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CBD for stress: New data

CBD continues to be researched for a range of health challenges, especially for treating anxiety, sleep quality and pain. Evidence from pre-clinical and clinical trials has further supported the anti-anxiety effects of CBD, as well as its ability to reduce the physiological response to stress. Across the nation, stress is catapulting at an alarming rate—so much so that almost half of us (48%) are feeling more stressed than we did a year ago, and it’s having an impact on our health. New research[1] for Dragonfly Biosciences, CBD supplement manufacturers, indicates that students, young parents, parents and retirees are most likely to feel the negative effects of a stressful life.

Top causes of stress

  • 53% of non-parents say they find work to be a primary cause of stress, compared to 45% of parents.
  • Parents appear to be less stressed about their health (22%) compared to non-parents (29%).
  • 41% of parents say their children are their primary cause of stress

For those who are retired, 37% say they their health is a cause of stress, 27% cite finance, debt or household bills, and a similar number (27%) claim their weight is a top cause of stress. 56% of students are most likely to be concerned about the amount they have to juggle, according to 56%; equally 51% say their health causes them stress, and 48% identify self confidence and image as a factor contributing to stress.

The impact of stress

The impact of stress can have a destructive effect on our day-to-day lives in an all manner of areas from how we look and appear, so our skin health to impacting sleep patterns, immunity levels to our general health and wellbeing like our heart health. As research showed, stress can have a major impact on our moods and emotions. A large percentage of people studying like students—61%—say they have trouble sleeping when they feel stressed, compared to 35% of those in full-time employment and 55% of retirees.

Non-parents are actually more likely to find it hard to sleep when they feel stressed, with 45% claiming stress affects their slumber compared 35% of parents. Looking at the physical impacts of stress, the commissioned research found that that two in five people (43%) experience headaches and a similar number suffer from low energy (43%), whilst an upset tummy impacts around a third (30%).

Remedies for the impact of stress

Community pharmacist, Sultan ‘Sid’ Dajani says: “When seeking remedies for stress and anxiety, these can typically be time-intensive and often involve long advice waiting times. However, there are solutions available from your pharmacist who can advise on wellbeing matters and detail over the counter remedies, such as CBD oils like DragonflyCBD® oil. CBD oil appears to help the negative effects associated with stress.”

“Evidence from laboratory studies have shown that CBD has anti-anxiety effects and may help to regulate learned fear by reducing its expression,[2] with beneficial effects on emotions.[3]

General practitioner, Dr Jenkins adds: “CBD is becoming increasingly popular following the media attention given to the recent change in drug regulation that made medical cannabis available on prescription for the first time since 1971 for certain conditions such as intractable epilepsy.” He additionally commented that: “CBD appears to reduce the cardiovascular response to models of stress.[4] In blood, CBD influences the survival and death of white blood cells, white blood cell migration and platelet aggregation,[5] all of which can be linked with stress. A double-blind randomised controlled cross-over study in healthy male volunteers found that acute administration of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure increase to stress in humans, associated with increased heart rate.[6]

CBD for stress/anxiety: Supporting research and data

In other laboratory studies, CBD has been shown to reduce conditioned fear[7] and anxiety.[8],[9],[10],[11] Reductions in anxiety appear to be mediated by the interaction of CBD with the seratonin receptor, 5HT1-A,[12] and not dependent on the benzodiazepine receptors, used by medication such as diazepam.[13] Pre-clinical studies also demonstrate an antidepressant effect of CBD,[14],[15],[16],[17] possibly, as in anxiety, through a 5-HT1-A receptor-dependent mechanism.[18],[19]

A double-blind placebo-controlled study for social anxiety disorder found that treatment with CBD before simulated public speaking significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly reduced alert levels in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the control group. The Negative Self-Assessment Scale (SSPS-N) scores revealed significant increases during the testing of the placebo group that was almost eliminated in the CBD group.[20]

CBD has also shown benefits for anxiety in a clinical trial involving 103 adult patients. This was a retrospective study in a psychiatric clinic involving the clinical application of CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints as an adjunct to usual treatment. The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (n=47) or poor sleep (n=25). Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. [21]

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