CBD and the Fight or Flight Response | Research


What is the “Fight or Flight” Response?

Due to our genetic makeup, we respond to certain situations in a specific way. For example, if you think something is funny, you laugh; if you’re cold, you shiver. These types of reactions are hardwired into our bodies at a cellular level, and are common among everyone. These reactions are functional to our existence, and for the most part, are very helpful. Sometimes, however, they can be harmful. Let’s talk about the “Fight or Flight” response.

If we sense danger or end up in a stressful environment, our brain will evaluate the situation and decide whether it is better to face or avoid the situation. This is commonly referred to as the “Fight or Flight” response. Scientists believe this type of reaction adapted into our cellular responses during early humanity when humans were faced with life or death situations every single day (ie getting eaten by a saber tooth tiger or other dominant predator).

Fight or flight cbd stress relief

So How Does it Help Me?

While this type of response mechanism may have been crucial to our survival during early humanity, today it can lead to a variety of health problems. Today, we aren’t faced with life or death situations. On a daily basis, we may face traffic, a long grocery line, or a confrontation with somebody. These types of situations definitely don’t require a fight or flight response; however, that doesn’t mean it won’t be triggered. When this happens it causes us to become stressed and anxious over the littlest problems, and while it may seem trivial in the moment, over time, it can become a huge problem.

Imagine a young boy who, like all young children, gets nervous and shy around other children they haven’t met before. As he grows up, he doesn’t get the “tough love” he needs to put himself out there and be social, so instead he simply avoids larger crowds. As he continues to grow, so does the unfamiliarity of being in a larger crowd, which makes him more and more nervous, and eventually, it grows into agoraphobia, the fear of large crowds. People that suffer from this phobia could become uncomfortable from engaging in social crowds, going on a plane or bus, or just being out in public. While conditions like this can be minor, and the person may experience mild anxiety, others could literally become physically paralyzed by this fear. At the root of this problem, and many others, is the stress incurred by the fear, and how the body handles that stress, aka the Fight or Flight response.

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That being said, the Fight or Flight response occurs in many different stressful situations, and while it may be important in some situations, in many others, like the one described above, it could be detrimental.

How CBD Combats Stress Caused by the Fight or Flight Response

Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant, works to combat the negative impacts of the Fight or Flight syndrome by activating the adenosine receptor in our endocannabinoid system which regulates how our body responds to stress, effectively allowing our body to manage stress more efficiently. Now, of course, CBD isn’t the fix all for stress-related disorders, as each case is unique; however, there has been a large number of medical case studies and scientific research performed indicating the effectiveness of using CBD to treat stress-related disorders.

CBD stress relief

In addition to its anxiolytic properties, research has shown that CBD also has anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and antipsychotic properties. These properties allow CBD to provide relief for many other conditions such as depression, chronic pain, epilepsy, and more. Of course, there is still much research to be done to truly understand the full medicinal capabilities of CBD, but as the research and vast many testimonials from CBD users have shown, the benefits of CBD can be life changing.

If you, or a loved one, are experiencing a disorder or medical problem that is stress-related, we highly recommend trying CBD. It’s a great natural alternative to prescription drugs, and may provide the relief needed.

We hope you enjoyed our article, and if you have any questions or comments, please post them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!