If you feel stressed, you may feel worried, rundown or overwhelmed, or overall ‘unhappy.’ While stress can be beneficial as it gives you the drive to complete a difficult task, chronic stress adversely affects your neuroendocrine, central nervous, and immune systems. Pharmaceutical drugs can help, but due to their undesirable side effects, more people are turning to CBD for chronic stress relief.
In this article, we’ll go over what exactly is chronic stress, how it affects your daily lifestyle, and how CBD for chronic stress is quickly positioning itself at the forefront of available and preferred treatment methods.
The Chronic Stress Conundrum
There is a multitude of reasons why people get stressed. According to the American Institute of Stress, the main causes include:
- Increased workload
- Interpersonal issues
- Juggling work and personal lives
- Lack of job security
However, the changing landscape in the United States is also causing severe stress. The American Psychological Association (APA) published a report in 2016 entitled Stress in America: Coping with Change, which analyzed the different causes of stress amongst Americans. The findings included:
- 66% of Americans are stressed about the future of the nation.
- 59% of Americans are stressed about potential terrorist attacks.
- 61% of Americans are stressed out about their financial situation.
What is Chronic Stress?
Chronic stress is one of three types of stress (the others are acute and episodic acute) and is described as the grinding stress that chips away at you day after day. In other words, it is a response to the prolonged exposure to emotional pressure and involves an endocrine system response in which your body releases cortisol.
What Causes Chronic Stress?
Stress can come on insidiously, and when you suffer from it long enough, you may forget it is even there! In some cases, the condition is formed due to traumatic childhood experiences that remain internalized forever. This is especially true for traumatic experiences that may have impacted your view of the world permanently. For example, you may view the world as a frightening and violent place after being the victim of a violent or sexual assault.
How Long Does Chronic Stress Last?
Chronic stress can last indefinitely if left untreated and ultimately result in serious medical conditions ranging from chronic depression to acid reflux to even insomnia. Sadly, a large number of people never get the help they need. The APA released a survey in August 2017, which found that 33% of Americans never discuss stress management techniques with their healthcare providers.
Conventional Chronic Stress Treatments & Their Side Effects (Not CBD)
Seeking consultation with a licensed mental health professional is always a positive step when fighting against chronic stress. However, too many Americans rely on pharmaceutical drugs without realizing that these pills are only a short-term solution that masks the problem.
In fact, these medications are not designed to combat the effects of stress, only the anxiety and depression that stress can cause. And not only to the medications not fix the source of the stress, they may also have significant side effects, like sexual dysfunction or fatigue, that can lead to even more stress!
Living with Chronic Stress
Without professional help, chronic stress can lead to serious medical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Fortunately, studies show that CBD is capable of treating chronic stress without significant side effects.
CBD for Chronic Stress; How Can It Help
If you allow chronic stress to take hold for too long, it can eventually impact your physical and mental health. The good news is chronic stress has a significant impact on our endocannabinoid system, which happens to be where marijuana’s compounds act, making cannabis a potential chronic stress buster.
In a 2011 study by Bergamaschi et al., 24 people with Social Anxiety Disorder were given a dose of CBD or a placebo before performing a public speaking test simulation. The patients that consumed CBD exhibited a reduction in cognitive impairment, anxiety, and discomfort during their speech when compared to those who took the placebo.
The reason this can impact stress is that there is a strong connection between anxiety and stress. Ongoing stress can often lead to anxiety and vice versa.
Other studies which examined CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety found that the cannabinoid partially activated the 5HT1a receptors, which directly impact our levels of serotonin, the mood-boosting neurotransmitter. CBD’s interaction with the receptor leads to more circulating serotonin, and as a result, improved mood and decreased anxiety and feelings of stress.
Although THC strains are also capable of fighting chronic stress, they should only be taken in smaller doses. Studies show that when higher doses are consumed, it is possible for the level of anxiety to get even worse. Another issue with THC is that it is only available in certain states. In contrast, CBD in its hemp-derived form is available all across America and in dozens of countries around the globe.
Final Thoughts on Chronic Stress & CBD
Longer work hours, greater work expectations, increased financial obligations and concern over the future of the country are just some of the reasons why chronic stress in the United States is becoming more ubiquitous.
The available medications fail to to address chronic stress adequately, and most have side effects that can lead to further stress. Thankfully, CBD is here and is widely available thanks to the recent changes in legislation. Now there’s a natural option to help you combat the effects of chronic stress so you can breathe a bit easier.
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