Stress is the bubonic plague of our times, made ever the more evident by the coronavirus pandemic. Chronic stress has several deleterious effects on health, including weakening the immune system and making one more vulnerable to a highly-contagious viral infection. The inability of the masses to cope with stress has led to a profusion of natural stress-relief solutions. Adaptogenic herbs and CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical in hemp and marijuana, are two of the trendiest natural stress-relief solutions.
Master herbalist and Sun Horse Energy founder, Dan Moriarty, began studying adaptogenic herbs nearly a half century ago, and for the greater part of the last decade has also been interested in CBD oil’s stress-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
The marriage of these two interests have resulted in a one of a kind product, Cannadapt, an adaptogenic hemp oil blend.
If you’re a customer of Sun Horse Energy and follower of this blog, you probably already know how adaptogens help people cope with stress. In case you don’t, one way in which adaptogens work is by normalizing the body’s hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA. This in turn, helps the body produce more of the stress hormone, cortisol, when truly needed, and minimize the release of it, when there’s not a major stressor present.
Moreover, adaptogens can boost attention span, mental function and physical energy (here’s just one of hundreds of studies supporting that) even during periods of mental exhaustion and stress. Also, adaptogens help balance the immune system, support the normal inflammation levels, and may contribute to better sleep quality.
So maybe you’re a quasi adaptogenic expert but maybe you’re not sure exactly how CBD helps with stress.
How Does CBD Help With Stress?
CBD, or cannabidiol is one out of about 100 chemicals in marijuana. It’s the second most active compound in pot, but it won’t get you high like THC, which is the most prevalent chemical in marijuana. CBD acts like a seesaw, balancing out the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD works by interacting (indirectly) with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS.
The ECS is one of the most important systems in the body and one of the least understood. Discovered in 1992 at Hebrew University in Jerusalem by two researchers, Dr. Lumir Hanus and Dr. William Devane, the ECS consists of receptors all over the body. These receptors, when activated by CBD (and some other specific compounds) kick-start the body’s homeostasis.
This means that the endocannabinoid system, when activated by the right compounds, in the right amount, helps the body achieve a state of balance. That’s why there’s some preliminary clinical evidence that CBD helps ease anxiety and post-traumatic stress order and depression as well as inflammation/pain.
It’s interesting that the bioactive compounds of the cannabis sativa plant (both hemp and marijuana plants are in the cannabis sativa family) were isolated back in the 1960s yet it took another three decades before endocannabinoid receptors were discovered. Both THC and CBD function as keys to unlock ECS receptors. So in a way, for 30 years pot researchers couldn’t find their keys, go figure! More accurately, perhaps, the researchers studying the compounds in cannabis didn’t even know the keys were missing in the first place.
CBD Helps Maintain Bliss
CBD is an exogenous ECS activator. In other words, it’s something outside of the body that can activate ECS receptors (albeit indirectly, but that’s more or less a technicality). The body also has internal or endogenous endocannabinoids. One of the most well-known endogenous endocannabinoids is called anandamide. “Ananda” is Sanskrit (an ancient holy language of India) for “bliss” or “joy.” The aforementioned doctors Hanus and Devane made their discovery of the ECS, specifically by isolating anandamide, which as its name implies, helps the body and mind feel good.
The problem with anandamide is that its effects are short-lived. One more reason to eat plenty of fresh produce is that certain fruits and vegetables can activate anandamide, or at the very least prevent the chemical reaction that kills the anandamide buzz. You don’t need to take CBD to activate anandamide, but for many people who use it on a daily basis, it seems to help. And because the effects of anandamide are so fleeting, that’s why it’s important to supplement with CBD on a daily basis, if not twice daily.
What’s The Difference Between Adaptogens & CBD?
CBD is mistakenly considered an adaptogen in some wellness articles. Adaptogens are plants (specifically, the part of plants used therapeutically such as the root, leaves, fruit, fungus, etc.). CBD is not a plant. Hemp is a plant but CBD is a chemical compound in hemp (and marijuana). So to summarize: adaptogens = plants, CBD = molecule.
That being said, however, hemp may in fact possess adaptogenic properties, but as of yet it hasn’t been widely classified by herbalists as such.
The CBD molecule and adaptogenic herbs have much in common, with both proving the ability to help normalize the body’s myriad functions after undergoing stressors of all types. It’s no wonder that adaptogens and CBD have been called the power couple of wellness.
Supplementing with both adaptogenic herbs and CBD may help you be able to better cope with stress. Like our motto suggests, don’t just survive (stress) … adapt (to it) and thrive!
How To Purchase Adaptogens & CBD, Together
Sun Horse Energy’s combination of 13 adaptogenic herbs plus full-spectrum hemp extract—Cannadapt—can be purchased on the Boulder, Colorado-based website, CBDgarage.com, one of the most trusted resources for hemp oil.