Stress was invented by nature as a way to deal with danger. Handy when we roamed freely in the woods and had to flee from bears. But actually that physical reaction to danger (fight or flight) has now often become exaggerated and even superfluous. It is very healthy to experience a little tension before a test, important meeting or presentation. But if that tense feeling doesn't stop, you could end up with chronic stress. And that's not what you want.
How stress damages your body
In chronic stress, your brain is constantly telling you with a small dose of stress hormones that your body must prepare – flee or fight. Unfortunately, your body isn't designed to be in constant panic mode and deal with chronically high levels of stress hormones—particularly cortisol. They cause damage all over your body. You can think of:
- Weakened immune system
- Problems with your heart and digestion
- Fatigue, headache
- Weight gain
- muscle tensions
- Disrupted endocannabinoid system
It's not just your body that suffers. Stress hormones are constantly telling your brain, “focus, prepare, turn off your feelings,” causing your brain to reprogram. Some areas of the brain become hyperactive, others shrink, and your neurotransmitters (such as serotonin, dopamine, and endocannabinoids) and their receptors also change. Even if you manage to de-stress your life, these changes can persist — along with their negative effects on the rest of your body. If this is the case, you could use some support to reset the balance in your brain.
Hemp's Secret Anti-Anxiety Ingredient
Ever had a paranoid high from cannabis? You probably ingested a lot of THC. That overstimulates your receptors. As the non-intoxicating sister of THC, CBD actually calms your anxiety. Research suggests that CBD counteracts anxiety by stimulating neurotransmitter systems and neural regeneration. That's a mouthful, but it's simpler than you think:
When you think of serotonin, you think of happiness. It is the neurotransmitter that controls your memory, mood, confidence, sleep, emotion, orgasm and appetite. It also plays a role in the processing of painful stimuli. Serotonin has at least 14 different receptors, but CBD specifically binds to 5-HT1A which is thought to play the strongest role in anxiety.
Your body naturally produces substances that manage your mood, memory, digestion, hormones and stress levels and are used throughout your body in the endocannabinoid system. This is the largest (and most important) physiological system in your body. Stress can disrupt this system. CBD helps you avoid receptor overstimulation and boosts the production of your endocannabinoids.
Chronic stress damages neurons and even causes parts of your brain to shrink. Fortunately, your brain is capable of renewing itself. Throughout your life you continue to form new neurons and make new connections – your brain continues to grow and CBD stimulates this process.
With constant sources of stress around you, you need a holistic approach to dealing with your anxiety. If chronic stress and anxiety have reprogrammed your brain, it will take work and time to repair the damage. CBD can be a beautiful and powerful addition to your anxiety treatment plan and support you in your journey to a more stress-free life.