CBD for Anxiety and Relieving Stress, by Kerri Connor
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
There is no doubt our world has become an overwhelmingly stressful place to live. Between a global pandemic, an attack in on the US Capitol, and war in Europe, it would be difficult to find someone who has not been affected tragically by one of these events.
With so much stress in the world, a person's mental health has taken on a new importance. While we can not control so many of the things that happen around us, we can learn how to cope with these events. Ways we cope with anxiety and stress include medication, therapy, meditation, acupuncture, and/or supplements.
CBD (which stands for cannabidiol) won't solve the problems in the world, but it can help eliminate anxiety and stress so you may focus on events and aspects of your life where you do have control. Adding it into your daily routine may help you calm your nerves and gain control over anxious feelings.
CBD is available in a variety of forms, and what you decide to use is based on what type of relief you want, how fast you want it, and what forms of consumption you prefer. I recommend layering how you take your CBD. This means taking it in several different forms, so more CBD molecules bind with CB receptors, saturating your endocannabinoid system. This helps put the body into the most optimum homeostasis, not only relieving anxiety, but also to help keep it at bay.
Take a Hit
Smoking CBD hemp flower is the fastest pathway for CBD to reach the bloodstream, so the effects will hit you quicker than any other method. It also has high bioavailability, meaning your body absorbs it easily. When you need a quick, strong dose, smoking flower is the way to go. How you smoke your flower is up to you, but CBD flower can be smoked the same way cannabis flower is. Grind the buds and roll in a joint or blunt, throw it in a bowl, pipe, or bong—whichever method you prefer. Boost the power of the CBD by combining it with other herbs that help calm nerves and reduce anxiety, such as rose petals and lavender buds. This blend may be just what you need to help cope with an anxiety attack or other stressful situation. Help yourself unwind gently and quickly.
Drip Some Drops
CBD concentrated oil should be one of your best friends. It can be used in several different ways, making it an incredibly versatile ingredient to keep on hand. For oral use, it can be placed under the tongue (sublingual) and held there for up to 30 seconds without swallowing. This isn't as fast as smoking but is faster than taking orally through any type of edible. If you are layering your CBD, this is a good second step after smoking. If you don't smoke, a concentrated oil should be your first layer.
Tinctures are also taken sublingually. Tinctures are made with a strong alcoholic spirit, which may help to calm nerves and mellow a panic attack. I keep a tincture available for extra stressful times in my life when I know I am more likely to be triggered into an anxiety attack.
Grab a Bite
Concentrated oil can also be added with a dropper to drinks or foods. There are many great recipes for cooking and baking with concentrated oils, but when you don't have time, you can make it easy by simply adding a dose to a drink or mixed in with something like yogurt. Taking it through food means it must pass through the digestive system and liver before it makes it to the blood stream. This means slower effects and lower bioavailability.
Pre-made edibles also travel through the digestive system. Gummies, by nature, break down quickly, cutting down digestion time. But due to the pathway they take through this system to enter the bloodstream, they also have lower bioavailability.
CBD capsules can also be considered edibles since they travel the same path to the bloodstream via the digestive system and liver.
Because edibles take longer for the effects to take place, layering them with other quicker consumption methods means they will start kicking in as the effects from the other dose are lessening. For example, if I take a gummy right after I smoke, I will feel the effects from smoking almost immediately. As those effects begin to lessen, the gummy will have been digested and the CBD begins entering the blood stream, and those effects begin to build. With layering, while the effects from one type of consumption are declining, the effects of another type of consumption are building extending your optimum calm.
Soak It Away
Anxiety and stress create tension in the body causing muscle pains and aches. CBD can be used topically to help release stress stored in your body. You can add CBD to your bath as an ingredient in easy to mix bath salts. Epsom salts are ideal for tight sore muscles and should be a staple in your supplies closet. Other salts, such as sea salts or Himalayan pink salts, can also be added, but Epsom salt does have the benefit of relieving muscular pain. To complete your bath salts, add in essential and CBD oils and blend well.
I like to use the following mix:
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- ½ cup pink Himalayan salt
- 1 dropperful of CBD oil (I use 1500 mg)
- 6 drops of tangerine oil
Choose essential oils to help achieve your overall goal. I use tangerine oil as it helps with inflammation, and as someone with several autoimmune disorders, when I get stressed, I flare, and my inflammation gets out of control. Tangerine also has a bright, cheery scent that uplifts the spirit.
Massage Tension Away
Your CBD concentrated oil can be added to a carrier oil along with essential oils to design your own customized massage oils.
A 16-ounce bottle of jojoba oil can be split into four 4-ounce bottles of massage oils, each one with a different blend of essential oils. The dollar stores are a great place to grab small plastic bottles for separating your carrier oil. Add a dropperful of CBD oil to each bottle with the essential oils you choose and shake well. Do some research on oil blends to find what will be the most beneficial for you.
These are all easy ways to incorporate CBD into your life. Daily use helps your body to function at more optimal levels, which helps to eliminate stress. When life gets out of hand and throws you for a loop, extra doses can help bring you back to a calm and collected state of mind.
Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider regarding medical questions. This article is not a substitute for medical advice. CBD may counteract certain medications, including those used to treat blood pressure, blood clots, and thyroid, liver, and heart issues. In some medications such as antidepressants, it may increase the effects. Consult with your doctor before using CBD to ensure it is safe for you.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2022. All rights reserved.