Stress / Anxiety and Effects
For all of us, life presents challenges that can open you up with stress and anxiety. However, when you become overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, it is essential to look for ways to calm down and relax.
If you frequently feel overwhelmed or worn-out, you may be living in a heightened state of chronic low-level stress. This can have detrimental effects on your health. Since the HPA (or stress response system) axis remains active, adrenal glands keep producing cortisol and epinephrine, which over time causes wear and tear on your body.
Repeated rushes of epinephrine can damage blood vessels and increase blood pressure, raising your risk of heart attack and stroke. Persistent cortisol triggering fat storage and promotes appetite, which inadvertently leads to weight gain.
Cannabis as Remedy for Stress
Natural remedies play an important role in everyday stress management. Valerian, lavender, chamomile, kava root, and cannabidiol are all known to relax the central nervous system helping to relieve muscle tension and soothe the mind and body.
Cannabis has been used for centuries as a natural way to relieve stress. In fact, over 70% of daily cannabis users in the United States have reported that cannabis helps them relax. In a first-of-a-kind study, researchers from Washington State University investigated the self-reported stress levels of medicinal cannabis users after smoking different strains and doses of cannabis. Their findings, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, suggests that cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety, and stress but may exacerbate symptoms over time.
The study marked the first attempt by U.S scientists to observe how smoking marijuana at home with varying concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) influences emotional wellbeing. Over 12,000 unique smoking sessions were tracked, of which 3,151 were analyzed for depression, 5,085 for anxiety, and 3,717 for stress.
THC or CBD
The WSU researchers found that two puffs of any type of cannabis were sufficient to relieve stress, while 10 puffs of cannabis high CBD (>11%) and high THC (>26.5%) produced the greatest perceived reduction in stress. In comparison, low THC and high CBD strains were most effective at relieving perceived symptoms of depression.
The previous study indicates that high THC and high CBD strains are most effective for temporary stress relief. However, more clinical trials are needed to determine which specific cannabinoids are responsible for marijuana’s stress-relieving properties.