Are you all too familiar with the phrase “stressed out” because it’s become a part of your everyday life? You’re not alone. A recent poll indicated 55 percent of Americans feel stressed on any given day, well above the global average of 35 percent.
Normally, stress can trigger fight-or-flight biological reactions that kick in as a survival strategy. It’s been that way since prehistoric days. Increased blood pressure, production of steroids and other changes to the body prepare it to deal with short-term stressful situations. Short bouts with stress are a natural bodily reaction meant for self-preservation, but persistent stress can lead to a multitude of complications.
Besides not being fun to deal with, chronic stress can ravage your body’s immune system over time by weakening it and leaving it vulnerable to attack from viruses and other pathogens. In addition, high stress levels can lead to hypertension, depression, anxiety and overproduction of the hormone cortisol, which may lead to high levels of inflammation.
Mitigating stress may seem like a no-brainer and surefire way to remain on the road to good health but it can be easier said than done for some individuals leading busy lives. Fortunately, more and more people are discovering the health and wellness benefits of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD oil is receiving lots of attention for its ability to naturally help manage common stress-related ailments such as insomnia, chronic pain and anxiety without the addictive potential of opioids or the psychoactive side effects of medical marijuana.
You may even know a friend or family member who includes CBD as part of their post-workout regimen or as a stress-relieving supplement to morning coffee. What you may not know is more and more studies support the role hemp-derived CBD oil plays in maintaining a balanced and healthy immune system.
Regular CBD consumption in the form of CBD oils, tinctures or gummies may support your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is known to play an important role in regulating inflammation, immunity and antipathogen response. Further, cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, along with other compounds and enzymes, may have direct and indirect biological mechanisms for maintaining a balanced immune system. Here, we’ll take a look at five ways CBD may help relieve everyday stress and provide a boost to your immune response*.
CBD as a Weapon to Reduce Oxidative Stress, Boost Immune Response
Simply put, oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body. Free radicals are chains of molecules that can cause chemical reactions, known as oxidation, that can be beneficial or harmful.
If there are more free radicals than antioxidants in your system, it could contribute to your inability to fight off pathogens and overwork your immune system, in addition to contributing to organ damage. One way to throw your immune system off-kilter is with a poor diet. It’s suggested that there is a correlation between stress, poor nutrition and immune system imbalance caused by oxidative stress.
The good news is recent studies suggest CBD, and its interaction with ECS, may provide benefits in the form of rebalancing the immune system and reducing associative oxidative stress. Supplements containing high-quality CBD oil, along with essential vitamins and herbs, have shown promise in balancing immune response by providing long-term benefits to improve mood and reduce stress levels.
Supports Better Sleep
Everyone has from time to time had the occasional bout with a restless night or two. Stress at work or trouble with schoolwork, a traumatic event, or even the birth of a new child can contribute to insomnia. One poll found startling insomnia-reported statistics by age and or household makeup:
Those reporting insomnia
- 68% of adults ages 18 to 29
- 59% of adults ages 30 to 64
- 44% of people over the age of 65
- 66% of parents with children in the household
Persistent insomnia, in addition to contributing to lethargy and inability to focus, can lead to more serious complications such as hypertension and can tax your body’s ability to maintain immune system health. Most of the time, individuals can get a handle on their insomnia by making diet or behavioral changes. Other times, an immune system supplement may work as well.
A well-rested body not only feels invigorated upon awakening but also helps support your immune system’s ability to fight off infection. CBD supplements containing melatonin may be an effective way to control insomnia by enhance your sleep/wake cycle, regulated by your circadian rhythm.
Supports Immune System Natural Killer Cells
Your immune system is in part supported by natural killer cells (NK) that work in conjunction with T and B cells to fight off infection. T and B cells are responsible for your body’s antigen-specific immune response.
NK cells, on the other hand, are appropriately named because they are responsible for protecting against disease by killing virally infected cells. They also have a mechanism for killing tumor cells. Studies have shown that hemp-derived CBD oil may play a beneficial role in improving immune system response by supporting the activity of NK cells, a form of white blood cell.
Lessens the Impact of Pain and Inflammation
An immune system weakened by stress or infection can lead to inflammation, a process by which the body produces too many white blood cells. Inflammation can also be a sign that your body is trying to heal from an injury, which is usually short term in duration.
However, chronic inflammation can result in pain lasting months or longer and lead to other more serious complications. Some autoimmune disorders can also trick the body into attacking healthy tissue, furthering the impact of pain and inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural reaction needed to fight diseases, but it can also weaken the immune system. However, CBD is believed to maintain a healthy balance between the functions of the immune system. Specifically, broad-spectrum CBD oil has been shown to not only reduce stress and anxiety but also reduce pain and enhance the ECS beneficial regulatory functions and support a healthy inflammatory response.
Supports Healthy Gastrointestinal Biology
It’s an unfortunate fact of life but when we are stressed, we often turn to gut-busting, unhealthy foods for a temporary “feel good”. The problem is that unhealthy food combined with persistent stress actually has a major effect on your immune system in addition to your waistline.
A substantial portion of our immune system lies within the gastrointestinal tract where antibodies are produced by specialized cells lining the intestine. These systems work to control harmful bacteria and aid in digestion among other things.
Stress and poor eating habits can suppress GI functionality in the gut, potentially leading to immune imbalance and weight fluctuations among other undesirable effects. A healthy diet supplemented by edible CBD gummies or honey sticks can satisfy the sweet tooth, stave off unnecessary pounds and help promote a healthy immune system.
Short-term stress is built into our DNA as a survival strategy since the dawn of humankind. In short bursts, stress can be life-saving. Chronic stress, however, can create unhealthy imbalances with our immune systems. Many times, CBD oil incorporated into a healthy diet may help rebalance your immune system and provide other health and wellness benefits.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.