When stress gets the best of us, how do you typically cope? Sure, you could rely on a friend to talk it over with you. But what if a friend isn’t nearby or you don’t have time to talk about what’s affecting you? Well, you could try to find a friend to talk to on your phone, but that isn’t always immediate. If you’re in a situation where you need to de-stress and alleviate your anxiety without getting a hangover or impairing your judgement, cannabis may be the cure. Check out these research-backed cannabis tips that can give you the tools you need to get over the hump of your stress and anxiety.
How Chronic Stress & Anxiety Damages Your Body
It is estimated that nearly 25% Americans will suffer from an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Anxiety comes in many forms and may materialize from external environmental factors (i.e. stressful job, relationship, etc.), lifestyle choices (i.e. your diet, sleep patterns, etc.), or genetics (i.e. your blood relatives are also super stressed). These factors all affect your neurochemistry and can lead to changes in your hormones that can altogether alter your brain’s functionality. When you get stressed out too much, it will train your brain to feel anxious so that you remember to anticipate and hopefully avoid more stress in the future.
When more stress hormones are produced, it can overwhelm your brain’s progesterone receptors and put it in a constant “fight or flight” situation. This can wreak havoc on your body in more ways that one, ultimately leading to lasting consequences that include:
- Heart disease
- Digestive problems
- Weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- Muscular tension
Can Cannabis Cure Your Stress & Anxiety?
Although cannabis isn’t exactly the end-all-be-all cure for your stress and anxiety, it has definitely been shown to alleviate major symptoms that can leave you in a rut. Several human clinical trials (including this one) have shown that CBD can be extremely usefulness for:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The effectiveness of cannabis for your stress will ultimately depend on your stress levels and the situational context of your stress. Big words aside, this means that the effectiveness of cannabis may differ for those who experience public speaking anxiety compared to people who just have first date jitters. When it comes to public speaking though, cannabis knocks your anxiety out of the park. The naturally occurring cannabidiol (CBD) compound that is found in the resinous flower of cannabis has been shown to improve performance anxiety for people without anxiety disorders as well as those people with social anxiety disorder.
It’s important to understand that different cannabis strains will have different concentrations THC and CBD which can lead to different anxiety responses. Too much THC can overstimulate your body’s CB1 receptors, while too much CBD can directly and indirectly counteract the anxiety people experience from too much THC. You may have a strong feeling of euphoria and cerebral excitement depending on the THC/CBD strain, but that typically transitions into a relaxing effect soon after that will help to calm your nerves.
Do Some Testing to Find What Blend Works For You
No matter what lion’s den you’re walking into, cannabis can help to alleviate your stress and anxiety. A good rule of thumb is to remember that no two people will have the same reaction to the same strain, so if you plan to use cannabis to combat acute or chronic anxiety, take some time to A/B test strains that work for you. On top of testing different THC/CBD blends, also test how your body reacts to different dosages taken at different times so that you can get the perfect buzz for you to perform at your best.