“It is with great pleasure to inform you that you have been admitted to…”
There’s nothing like receiving a well anticipated acceptance letter from your top choice college. After all, college is a time that most people consider the greatest (and sometimes the hardest) years of their adult lives—especially for those who go to grad school.
It’s their chance to get a taste of what it’s like to live on their own, meet new people, attend parties, and really grow as an individual.
But as exciting as college is, there are also a lot of demands and expectations. Between finalizing your major, taking exams, writing in-depth research papers, studying for midterms, keeping up with social demands, worrying about the future, and living up to the high expectations from your professors and parents, it’s normal to feel a bit stressed out from time to time.
But what happens when your stress turns to anxiety and panic?
We get it… With what’s going on in the world right now, along with keeping up with an increasingly demanding college schedule, it’s no wonder that college students feel a sense of uncontrollable anxiety.
But turning to over-the-counter or prescription anti-anxiety drugs shouldn't be your only option.
Believe it or not, there’s a less invasive, more natural approach to potentially tackle anxiety: CBD Oil.
Now we know you’ve probably heard a little bit about CBD oil and how it offers a lot of value to your overall health. But what you might not know is that there are specific studies that show CBD is pretty effective in calming the human body down.
In this article, we’re going to dive into these studies, talk about how CBD actually works in the body, and if it’s even legal for college students to consume.
Let’s get started! But first, a recap of what CBD is…
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that naturally exists in the cannabis plant.
Now before you start to panic, it’s important that you know hemp and marijuana belong to the same genus of flowering plants: Cannabis.
But don’t let that fun fact scare you! Just because oranges and lemons are both considered citrus fruits, doesn’t mean they're the same, right?
And even though they both contain vitamin C, they both offer the human body other nutrients as well. It’s the same with hemp and marijuana.
We know that marijuana contains much higher levels of THC, the infamous cannabinoid known for getting its users “high”. But hemp only contains trace amounts of THC: 0.3% by dry weight. So it’s not nearly enough to get you high.
Actually, you may be surprised to learn that when you have higher ratios of CBD, it can prevent the “high” effect of THC.
That’s why hemp-derived CBD has gained so much popularity. Not to mention, because hemp only contains 0.3% THC, it is federally legal to consume. And we can thank the 2018 Farm Bill for that!
So how exactly does CBD work in the human body?
How does CBD work?
What a lot of people don’t realize is that CBD, a cannabinoid, helps stimulate our body’s Endocannabinoid System to produce more endogenous cannabinoids.
You see, it's our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that helps keep our body in balance. In fact, our ECS is responsible for regulating how our body functions and it affects quite a few of our functions, like:
- Cognitive function
- Overall mood
- Perception of pain
- And much, much more…
But that’s not the only way CBD works in the human body.
When we consume CBD, it also preserves our own endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide, the molecule that’s known for keeping us happy.
Unfortunately, anandamide breaks down fairly quickly in our body. And some people actually don’t produce enough anandamide to begin with. So this can be a recipe for depression.
According to studies, when our levels of anandamide are out of whack, depression, anxiety, fear, pain, and even schizophrenia can potentially develop.
Now, don’t worry, the lack of anandamide isn’t the exact cause for these debilitating mental disorders, but it is a contributing factor.
Consuming CBD could potentially help slow the breakdown of this molecule. And the slower anandamide breaks down, the happier we may feel.
It’s also been said that CBD can potentially stimulate our endorphins, and we all know that endorphins not only reduce our perception of pain but they also help us feel more positive and happy.
So does this mean that all you need to do is supplement with CBD and your ECS will take care of the rest?
Here’s the thing… Some experts theorize that certain diseases can all be correlated with a deficiency of endogenous cannabinoids. These diseases include:
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Bipolar disorder
- Menstrual cramps
- And certain types of neuropathy
What does this mean?
Well, it means that even our endogenous cannabinoid system can be disrupted by unhealthy lifestyles, poor sleep, etc.
And when our ECS is disrupted, that’s when we start seeing and feeling unwanted symptoms. Before we know it, sickness, mental disorders, and diseases can all start setting in.
That’s why it’s incredibly imperative to lead a healthy lifestyle to prevent any future disturbances to your ECS.
And we know that’s easier said than done, especially for young college students who are ready to let loose and party.
But let’s say you don’t spend all your nights partying. Instead, you’re overwhelmed with crazy deadlines, multiple exams, and unrealistic expectations from anyone and everyone.
How in the world can CBD help relieve stress, anxiety, and panic?
CBD for anxiety in college students
Anxiety is not a one size fits all disorder. In fact, there are many forms of anxiety, and believe it or not, we all battle with occasional anxiety, panic, fear, and stress at one time or another in our lives.
For example, watching a scary movie can definitely put us in an anxious, fearful, or panic state.
But chronic anxiety, fear, panic, and stress are a completely different story. And if you suffer from any of them, you know that different situations and atmospheres can trigger an anxiety or panic attack at a drop of a hat.
Thankfully, scientists were able to conduct a study where volunteers participated in a Stimulated Public Speaking (SPS) test.
As you can imagine, it was stressful and anxiety inducing. But when scientists gave the participants CBD, they found that their anxiety levels decreased tremendously.
But that’s not the only study that showcases how calming CBD is…
In another study involving patients who battle with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), scientists found that when CBD was administered, the patient's neuroimages showed that CBD helped reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
Now that’s pretty amazing, if you ask us.
There have even been studies conducted on animal models, to see how effective CBD is in calming anxious behaviors. And guess what? Those studies show that CBD not only reduces the animal’s anxiety but it also calms their stress and lowered their elevated heart rates.
That might explain why you’ve seen so many pet CBD products for anxiety being advertised.
CBD for depression in college students
And for those college students who battle with depression, you’d be happy to learn that according to a 2014 study, CBD was able to not only soothe the effects of anxiety but it also produced pretty powerful antidepressant effects.
Other studies confirm that CBD contains anti-stress effects, which according to scientists may reduce depression.
So it seems CBD really does live up to the hype.
But what about side effects? Is CBD even safe to consume?
Side effects and safety of CBD oil
It’s so important to ask these questions. If you didn’t, then you would be doing your body and health a disservice.
Thankfully, we’re happy to report that CBD is well tolerated among its users. In fact, multiple studies show that CBD has a pretty safe profile. But as with anything, too much of a good thing can cause some unwanted side effects.
And of course, each person has a completely different biological chemical makeup, so not everyone will respond the same to CBD.
That said, here are some possible, rare side effects that have been reported:
- Increased blood levels
Now it’s safe to say that these side effects are rarely felt and fade fairly fast, if they’re felt at all.
If for any reason you happen to feel any of these side effects, just discontinue the CBD you are taking.
Chances are, you might be taking too high of a dose, or it could be the way the CBD product is formulated.
However, the main issue with CBD is that it could interfere with how other prescription drugs are metabolized. This is because CBD used the same liver enzymes as other pharmaceutical medications.
That’s not to say you can’t take CBD oil or other CBD products, it’s just that you may need to use a little extra caution. You can start by not combining CBD oil with your prescription drugs. Try taking them a few hours apart instead.
Still, we suggest that if you’re on any prescription medications, it’s best to consult with your doctor before adding CBD oil to your regimen.
Now we know what you might be thinking: “Awesome, it sounds like CBD has a lot of benefits! But how do I find the right kind of CBD oil products?”
Where to buy high-quality CBD oils for anxiety
It’s no lie that everyone and their mom wants to get in on the action of the CBD craze. Just look at how many CBD companies have popped up in the last few years.
That’s why it’s so important that you only purchase high-quality CBD oils and other CBD products from reputable CBD companies.
You see, reputable CBD companies take the time to create CBD products that are safe to consume. Just because you stumble upon a fairly cheap CBD product, doesn’t mean it's high-quality.
In fact, if you find a CBD product that sounds, looks, and costs too good to be true, then chances are it is too good to be true..
High-quality CBD products aren’t cheap. A lot of testing, precise formulation, and cultivation all come into play when creating a safe and highly effective CBD oil product.
And one of the easiest places to find the best high-quality CBD products is by searching online.
This is because you can view each company’s COAs (Certificate of Analysis), read testimonials, and browse the CBD company’s standards and practices they use to ensure their products are safe to consume.
So what are the best CBD products for anxiety and stress?
Amazingly, it seems there’s a new CBD product popping up everytime you turn around. And while some CBD products are just a gimmick to make a profit, like CBD eyeshadows and CBD infused pillows, other CBD products are much more effective, like:
- CBD gummies
- CBD chocolates
- CBD oils and tinctures
- CBD teas and coffees
- CBD capsules
- CBD creams, lotions, and balms
But the main key to really experience the benefits of CBD is to follow the recommended doses on the product label. It’s also important that you stay consistent.
Not everyone will respond the same to CBD. While some may feel the calming effects of CBD instantly, it could take days or even weeks before you feel anything from CBD.
This is because CBD is a gentle, less invasive molecule, so be patient. In the meantime, while you’re waiting for CBD to work, try practicing yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and of course it’s always best to pursue a healthy diet.
And remember, college is supposed to be an exciting time. But don’t let your health suffer because you’re trying to experience everything all at once. Take your time, get good sleep, and enjoy living in the moment.
Be sure to contact your university about their policy on hemp-derived CBD products. If they don't allow hemp-derived products of any kind, you may need to consult with your physician to see if a doctor’s note or even a prescription could help give you permission, or even change the university’s policy on hemp-derived products.