Everyone experiences the stresses of everyday life, however, many find stress too overwhelming. Medical cannabis is a very good way to help manage that stress.
Cannabis and Stress
In today’s busy world of emails and text messages, work demands, family responsibilities and other events it’s no wonder that stress is a part of everyday life. People experience stress in their own individualized way, but for some it can become debilitating and exacerbate other conditions.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that “stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand. Every type of demand or stressor, such as exercise, work, school, major life changes, or traumatic events can be stressful”.
Acute stress is manageable but when individuals experience stress over a long period of time it becomes increasingly worse for the body as a whole. Chronic Stress can induce an inability to concentrate, stomach upset, muscle tension and soreness, and headaches. Chronic stress often leads to depression and a disinterest in things once enjoyed. It may also lead to diseases such as obesity and heart disease.
How to Deal With Stress
Stress is a part of everyday life, and it is how an individual deals with those stressful events that makes all the difference. There are many traditional ways to deal with stress including exercise. Exercise is one of the most important tools in your arsenal when dealing with stress. Exercise encourages endorphin production and releases the “feel good” chemicals your body craves. Exercise is also a good way to exhaust the body and promote sleep.
Another method of combating stress include walking away from what triggers the stress. Certain life events are unavoidable: job interviews, public speaking, personal conflict, but there are others that you can walk away from. Perhaps there is someone at work who creates conflict, walk away and remain uninvolved. Leave for work 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to sit in heavy traffic. There are many ways to reduce situational stress.
Rely on your friends. Sometimes all that is needed to relieve the stress of the day is a good vent session. Your true friends will be there to let you vent.
Meditate. Meditation is a proven practice tested over thousands of years. Meditation involves controlling the breath and focusing on the present moment. Sitting in silence and practicing focused breathing is a great way to reduce the symptoms of stress.
Don’t forget to find the silver lining in everyday life. Every situation in life will occur and then fade away, remember that stress can be temporary if you refuse to let it take over. Always remember to laugh and look for the little joys in life.
Finally, engage in activities that you enjoy. Remember to take time for yourself and do something you enjoy such as play music, create art, play a sport, or spend time with your friends. These activities will allow your mind to relax and combat the effects of stress.
How Does Cannabis Reduce Stress
THC and CBD are two of hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, while its counterpart CBD is a non-intoxicant. Together or separate these cannabinoids can affect powerful change on communication channels within the brain.
In a recent study in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, researchers found that cannabis produced significant therapeutic effects, similar to those of opioid analgesics. The research shows that Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds to CB2 receptors in the spinal cord to reduce pain signals sent to the brain. It was also shown to reduce muscle spasticity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis and reduce neuropathic pain.
A recent University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) study revealed that THC in low doses is effective at combating stress. The study also demonstrated that THC in high doses has the opposite effect. Professor Emma Childs, the study’s author stated, “we found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect, underscoring the importance of dose when it comes to THC and its effects”.
This reinforces the need for medical management when seeking to treat stress. As treatment is highly dose dependent it is advisable to work with a team of medical professionals to determine your individualized needs when it comes to cannabis.
Another important thing to remember is the “start slow and less is more” mentality. Start with small doses of THC and wait until the effects begin and then determine if more THC is required to achieve the desired effect. It is easier to increase THC doses rather than consume a large amount to begin with.
Science aside, many cannabis users report that the plant just helps them feel less stressed. It could be due to the euphoric “high” associated with cannabis or the physiological effects, but it just helps. Recreational cannabis users tend to be quite different from medical users. Recreational users often want to get “high” and consume large quantities, but as we learned above that is not always an effective way to combat stress. Medical cannabis users tend to use the plant to manage unwanted symptoms of stress, while consuming it in a mindful manner.
Regardless of how cannabis is used, it is both scientifically and subjectively proven to reduce the symptoms of stress.
Apollo Clinics Can Help
Apollo Cannabis Clinic is an evidenced based clinic who has been conducting observational research on medical cannabis and conditions since 2014. Our staff includes over 10 prescribing health care professionals and assists patients of all ages and backgrounds.
At Apollo, each patient is seen by one of our doctors to determine if medical cannabis is appropriate for their condition or symptoms. Once a medical cannabis recommendation is written, the patient will have access to Licensed Producers (LP’s) who will be able to assist the patient in finding the products that are the most beneficial.
To begin the process, visit apollocannabis.ca and fill out an intake form. Once completed, your information will be reviewed and you will be contacted by one of our administrators to book an initial appointment. At this appointment you will speak to the doctor about your medical history and past cannabis use. Once the appointment is complete a medical recommendation will be made regarding future cannabis use.
Book your consultation today