With the pandemic leading to more stress among students than ever before, could CBD help some of them cope with the loss of the university life they had hoped for?
There is no group in society that has been left untouched by the impacts of coronavirus.
From families left isolated to medical workers exhausted, the pandemic has impacted on all our lives – and, for some, the effects will be felt for years to come.
One such group is university students and recent graduates; whether facing isolation in halls and virtual lectures, or a contracting job market and money worries, too many are suffering thanks to the restrictions put in place to curb the virus.
Many university students are paying rent for properties they can’t live in due to lockdown, along with the sudden loss of income brought about by the wholesale closure of the hospitality industry.
In such a stressful time, and with the usual outlet of socialising with their peers unavailable, many are turning to CBD.
It’s fair to say that learning remotely is not the university experience any student dreams of, and being taught over a screen, rather than a bustling lecture hall, can hamper focus.
At home, distractions are everywhere, but CBD can help.
While cannabis in its original form – which contains high levels of the psychoactive THC – can been associated with impaired cognitive function, studies have found that the use of CBD oil can have the opposite effect and actually boost cognition.
Not surprisingly, a record number of students are reporting symptoms of anxiety, which in turn hampers academic performance and leads to further stress – a vicious circle.
A recent study at Syracuse University, in the US, found that nearly half of the students surveyed reported that they had used CBD products, many of whom cited anxiety as being the primary reason.
Another condition common among students is social anxiety, which is perhaps unsurprising considering the upheaval of leaving home, living with strangers and making new friends.
Studies have found this can also be alleviated with CBD; in research from 2011, participants with social anxiety were given a dose of 400mg of CBD or a placebo. Those who received CBD experienced lower anxiety levels.
Low mood and mental health
As well as anxiety, many students report other mental health issues, such as insomnia, depression and stress.
CBD has been shown to help with all these conditions, without the need for prescription medication.
For low mood in particular, CBD appears to work in a similar way to more standard anti-depressant medication, but without the potentially debilitating side effects.
Once users feel calmer and happier, they may sleep better too, although early research has also indicated CBD has a physiological impact here.
Studies have shown that the compound can stimulate CBD receptors in the part of the brain responsible for maintaining sleep cycles – a double whammy for getting a restful night.
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