Roughly 40% say taking CBD for back pain, sleep, stress, or other issues has helped, as opposed to 14% one year prior
With Americans suffering increased amounts of stress and sleep issues, a new survey finds that many Americans are turning to CBD for back pain in addition to sleep and stress issues, all of which can be connected.
Survey shows increased CBD use
In November 2020, StudyFinds — a website that publishes summarized research findings —reported a survey involving 2,000 Americans. Three in four of the respondents indicated that they were ready for the year to end, with 65% stating that they feel exhausted by the events that have transpired over the past 11 months.
While a majority (55%) report that they’ve had a difficult time fitting in any type of self-care amidst everything going on, roughly 40% say that taking cannabidiol or CBD has provided some relief. This usage rate is much higher than the 14% found by Gallup just one year prior.
Of this 40%, more than a quarter admit to using CBD daily with the remainder of the respondents indicating that their use is more sporadic. As far as the reasons cited for using CBD, the number one response was to help ease stress (24%). This was followed by taking it for reduced anxiety (22%), better sleep (19%), and to help manage pain (14%).
The Cleveland Clinic defines stress as “the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response.” Though this stress can be positive, such as when facing an upcoming wedding or the birth of your first baby, it can also be negative, as with the changes set in motion by the coronavirus.
The clinic goes on to explain that continual stress can lead to headaches, increased blood pressure, and trouble sleeping, while also tending to worsen symptoms of other diseases. It has mental health effects as well, potentially resulting in depression or anxiety. Some health experts have even given a name to coronavirus stress, calling it “post-COVID stress disorder.”
Post-COVID Stress Disorder
In October, 2020, Psychiatric Times published an article written by Drs. Phebe Tucker and Christopher S. Czapla which explains that multiple categories of people are impacted by the stress of COVID-19, sometimes contributing to the development of post-COVID stress disorder. This includes:
- people who’ve been seriously ill with the virus
- those who’ve watched family members or health care workers suffer at the hands of the virus
- people who have lost a love one to the coronavirus
- individuals with “extreme exposure” to all of the grim pandemic-related details
Tucker and Czapla also point to several surveys and studies that highlight the increased stress on health care workers specifically. Many are finding that this group tends to have more anxiety, depression, and stress. They have more physical symptoms too, the doctors say, with one study finding that more than two in three health care workers (66%) reported having headaches, lethargy, and insomnia.
Although this disorder is not a formal disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Tucker and Czapla contend that many of the effects being witnessed as the pandemic progresses are similar to effects traditionally associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
CBD’s effect on stress-related symptoms
Can CBD help reduce these symptoms that are commonly associated with high levels of stress? At this time, there isn’t enough evidence to say definitively one way or another, but patient reports have been positive.
With industrial hemp only being legalized a short time ago, many of the studies that have been conducted up to this point have been animal-based. Some have shown positive results, like a 2016 study which concluded that CBD reduced depression symptoms in rats, but until these studies are carried out on humans, we won’t know for sure.
That said, many health agencies are acknowledging that this cannabinoid can potentially offer benefits for stress symptoms. For example, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that, while there isn’t sufficient evidence that CBD can help with anxiety and depression, it further states “that does not mean it would not help.”
CBD for back pain
Inflammation is often a cause in chronic back pain, which CBD can help relieve. CBD’s ability to combat anxiety also plays a role as anxiety is often associated with lasting or chronic back pain.
Topical medications with CBD have been shown to reduce inflammation, but it is important to find a product or suggest a product for patients that can deeply penetrate the skin layer. A 2019 review of CBD concluded it likely have both anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties.
More studies are needed as CBD and hemp are only recently becoming legalized across states. A 2015 study looking at arthritis in rats saw that a CBD gel alleviated inflammation and pain.
Improving sleep with CBD
A 2017 review of the literature in the journal Sleep Disorders reports that, while some studies are finding mixed results, preliminary findings also look good in regard to CBD’s effects on insomnia and other sleep issues.
The American Sleep Association adds that CBD works, in part, due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, which is the system partially responsible for regulating sleep and the body’s circadian rhythm. It may also help reduce a person’s pain and anxiety, which can improve sleep as well.
For more info on the benefits of CBD go to chiroeco.com/?s=cbd.