The Anti-Stress Effects of CBD
Everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is a biological system composed of what are known as endocannabinoids. For the scientifically literate, these are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout our central and peripheral nervous systems. For the rest of us, this essentially means that we have loads of neurological sockets in our brain that only become active after interacting with some of the active compounds in cannabis. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes ranging from fertility to memory, and it’s been shown to have an effect on pain stress.
Anxiety-related disorders affect a huge segment of our population—A YouGov study conducted in early 2018 found that 74% of the UK adults have at some point over the past year felt so stressed they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. In response, Big Pharma has developed numerous drugs to treat anxiety-related disorders, but these can have serious side-effects and become addictive quite quickly.
There’s a growing body of evidence showing that CBD helps reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety, though the precise mechanisms by which stress is regulated are not yet clear. (https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2008.00046.x) Nonetheless, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animal studies. Not only did the subjects in these studies show fewer behavioural signs of anxiety, their physiological symptoms, like increased heart rate, also improved.
Many countries have, as a result, permitted CBD sales to go forward. Switzerland, for example, has recently legalized a type of cannabis termed “cannabis-lite”, which is grown exclusively for its quantities of CBD and is sold at the Lugano Airport to help nervous flyers.