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Holiday healing with cannabis: How CBD can help ease anxiety

Holiday healing with cannabis: How CBD can help ease anxiety

The holiday season is upon us. And once again it is bringing the joys, and also the stressors, of this time of year. From the added time and financial pressures to buy presents, decor and special holiday treats, to the holiday blues that many feel during this season, to the social anxiety that can come up with holiday gatherings and reunions - there is a lot to manage during this time of year. 

 And this year, we face even more stressors as we make our way through the holiday season during a global pandemic. It’s not surprising that many of us are facing sleepless nights, feelings of loneliness and isolation, worries about our health and increased anxiety. But thankfully CBD may be able to help make the season a little brighter. 

 Research suggests that CBD can be a big help when it comes to easing (and even preventing) anxiety. This could make it an invaluable tool for surviving the holidays! Curious about using CBD yourself? Read on to learn how CBD helps and how to use it yourself. 

How CBD Helps With Anxiety

When it comes to holiday stress, CBD is one natural remedy that can make a big difference. 

Studies have found that CBD can drastically reduce our anxiety, and can even prevent anxiety responses from flaring up in response to intense stressors. 

 For example, in one study, researchers tested the effects of using CBD right before a public speaking task. Public speaking is one of the most common fears for humans - and can definitely trigger an intense stress response. So researchers thought it would be a great way to investigate whether CBD could really help with anxiety. And as hoped, CBD made a big impact when it came to reducing anxiety. Those who took CBD before public speaking reported significantly less anxiety during their speech, and also experienced less cognitive impairment, feelings of anticipatory alertness, and discomfort in speech. And other studies have found similar results

 So how does CBD pull off this incredible feat of relaxation? Well, for one thing, it interacts with an important system in the body called the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates aspects of all kinds of functions in the human body, including stress and anxiety. One study found that this system could determine how frightened we get when faced with a fear-inducing trigger. And when this system is impaired or deficient, it can lead to the development of anxiety disorders. So modulating and activating this system with CBD could lead to improvements when it comes to anxiety. 

 Other scientists point to a different effect from CBD that could help with alleviating anxiety. As it turns out, CBD is also able to boost serotonin signaling in the brain. Much like traditional SSRI antidepressants (which are commonly used as a treatment for anxiety), CBD can help to reduce anxiety by enhancing serotonin. CBD does this by enhancing serotonin receptors in the brain so that serotonin can do its job more effectively. And researchers have even noted that CBD works more quickly than traditional SSRI’s, making it a great option for immediate stress relief. 

How To Find The Right CBD For You 

For those looking to use CBD to reduce their own stress this holiday season - there are so many different options on how to use CBD. So it’s all about finding the one that fits you best. 

Exploring CBD Products

One simple option is to use oil based tinctures. These simple drops can be taken directly, or even mixed into your meal, so they are easy to use whenever you need a little relief. Or, if you want a simple option but don’t do well with the taste of oil, you can try CBD capsules for an even easier experience. 

 Others prefer to use raw cannabis flower that is high in CBD, along with other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. This can be vaporized in a special vaporizing device, or smoked in a pipe or joint. If you aren’t sure how to roll a joint, technology can help! There are new devices that will grind and roll your joint on its own. So you can focus on simply enjoying it. 

 Edibles are another fantastic option. These CBD infused treats just need to be eaten, and there is so much variety. Try something simple like CBD infused gummies. These can be tossed in your bag and used whenever you need a little boost in relaxation. 

 Of course, you can also make your own edibles. It’s possible to infuse just about any type of food with CBD, so if you have special dietary needs or just love to cook, this can be a great option. Still, making edibles isn’t always easy, there are important steps like decarboxylation and extraction that require some precision. If you are just getting started cooking with CBD, devices like the Magic Butter Machine can help simplify the whole process. They are designed to make these more complicated steps simple, so you can focus on making something delicious. 

 
easy butter maker
herbal chef electric infuser
MagicalButter MB2 Botanical Extract Machine
levo I oil infuser

Easy Butter Maker

$69.95 USD

LEVO I Oil Infuser

$129.99 USD

Other Factors To Consider With CBD

There are also new CBD products that are water soluble and fast acting. These are really helpful options because they are much more bioavailable than other forms of CBD. In other words, your body is able to use more of the CBD in fast acting options than it is with other forms of CBD. If you need immediate relief from anxiety, or require higher doses of CBD to get the effects you are looking for, fast acting options are a great way to go. 

 Another factor to consider when using CBD is whether the product is made from CBD isolate, full spectrum CBD or broad spectrum CBD. Products with CBD isolate contain only CBD, and not the many other chemicals found in cannabis like other cannabinoids and terpenes. For those who are sensitive to the effects of these other compounds, isolate can be a great option for making sure you are only getting the CBD you are looking for. 

 On the other hand, there are also reasons some prefer full spectrum CBD. Full spectrum options include all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that the CBD was extracted from. But these will still have no THC or a very low level of THC. Some research suggests that full spectrum CBD can be even more effective than CBD alone. And many CBD consumers agree. In the middle ground between these two options is broad spectrum CBD, which has some of the other cannabinoids from cannabis, but not the full spectrum. 

 So which option is right for you? The answer will vary from person to person. All of these options are fantastic ways to find relief from holiday anxiety, but which one works best can differ depending on lifestyle, preferences and individual biochemistry. To figure out which is right for you, think about what ways of using CBD sound enjoyable or make sense with your day to day life. Then give a few different options a try and see what works best for you. When the holiday stress heats up, you may be glad that you did. 

 

Did You Know

CBD boosts serotonin signaling in the brain?
This is one way that it might help relieve anxiety.

Emily Earlenbaugh, PhD
Emily Earlenbaugh, PhD is a writer and educator focused on bringing cannabis education and content to the public. Emily is a prolific writer in the cannabis space, writing regularly about cannabis science and culture for publications like Forbes, Leafly, Cannabis Now Magazine, SF Chronicle’s GreenState, The Cannigma and HelloMD.