With a never-ending inbox, back-to-back meetings, and a relentless workload, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Stress and burnout are worryingly increasing trends within the workplace, with 1 in 5 people in England taking time off work due to stress.
Work-related stress can seep its way into valuable time off. This can have a damaging impact on both our mental and physical wellbeing. Though effective, stress relief tools such as mindfulness and Yoga are sometimes just not enough. Many are now turning to CBD to help manage the stress that accompanies a demanding job.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol– also known as CBD– is a natural cannabinoid, extracted from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant. Our body has its own endocannabinoid system (ECS) that plays an important role in linking the mind and body; a stressful situation is perceived by the brain, and the ECS helps to tell the body to react accordingly. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, which can have a marked effect on our stress levels and mental wellbeing. Here are just a few ways in which CBD can help those in a stressful job:
Stress & Anxiety
In a recent survey of nearly 400 CBD users, 37% reported that their main reason for taking CBD was to reduce stress. Is CBD an effective stress relief? The science appears to think so.
In one study, CBD significantly reduced physical symptoms of anxiety when participants were put in a public speaking scenario. Compared to a control drug, CBD reduced both heart rate and blood pressure. If your job involves giving presentations, or you feel limited by performance anxiety at work, CBD can therefore help to calm your nerves.
Chronic stress can also be detrimental to our mental health. Scientists have suggested that CBD can modulate levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation– in other words, it is our ‘happiness chemical’. By regulating the activity of serotonin receptors, CBD can give a little mood-boost to those who need it.
Sleep deprivation can exacerbate stress, but a stressful day at work can also cause problems sleeping. It’s self-perpetuating cycle that can have negatively impact a working day.
As more of us are working from home, it can be difficult to switch off. So often, a looming deadline or important task will pop into your mind just as you’re drifting off to sleep– and with your emails available at the click of a button, it’s impossible to fully disconnect from work.
CBD can help you to wind down; its relaxing properties have shown to alter the body’s sleep-wake cycle, lengthening deep sleep phases and improving sleep quality.
Stress isn’t just in the mind; when the body responds to pressure, our muscles begin tense up. This is to protect ourselves from threat– but when the threat is psychological and not physical, this can do unnecessary harm to our body.
Stress tension can accumulate. It can cause pain and stiffness in our muscles that leads to spasms and headaches. Being such physical symptoms, it can be hard to pinpoint stress as the root cause.
If you’re sat at a desk for most of the day, muscle stiffness can be worsened by a prolonged lack of movement. Throughout the working day, try to regularly stretch your muscles and fix your posture.
CBD may also help; it’s anti-inflammatory action can reduce the perception of inflammatory pain. By reducing muscular inflammation, CBD can promote the relaxation of tense muscles, alleviating some of the physical stress on your body.
CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not make us feel ‘high’ or hinder our ability to work. Better still, taking CBD may help to improve productivity in the workplace. There is evidence to suggest a role for CBD in improving symptoms of ADHD, a disorder that limits an individual’s attention span. CBD may therefore help to maintain focus and avoid distraction at work.
Workplace stress is a growing concern. As stress continues to take its toll on our health and wellbeing, many are seeking therapeutic relief. Current anti-anxiety medications are limited by their unwanted side effects. For many, CBD has shown to be a great natural alternative, with benefits beyond just stress relief.
Though you should always consult a doctor before implementing a new supplement in your routine, you don’t need to be prescribed CBD to use it. So, if work is stressing you out, it might be worth giving CBD a go. Take a look at Mee Organic’s range of natural, water-soluble CBD products to see what works for you, and remember we love hearing about your experiences!
TOP 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CBD & A STRESSFUL JOB
- CBD can help to relieve work-related stress
Stress relief is one of the most popular reasons that people choose to take CBD. Researchers have shown that CBD can act on cannabinoid and serotonin receptors in the brain to reduce the body’s psychological and physical response to stress.
- CBD has shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety can lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. CBD has shown to reduce these physical symptoms of anxiety in stressful situations, such as public speaking. CBD will therefore benefit those who experience performance anxiety at work.
- CBD can improve sleep quality
Stress can negatively impact our sleep. CBD is a well-researched sleep aid that has proven to improve sleep in insomnia patients– so improving sleep with CBD may be key to combating job-related stress.
- CBD may help to reduce muscle tension
Researchers have identified that CBD acts on cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to reduce inflammation and pain perception. Its anti-inflammatory action may make CBD an effective muscle relaxant for stress-related muscle tension.
- CBD may increase productivity at work
CBD may help to improve productivity in the workplace by maintaining focus and reducing our ability to be distracted. CBD has even shown promise in improving attention span in those with ADHD.
 Moltke, J., Hindocha, C. Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. J Cannabis Res 3, 5 (2021).
 Zuardi, A. W., Rodrigues, N. P., Silva, A. L., Bernardo, S. A., Hallak, J., Guimarães, F. S., & Crippa, J. (2017). Inverted U-Shaped Dose-Response Curve of the Anxiolytic Effect of Cannabidiol during Public Speaking in Real Life. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 259. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00259
 De Gregorio, D., McLaughlin, R. J., Posa, L., Ochoa-Sanchez, R., Enns, J., Lopez-Canul, M., Aboud, M., Maione, S., Comai, S., & Gobbi, G. (2019). Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain. Pain, 160(1), 136–150.
 Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current psychiatry reports, 19(4), 23.
 Khan, R., Naveed, S., Mian, N., Fida, A., Raafey, M. A., & Aedma, K. K. (2020). The therapeutic role of Cannabidiol in mental health: a systematic review. Journal of cannabis research, 2(1), 2.