In Times of Stress, How to Cultivate Your Sense of Calm
How Stress Takes a Toll on the Body’s Delicate BalanceYou’ve likely heard that stress can trigger a flurry of negative effects in the body, such as the release of a surge of hormones, like adrenaline (which bumps up your heart rate and blood pressure to boost your energy supply) and cortisol (the stress hormone that alters or suppresses various systems in the body so it can switch into full-on “fight-or-flight” mode). But the endocannabinoid system (ECS) also comes into play. “The job of this system is to maintain balance across all your body’s other systems, including your sleep, mood, hormones, pain, inflammation, and immune response, among others,” explains Maia Reed, Head of Member Success and Dosage Support, Equilibria. This system includes a series of receptors located all throughout the body—from your brain to your central nervous system and your immune system. The body naturally creates compounds called endocannabinoids, which interact with the ECS’ receptors to turn them on and off, maintaining balance (or homeostasis) across your systems. But chronic levels of stress can bump up production of stress enzymes (like fatty-acid amide hydrolase, or FAAH) that deplete endocannabinoids and throw a wrench in that process. “Our bodies are built for short term bursts of stress. Like running for our lives from a tiger, not the day-to-day stresses we experience today,” explains Reed. Two endocannabinoids we know are affected in a stress-fueled attack on the ECS: 2-AG and anandamide (nicknamed the “bliss” molecule, as it’s produced when you work up a satisfying sweat at the gym or eat chocolate.) Research has linked healthy stores of 2-AG and anandamide to improved stress-resilience and reduced anxiety. Now that you know how stress takes a toll on the body’s delicate balance, here’s how CBD can help.
How CBD Can HelpChronic stress can handicap the ECS, compromising the balance of all of your body’s other systems. The good news: Supplementing with CBD, a phytocannabinoid, can serve to get you back on track.
“On a molecular level, these phytocannabinoids are very similar to what our bodies already naturally produce,” explains Reed. “So, they get in there and start turning those receptors on and off. And ultimately, allow your own body to stop constantly overproducing stress enzymes. Which in turn, allows your own body to produce its own endocannabinoids again.”
The good news: Supplementing with CBD, a phytocannabinoid, can serve to get you back on track.