CBD and COVID: How to Support Your Body + Mind
Thanks to COVID-19, almost all of us are spending most of our time at home. It’s important to stay safe and get cozy while frontline workers care for the affected. At the same time, after weeks at home, your days can start to blur together. It’s stressful to cope with all that’s going on, as well as the uncertainty of when and how life will return to “normal.”
Right now, it’s more important than ever to take care of your mental and physical health.
Are you looking for new ways to combat stress, address your new case of typing-induced discomfort, or simply feel better in your body? CBD can help to soothe your body and mind. Once you’re able to wind down, it’s easier to take up other healthy lifestyle habits that can support you through this time.
Read on to learn how to have a healthy lifestyle with a little help from CBD, and a little info from the CDC.
Stress Management with CBD
Right now, it’s completely normal to be stressed. However, it’s also important that you develop healthy ways to deal with those feelings. Without some effort, unhelpful thoughts can take over. The more overwhelmed you feel, the harder it is to focus on your work, get a good night’s sleep, or make sure you’re eating balanced meals. This in turn leads to more stress. And over time, chronic stress will begin to impact your immune system.
How does it work? Chronic stress occurs when our usual stress response kicks in and can’t shut off. The Mayo Clinic explains the process and its effects:
- In response to a perceived stressor, your nervous system activates its “fight or flight” response. At first, your immune system gears up for a fight with a potential pathogen or invader.
- Your body begins to manufacture adrenaline and cortisol, as well as cytokines. These stress hormones and proteins prepare your body to attack any threat.
- Under chronic stress, overexposure to stress hormones can interrupt your sleep, affect your mood, and lead to digestive problems.
- In addition, cytokine proteins remain in the body at elevated levels. Over time, they cause chronic inflammation.
Before you know it, what started out as stressed, repetitive thinking has become physically symptomatic. Now, you’re having trouble sleeping, eating, and relaxing. All of this affects your immune system even more.
It’s important to have several stress management tools in your toolkit. Good options include exercise, meditation and just about anything else that helps you unwind. In addition, there’s one all-natural substance that can help provide fast relief: CBD.
How CBD Can Help
If you’re already experiencing the symptoms of chronic stress, CBD can help. CBD’s benefits include:
- Reducing stress
- Supporting restful sleep
- Promoting a healthy appetite
- Soothing discomfort
- Combatting exercise-induced inflammation
- Helping you find peace and ease in your body
Depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing, find the CBD product that’s right for you. Choose between topical and oral delivery methods:
- Topicals can help if you’re experiencing bodily discomfort. Are you noticing more soreness in your neck and shoulders from slouching forward over your computer? Or is a twitch in your calf muscle keeping you up at night? Rubbing a healing CBD balm into the tense area can help reduce your discomfort so you can fully relax.
- CBD capsules and oils can be taken to help you find inner calm. Try drizzling a little CBD oil over your meal (or trying one of our favorite CBD recipes) for some instant relief. If you want to make CBD a regular part of your lifestyle, include CBD capsules in your daily routine and feel their full effects over time.
How Not to Use CBD
Once you discover all of CBD’s benefits, you may want to share your CBD treats with your friends right away. However, it’s important to know that some forms of sharing could potentially spread COVID-19.
Even if you’re asymptomatic, it’s possible that you are infected with coronavirus. That’s why experts advise that you act like you already have the virus. When it comes to CBD, this means that you should avoid sharing CBD gummies, mints, and tinctures. Likewise, if you’re baking CBD brownies, don’t share them with others.
CBD, Marijuana, and Alcohol
As you seek to deal with stress, you might find yourself turning to substances more than usual. It’s important to be careful when it comes to marijuana and alcohol use during this time.
- Smoking or vaping marijuana could affect your respiratory health. Since COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, it’s important to make sure your lungs are functioning at full capacity.
- Alcohol consumption can affect your immunity. In a special issue of Alcohol Research, researchers Dipark Sarkar and his colleagues explain that alcohol:
“Can impair the body’s ability to defend against infection, contribute to organ damage associated with alcohol consumption, and impede recovery from tissue injury.”
If you’re looking for a healthy way to deal with stress, consider hemp-derived CBD in an oil or capsule form. When you do choose to use alcohol and marijuana, be sure to do so in moderation, and avoid smoking too.
Taking Care of Your Physical Health
In addition to dealing with the mental strain of quarantine, it’s important to take steps to protect your physical body from the virus, as well as from other pathogens that may weaken the immune system. The CDC recommends you take several measures to keep yourself safe.
In short, stay home as much as is possible. Limit your close contact to your household members. When you leave the house for groceries and errands, try to maintain six feet of separation between yourself and the closest person.
- Some states now require people to use facial coverings in places where social distancing is not possible (i.e. on public transportation or at the grocery store). Even if your state doesn’t require it, wearing a mask can help protect you and the people you come into contact with.
- Medical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers. Use a cloth mask or a scarf instead.
Be sure to wash your hands after going out, even if you’ve only checked your mail. To keep safe:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
- Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, too.
- To protect your skin (a vital part of your immune system), moisturize your hands after washing them. This will also help if you’re wondering how to fix dry cracked hands.
Beware of supposed treatments and cures for COVID-19. The CDC says it best:
“There are no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat COVID-19.”
Until a vaccine is developed, the best way to prevent COVID 19 is to social distance and take good care of your overall health.
COVID-19 Symptoms and Action Plan
What does COVID-19 look like? If you come down with a runny nose, don’t panic. Instead, know the signs of coronavirus:
- Shortness of breath
- Chills and shaking
- Body aches and muscle pain
- Inability to taste or smell
- Sore throat
What should you do if you have these symptoms? First of all, assume you have COVID-19. Even if you don’t have it, this is necessary to protect others. Prepare to self-quarantine for two weeks. However, if your symptoms become serious, be sure to seek emergency medical care. Serious symptoms include:
- Blue lips or face
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
Tip: Be sure to bring a cellphone charger with you to the hospital so that you can communicate with friends and family.
Make a Plan to Self-Quarantine
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, the last thing you should do is make a final grocery run to stock up. That puts others at risk. Instead, make sure you have a plan in place to self-quarantine. That plan should include:
- Enough food for two weeks, including a way to order groceries
- A supply of tissues, disposable gloves, and antibacterial wipes
- A first-aid kit with Tylenol to control your fever
- Over the counter medication to soothe a sore throat or a cough
- Ways to ask for no-contact support from your loved ones
When it comes to handling the current pandemic, it’s important to feel safe, secure, and prepared. Knowing that you have a plan in place in the event that you fall ill can help remove one additional stressor.
Plant People CBD
Plant People’s wide array of CBD products are designed to support your overall health and vitality. Our full spectrum CBD oils are packed full of botanical ingredients that can leave your body and mind feeling better. If you’re looking to incorporate CBD into your daily routine, try out our specially formulated Be Calm capsules, which contain adaptogenic herbs along with organic, hemp-derived CBD.
There’s so much we can’t control right now. However, each of us can control the way we cope with long days and weeks at home. Developing healthy habits can help you to protect yourself and to handle each day with a little more grace.
CDC. How to protect yourself and others. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
Huffington Post. Act like you already have coronavirus. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/act-like-you-have-coronavirus_l_5e721aafc5b6eab7793fc120
The Mayo Clinic. Chronic stress puts your health at risk. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037
Alcohol Research. Alcohol and the immune system. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/