Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, people have been struggling with a great deal of stress. With all the preventative measures to curb the virus, like social distancing and lockdowns, it’s understandable why people are stressed.
Stress can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health. Physical symptoms include digestive problems, headaches, insomnia, and irritability because of these prolonged and frequent stress episodes.
As we face uncertainty and anxiety about the future, it’s important to find ways to manage our stress. While there are many ways to manage stress, using medical cannabis is one of these many ways, and in this blog, we will explain how.
How Does Medical Cannabis Work For Stress Management?
Medical cannabis refers to using cannabis for medicinal purposes. It contains active ingredients that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. These active ingredients include cannabinoids such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD), and other plant-based elements called terpenes.
The endocannabinoid system is similar to the nervous and immune systems in that it helps regulate healthy cells’ function. In addition, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating and mediating body functions, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, memory and sleep.
THC has psychoactive effects, while CBD has therapeutic effects that help alleviate the symptoms and effects of stress. In a recent study, researchers at Washington State University found that people who smoke cannabis have lower stress and anxiety levels.
The study also found that cannabis with a high THC/high CBD ratio was the most effective at reducing stress symptoms.
There are many ways to consume cannabis for stress relief that includes, the use of topicals, CBD tinctures, edibles. It is imperative to understand which compound will work best for your needs. Let’s take a closer look at each compound individually.
The Potential Benefits of CBD For Stress
CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, is well known for its therapeutic benefits. Its ability to help us cope with stress and anxiety is one of the most researched and scientifically supported benefits. CBD’s stress-relieving benefits include;
- Promoting sleep
- Promoting relaxation
- Alleviating Insomnia and restlessness
CBD seems to reduce the cardiovascular stress response. CBD influences the survival and death of white blood cells, white blood cell migration, and platelet aggregation in blood. All of these can be linked with stress. In addition, CBD can promote sleep, improve moods and overall wellness.
There are so many CBD products out there with these purported health benefits, and you may be wondering which ones would work best for stress relief. When buying CBD, it is essential to know that CBD products will fall under these categories;
- Full-spectrum CBD includes CBD, THC, and most cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. THC levels are less than 0.3 percent.
- Broad-spectrum CBD contains compounds found in cannabis plants, but THC is only present in trace amounts.
- Isolate CBD has all the other cannabis plant compounds removed, leaving only cannabidiol. (There is no THC present.)
CBD products will come in oils, gummies, capsules, topicals and vaporizers. The method of consumption is entirely up to the individual.
The Potential Benefits of THC For Stress
THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, also has the potential to helo with stress relief. This is because THC activates the brain’s reward system by signaling the release of the brain’s chemical dopamine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in mood and pleasure. THC produces feelings of euphoria by causing a higher-than-normal release of dopamine. Through the co-regulation of additional chemical transmitters, dopamine systems contribute to generating stress responses.
When THC is administered as medical cannabis, it may be used to alleviate symptoms of stress such as;
- Low appetite
- Pain (headaches, body aches)
THC is commonly ingested through cannabis smoking, but it can also be found in capsules, edibles, and oils.
Ways to use medical cannabis
- Taking a bath with CBD bath bombs after a long day of work
- Keeping a pack of gummies in your handbag to be had whenever you feel stressed
- Massaging tense muscles or any areas with topicals
- Sublingually ingesting CBD oils before a busy morning or before bed for better sleep.
Tips for using medical cannabis to manage stress
- Carefully consider a consumption method that you feel comfortable with.
- Speak to your local dispensary budtender for recommendations of products that have stress-relieving properties.
- Try micro-dosing. Low doses of CBD and THC may be more effective than higher doses.
- Choose products with terpenes like linalool and pinene, which have stress-relieving properties.
- Incorporate medical cannabis into your daytime or nighttime regime to enjoy the benefits of a stress-free life.
The bottom line
Using cannabis to manage stress can be highly beneficial for patients. If you suffer from stress, it could be a great idea to start using cannabis as a means of coping with your symptoms. Medical cannabis can help with stress and its related symptoms because it contains soothing properties that may help you sleep better and feel more relaxed throughout the day.
As always, our team is here to help you. So if you have any questions, email [email protected], call 1-888-256-7043 or book an appointment online.