After a challenging and stressful day grinding away at work, it can be hard to “shut down” and relax for the evening. Many recreationally turn to marijuana, which has been used for thousands of years to de-stress.
Despite certain states legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana, it’s still illegal according to the federal U.S. government and, as we’ll show you, it could be causing more problems than solutions.
Luckily, I’ve got an alternative that works really well, comes from the same plant, and is perfectly legal.
Stress, Relaxation and CBD Oil
One of the main reasons smoking a joint might help after a stressful day is a compound called CBD oil. This cannabinoid oil (also known as cannabidiol) comes from the marijuana plant, but doesn’t have the mind-altering capabilities most people associate with cannabis. The “high” from cannabis comes from a chemical called THC while the CBD molecule is quite different.
CBD is one of at least 113 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and accounts for up to 40% of the extract. The key benefit of this unique molecule is anti-anxiety, anti-depression, and general relaxation.
A study in the journal Neurotherapeutics concluded that “…CBD has considerable potential for treatment for multiple anxiety disorders…”
In fact, the compound is so powerful one study showed CBD oil could reduce anxiety during public speaking events with participants who suffered from social phobia.
Professionals who spend time interacting with other people for sales, marketing, or other purposes can find CBD oil effective as a legal anti-anxiety tool.
CBD As a Better Alternative Today
Marijuana has been popular for thousands of years, but only within the past few decades has it changed composition considerably.
During the 1960s, when marijuana entered the mainstream consciousness as a tool for hippies, the THC content was around 3 – 5%. This relatively low amount of THC created the “high” associated with marijuana, but is quite different than today.
With hydroponics and biochemical growing operations, sophisticated enhancements have created marijuana plants that are around 28% THC, which is nearly 833% increase in THC over 6 decades.
Even though some people may view more THC as a good thing, it creates an imbalance that leads to medical problems (and specifically anxiety).
THC modulates a specific region of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which causes anxiety rather than relieves it. This is one reason why some people smoke or eat cannabis and find it causes anxiety. Unfortunately, the ACC is one of the few regions of the brain that atrophies after long term usage.
This is one reason why chronic cannabis users suffer from anxiety that never goes away. Naturally grown cannabis can counteract this problem by maintaining a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC, but because we have increased the quantity of the THC, this balance is now gone.
The best bet is to simply use CBD oil directly (most effectively as a CBD tincture) as it will not have long-term negative health effects, it’s legal, and it reliably reduces anxiety and stress.
CBD Oil is No One Trick Pony: Benefits of Cannabidiol
While most entrepreneurs smoke cannabis to relax and de-stress, using CBD oil can help treat far more than that. Some of the CBD benefits include:
Eliminates memory loss from marijuana usage
Fat and weight loss
The list is quite large with cannabidiol and, according to the research, the CBD extract may be less “fun”, but more effective for positively impacting health than marijuana (and legal too!).
Given that chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, and nearly every other “disease of civilization”, it’s encouraging that CBD can reduce markers of inflammation and acts as an antioxidant. Cannabidiol even reduces symptoms associated with obesity and helps increase fat burning as well.
Even when marijuana reduces memory retention, one of the oft-cited side effects nearly every comedian has mentioned, CBD can reverse the effects.
There are other benefits of marijuana besides the euphoric high, but the questionable legal status seems off putting to some.
CBD oil is a product of the same plant and offers a host of superior benefits for any entrepreneur seeking to self-medicate after a challenging day.
No Cannabis for Me: 3 Stress Alternatives
With the passage of the Farm Bill at the end of 2018, CBD is finally legal even if THC is still not.
Either way, some people may want to avoid it altogether. If that’s the case, here are a couple of stress reducing nootropic compounds and alternatives to cannabis:
Ashwagandha – Thousands of years ago Ayurvedic Indian medicine discovered dozens of useful plants, many of which are still applicable today. Ashwagandha is an anti-anxiety and stress reducing plant. In one study, participants saw a 56.5% decrease in anxiety over 8 weeks of using ashwagandha. This is most useful in capsule form.
Lemon balm – Native to the Mediterranean, lemon balm is used to treat anxiety and improve sleep quality. Because you can consume lemon balm as a simple herbal tea, it can be added to a relaxing ritual to wind down in the evening.
Valerian root – Primarily used as a natural sedative and anxiety-reducer, many people use valerian root in the evening before bed to ensure restful sleep. This is most useful in capsule form.
Western society is the most anxious and depressed in recorded history despite having all the luxuries and wealth.
Obviously CBD is not the cure-all for these problems; getting more connected with nature, community, and fulfilling practices will solve them long-term.
That takes work and for millions of people, it requires a lot of time to change. Instead of self medicating with THC, which could have harmful short and long-term health consequences, CBD is a great alternative without the legal risk or complications