If you’ve heard of CBD at all, you’re probably curious about how CBD might be able to impact your own health. CBD can be a wonderful tool for supporting overall mental and physical health.
But first, let’s look at the problem we’re all dealing with: Stress.
The Problem – Everyone is Stressed Out
According to findings from the American Psychological Association, chronic stress – that is stress that interferes with your ability to function normally over time – is nearing a national public health crisis.
People are suffering from moderate to high levels of stress. 44% of people report rising stress levels. Concerns about money, work, the economy, and political upheaval are causing stress levels to skyrocket.
We could all benefit from better stress management — that’s probably why it’s one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. When we don’t give ourselves a chance to unwind, that stress can build up and make us feel miserable. Extreme amounts of stress can even have serious health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and central nervous systems.
Increased stress can lead to many other problems. Insomnia, heartburn, headaches, a weakened immune system and more are all issues that can arise from chronically elevated stress levels.
These chronic levels of stress and the problems that come with it leave many people looking for answers. How do you deal with stress in our modern society?
Natural Ways to Support Wellness
Obviously, there are many prescription medications that help people manage stress, anxiety, and depression. But many people are looking for more natural ways to help ease stress.
Meditation is known to support overall wellness by “cultivating a focused awareness on the present moment”. When our mind is calm, it seems like everything else just falls into place.
One of the best things about meditation is that it is so convenient and accessible to everyone. You don’t need to go anywhere or own any fancy equipment— all you need is yourself and a little bit of time. And if you’re lucky enough to have some essential oils, that’s even better! Aromas can powerfully influence our mind, body, and spirit, which makes them a perfect addition to your meditation practices.
Our Chakra Synergies Set (and roll-ons) offer synergies designed to support your self-balancing practices and self-care routines — including meditation. (If you’re interested in learning more about this line of products, check out this blog post!)
Essential oils can be a wonderful complement to all of your self-care practices. Give these single oils and blends a try to help relieve stress:
Lavandin: Don’t worry — it’s not spelled wrong. LavandIN is a beautiful hybrid of true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia). It is rich in linalool and linalyl acetate, just like Lavender, but also includes 1,8-cineole and camphor, making it a bit different aromatically and therapeutically. It is emotionally calming, helps to ease feelings of stress, and reduces symptoms of anxiety . If you love Lavender, you may find yourself feeling the same way about Lavandin. Its aroma is similar to Lavender but absolutely has its own unique personality.
Sandalwood (all kinds): The beautifully soft and creamy aroma of this essential oil is well known to positively influence the mind. It has a cooling, calming, and toning effect on the nervous system, making it great for hot and agitational emotional states related to stress . It is excellent for encouraging relaxation when diffused or inhaled. Plus, it’s a perfect meditation companion to help clear the mind from every day worries.
To learn more about Sandalwood (and to give this really relaxing bath salts DIY a try!) check out these blogs:
Bergamot: This bright, uplifting, fresh-smelling oil is excellent for a mind and body feeling bogged down by stress. It promotes relaxation by increasing activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the branch of the central nervous system that helps balance heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Use it alongside other uplifting and comforting essential oils, such as Rose Absolute, Chamomile Roman, or Sandalwood to stabilize your mood and release pent-up stressed out feelings . If stress is also resulting in unproductive or addictive behaviors, Bergamot may help redirect that nervous energy to something more positive .
Check out The Five Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil to learn more about this wonderful oil.
Copaiba Oleoresin: When stress puts a strain on your immune system, your whole body can feel the effects. Tension in the head and neck along with achy muscles can make the end of a stressful day feel even worse. Copaiba is widely known for its ability to help alleviate soreness in these areas, partly due to its large quantity of beta-caryophyllene. This unique chemical constituent may target parts of the brain that help minimize feelings of sadness and discouragement .
Try blending two drops each of Copaiba Oleoresin and Frankincense Serrata in a tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil and apply topically to help alleviate soreness. For an emotionally grounding blend, add three drops of Copaiba Oleoresin, two drops of Frankincense Carteri, and four drops of Orange Sweet to your diffuser.
To learn more about Copaiba Oleoresin, check out this blog:
Top 5 Amazing (and Surprising) Benefits of Copaiba Oil.
So where does CBD fit into this natural wellness journey? CBD can be a wonderful way to help support your overall holistic health.
CBD, with all it’s new and exciting possibilities, seems like a natural fit to help weather the issues that chronic stress can bring. And the good news is, it might actually help!
But before we start discussing how to use CBD, we need to cover one point: CBD is still new enough that clinical trials are ongoing in a variety of areas. Although many people swear by CBD and have great results, it’s still not clinically proven that CBD will help sleep, insomnia, anxiety, pain or any other condition.
While CBD can be marketed for a wide range of medical and psychological concerns, the FDA is firmly against companies marketing CBD as a ‘100% guaranteed’ cure against severe medical conditions or as a replacement for prescribed medications.
You should always talk to your doctor if you decide to use CBD for serious concerns, especially if you’re already taking prescription medication. And pay attention to your own body’s needs when deciding what strength and which serving size to use.
CBD seems like a natural fit for assisting us in dealing with the increased stress and feelings of anxiety everyday life can bring, and there’s some promising research around this topic.
Your endocannabinoid system (eCS) has been shown to impact anxiety and depression. One of your endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), has a critical role in regulating emotional behavior. Low levels of 2-AG have been found to cause anxiety and depression in initial studies done on mice and increasing 2-AG levels had the opposite effect. This seems to suggest that taking CBD, phytocannabinoids, may help support your body’s natural endocannabinoid levels and healthy functioning.
What is CBD?
CBD oil is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. Used as a natural way to support endocannabinoid system health for thousands of years, it’s now gaining widespread attention from researchers, doctors, and consumers. Yet, even as its use and its accolades grow, CBD oil sometimes still gets a bad rap because of its association with marijuana. However, it’s important to know that CBD does not get you high.
When it comes to CBD oil’s ability to promote health without the high, it’s all about the plant’s gender. Yes, that’s right, cannabis plants can be either male or female. And only the female (marijuana) version of the plant contains enough THC, the psychotropic compound responsible for getting people high, to actually cause this effect. CBD oil, on the other hand, comes from the male–or hemp version–of the cannabis plant which contains only trace amounts (less than 0.3%) THC, not enough to cause the famous “high”.
There are three main types of CBD oil you’ll find on the market: full-spectrum CBD, isolated CBD, and broad-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD contains less than .3% of THC. This amount of THC is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects but some people find it to be enough to help with more severe issues. Isolated CBD is the most common form of the oil. CBD isolate is created when all other compounds are removed, leaving behind only Cannabidiol (or CBD). The third type is formed when those trace amounts of THC are removed from the full-spectrum variety, it becomes broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum CBD offers all benefits that the plant has to offer also known as “the entourage effect”.
Making CBD Work for You
CBD most commonly comes in two different types of products: Tinctures, or CBD suspended in a liquid meant to be used orally, and balms or cremes, which are meant to be used topically as needed.
CBD tinctures: When taken sublingually (as Plant Therapy CBD tinctures are designed to be taken), CBD helps support your overall eCS functioning and bodily health!
Sublingual use of CBD tinctures involves dropping the CBD liquid into your mouth and holding it under your tongue for 60 seconds. This method allows absorption through the sublingual gland under your tongue and bypasses the digestive tract.
Topical CBD: Many people report topical CBD is very beneficial, especially for localized discomfort. But this may vary from person to person and it’s a little harder to measure. Balms and cremes are designed to help ease localized discomfort.
Just remember that the type of CBD you choose to use depends on what issues you are hoping to improve.
CBD has been used for thousands of years as a home remedy for pain. And, although more research is needed, animal studies may support its usefulness in helping to reduce the perception of pain.
Because CBD may calm the nerves and help promote relaxation through supporting your eCS, CBD oil has long been a popular home remedy for anxiousness or nervousness. According to a 2015 analysis of previous studies, the evidence shows CBD oil may be effective for symptoms related to anxiety. The paper emphasizes the need for, and value of, further study of CBD oil in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
While current research is in its infancy and limited to animal models, it appears that CBD oil is showing promise in treating depression as well. In a 2010 study using mice, CBD was shown to produce results in helping reduce the symptoms of chronic sadness.
The same calming effects that appear to help support mental health also appear to help with issues sleeping, according to a 2019 study. The retrospective study of patients at a psychiatric clinic using CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints showed sleep improvements in 66.7 percent of the cases studied.
CBD oil’s potential effect on the endocannabinoid system includes the sebaceous gland, which is responsible for producing excess sebum (fat) that can contribute to acne. So, it makes sense that CBD oil may have the potential to help with skin issues. And, it’s showing great promise in this area. Not only do countless consumers swear by it, but the research is also beginning to support its effectiveness as well. In a 2014 study, CBD oil was shown to inhibit sebum production and reduce the inflammation associated with skin problems.
The Road to Physical Health
Remember, your road to physical health isn’t going to adhere to a pre-formulated plan. Though meditation, CBD and Aromatherapy can help guide you towards full-body wellness, there are many other ways to support your health.
Yoga, exercise, journaling, mindfulness, mental health counseling, improving your diet – all those things can also contribute to your full-body wellness. As with any physical issues, it’s important to look at the issues holistically and incorporate any changes into your whole-body wellness plan.
We know that when it comes to CBD, there are always more questions to ask. If you’d like to read more about CBD, check out these other blog posts:
Ashley, E. (2017). Cannabis: CBD Rich Hemp Oil, Hemp Essential Oil, & Hemp Seed Oil: The Cannabis Medicines of Aromatherapy’s Own Medical Marijuana. The Secret Healer Oils Profiles, Vol. 8.
Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-Review Report. (2017). Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf
ElSohly M, Gul W. Constituents of cannabis sativa. In: Pertwee R, ed. Handbook of Cannabis. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2014:3-22.
Friedman D, Devinsky O. Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Sep 10;373(11):1048-58.
Martens S, Mithöfer A. Flavones and flavone synthases. Phytochemistry. 2005 Oct;66(20):2399-407. Epub 2005 Aug 30.
Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1344-64.
Tisserand, R. (2016). Retrieved from https://tisserandinstitute.org/learn-more/cannabis-oil/
“The Brain Loves CBD: What are the Effects of This Major Cannabinoid?” (2018). CBD Health and Wellness. Retrieved from https://cbdhealthandwellness.net/2018/09/04/the-brain-loves-cbd-what-are-the-effects-of-this-major-cannabinoid/
Pacher, P. (2013). Modulating the endocannabinoid system in human health and disease: successes and failures. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3684164/
“What is CBD?” (2019) Project CBD. Retrieved from https://www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/what-is-cbd
n.a., “Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2017
E. Musty, “Cannabinoids and anxiety,” in Cannabinoids as Therapeutics, Basel, Birkhäuser, 2005, pp. 141-147.
S. Crippa, G. N. Deremusson, T. B. Ferrari and a. others, “Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report,” Journal of Psychopharmacology, vol. 25, no. 1, 2010.
n.a., “CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Critical Review Report,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2018.