Living peacefully is difficult in the modern era. Everyday people have to face a wide range of challenges to make it through the day. With so many things on their mind and in their lives, like family, school, health, the economy, and more – all of it constantly intruding through iPhone notifications and email alerts – finding a way to relax and destress seems like an insurmountable task. What alternatives do you have to treat stress? Is there a definitive way to get rid of this commonly known enemy? Keep reading to find out whether Cannabis can help you manage stress as a potential benefit of medical marijuana.
Is Stress an Illness?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand. Every type of demand or stressor—such as exercise, work, school, major life changes, or traumatic events—can be stressful.” For example, bad news such as the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or a catastrophic accident, can all produce the feeling of stress to varying degrees.
At some point in life, every person will experience a stressful situation. How people deal with stress has a lot to do with whether the body and mind are functioning properly.
Stress itself is not an illness, but rather a byproduct of life situations. However, people under constant stress can face health issues if it persists for too long. Thus, managing stress effectively can bring overall positive results to your life.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “When stress starts interfering with your ability to live a normal life for an extended period, it becomes even more dangerous. The longer the stress lasts, the worse it is for both your mind and body. You might feel fatigued, unable to concentrate or irritable for no good reason, for example. But chronic stress causes wear and tear on your body, too.” To provide a few examples, some stress-induced illnesses include, but are not limited to:
- Heart Disease
To reiterate, stress is not a disease and should not be treated as such. Rather than looking at stress as a condition, you should focus on what causes you to feel stressed and how to cope with those causes or “stressors.”
How to Deal with Stress
When a person feels overwhelmed by life’s demands, such as work, relationships, and many other responsibilities, it’s easy to feel seriously stressed. Unfortunately, dealing with stress can be very difficult for some people, simply because they do not know how. Depending on the individual, some good tips to fight off stress are:
- Walk away from what causes you stress. Once you identify that what causes you stress – for example, an upcoming exam, job interview, first date, or performance review at work – you should allow yourself to keep a little bit of distance. By “changing the channel,” if only for a few hours, you can help give yourself perspective (and a break).
- Get a moment to smile. Try to manage your stress levels with something that makes you laugh. Smiling and laughing can help you release tension induced by stress.
- Exercise often. Exercise is a powerful tool for your body and mind. Programming a daily or weekly fitness routine can help you manage your stress levels and make you feel relieved and calm.
- Trust a friend. Share your emotions and what you feel. Talk to someone you trust about your stressful situation. Getting to the root of what causes you stress can help take the load off your shoulders.
- Meditate. Meditation can help you relax and find peace. On a related note, gentle exercises that allow for contemplation, like Yoga and stretching, can contribute to better stress management and help you feel more peaceful.
- Do something you like. A good way to fight off stress is doing something you love, like playing a sport, playing an instrument, writing, or reading.
Can Medical Marijuana Help You Manage Stress?
There are more than 100 compounds called “cannabinoids” found in Cannabis. One of the most researched compounds in Cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is mostly known for causing the euphoric sensation or “high” most people associate Cannabis with, but it also has medical applications for a range of conditions that can cause, aggravate, or arise from chronic stress, including depression and anxiety.
A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) revealed that the use of THC in low doses can help relieve stress. However, the researchers also found that too much of this compound could also increase anxiety. The study’s author, Professor of Psychiatry Emma Childs, stated, “We found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect, underscoring the importance of dose when it comes to THC and its effects.”
Medical Marijuana Doctor Serving Boston, MA
This study revealed an important fact by highlighting the importance of correct dosage of medical marijuana. Therefore, it is important to consult a Boston medical Cannabis doctor who can help you understand how to properly use Cannabis for stress relief.
If you wish to know more about medical Cannabis and how it can help you manage your stress, call Inhale MD today at (617) 861-8519 for a consultation. In addition to our offices in Cambridge and Brookline, we also offer confidential telemedicine sessions for your personalized Cannabis therapy consultation.