It’s almost that time of year. One year’s ending and a new one is beginning. With the transition comes new dreams, aspirations, goals, and the hope that the coming year will be better than the last. This year in particular, most of us are eager to leave it behind and start fresh in 2021. Because of how rough 2020 was for many people, we’re putting more stock than ever in resolutions that will hopefully cause our next trip around the sun to be a little brighter.
The problem is, New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to accomplish. Our high hopes at 12:01 on New Year’s Eve are often thrown by the wayside by February. We get busy, lose focus, or just start thinking that our goals were too lofty. This year, however, you can have a secret weapon in your back pocket. If you haven’t tried CBD before, then now is the perfect time to start. It may help you reach your 2021 goals and more.
Whether related to personal fitness, your career, nutrition, overall mental health, or finding more time to spend with friends and family, CBD has the potential to help you stick with and achieve your New Year’s resolutions in 2021. Here are four ways CBD can assist you in pursuit of your goals.
CBD and Sleep
For most of our goals involving fitness or health, sleep plays a crucial role. If you’re not getting adequate rest then you won’t have motivation and your body will be unable to operate at its full potential.
There is a small but growing amount of evidence that CBD may help you sleep longer and better, but the research is still in its beginning stages. With that said, a study from 2019 that included 103 adult patients suffering from both anxiety and sleep issues found that CBD might help people with short term sleep problems. Specifically, anxiety scores for the first month improved for 79.2% of the patients and sleep scores improved for 66.7% of the patients.
Although the mechanism is not completely understood, studies have suggested that CBD’s benefit when it comes to sleep stems from its calming effects. Specifically, its interaction with serotonin and GABA receptors in our brains that helps reduce nervous system activity.
Additional evidence for CBD’s effect on sleep:
- A review of CBD in 2018 in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal concluded that there is a relatively large amount of evidence supporting the claim that CBD relieves pain. The authors also pointed out that pain relief help improves sleep.
- A study in 2014 looked at four patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and found that CBD may help improve problems associated with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). RBD is what is behind conditions like sleep paralysis, sleep walking, and extreme nightmares or night terrors.
- A 2017 review suggested that CBD may have a short term benefit for sleep apnea and might be a promising remedy for both REM sleep disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Research conducted in 2014 concluded that CBD has the potential to promote wakefulness, reduce grogginess, and relieve insomnia. The medical researchers who conducted this study also noted that, although CBD showed promise in both humans and animals, they were not sure exactly how or why.
CBD and Weight Loss
One of the classic New Year’s resolutions that people often have is losing weight. As many of us have been spending more time than usual indoors due to government mandates and quarantines, this resolution is probably at the top of the list for even more people this year. CBD is thought to help weight loss in two primary ways: on the food side and on the exercise side.
Let’s start with the food and nutrition side. According to numerous pharmacological studies, there are thought to be high levels of endocannabinoids (specifically, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol), CB1 receptors, and enzymes related to the endocannabinoid system throughout the digestive tract. CB1 and CB2 receptors are also found in lymphoid tissue and the brain.
The potential benefits stem from CBD interacting with these receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids to alleviate digestive problems, increase metabolism, and help you better control your appetite. In other words, what CBD may do is bring balance to your digestive system—stimulating your appetite in certain situations, suppressing it in others, and, generally, helping you get more from the food you eat by improving and moderating digestion.
CBD and Exercise
Other than digestion and nutrition, the other side of your weight loss resolution is exercise. When it comes to physical activity, the most important potential benefit is as an anti-inflammatory.
Numerous studies and mountains of anecdotal evidence have shown that CBD can be extremely effective as both a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medicine. Many doctors will even say they prefer recommending CBD to prescribing opioids which can cause bleeding, cardiovascular problems, or other issues.
Other ways that CBD can help you with exercise and on your weight loss journey is through the following:
- Muscle Recovery – Similar to how CBD may help with joint pain, it can also help with sore muscles following an intense workout. Put simply, when you push your muscles during a workout you are tearing them and making them rub against one another. The body’s nervous and immune systems interpret this as damage and delivers a response that can cause inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and pain. To take advantage of CBD’s reported anti-inflammatory properties, many athletes will add CBD to their post workout supplements.
- Mood and Motivation Boost – We mentioned “runner’s high” at the beginning of the article. Although it is not completely understood, those feelings are theorized to be connected to the body’s endocannabinoid system. If that’s true, then this euphoric phenomenon would stem from the activation of the same receptors in the brain that CBD and THC bind to. As a result, many runners and other athletes consume CBD to help create similar feelings as a “runner’s high” in order to motivate themselves to push harder.
- Prevent Game Day Anxiety – Ever feel nervous or anxious before a big race or game? You’re not alone. Game day jitters are common and can often cause you to lose your focus. People have long used CBD to attempt to relieve both their anxiety and stress. Studies have also been undertaken (here’s a link to one) that have shown CBD to be effective at reducing social anxiety. Many runners report that consuming CBD before a high-pressure dramatically reduces their anxiety, allowing their nerves to reside naturally so they are better able to focus on the race instead of their nerves.
Improve Your Mental Health and Concentration
Similar to an adequate amount of sleep, improving your mental health is a crucial first step to achieving any New Year’s resolution. If you are feeling anxious or depressed then you won’t have the motivation or the concentration to focus on much else.
The research is still in its early stages, but many people use CBD to help ease their anxiety. Its positive effects are made possible by our bodies’ biochemical communication highway, the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Cannabinoid receptors, specifically CB1 receptors, throughout the ECS can be activated to reduce the neurotransmitter release that induces our “fight or flight” reaction. These reactions are useful in situations that are actually life threatening, but can be harmful and counterproductive when they are triggered in everyday situations, leading to anxiety and, after prolonged periods, depression.
CBD and Serotonin
There is also mounting evidence that CBD interacts intimately with your body’s serotonergic system—the system of serotonin neurotransmitters. This system works to regulate mood, nausea, appetite, bone health, sleep, emotions, and even sexual function. Cannabinoid receptors have been found both on serotonin neurons, as well as in the corresponding inhibitory receptors.
This fact has led researchers to believe that cannabinoids may increase serotonin levels in certain situations, and decrease it in others, with the goal of maintaining balance. Ensuring the proper levels of serotonin and certain hormones like cortisol, CBD may be helpful against a wide range of mental disorders.
By helping you maintain balance by controlling anxiety and depression, CBD also has great potential to aid you in increasing and maintaining your concentration—a critical aspect of achieving your goals for 2021.
Is CBD Right for You?
The only way to know if CBD is right for your health and wellness is to give it a try. The best part is, unlike many drugs that produce similar effects, there are no known serious side effects of CBD and it is completely non-toxic. More and more people are consuming it, and the majority feel it is effective in helping them achieve their health goals.
CBD product sales are expected to hit $5 billion in 2019, which is a 706% increase over 2018, according to the Brightfield Group, a cannabis-focused research firm. A market research study done by BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research projects that the collective market for CBD sales will surpass $20 billion by 2024 in the United States alone.
In a study published in the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine, nearly 2,500 people took a survey designed to characterize who, how, and why individuals are currently using CBD. The results showed that 62% of respondents reported using CBD to treat conditions like pain, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, nearly 36% of respondents reported that CBD treats their medical condition(s) “very well by itself,” while only 4.3% reported “not very well.”
What are you waiting for? Give yourself an edge when going for your resolutions in 2021. Choose from our wide variety of high quality CBD products.Contact Urban Roots Hemp Co. for more information on how CBD can help you, which product is best, and how to find the right dosage.