‘New year new me’ season is upon us. We’re seeing fad diets and gym plans creeping back onto our social media feeds, which can only mean one thing: the health regimes have begun. Whilst January often is a time for physical change, the new year also presents us with an opportunity to reflect and set new intentions—a mental health kick, if you will.
It comes as no surprise that most New Year’s resolutions fail, as striving to transform your life with one big change can be very overwhelming. Whether you’re embarking on a personal inner journey or a more physical one, setting small, manageable goals is often much more rewarding. Might we suggest your first New Year’s resolution? Add some CBD into your daily routine.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids from the Cannabis sativa plant. It is widely used for its powerful therapeutic action, but since it has no psychoactive properties, it can’t get you high.
The list of CBD’s benefits is seemingly endless. This is because it interacts with a fascinating biological network called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating our mood, sleep, appetite, immune system, and so much more. So, CBD can assist the ECS in keeping our body balanced and healthy.
If you got the gift of cannabinoids in your stocking, CBD may be just the thing to kickstart your journey to the new you. Here are just a few of the reasons why CBD should be part of your New Year’s health kick:
1. CBD can banish stress and boost your mood
2021 wasn’t really anyone’s year. The constant waves of uncertainty and disappointment have left a lot of us feeling a little flat. With the key to a successful health kick being motivation and positivity, stress can massively get in the way of you achieving your goals. But CBD is a great place to start.
CBD has been shown to alleviate anxiety. By reducing levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) and increasing the signalling of serotonin (our ‘happy hormone’), CBD can help to relieve the symptoms of physical and psychological stress. It is even being researched as a treatment for numerous anxiety disorders.
A daily dose of CBD can support your mental wellbeing by helping to lift low moods and fight stress, getting you in the right mindset to tackle the year ahead.
2. CBD could improve your sleep
The quality of our sleep is a major predictor of both our mental and physical health. If you’re going to set one goal for the new year, it should be to sleep longer and better, and everything else—better moods, focus, and energy—will soon follow.
CBD can be used as a natural sleep aid. Nearly 43% of CBD users report doing so to overcome sleeping problems. Scientists aren’t fully sure how it works but through its ability to reduce stress and boost serotonin, CBD has been shown to improve symptoms of insomnia.
So, if you’re prioritising rest and relaxation this year, it might be time to add CBD to your bedtime routine.
3. CBD may help to boost your energy levels
If you’re looking to take on a new challenge this year, whether it be mental or physical, it’s important to feel energised and raring to go.
You might be thinking, ‘how can CBD help me to sleep and feel more awake?’. Well, it is biphasic; depending on how much you take and when you take it, CBD can have different effects on the body. Lower doses of CBD appear to be more stimulatory than sedating.
Researchers have identified a role for CBD in promoting wakefulness, but this hasn’t yet been tested. There’s not yet a huge amount of evidence to say that CBD can directly boost your energy levels, but its ability to reduce pain, anxiety, and improve sleep can certainly make us feel more refreshed.
Perhaps you’re trying to cut down on caffeine this New Year. CBD could be the natural alternative to help you feel energised for the day ahead.
4. CBD can kickstart your exercise routine
As the year drew to a close, lots of us took time to relax and unwind. If you’re feeling well-rested and recharged this January, you might be thinking about venturing into the world of fitness. And you’re not alone; ‘exercising more’ is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions.
Upping our physical activity can be challenging, and waking up with achy muscles can make us far less likely to persevere with an exercise regime.
CBD is a surprisingly useful tool when it comes to post-workout recovery. It is well-loved in the sporting world for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing pain and inflammation in our muscles, CBD can accelerate muscular recovery. Its ability to relieve pain makes movement easier and more enjoyable. CBD can also help us to sleep better, which can enhance the growth and repair of our muscle.
After a tough workout, refuelling with CBD can help you come back fitter and stronger after your well-deserved rest days.
5. CBD can assist a healthy eating regime
The festive season is a time to enjoy our favourite foods. We’ve indulged, and we have no regrets! But now that the boxes of chocolates are empty and the cheese boards are done, our insides are probably calling for a vegetable or two.
Since the ECS helps our digestive system to function, CBD can be used to keep our gut happy. Alongside a nutritious diet, CBD can support our gut health by reducing inflammation of the digestive system. Since inflammation is the root cause of numerous irritable bowel conditions, CBD can help to ease digestive issues.
There are countless ways to incorporate CBD into your diet—oils, gummies, even CBD snacks. For those giving Dry January a go, it might be worth trying some CBD-infused soft drinks or non-alcoholic spirits. This cannabinoid can seamlessly slot into any health kick!
If weight loss is the goal of your new year’s diet, CBD could give you a helping hand with the process. Whilst it is always important to fuel your body, CBD may help to curb cravings. Research has shown that CBD can suppress the appetite of rats and prevent weight gain, but much more research is needed to see if this translates to humans.
6. CBD could enhance your focus
It can be hard to get back into the swing of your pre-Christmas routine after time off. If you’re trying to boost your productivity this year, CBD may be able to help.
CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t impair your mental ability or get you high. In fact, it can actually help to improve focus and mental clarity.
By reducing stress, CBD can help to stop our thoughts from racing and our mind from wandering, therefore making us more alert. In 2015, one study also found that CBD improved performance during a facial emotion recognition task, which could mean that it can enhance our cognitive ability. So why not try CBD to help sharpen your mind?
7. CBD can elevate your self-care routine
If your New Year’s resolution was to be a little bit kinder to yourself, self-care is a great place to start. There are hundreds of CBD products out there, many of which can completely elevate your self-care routine.
CBD-infused bath bombs, skincare, and face masks are the ultimate form of relaxation. The calming properties of CBD not only help us wind down and de-stress, but they can also soothe acne, giving us the glow from within.
Mindfulness is another great form of self-care, and CBD can assist you on the journey to inner peace. By helping to alleviate anxiety and improve focus, CBD can improve your mindfulness skills and allow you to feel Zen.
For all that CBD can do for your mental and physical wellbeing, it may just be the extra edge that makes 2022 your happiest and healthiest year yet.