBD, vaping has seen a surge in popularity in recent years and now people are using it to administer CBD vape oils as well as for nicotine. This method offers the fastest absorption rate, taking only minutes before you can feel the effect and stay in your system for up to two hours. With a variety of strengths available, vaping offers an easy way to top up your CBD levels throughout the day.
Used either alone or in conjunction with another CBD product, edibles are a simple way to take your daily dose with minimal fuss. There are a huge range of products including capsules, mints and gummies. They make for an easy way to track how much you’ve had in a day and are ideal for micro-dosing. While they’re slower to absorb, CBD administered this way stays in your system for several hours.
Whether you want a high dose of CBD that only needs to be taken a couple of times a day or to micro-dose, there’s an option available to you. To keep up with a busy lifestyle without letting it get the best of you, supplementing with CBD could be just the thing you need.