Four out of every five visits to healthcare professionals come from severe stress. Environmental, emotional, mental, and physical factors can increase stress to levels that disturb sleep, weaken the immune system, and cause other health problems.
Conventional treatment calls for pharmaceutical drugs. But the synthetic products do not work as effectively as intended and often exhibit adverse side effects.
Whole plant hemp extract offers a more natural approach to treating anxiety and stress. It can also serve as an adjunct treatment or be taken by itself.
The flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant provide the raw ingredients for hemp extract with cannabidiol. The base can come from hemp seed oil, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, or olive oil. Some formulas eschew the use of those oils and employ a complex blend of botanical ingredients and herbs to carry the cannabidiol and other phytochemicals. (Related: Making your own hemp milk is easy and the health benefits beat store-bought cow’s milk.)
One of the numerous phytochemicals found in the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), cannabidiol is also one of the most widely researched members of these cannabinoids. Numerous studies provide scientific evidence in support of anecdotal accounts about the health benefits of this bioactive compound.
For example, a 2015 study by researchers from New York University (NYU) evaluated the potential of cannabidiol to help alleviate mental disorders associated with anxiety. It reported that acute doses of CBD succeeded in improving the symptoms of anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The NYU study indicated the viability of high doses of cannabidiol as an anxiolytic, a therapy that can manage anxiety. As such, a whole plant hemp extract should have the highest possible concentration of CBD to achieve the best results on anxiety and stress.
Cannabidiol shouldn't be confused for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a different cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effect of marijuana. CBD and the other bioactive chemicals in whole plant hemp extract do not make users the least bit high. Instead, they serve as adaptogens for resisting stress and antioxidants that eliminate toxins. They also manage inflammation and protect nerve cells from harm.
Numerous studies show that hemp extracts can improve anxiety, cognitive functions, epilepsy, insomnia, multiple sclerosis and associated pain, PTSD, and other health problems. Cannabidiol can even help resolve addictions to other substances without any risk of getting addicted to it instead.
Hemp extract with cannabidiol is considered safe for use by humans. It usually does not interact with pharmaceutical drugs that the patient may be taking beforehand.
One exception is how doses of CBD above 60 mg can inhibit a process in the liver that gets rid of blood thinners and other pharmaceutical drugs that get metabolized in that organ. Patients may need to consult with a healthcare professional for changes in the doses and scheduling of those drugs if they intend to start taking hemp extract as herbal medicine.
People interested in trying out hemp extract must first consult with an integrative practitioner. Once approved, look for a trustworthy provider. Finally, try to get formulas labeled "full-spectrum hemp extract" or "cannabinoid-rich hemp extract," as they contain the entire range of natural chemical compounds from hemp for maximum health benefits.