Today is national I Care About You Day—a small holiday with big intentions. In this day of age, it’s so easy to get lost in the quotidian routine of day-to-day life. Getting bogged down with work or school stress can leave you feeling alienated from your fellow humans, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only made it even easier to feel isolated.
I Care About You Day is about nurturing our relationships with words and with actions, so reach out and tell your loved ones you care about them, and maybe go out and commit a random act of kindness for a stranger.
But also remember, the first step to caring for others is caring for yourself. When you’re physically and mentally healthy, it’s easier to be more emotionally available for others. Keep reading to learn how CBD can be a powerful self-care tool.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from the cannabis plant, but don’t expect it to get you high. CBD belongs to a class of compounds known as cannabinoids, but unlike the other popular cannabinoid THC, CBD is non-intoxicating. However, that doesn’t mean that CBD doesn’t have mood-altering effects.
Several key bodily functions, like reproduction, memory retention, pain perception, and temperament, are partially regulated by a cell signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In order to help maintain homeostasis, you naturally produce neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids which activate the endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. But that’s not the only way these receptors get activated.
When you consume cannabinoids, they also interact with these endocannabinoid receptors. THC mimics our naturally produced endocannabinoids, making direct binding with the endocannabinoid receptors. On the other hand, CBD acts as a mild antagonist, influencing how the receptors will interact with other chemical messengers.
What Kind Of Benefits Does CBD Have?
When CBD connects with endocannabinoid receptors, it can impact the bodily functions which the ECS helps to govern. It’s in this way that the CBD initial benefits can manifest.
As of 2018, CBD is federally legal. However, the Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t approved CBD for medical use outside of the treatment for certain seizure disorders. The FDA claims this is due to a lack of clinical trials examining the compound’s short and long-term effects.
That being said, there is a ton of preliminary research that strongly suggests CBD may have tons of therapeutic potential.
One study from 2018 found that CBD could be an effective tool in managing hard-to-treat pain, as its analgesic properties don’t come with as many side effects as conventional pharmacological pain relievers.
Can CBD Help Reduce Stress?
Many people use CBD to unwind after a long day, so does CBD help you relax? In 2015, the National Institute of Drug Abuse released a comprehensive study examining the myriad health benefits of CBD. In it, the NIDA states that CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress responses in human trials. Other studies have found that CBD could help reduce the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
Aside from these more clinical applications, CBD can also help reduce regular everyday stress, freeing you up to be more present in your relationships with others.
Using CBD For Self Care
A self-care routine can be tremendously beneficial to both your mental and physical health. Self-care can take many different shapes. It can be as simple as taking the time to make sure your basic needs are met—things like taking your daily medications or making sure you eat are forms of self-care.
But self-care can also look like bubble baths and cups of hot tea. Sitting down to read a good book or engaging in a beloved hobby, while not necessarily as essential to sustaining your physical life the way taking your meds and eating are, can be critical to maintaining mental health.
These forms of self-care are also great ways to incorporate CBD into your day. Enjoying a hot beverage? Why not add a dropper of CBD oil in your tea for an even more relaxing cuppa. Taking a warm soak in the tub?
When we take care of ourselves, we’re better able to take care of others.