There’s no doubt that last year was stressful, and with COVID still a part of our lives, people now, more than ever, are looking for stress and anxiety relief. If you do a quick google search, you’ll find that Hemp and CBD are now synonymous with relief from stress and anxiety. Anecdotal and research evidence continues to show that hemp and CBD can help people relax. With more and more people starting to question the dependencies that can develop on prescription medications, the search for natural alternatives is on the rise. The big ‘green’ hope is that the hemp plant holds the key.
THE MANY FORMS OF ANXIETY
Anxiety is a mental health condition that can manifest out into physiological reactions in the body. These physical reactions can then also exacerbate the mental unease creating a downward-spiral feedback loop of physical and mental discomfort. Some of these reactions are tightness in the chest, shortness of breathing, muscle tightness, sleep disturbances, excessive sweating, agitation, uneasiness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
An estimated 264 million people worldwide have a form of anxiety disorder. And approximately 40 million of them reside in the United States.
Anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – when the anxiety sets in about a wide range of situations or issues
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – the fear of being negatively judged or rejected in social cases
- Panic Disorder – the sudden feelings of terror resulting in panic attacks
- Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) – unwelcome repetitive thoughts and behavior
- Phobias – an intense fear triggered by a situation or thing
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – anxiety including flashbacks that occur after some traumatic event.
Is There a Cure?
There’s no one approach to curing anxiety.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is sometimes coupled with anti-anxiety prescription medications, like Xanax and Valium.
But, since these traditional over-counter medications are now more commonly resulting in addiction, people are seeking greener alternatives, like whole-plant (CBD) hemp oil.
STRESS, ANXIETY & THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
Coping with stress or unwinding from a hectic day is one of the significant reasons millions of people use hemp or CBD. Plant cannabinoids work directly with the human cannabinoid receptor sites, such as CB1 and CB2. These receptor sites reside throughout the central nervous system, brain, organs, and even our immune system. In short, the ECS is continuously working to keep all our systems in a healthy balance.
However, life is naturally full of external stressors. Thankfully the ECS works as a mediator to help our internal environment to remain uneffected. The ECS plays a crucial role in helping us regulate fear, anxiety, and how we cope with stress.
How Hemp and CBD Works With the ECS
Activating CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system can calm feelings of anxiety.
This explains why consuming hemp and CBD tends to “chill” people out.
The plant cannabinoids work with the endocannabinoid system of the body to help aid the natural processes, like regulate the stress and anxiety responce.
Eustress vs. Chronic Stress
We are constantly exposed to some form of stress in our daily lives. Eustress, or healthy levels of stress, is the mild stress we experience that helps us grow. An example of this would be getting up earlier than you are used to because you got a new job or increasing your weights at the gym to help build muscle. This is low – mild daily stress that is fairly easy to recover from and is beneficial to growth and development.
However, chronic daily stress can eventually impair our endocannabinoid system. Prolonged exposure to stress deregulates the CB1 receptors ability to signal in brain regions involved in emotional processing. Chronic stress also increases something called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase, or FAAH. This enzyme’s role is to help break down anandamide, a naturally-occuring ‘feel-good’ endocannabinoid. So, the continued over-production of this FAAH enzyme breaks down too much of the ‘feel-good’ endocannabinoid too fast and the body and mind begin to struggle.
ECS Health Through Hemp CBD
With this weakened endocannabinoid signaling, people are more vulnerable to developing mood disorders such as, anxiety and depression.
For example, one study showed a clear inverse relationship between the endocannabinoid, anandamide, and levels of anxiety severity in women with major depression.
This showed that the lower our anandamide levels are, the more anxious we are prone to become.
Thus, boosting CB1 signaling through natural plant extracts, like whole-plant hemp (CBD) oil, is a promising greener alternative that more and more people are now choosing.
CBD: A MULTI-TARGETED APPROACH TO ANXIETY
Prescription medication companies worldwide are experimenting with synthetic FAAH inhibitors, hoping they’ll become the next big thing in anti-anxiety medication. However, naturally-derived Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating compound found in hemp, inhibits anandamide and delays its metabolism by FAAH.
Several studies confirm that CBD enhances CB1 signals. This promotes new neurons in the hippocampus. Scientists believe this further contributes towards the compound’s anti-anxiety effect.
Furthermore, animal studies show how CBD interacts with serotonin 5-HT1A receptors in the brain. These receptors are a target for anti-anxiety medication research because the 5-HT1A receptor was the first of the serotonin receptors that was actually cloned and characterized by researchers.
CBD & ANXIETY: OUTSIDE THE LAB
Hemp-derived CBD products are available to purchase online because of the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp Lively’s whole-plant hemp oil is below the allowed <0.3% THC level and the broad spectrum hemp oil is THC-free. So, you can can purchase your hemp products with the peace of mind that they are, in fact, legal.
EVIDENCE WITHOUT LIMITATIONS
Thousands of positive customer testimonials are available online about hemp and CBD helping people to relax, unwind at the end of the day, and even manage chronic ailments, such as anxiety. Mainstream medical institutions are also beginning to take hemp and CBD seriously as anti-anxiety remedies.
What we’ve noticed is that CBD by itself may not be the answer, but the natural combination of the 100 plus cannabinoids in whole-plant hemp may be the key to long-term success.
WHOLE PLANT HEMP VERSUS PURIFIED CBD
Pure CBD, while potentially more lucrative and easier to study in clinical trials, has its therapeutic drawbacks that aren’t present in whole-plant phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extracts. People that tried CBD oil and then switched to whole-plant hemp oil, say that a higher dose is generally necessary to get any therapeutic effect from the CBD vs the whole-plant. That’s because a lot of CBD oils go through a double or even triple-distilation process to get higher concentrates of CBD. This however, also strips out most of the other 100+ naturally-occuring plant cannabinoids and terpenes. CBD is just one of the 100+.
At Hemp Lively, we oversee the entire process of production from Seed to Sale. We grow our own hemp and manufacture our own whole-plant hemp products with quality at the fore-front of our mission. Learn more about our products and how they are changing people’s lives on HempLively.com