The Truth Behind Cannabis: Does CBD Work to Reduce Stress and Anxiety?

Whether it’s a chick flick from the 90s or a Seth Rogan comedy classic, cannabis has a lengthy history in young culture. Cannabis has a history of being associated with the “stoner” culture – bongs, unmotivated and lazy smokers – prominently living in their parent’s basements; the stereotypes of marijuana smokers haven’t done the plant justice. However, these stereotypes and misinformation stem from a lack of cannabis education and propaganda. 

Cannabis is an umbrella term that covers hemp, marijuana, and other chemical compounds, one being CBD. Thus, it’s easy to mistaken the differences between marijuana and CBD, like most of us have. But in reality, CBD and marijuana are two very different things. 

When it comes to all cannabis, people assume it’s used to get high. Though you can get high, it’s only when the chemical compound THC is present. Tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC, is the compound in cannabis which induces a high, effecting an individual’s conscious state. But according to the World Health Organization and thousands of scientific studies, CBD is drastically different.  

CBD is typically extracted from the hemp plant, which contains less than 0.3 percent THC and is not psychoactive. In comparison to CBD, marijuana has approximately an average of 12 percent THC, providing smokers with a strong high.

To put it in a better perspective, when smoking marijuana, smokers can feel a change in mood and impaired thinking, as THC is psychoactive. They may start to feel lethargic, giggly, or munchy. Where, on the other hand, CBD will target areas of inflammation, and reduce pain, anxiety, and depression, according to a study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal, without any psychoactive effects. 

How CBD works in the human body 

Though you understand CBD and THC are completely different chemical compounds, it’s crucial to grasp how CBD works within the body. 

There are two receptors in the human body which respond to cannabis, CB1, and CB2. Both receptors play a crucial role in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), as they’re signaling pathways for pain, anxiety, stress, and inflammation. By being a signaling pathway, these receptors indirectly control hormone secretion, such as serotonin. These hormones, such as serotonin, influence mood, energy, sleep, memory, and appetite. 

For decades and still today, states have not differentiated the difference between marijuana and CBD. Though both CBD and marijuana fall under the same umbrella, as you can see, each chemical compound functions differently. We’re able to see the positive effects of CBD, particularly in students and adults over fifty.

How CBD is reducing stress and anxiety in students 

Most college and university students experience feelings of stress throughout their degree. The pressure to succeed in classes, financial strain, and social anxiety can significantly burden a young adult. CBD offers a wide variety of therapeutic and medical benefits, especially for students. Companies like Kushly are focusing on providing students with safe and regulated CBD products. But how can CBD help students relax during stressful periods?

Social anxiety 

Though university is known for its social environment, not everyone is socially active.  Many students struggle with making new friends and speaking in public. With time, if not worked on, social anxiety can become increasingly worse. CBD contains relaxing properties, helping reduce anxiety and stress in an individual. 

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders are increasingly prevalent in young adult students, finding in one study 34.2 percent of females with insomnia, while 22.2 percent for males. 

“We are worried about the high and increasing prevalence of insomnia in our college students. These findings extend on the mental health crisis facing college students today, and emphasize that sleep problems, equal to mental health problems, warrant attention as a public health concern in this population,” states lead author Prof. Børge Sivertsen, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

A lack of structured routine, stress, and disturbed sleeping hours places sleep as a secondary priority. Companies like Kushly, focus on therapeutic natural sleep remedies in the forms of oil, gummies, and capsules. Taking CBD before bed calms the body and helps introduce a healthy and regular sleep cycle. 

Physical pain

Even though young adults are in the prime of their lives, physical pain doesn’t discriminate. Many students suffer from sports injuries, and muscle and joint pain. For students suffering from physical pain, they turn to painkillers, many containing addictive properties. CBD, on the other hand, helps to reduce inflammation and pain with its anti-inflammatory properties without being addictive.

Test anxiety

Exam season is one of the most stressful periods of the school year, amping up feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. The pressure of performing well is a lot to handle for students. CBD helps to reduce anxiety and calms the nervous system, keeping the mind relaxed and fresh. 

Overall mental health 

Across campuses, the decline of student mental health is rampant. The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors survey of counseling center directors found that anxiety is the top concern among college students is anxiety (41.6 percent), followed by depression (36.4 percent) and relationship problems (35.8 percent). CBD is found to decrease negative thoughts and relax the mind. 

Through regulated and natural CBD, students are able to reduce the main causes of mental health decline: stress, anxiety, and depression. By easing the mind’s stress, students are able to refocus their thoughts and enjoy their educational experience.