Did you know that over 50% of American’s identify as overly stressed. Our summers may be filled with vacations and pool days, but that doesn’t mean our brains always know how to take a break. Stress and anxiety can spring upon us at any time of the year. For some of us, a new school year is just around the corner. So, why not give a little refresher on stress, anxiety, the brain, and where the heck CBD comes into the mix.
Stress is probably the biggest source of anxiety and when we get “stressed out” our brains train us to feel anxious. It creates a fight or flight reaction in the brain so we can remember what stress is and hopefully avoid it. It comes from our reaction to avoid danger dating back to when we lived in caves and had to fight off wild animals.
Want to learn more about the General Adaptation system and how the body handles stress? Click here!
Life may not be filled with threatening predators anymore, not in the animal kingdom sense anyway, but it is surely filled with stressful situations. We’ve all sat down to take a test and felt threatened by the idea of receiving a failing grade. Our brain records it one time and forever after we feel anxiety before taking an exam.
CBD has more than 65 targets throughout the body and studies currently suggest that it counters anxiety by stimulating the neurotransmitter system and neural regeneration.
Did you know that the neurotransmitter serotonin provides more than just happiness? Turns out serotonin is very complex and the effects it produces depend on where it is located and what it binds to. Additionally, more serotonin is not necessarily better. Low or high levels can create dysfunction. That’s where CBD comes to the rescue. Serotonin has at least 14 different receptors, and CBD specifically binds to 5-HT1A which is the receptor that commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drug also bind to. This helps explain the anti-anxiety effects of CBD in some studies.
Remember our blog about the fascinating Endocannabinoid system? If not, get your reading glasses ready for some big words – here. If you are already familiar, you’ll recall this system helps produce cannabinoids naturally throughout the body and brain and interestingly enough when we are under chronic stress the system can become irregulated. But as we also learned, CBD can help regulate and even boost your body’s production of endocannabinoids when we are going through a stressful time.
Lastly, it is important to recognize that stress affects us in a lot of ways- some studies even show that chronic stress is so hard on our bodies that it can create long term systemic damage. Luckily, our bodies are magical beings and throughout our lives, we are constantly forming new neurons, growing, and changing and while stress can slow this process down, CBD has been shown to boost the process! Other findings show that CBD encourages neural regeneration and can be directly linked to the ability it has in reducing stress.
So, whatever life brings upon us, we all go through stressful times. Especially with the new school year coming up, think of more natural alternatives to reducing stress levels and be kind to your brain!