Note that Encasa Botanics makes no medical or wellbeing claims about CBD oil use for stress or any other medical conditions.
There are many purported benefits of using CBD oil, with users reporting a variety of effects including pain relief, better sleep, improved skin conditions and anxiety reduction. Some users also claim that CBD oil helps ease symptoms of stress.
Stress is a growing problem in the UK, with 79% of people experiencing workplace stress, 48% experiencing family stress, and 35% experiencing relationship stress.
Traditional methods of reducing and overcoming stress include exercise, mindfulness, acupuncture, counselling and medication. However, more people are turning to alternatives, such as CBD, to overcome the problem.
But how valid are the claims that CBD can ease stress? And should stress sufferers use CBD oil over traditional treatments?
Let’s find out in this week’s CBD blog on CBD oil and stress relief.
Back to basics: what is CBD oil?
CBD is a naturally occurring compound, known as a cannabinoid, found and extracted from the hemp plant, along with hundreds of other cannabinoids and plant components.
CBD oil is a carrier oil containing extracted CBD, either as a 99% isolate, or as a broad or full-spectrum extract.
Learn more about CBD in our guide to buying CBD oil in the UK.
How does CBD oil work in the body?
The human body has its own regulatory system called the endocannabinoid system, which consists of receptors across the body. These receptors regulate certain bodily functions such as sleep, mood, stress, appetite, pain, reproduction and memory.
We naturally produce chemical substances (known as endocannabinoids), that bind to these receptors and regulate these bodily functions. CBD supplements the endocannabinoids by working in the same way and binding to receptors.
How does CBD oil affect stress?
With stress and anxiety relief, it’s believed that CBD binds to receptors in the brain, such as the serotonin receptor, to regulate a person’s mood or feelings of stress.
A study of CBD and anxiety in 2011 found positive effects of CBD on anxiety. Clinical trial patients, suffering from social anxiety disorder, were given a dose of CBD or a placebo before completing a social speaking simulation. Those receiving CBD showed significantly lower levels of anxiety than those receiving a placebo.
However, there’s much more research to be done on CBD before any medical claims can be made about the effect of CBD on mental conditions.
How to use CBD oil for stress
Despite the need for more research, many people use CBD oil and products to help with feelings of stress and anxiety, including half of American CBD users. And, in the UK, 38% of Brits would be willing to use CBD oil to manage their mental health better.
Some of the most popular ways to use CBD oil to manage stress include:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil - containing all the hemp plant’s naturally occurring compounds for maximum effect.
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil - containing some of the hemp plant’s naturally occurring compounds, but zero levels of THC.
- CBD isolate - containing 99% of CBD isolate and no other compounds.
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Other users like to combine CBD oil with different methods for reducing stress, such as:
- Vaping with a CBD vape juice.
- Taking a bath with a CBD bath bomb.
- Having a massage with CBD massage oil.
As with taking any supplement for the first time, it’s essential to seek medical advice before consuming CBD - especially if you’re suffering from stress or anxiety. We also recommend that new users begin with a small dosage and gradually increase.
Relevant reading: Know your CBD dosage
The side effect of using CBD for stress
The World Health Organization classifies CBD as “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”. In its studies, it found adverse effects to result from interactions with other medications, rather than anything else. However, users may experience side effects, especially when taking large doses of CBD.
Potential side effects of CBD include fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, mood change, dizziness and anxiety. A study on mice also found that CBD doses above 1000mg may cause a small effect on liver enzymes; however, again, more research is needed.
If you have any doubts about using CBD, please speak with your doctor.
How to buy CBD oil for stress in the UK
CBD oil is legal in the UK, providing the THC content is 0.2% or below. When buying CBD to help support a positive mindset, it’s essential to look for a reputable CBD seller who:
- Provides transparent information about CBD oils, including source, extraction method and certification.
- Guarantees THC levels of 0.2% or under.
- Is happy to discuss CBD and its uses with you.
While no one can make any medical claims about the benefits of CBD on stress or other mental conditions, the small number of studies that have been performed suggest good grounds for continuing research into the benefits of CBD.