Not feeling the Christmas cheer this year? We examine if CBD could help with some of the more difficult aspects of the season.
Christmas isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year for everybody. It can be difficult to get through the season when you are struggling with depression, social anxiety or even facing a few days of holiday-related family arguments.
Here are some of the ways that CBD could help to combat Christmas stress.
In non-Covid times, Christmas was always a time of celebration and extra parties. Although the Omicron variant may have cancelled a lot of Christmas cheer, and office parties, it can still be difficult when it comes to an increase in festivities.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a long term condition where people develop a fear of social situations. This can vary from being in crowded environments to parties or even meetings where there are multiple people. Those with SAD may avoid situations like this for fear of experiencing a panic attack.
While there are different tricks such as breathing techniques or grounding exercises that can help, CBD may also be an idea to avoid anxiety attacks. In one study, patients with SAD were given an oral dose of 400 mg of CBD or a placebo. The patients on CBD reported a reduction in their levels of anxiety.
There isn’t a particular type of CBD which is perfect for anyone feeling anxious in social settings. However, having a small purse or pocket-sized CBD oil available or bringing a vape with you can help to get a quick dose of CBD when needed. Vapes are one of the more fast-acting methods for taking CBD.
Christmas and depression
Christmas can be a really lonely time of year, especially if you are suffering from depression. This year, as plans are cancelled it could mean a rise in depression and anxiety as people may find they are struggling on their own.
CBD may help by interacting with the serotonin receptors in our brains. Serotonin is responsible for our mental health. Low levels are associated with depression although little is understood about how CBD interacts with these receptors.
Working a dose of CBD into a self-care routine can be really helpful when it comes to lifting our spirits. CBD can be found in hot chocolates, bath bombs, massage lotions or even edible treats such as brownies. While oil and vapes are more commonly used, baths can be a great way to treat yourself if you are feeling sad.
Christmas parties aren’t just about social interaction but for many, it means an increase in alcohol consumption. This can be difficult to navigate if you are opting to stay sober this year or this is your first Christmas in recovery.
There are a number of different CBD options on the market from gin, vodka or wine replacements. These drinks range from alcohol-free to low alcohol content. Some combine adaptogenic herbs and nootropics with CBD to create a drink that can give you a health boost.
The CBD may also help to calm any anxiety that you may feel about being in an environment where people are drinking.
These drinks often look identical to the alcoholic version so there is no need for anyone to know they are non-alcoholic. It is worth looking at the percentage content in each drink and the recommended allowance.
Over time, CBD could help with alcohol abuse disorder which is a long term condition. It is thought that the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain may be associated with alcohol use disorder. CBD interacts with both of these receptors which is why it may help to reduce symptoms.
Colds and flu
There is nothing worse than catching a cold at Christmas right as you head off for family and friends homes.
CBD may have anti-inflammatory and also antibacterial properties which may help with cold or flu symptoms. Although it may be time to give up the vape if you are struggling with a cough.
A CBD topical could help with sore muscles that are aching. An animal study from 2016 revealed that applying topical-CBD may help alleviate arthritis pain. CBD topicals are also used frequently by athletes post-workout to stop muscle pain.
A review from 2017 revealed that it may have pain relief and also anti-inflammatory properties. As inflammation is the cause of sore throats and fever, it could help to ease these symptoms. As well as inflammation, sore throats can also benefit from anti-bacterial CBD oils. A study found that CBD inhibited the activity of different types of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus.
Adding CBD to hot drinks can help to ease a tickly cough or work as an anti-bacterial agent. Hot honey and lemon with a drop of CBD would be an ideal easy to make home remedy. Oils, tinctures and edibles can all be great for cold or flu symptoms. Although if you are struggling to swallow, then edibles may be difficult.
It is still important to get a PCR test if you are experiencing COVID symptoms rather than cold or flu.
Family time at Christmas
Nothing can get tempers flared faster than a family game of Monopoly played on Christmas day.
CBD may help with keeping tempers under control with its calming properties. It works in a similar way to depression and anxiety in that CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain to reduce stress.
A review of studies reported that CBD may work as a stress-reliever while lifting depression symptoms.
It might be advisable to try a bowl of CBD snacks or gummies that people can treat themselves. Edibles are a slow release of CBD which can release in the system over time. The body has to break down CBD through the digestive system before absorbing it into the bloodstream. This means some of the CBD is also lost.
The calming effect should hopefully have an effect on keeping people calm, reducing mood swings and keeping tempers in check.
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