Living Life the CBD Way

Living well is one thing; living great is far better.

It is a long-sought after idea that has stumped people: how can a life be maximally extended while also ensuring that life is enjoyable? When centenarians share their secrets, they often point to utilizing healthy choices throughout their life and living a healthy lifestyle. The common thread that is pointed to is selecting more naturally-oriented options; regular physical activity, fruits and vegetables, and to avoid a stress-inducing life.

This seems to be pretty straightforward and much of this can be attained quite easily at least when it comes to what we eat; however, it is the other two components that seem to have most difficulty in our daily lives. Much of our lives are dedicated to aspects that inevitably result in the creation, increasing, and compounding of stressors — whether that be due to work, family life, friendships, relationships, education, fears, responsibilities, obligations, duties, and so many more. The issue with all of these stressors is that they are not isolated; they intertwine with each other creating a very complex web of interconnected problems which can feel insurmountable. It can also contribute to the creation of various anxiety disorders or perhaps even exacerbate them.

Furthermore, stressors do not always have to remain in a physical space; this means that when stressors can be perceived it is enough to have a manifested impact that not only feels real but is, for all intents and purposes, actively real. While we are equipped to deal with stress on a short-term level, when stress reaches a consistency it can be quite damaging. According to the American Psychological Association, “when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on your body… [such as] the musculoskeletal system, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, the gastrointestinal system, the nervous system, and the reproductive system”. Furthermore, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, a study completed in 2008 by the American Psychological Association, “more people reported physical and emotional symptoms due to stress than they did in 2007, and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year”. While this was some time ago (and around the time of the massive recession that occurred), what is of particular interest is the correlation between the self and environment; what this means is that when time can be taken to improve the self and dissociate from the environment in some ways, then the impact of stress can diminish or maybe even disappear entirely. And, as the other component of a maximized life stated above, regular physical activity can assist in this endeavor.

Regular physical activity can serve as an effective method at reducing stressors in multiple fields and has been shown to be critical in healthy relationships, mitigating short and long-term stressors, and self-esteem. According to a student completed by Harvard Health, “exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators”. Regular exercise, touted on an average of about thirty minutes a day, helps greatly with reducing stress but it also comes with a problem that has been alluded to above; with all of the various obligations and time-consuming duties people have to do on a daily basis, what time is there left to add yet another obligation such as this? This can actually add on to the stressors already experienced. Furthermore, when regular exercise becomes a routine, it often becomes a primary focal point of a person’s psychology meaning that upsetting the routine is upsetting as a whole and can actually increase stressors. Routines that are familiar create calm — but only when followed — and when broken can “break” the day, so to speak, as well.

The common denominator as the culprit between the two issues is time. It is a vicious cycle where stressors, that siphon time, can be countered by activity, which requires time, but due to all of the obligations we have we do not have time, and if we do not have time available we cannot counter, etc. We can shuffle things around which can result in additional stressors, we can remove things from our life which could result in different stressors, or we can try to squeeze it all together and hope the benefits of what removes stress don’t become the very burden of what overwhelms us. What we can do, however, is engage practices to mitigate these breaks of routine and eliminate feelings of overwhelming stress and the answer may surprise you.

It is no secret that the CBD industry has been moving into the wellness realm of useful applications; after all, CBD has been found, through various studies, to have particular effects on overall health (whether that be wholeness mentally or physically). There have been many studies on CBD already that dive into the reduction or elimination of day-to-day stress, but there have been new areas of impact that CBD has demonstrated some effect in. Sleep is an essential aspect of reducing daily stressors and it is, blissfully, one of the only times that we can “turn off” for the moment from the daily pull in varied directions. However, this works only when that sleep actually rejuvenates you and there have been plenty of studies to suggest that since we have become more of an interconnected system that is always “online”, it is very difficult to achieve a restful sleep. Enter: CBD. As CBD is the non-psychoactive properties of the Cannabis flower, the effect of taking CBD tinctures (whether isolate or full-spectrum) helps to diminish, sever for a time, or even fully eliminate anxieties before we sleep which, in turn, provides a more restful sleep. It also helps to, according to a study from Healthline, help in reducing nightmares and the replaying of negative memories within sleep. This is because CBD targets the serotonin 1A receptor which helps to reduce anxieties and is able to take effect quickly.

From providing wellness in sleep, CBD has made its way into other realms; both of which is what this initial article has talked about: stressors and physical activity. The realm of fitness has begun to see an increase in the value behind using hemp-extracted CBD oils and tinctures both in the pre- and post- workout stages. Using traditional pre-workout items can take a toll on the body, especially with use over time in the sense that the long-term usage of the effect on the body can be effected. This can actually serve as a limiter over the purpose behind working out (to reduce stress) because many of the pre-workout items are loaded with caffeine; so you can become energized in the short-term while sacrificing in the long-term (with increased anxiety and interrupted sleep). Pre-workout can also hype the body enough so that people may over-extend themselves in their workout routine and, by effect, prolong the time it may take to resume regular physical activity.

CBD has begun to provide an alternative and/or as a complementary supplement to counteract some of these effects. Providing half of the requested pre-workout powder along with tinctures of CBD oil can limit the over-extended of workout as persons taking this mixture report out on having a slower, more focused set. Some people even take more slow-acting CBD related products such as gummies or capsules which can take a fuller effect after the workout and begin the process of relaxation to aid sleep and the body’s muscular system. Some people have even reported that their workout routine process begins the day before they engage their workout — as restful sleep provides more natural energy and can even cut out the necessity for relatively unproven claims that pre-workout powders rely on.

Another specific area that has shown particular effect has been in the post-workout stage: aches and pains (something that can effectively break the routines mentioned earlier and cause stress). As the body undergoes activity, whether strenuous or not, it also undergoes changes which, dependent upon the frequency, growth, or challenge of the activity, can result in discomfort. The length of this discomfort, called “delayed onset muscle soreness” (DOMS) can occur at any time between the beginning of working out, changes to a known routine, or through increased duration or intensity — basically, DOMS can happen at any time and to any one. For someone just starting out and looking to reduce their stress, this can serve as a psychological barrier in continuing with their goals and for those that already have a process, can serve as the catalyst in preventing that regular exercise (or, even, add on to the anxiety of having not completed an effective set).

Again, however, CBD comes to the rescue. In the chiropractic industry, CBD topicals such as creams and oils have begun to filter their way into practical use in alleviating muscle soreness, pain, spasms, and inflammation. Furthermore, according to an article recently published this year by Suzy Davenport (and medically reviewed by Reema Patel), though further research is needed, studies have shown that “CBD can be present in balms, salves, [creams], and transdermal patches…and can provide relief at both the surface and deeper muscle levels”.

CBD’s introduction has just begun to show the benefits in maintaining wellness, but it has also begun to be seen as a healthy (I would go so far as to say healthier) alternative with little drawbacks (as of this writing, there are none known) and be the “bridge” for what it means to enjoy a life that is maximized to the fullest. We are just beginning to knock on the door to a world of possibility and discovery. The consensus of people who have made it far in this world, whose bodies still function and whose minds are still present, have held the consensus shared earlier as the “secret” to their success. Soon enough, we may end up hearing in the future a change in those three aspects by adding a fourth: CBD.

Follow me on Twitter: @PrimoUndeniably

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