It is normal for any person to experience stress. In fact, short-term stress can inspire a teen to make the right choice, such as studying when he’d rather be watching a movie. However, chronic stress is unhealthy. If not managed, long-term stress can lead to health complications such as anxiety, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and heart disease. Unfortunately, these conditions are becoming more common in teens.
According to a 2013 survey by APA, stress is extremely common among teenagers. Data analyzed from this survey showed that school was a major cause of stress in teens. Teens may be stressed about making friends – something that can make them social distance themselves. Bullies at school are another concern. Teens can be stressed about how to deal with being bullied at school by teachers and fellow students.
Another report from a 2018 survey by APA found stress to be caused by social issues such as sexual harassment, gun violence, and school shootings. Family discord, divorce, life changes like a new stepparent, moving to a new home, or getting a new sibling can also lead to stress in teenagers.
When teens are stressed, often a change in behavior is noted. They are easily irritated and angered more than usual. They may suddenly start acting-out rather than listening or if they used to be active, suddenly they don’t want to go out. They often complain of feeling dizzy or fatigued all the time because of having difficulty sleeping. Stressed teens may eat too much or lose their appetite, become irresponsible, and may getsick, most often complaining of headache or stomachache.
While there are various medications that can help a teenager manage stress, there is a safe and healthy alternative – cannabidiol (CBD), the most prominent non-intoxicating constituent extracted from the cannabis plant. Some research suggests that cannabidiol plays a role in the endocannabinoid system and influences receptors involved in the modulation of serotonin, a chemical messenger that is associated with stress regulation.
Research on the use of cannabis suggests that it may have adverse health effects, mainly when smoked. Research specifically on cannabidiol, however, has found few or no adverse side effects. This means CBD oil may be a good option for teens who do not tolerate the side effects of other medications for stress.
A 2016 case study explored whether cannabidiol could reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety and stress-provoked sleep disorders in children with a history of trauma. Researchers found that cannabidiol reduced anxiety and stress in children and helped them sleep.
CBD alleviates symptoms of stress which occur when a teen is exposed to scrutiny. CBD brings a calming effect by improving blood flow to areas associated with feelings of stress.
However, little is known about long term use despite there being substantial evidence in the use of CBD for short term treatment of stress.
Parents and teenagers with stress should know that CBD is not regulated as a medical treatment for stress. Therefore, if they are considering CBD as an alternative to traditional medications, they should seek medical advice on the appropriate dosage from a doctor who has experience with CBD.