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Stress management: Can CBD help reduce stress?

02/08/2022 5 MIN. READ Sophie Klingler
02/08/2022 5 MIN. READ Sophie Klingler

Do you believe in coincidences? Yeah, neither do we. And we’re pretty sure it’s no accident you landed here, reading this article on our website, of all places in the gigantic expanse of the internet:

  • You’re here because know the feeling of being overly stressed.
  • You also know that this is not a good condition to be in over the long run
  • And you want to change it

So, let’s get straight to the point, before we start sounding like a third-rate life coach. Assuming, of course, you’re actually interested in learning that the word “stress”, as we know it today, is surprisingly new – and in finding out whether CBD could possibly help relieve stress.

The “invention” of stress

Hey, stressful day today, eh? If you’d made this comment 100 years ago, people would most likely have responded with a puzzled look rather than nodding in agreement. Back then, the word “stress” was still used solely in physics to describe the weight acting on a material.

You heard correctly: The concept we have of “stress” today simply did not exist back then. It wasn’t until an 1936 article in the scientific journal Nature that an endocrinologist named Hans Selye became one of the first to describe stress as such. Later, too, Selye had such a decisive influence on stress research that he ended up receiving 3 doctorates and 43 honourary doctorates.

In Germany, the word “stress” only entered common usage in the 1970s – which is hardly imaginable for us today.

Can we make stress our friend?

Think of all the things we do today to avoid stress: we do yoga to relieve stress, we take CBD to reduce stress, we meditate against stress ...

and then Selye, the father of stress research, comes along and says something like this: “Man should not try to avoid stress any more than he would shun food, love or exercise”.

Sounds crazy, right? But maybe not. It definitely makes sense when you consider that Selye was also the first to make the distinction between positive stress (eustress) and negative stress (distress).
And he definitely has a point there: If everything in your life ran smoothly all the time, you’d probably have long since become bored out of your mind – and maybe even never experienced what it’s like to grow and overcome adversity. And let's face it – Would you really want to miss out on all the heart pounding thrills life has to offer?

It only becomes a problem when you start suffering from negative stress on a chronic basis. Not only does chronic stress affect your quality of life in the here and now, it can also lead to stress-related illness, such as depression, anxiety disorders and burnout.

In other words, the far more important question is: Where can we successfully avoid negative stress and where can we actually learn to deal with it better?

How to strengthen your resilience against stress

In one popular resilience theory, the crucial factor that determines how well people deal with challenging situations is a person’s so-called “sense of coherence”. Put another way: When we feel like everything is going downhill, which it tends to do more often than we’d like, this sense of coherence keeps us sane. It gives us the ability to react constructively to stressful situations.

The sense of coherence has three components:

  • A feeling of comprehensibility
  • A feeling of manageability
  • A feeling of meaningfulness

Let’s say, for example, that you’re given tasks at work that feel arbitrary. They don’t appear to be particularly doable to you, nor do you feel like there’s even any point to carrying them out. If this is the feeling you have, and you still try to complete these tasks, your stress level will probably go through the roof in the long run.

But when the tasks you’re given are comprehensible and make sense, the situation is completely different. If you happen to still have enough resources, or if you’re able to organise enough people to support you, you’ll probably approach things differently.

Decide when and how to use your energy

When we find ourselves in stressful situations, we tend to concentrate on the things we can’t control and lose sight of the things that are actually within our control. Think about where you can still control the situation; this will allow you to minimise your exposure to negative stress (as long as it’s not at the expense of others, of course).

What kinds of stressful situations have you experienced recently? Take a look at the three points associated with the sense of coherence: Can you say where the problem most likely was? If you figure that out, maybe you’ll be able to do things differently next time. And if you really can’t see any wiggle room, you should definitely write up a cost-benefit analysis and find out whether you even need to - or want to - expose yourself to that kind of situation again.

The biggest advantage of this method: it allows us to perceive situations in a more differentiated way. Indeed, we tend to think about things in terms of time these days – but we tend to forget that not everything can be measured in minutes or hours alone. “Just quickly” taking care of a task that goes against every grain in our mind and body can often require more energy than a whole day spent working on something we love. In other words, we should probably start thinking more in terms of managing our energy rather than organising our time.

How to get your body to relax: CBD for stress

These days, it’s no longer a secret that the path to mental relaxation also leads through the body. For example, it’s been proven that medicinal plants such as lavender, ginseng and valerian can help you relax just like doing sport and yoga.

Also not entirely uninvolved in stress management is the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for fine-tuning a variety of processes in your body – from your appetite to your stress levels.

This is where CBD could play a key role, possibly by docking onto your already existing cannabinoid receptors. According to testimonials submitted by users, taking CBD to relieve stress is definitely worth trying. Keep in mind, however, that CBD is not a miracle cure, and that your approach to stress should always create the foundation for a more relaxed and contented everyday life.

And, best of all: the more you keep negative stress at bay, the sooner you can focus on all those exciting challenges that life has in store for you.

FAQ

Can CBD help reduce stress?

While studies to this effect are unfortunately still pending, people who use CDB to relieve stress repeatedly report positive effects. In one recent study, CBD was found to be potentially effective against anxiety disorders. However, that study made us of a very high, non-standard dosage of CBD.

What is the right CBD dosage for stress?

Aside from personal testimonials, there is no solid evidence yet that CBD can actually help to reduce stress. If you still want to try it, we highly recommend first reading our guide on finding the right CBD dosage.

What helps reduce stress?

The three components of the sense of coherence might be able to help you pinpoint your triggers and provide you with suggestions on how to improve your situation. Plus, you should also do whatever works for you: Whether you use yoga, dance or CBD to reduce stress, or something completely different, it’s entirely up to you. If you are interested in CBD for stress, check out our CBD Shop.

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