By now, you’ve likely heard of Cannabidiol (CBD), the phytocannabinoid that’s popped up in items from skincare to beverage infusions, and even off-the-beaten-path, questionable items such as pillowcases and bracelets.
Cannabidiol is often discussed in terms of how it can help boost energy, promote restful sleep, and even enhance our sex lives. Yes, science has shown evidence to back all of those use cases. But what about when it comes to relaxation? Can CBD really be one of the key tools for reducing stress that we have at our disposal? Here, we’ll dive into CBD’s stress-relieving properties and how we can incorporate this cannabinoid into our relaxation routines.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid, or a cannabinoid sourced from plant material, found in high levels in cannabis, including hemp. It’s one of many major and minor cannabinoids present in these plants, alongside other notable compounds such as terpenes, flavonoids, and phytosterols.
CBD is one of the most well-known cannabinoids we know, except for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its intoxicating cousin. CBD doesn’t get us high. In fact, the hemp plants from which we source our hemp extract are bred to have 0.3% or less THC. We take extra steps to remove the trace amounts of naturally-occurring THC, resulting in the broad spectrum hemp extract we use in all our products. All cannabinoid content is verified through an IEC/ISO-accredited third party laboratory and published on our website for anyone to verify.
How does CBD interact with our bodies?
All mammals — including us — have a system called an endogenous cannabinoid system. Also called the endocannabinoid system or simply abbreviated as the ECS, this system is central to keeping our bodies in a state of balance, called homeostasis. The ECS can be found throughout our bodies from head to toe, with receptors clustered in our central nervous system, brains, immune system, skin, and organs, among other places.
Our bodies release compounds called endocannabinoids which interact with receptors throughout our ECS. Two have been identified by researchers so far: anandamide and 2-AG. Cannabinoids sourced from plants interact with these receptors just like endocannabinoids. CBD is just one of many phytocannabinoids found in hemp plants that can naturally augment the endocannabinoids our bodies already produce.*
What impact does stress have on our bodies?
Stress is normal, and even welcome in the right circumstances. While the word “stress” may have a negative connotation, stress comes in both negative and positive forms. A job promotion or having a child, for example, are positive events that may still bring on feelings of stress.
Our bodies are designed to handle stress. It’s our “fight or flight” response. This is a key survival mechanism that our bodies and minds developed over time in response to threats, both real and imagined. Whether positive or negative, when our bodies detect stress, our brains respond by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into our systems. We react in two ways: we either freeze in place or put up a fight. Being in that “fight or flight” stance for prolonged periods of time is what can be harmful to our health and wellbeing.
Can CBD impact how our bodies handle stress?
The endocannabinoid system is the “master regulator” of the body, playing a central role in keeping you level. When we are stressed, our bodies are thrown out of that state of calm equilibrium — we are not in homeostasis. As our bodies fight to get out of that state of stress and back into that balanced state of being, feeding our endocannabinoid systems can help us get back to that cool, calm, and collected state.
Which CBD products are good for relaxation?
- CBD softgels: Capsules nourish the ECS from the inside out.* Pre-filled with broad spectrum hemp extract, each gel capsule is precisely measured and easy to swallow. Our The Daily capsule contains 15mg of CBD alongside oils designed to boost the amount of cannabinoids absorbed. This daily routine can help us stay focused and balanced while we move throughout the day.*
- CBD beverage infusion: Unwinding our bodies and unpacking our minds go hand-in-hand when it comes to relaxation. Beverage infusions allow us to continue drinking the same teas, coffees, or waters we regularly drink, with the addition of calming CBD. Coupled with other complementary botanicals, CBD beverage infusions like our Rest Easy elixir can help promote a sense of zen we need to capture a total mind and body relaxation experience. We pair broad spectrum hemp extract with calming chamomile, which is famous for its soothing tea, and the dynamic duo of valerian and hops, which work phenomenally well together to promote relaxation.*
- CBD bath gem: A hot bath can have a soothing and relaxing effect from head to toe. It can also help lull us into deeper, better-quality sleep, which helps us restore and recharge to face the next day. A CBD bath bomb like our Soak It In Bath Gem elevates this relaxing ritual, enveloping us in CBD and nourishing minerals like epsom salt.
- CBD rub: A quick massage can do wonders to relax our minds. A 2017 review of studies on massage published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice concluded that massage promotes relaxation for many, potentially because massage stimulates pressure receptors which leads to reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol. While we may not have access to a massage therapist, a quick rub of our hands, feet, arms, or legs with a CBD recovery balm delivers the phytocannabinoid while helping us unwind at the end of a rough day.
How to select a CBD product for relaxation
When considering bringing CBD into the fold, it’s important to take note of our routines. Think about what you do on a daily, semi-weekly, or weekly basis, and how CBD may play a role. An end-of-week hot soak in the bath makes or Soak It In Bath Gem an excellent addition, or a nightly cup of tea would pair wonderfully with the Rest Easy elixir.
It’s also important to consider ease of use. Some of us may have time to devote to soaking in a hot bath or giving ourselves a massage with R+R cream after a long day on our feet, while others need a quick grab-and-go solution. For the latter, a softgel capsule or a powder mix might be an ideal fit.
Finally, consider a typical relaxation activity and how CBD may fit into that. Those among us who love immersing in an experience may opt for an R+R cream-enhanced massage or try out a CBD-infused bath. However, a capsule or a beverage may not bring that total immersive experience those other products offer.
No matter which CBD product is chosen for relaxation, what matters is that it fits into the everyday. It’s hard to build a habit, so adding a brand-new element to our routines may not stick. However, by enhancing something we already do regularly, the power of this phytocannabinoid can be harnessed, appreciated, and enjoyed.