Small stress feelings are part of daily life and we are used to them. But when they last too much, they can impact physical and emotional health. Chronic stress has become a common issue amongst today’s working generation.
What is chronic stress?
Stress is a biological response to demanding situation that disturbs physiological and psychological homeostasis (emotional pressure, dangerous situations…). The body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in order to be prepared to take action. It can be beneficial in some situations as it induces greater alertness and improves cognitive functions. The physical effects dissipate after the root cause for stress has disappeared. Chronic stress refers to long-term exposure to stressful situations.
Chronic stress contributes to several medical conditions because of the lasting exposure to stress hormones: high blood pressure and heart disease, insomnia, issues with digestion and reproduction, damage to muscle tissues, less efficient immune system, negative emotions, anxiety, damage to mental health.
There are various ways to help manage chronic stress like understanding the triggers and the symptoms, talking with friends or family, doing physical activities on regular basis, yoga, improving your sleep quality… 
In your battle against chronic stress, you can use cannabidiol (CBD) as an ally. CBD is a naturally functioning cannabinoid with no (or very rare) side effects which has been proven efficient to alleviate the symptoms. CBD will not resolve your chronic stress issue as it does not make the core problems disappear, but it can help you take control over some effects and break the vicious circle.
Managing chronic stress with CBD
CBD is a cannabinoid that works through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our body, which regulates and balance processes within our body (cellular homeostasis, mood, appetite, pain, sleep, anxiety).
So how does it affect some of stress symptoms?
CBD binds with serotonin receptor 5-HT1A which is thought to have a major role in anxiety disorders. This could accounts for CBD’s anxiolytic effect. A study  showed that the administration of CBD in rodents exposed to stressful situation decreased their heart rate and blood pressure and that the activation of 5-HT1A had an anxiolytic, panicolytic and anti-compulsive effect.
Chronic stress dysregulates the ECS by overstimulating the endocannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). CBD binds with CB1 receptor and changes it forms making its binding affinity, and consequently the response induced, with other endocannabinoids weaker. This way, CBD restores balance into the ECS.
Furthermore, CBD competes with endocannabinoids  (especially anandamide) for fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) which are responsible for endocannabinoids destruction. FABPs bind with both CBD and endocannabinoids instead of only binding with endocannabinoids, which means that less endocannabinoids will be broken down.
This is important since a study revealed that low levels of anandamide can lead to higher stress levels. By inducing a higher quantity of anandamide in the body, CBD helps reduce stress.
Finally, chronic stress damages neurons and shrinks the brain. Yet, in some parts of the brain, neurons regenerate and CBD is thought to boost neurogenesis . Further studies are needed, but this CBD would have the potential to repair a major adverse effect of chronic stress.
Stress can be managed with CBD by finding the right administration and dosage to consume it. You should seek medical advice to know what dosage and administration mode you should start with.
CBD cannot be your only solution to cope with stress, but it can certainly help you to control it.
 Kandola, A. (October 12, 2018), ‘What are the health effects of chronic stress?’, Medical News Today, available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323324.php
(accessed date: 10/01/2019)
 Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
 Elmes, M. W., Kaczocha, M., Berger, W. T., Leung, K., Ralph, B. P., Wang, L., … Deutsch, D. G. (2015). Fatty Acid-binding Proteins (FABPs) Are Intracellular Carriers for Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Journal of Biological Chemistry, 290(14), 8711–8721. doi:10.1074/jbc.m114.618447
 Alline C. Campos, Zaira Ortega, Javier Palazuelos, Manoela V. Fogaça, Daniele C. Aguiar, Javier Díaz-Alonso, Silvia Ortega-Gutiérrez, Henar Vázquez-Villa, Fabricio A. Moreira, Manuel Guzmán, Ismael Galve-Roperh, Francisco S. Guimarães, The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: involvement of the endocannabinoid system, International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 16, Issue 6, July 2013, Pages 1407–1419, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1461145712001502