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Can CBD Help Treat Stress?

stressed man

Stress generally refers to a sense of tension, which may be either acute or chronic. It can be caused by an immediate situation, or longer-lasting and more complex factors. Stress that is not addressed can lead to deterioration of physical health. Common treatments for stress include counseling and psychotropic medication. CBD may be useful as part of a broader strategy for addressing stress.

Stress is sometimes employed as a generic term, but typically refers to a sensation of tension, due to an unresolved thought, feeling, or external situation. Stress can be both acute — due to an immediate situation, such as a physical emergency — or chronic, due to longer-lasting factors. Understanding what is stress, what causes stress, and how to manage symptoms are essential to living with it and recovering.

What Causes Stress?

Stress can be a reaction to all sorts of problems. On the acute side, stress can be caused by an immediate situation: an altercation with another person, a fall and near injury, or other similar situations.

Chronic stress can be caused by emotional trauma, relationship problems, financial issues, depression, and many other factors. 

What Are Some Signs of Stress?

The most consistent manifestation of stress is a persistent sensation of tension. You may feel chronic, even debilitating anxiety over a sense that something remains unresolved. This can lead to repetitive thought patterns, and negative emotional feelings.

Stress can also lead to physical symptoms, particularly if it is chronic and is not being addressed. Long-term physical signs of stress include high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, depression, acne, and menstrual irregularities. More acute physical signs of stress include stomach pain and diarrhea, headaches, sexual dysfunction, tiredness and/or insomnia, and other symptoms.

How Is Stress Treated?

Addressing stress takes different forms for distinct individuals. In many cases, psychological treatment may be helpful. Speaking with a psychotherapist is one of the first steps towards identifying and addressing the source of stress. In some cases, psychotropic medications — like SSRIs, benzodiazopines, and similar medications — can be helpful in treating stress. Other lifestyle and dietary changes may be needed as well.

Can CBD Help Treat Stress?

There is good evidence that CBD for anxiety can be a helpful treatment. There is also evidence that CBD for proper sleep can be useful as well.

However, it is important to note that cannabis use is sometimes linked with stress, particularly as a coping mechanism. While CBD does not contain psychoactive ingredients, the link between cannabis and stress may be worth considering.

Ultimately, CBD is best used as part of a more comprehensive strategy for managing stress.

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