Can CBD oil help deal with College Pressure?

on Sep 03, 2018

If you’ve just gotten to college (first of all – well done on making it there!), you may be wondering why in between stories of raging house parties, nobody ever mentioned the piles of actual work you have to do. Between writing the longest essays of your life, navigating the social politics of group presentations, and stressing over whether you plagiarized that reference you threw into an essay last minute – college comes with a lot of pressure.   

Don’t get us wrong, college can be one of the most exciting periods in your life, but it can also be a perfect storm of stressors from keeping up your grades, worrying about your student loans, and wondering if Chaucer will ever actually help you find a job after you graduate. Hearing people tell you that your college years are the best years of your life can be one of the most deeply frustrating things when you feel like you’re literally drowning in anxiety and everyone else seems to be having the time of their lives (I promise you, they’re probably not).  

Especially during end-of-term essays and exam season, stress and anxiety among university students can sky-rocket to an all-time high. Studies show that five times as many UK students are seeking out mental health services as they were a decade ago, and suicide levels among students has almost doubled since then.  Not only do you have to worry about making it to graduation in one piece, the looming pressure of getting a real job after college so you don’t feel like a huge failure is one of the most daunting things a student can face. The truth is, millennials are simultaneously the most highly educated generation and also the saddest. Education is getting more and more expensive, while the job market is looking bleaker than ever with an increasing amount of minimum to unpaid internships and zero hour contracts. It’s no wonder a lot of people are skipping university altogether, since what was once seen as a huge advantage on the job hunt is now a risky financial investment.  

All that being said, college is one of the only times in your life where you’ll be surrounded by such a diverse group of people, as well as lots of like-minded individuals. You’ll be exposed to new classes and ways of thinking that will broaden your horizons, and forever shape your views on the world. While it can be one of the most stressful times in your life, it also forces you to stand on your own two feet and navigate the world on your own.  

So, your best bet is to try everything in your arsenal to enjoy college now while you can – before you’re ejected out into a call-center that doesn’t care too much about your opinions on post-colonial theory. A lot of dealing with college pressure simple comes down to stress management, a skill that will stand to you for the rest of your life. So, to make sure that your college experience lives up to every story the movies ever told you, it’s important to learn how to deal with stress and anxiety that can ruin one of the most formative times in your life. 

Eating a (somewhat) healthy diet is a simple and effective first step, because if you’re filling your body with junk – you're going to feel like junk. If you’re worried you’re not getting enough vitamins, supplements are a solid choice for making sure your body is getting everything it needs to function. CBD oil is a great natural supplement which helps a variety of issues; it’s analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-anxiety.  

Obviously, if you’re dealing with serious anxiety or depression, eating a few carrots and going for a walk the odd time isn’t going to cut the mustard – so don’t hesitate to seek out professional help from your doctor or school counselling services if you’re struggling to cope. But for those just trying to make it through essay season, implementing CBD oil into your diet is a great way of naturally reducing your stress levels. 

What exactly is CBD Oil? 

Cannabidiol, also known as hemp oil, is an active compound derived from the cannabis plant. On a molecular level, it’s very similar to THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) but unlike THC, cannabidiol is not a psychoactive substance – so you can’t get high from it. Although we’re currently enjoying a wave of legalization around the world, CBD and medical marijuana treatments are still approached with a lot of skepticism in the medical community, so conclusive studies on their effectiveness are pretty patchy. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the USA have found CBD oil to have anti-psychotic, anti-tumor, anti-anxiety, and anti-oxidant properties along with a hoard of other benefits.  

How does CBD work? 

CBD oil is rich in cannabinoids, which the human brain interacts with through the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a group of cannabinoid receptors in the brain which synthesize endocannabinoids and mediate how they are released into the body. When cannabidiol interacts with these receptors, it does not produce the same ‘high’ as when THC interacts with them. Instead, CBD produces a variety of reactions such as a reduction in stress and anxiety, through reducing your heart rate and interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain. CBD can be so effective in treating anxiety conditions, that the NIDA found that CBD oil helped PTSD patients to forget traumatic memories. 

CBD is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, which works to help muscle relaxation and reducing tension in the body. It is also highly effective at reducing nausea, another uncomfortable side effect of stress and social anxiety.  

How to take CBD oil 

CBD oil can be taken in a variety of ways. You can buy it in tinctures and squeeze a few droplets on your tongue. Since CBD oil is a concentrated substance, you only need a small dosage to feel it’s relaxing effects. You can also mix a few drops with your favourite herbal tea, or even purchase hemp tea which naturally contains the same properties. You can even amp-up your self-care routine with CBD infused lotions and body products, which actively relieve stress on the muscles and help you relax (they’re also great for menstrual cramps, which is the last thing anyone needs in the middle of mid-terms).  

Learning how to cope with anxiety and stress is the first step towards making college pressure a lot more bearable, and to help you get the experience you deserve out of university. If you’re experiencing serious issues with anxiety or depression, please reach out to a friend or family member, or a healthcare professional if you’d rather keep it private.  

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