Cannabis For Stress - Relaxation
Cannabis eliminates severe side effects of pharmaceuticals as your best natural relief option.
Cannabis & Stress Relief/Relaxation
Everyone has stress. It is nature’s way of keeping us safe. However, the same stress chemicals that protect us can also cause complicated and dangerous health risks. The current, widely used treatments for stress can pose significant side effects and risks. Fortunately, there is a safe and natural option to help cope with stress. More and more people are rediscovering the benefits of cannabis without the severe side effects of pharmaceutical options.
Studies have shown that in states with some form of legal cannabis, doctors prescribed fewer pharmaceuticals of all classes: opiates, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and others. According to some experts, this could cost pharmaceutical companies upwards of $4 billion per year in sales. And it’s logical. People have found a better medicine in cannabis.
What is Stress?
Our bodies provide chemicals that can help us make decisions much more quickly and to move in an instant. As animals, we depend upon stress to help keep us alive by making split-second decisions whether it is smarter to run, hide, or stand and fight.
Limited-duration stress can help us. Cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline are the three major stress hormones that help increase our heart rate, prepare muscles to move and increase our level of alertness. But over a long period of time, these can be devastating.
When a person lives at a higher level of stress without effective coping mechanisms, these hormones can take a negative toll on major organs and our overall health. Stress is estimated to cause approximately 60% of all human illness and disease including heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
So, we know that stress is a killer of epidemic proportions. What can we do about it?
The use of alcohol and drugs to combat stress is an age-old practice. Some current popular prescription medications for stress, including tranquilizers and barbiturates such as Librium, Valium and others, have been widely used over the last few decades. They carry significant risk of overuse, abuse and overdose as well as other negative side effects such as hypotension, depression, nausea, anger and even violence.
Natural remedies such as yoga and physical exercise have been shown to reduce stress and improve circulation. Neurologists have been able to show that fitness levels improve brain health and executive function.
Cannabis and Exercise
Regular exercise is essential to overall health and lowering stress. In fact, the so-called runner’s high and the high associated with cannabis are related. Naturally produced chemicals released into our system as a result of exercise are similar to those found in cannabis. Cannabis complements the effects of exercise.
How Cannabis Can Help
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found that chronic stress reduces animals’ natural cannabinoids.
Cannabis contains more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, but CBD and THC get most of the attention. These two cannabinoids affect your mind and body in different ways, but both are essential to combatting stress and inducing relaxation.
Cannabis is an herbal remedy used for relaxation throughout human history. As a natural remedy with no risk of death from overdose, it is well worth a consideration.
When Chilling with Cannabis, It’s Best to Start Low
It’s no secret that cannabis is an effective relaxant. In fact, when you ask cannabis consumers what marijuana does for them, “relaxation” is the most common answer.
A survey published by Yahoo News-Marist in 2017, revealed that 37 percent claimed stress relief as the reason for using the herb. And with more American adults consuming cannabis as legalization spreads, so is the number of people who enjoy its stress-relieving qualities.
Stress is a killer – literally. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death:
- Heart disease
- Lung ailments
- Cirrhosis of the liver
More than 75 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related issues. Health professionals agree that stress affects your brain, suppresses your thyroid, causes blood sugar imbalances, decreases bone density and muscle tissue, raises blood pressure, reduces your immunity and ability to heal, and increases fat deposits around your abdomen that are associated with heart attacks, strokes and elevated “bad” cholesterol.
It’s no wonder, then, that cannabis as a way to chill at the end of the day is growing in popularity. But the latest science makes it pretty clear that when it comes to cannabis and relaxation, less is more. That’s right: For maximum relaxation, a low dose goes a long way.
Does Marijuana Relax You?
According to a study conducted last year by the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychiatry Behavioral Neuroscience and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, too much cannabis at one time may have the opposite intended effect. The study concluded that “a low dose of THC produces subjective stress-relieving effects in line with those commonly reported among cannabis users, but that higher doses may non-specifically increase negative mood.”
Cannabis is dose dependent. It goes without saying that the more someone uses, the more intense the effects. In the University of Chicago study, researchers selected 42 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 40, all of whom were familiar with cannabis but not daily users. The study’s protocol divided the subjects into three cohorts: A low-dose (7.5 milligrams of THC) group, a high-dose (12.5 mg) group and a placebo group.
“We found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect,” said Emma Childs, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an author of the study. “The doses used in the study produce effects that are equivalent to only a few puffs of a cannabis cigarette,” said Childs.
There were no significant differences in participants’ blood pressure, heart rate or cortisol levels — before, during or after the doses or the tasks.
Cannabis And Stress
“Our findings provide some support for the common claim that cannabis is used to reduce stress and relieve tension and anxiety,” Childs said. “At the same time, our finding that participants in the higher THC group reported small but significant increases in anxiety and negative mood throughout the test supports the idea that THC can also produce the opposite effect.”
So, what does this mean for you?
Available science suggests that, indeed, cannabis will help you chill out at the end of a long day. But moderation is essential.
If your objective is to relax, here are some factors to consider:
- Dose: Start low and go slow. The amount needed will vary, depending on gender, weight, time of day, food and beverage intake and a host of other factors. But try starting with 5-10 milligrams and see if you feel chill. You can always use more if needed.
- Environment: Find a comfortable place that makes you feel at ease. For some, this is your sofa in front of the TV. Or maybe a hot bath. Anywhere that centers you and provides comfort.
- Method: More and more cannabis consumers are moving away from smoking the herb and are finding other methods more efficient. For relaxation, low-dose tinctures are becoming popular. Cannabis topicals and bath bombs provide excellent relaxation benefits.
- Type of cannabis: As your Greenlight Approved retail specialist for cannabis products higher in CBD and lower in THC. Also, indica-dominant strains of cannabis will typically be better than sativa strains.
Summer Got You Feeling Stressed Out? Cannabis May Help
Cannabis has been considered a stress reliever for nearly half a millennia and modern science has verified that this treatment works. Not only has research confirmed the efficacy of the medical marijuana, more and more Americans are treating stress-related conditions with the herb.
Marijuana for Relaxation
According to a study published in 2009 in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, “findings suggest that cannabis is commonly used as a stress-coping strategy. Additionally, New Frontier Data, a cannabis data analysis firm, conducted a study last year and revealed:
- Relaxation (55 percent) is the most widely cited reason why people consume cannabis. The next three most common reasons cited are to relieve stress (40 percent), to enhance the enjoyment of a social experience (40 percent) and to reduce anxiety (39 percent).
- Women are significantly more likely than men to consume cannabis to relieve stress (+7%) and to reduce anxiety (+13)
Relaxation and stress relief are overwhelmingly the most commonly perceived benefits of cannabis use, according to the UK’s Independent Drug Monitoring Unit. And a Yahoo News and Marist College survey found that of the 35 million adults in America using marijuana, 37 percent say they turned to marijuana for relaxation.
A History Lesson
During the Age of Discovery, physicians and clergymen pioneered the modern use of cannabis as a treatment for stress. In 1621, English clergyman Robert Burton endorsed cannabis for the treatment of depression. And In 1860, the Ohio State Medical Committee on Cannabis concluded:
“As a calmative and hypnotic, in all forms of nervous inquietude and cerebral excitement, [cannabis] will be found an invaluable agent, as it produces none of those functional derangements or sequences that render many of the more customary remedies objectionable.”
Washington State University at the Forefront
As marijuana legalization spreads across the nation – and around the globe – new research demonstrates that these previous cultures were onto something. And scientists from Washington State University are among the leaders in this research.
In a first-of-a-kind study earlier this year, Washington State University scientists examined how peoples’ self-reported levels of stress, anxiety and depression were affected by ingesting different quantities and types of cannabis.
Their work, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, reveals that cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety. The study marks one of the first efforts by American scientists to examine how cannabis with varying amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) affect consumers’ feelings of well-being when consumed outside of a research lab.
“Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory,” according to Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at WSU and lead author of the study. “What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.”
Entourage Effect: THC and CBD Work Best Together
The WSU researchers discovered that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression. Two puffs of any type of cannabis reduced symptoms of anxiety. Ten or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress.
“A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better,” Cuttler told Science Daily. “Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC.” (The synergistic effect of CBD and THC working together is known as the Entourage Effect).
Cannabis for Anxiety Reduction
The researchers also found that while both genders reported decreases in all three symptoms after using cannabis, women reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety following cannabis use.
“This is to my knowledge one of the first scientific studies to provide guidance on the strains and quantities of cannabis people should be seeking out for reducing stress, anxiety and depression,” Cuttler said.
The next time you visit a Greenlight Approved retail store, ask the cannabis guide about products that may help relieve your stress. After all, humans have been consuming the herb to relax for centuries.
Find a Retailer
Our select list of retailers in Spokane and Grant County, Washington provide high-quality and all-natural cannabis products for every need. Search here online for a retailer near you.
Will cannabis allow me to relax and calm my stress?
A 2017 Washington State University study found regular cannabis users were significantly better at keeping their cool under stressful situations compared to those who did not regularly consume cannabis. Continue reading
Will cannabis help with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
When it comes to selecting the right cannabis product for PTSD, most experts suggest CBD-dominant strains. Continue reading
What is the proper dose for stress relief?
Very low doses of THC lessened stress and promoted relaxation. “Start Low and Go Slow;” you can always add more. Continue reading
Find a Retailer
Our select list of retailers in Spokane and Grant County provide high-quality and all-natural cannabis products for every need. Search for a retailer near you.