Did you know that chronic stress is considered to be one of the biggest killers of humans today? Yet it is an inevitable part of so many people’s lives. We can’t seem to escape the things that stress us out, and sometimes those things can be our job place, for some even the family life, health status, or even society as a whole. But, no matter the source, we all need to do something about it and save our well-being while there’s time.
And speaking of doing something about it, have you, perhaps, noticed how people who regularly consume cannabis seem to be calmer and take stressful situations with ease? If you have, you may probably wonder: how does cannabis help with stress relief?
A study conducted by a group of experts from The Rockefeller University, University of Calgary, and National Institutes of Health (NIH), published in a 2013 issue of Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, tries to explain how cannabis can help with stress, how it can be used as anxiety relief, and it also touches upon the amazing effects it has on a variety of behavioral and neural functions.
But to understand this, you should at least know the basics of the endocannabinoid system. The ECS plays a crucial role in keeping the body healthy and regulates stress levels. Cannabis can help with its functioning, and it can usually be explained with the fact that THC is the most similar to anandamide, an endocannabinoid found in the human body. It’s been proven that they both work in the same brain pathways, which explains exactly why many people use THC to relieve stress. The way cannabis helps with stress relief can be found in how it acts on the endocannabinoid system. Another study uses mice to prove that there are receptors in the amygdala (the part of the brain which regulates stress and anxiety) that enable cannabis to act on the brain’s control center for emotions. This study also revealed for the first time that the brain can make and release its own cannabinoids.
Scientists have proven that when we are under chronic stress, our endocannabinoid system becomes deficient, and this may lead to an increase in stress and anxiety levels. This explains the ways in which cannabis can restore the endocannabinoid system, as well as how it can help with neurogenesis, which refers to the growth of new brain cells.
But, if you are a beginner, make sure you start with a small dose. Some studies show how rats administered with low doses of a synthetic THC showed increased serotonin levels and antidepressant effects. But when they were given higher doses, the effects were the opposite! Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions in the human body. It is sometimes called the happy chemical because it contributes to well-being and happiness. Micro-dosing may be a cure for people who suffer from chronic stress. It enables patients to achieve the medicinal benefits of cannabis without getting high, meaning that it will not interfere with proper functioning and activities in daily life.