CBD can be an effective method of managing anxiety and stress; however, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who need a lot of focus or drive while working. Due to its reported side effects, you may want to start with small doses and take other precautions before using CBD in the workplace.
CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. It does not cause the same “high” as THC and has gained significant attention due to its potential therapeutic benefits.
CBD is not illegal; however, it may cause side effects, such as loss of concentration and drowsiness. Therefore, it may not be suitable for everyone.
Starting with small doses and being mindful of the tasks you must complete are essential aspects of incorporating CBD into your daily routine.
Instead of using CBD, you can manage work-related stress in several ways, such as reaching out for support and implementing a work-life balance.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant. It is one of the cannabinoids present in cannabis, but it is not psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the "high" typically associated with marijuana use.
CBD has gained significant attention for its potential therapeutic benefits. It interacts with the human body's endocannabinoid system (molecules made by the body), which regulates various physiological processes, such as pain sensation, mood, appetite, and immune function.
Can you take CBD before work?
CBD is generally non-psychoactive and does not produce the intoxicating effects associated with THC. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as drowsiness, trouble focusing, or changes in appetite, especially when taking higher doses.
It is essential to understand the side effects and how your body interacts with CBD before using it for work-related tasks, and it’s also necessary to understand that not all work-related tasks are appropriate for CBD consumption.
CBD may not be suitable for you if you need to focus or drive for work. It’s also important to check with your employer's rules and regulations around the use of CBD, as they may not allow staff to take CBD in the workplace.
How to incorporate CBD into your daily routine
Knowing how your body responds to CBD before using it at work is essential, and there are several ways to try CBD before incorporating it into your daily routine.
- Start with a low dose. If you're new to CBD, start with a low dose and see how it affects you. It's recommended to try CBD for the first time when you don't have any crucial responsibilities, such as on a day off, to gauge its effects on your body and mind.
- Know the product. Different CBD products have different potency levels and onset times. Vape or sublingual administration can have quicker effects compared to consuming CBD edibles. Understanding the product's characteristics will help you time your intake accordingly.
- Be mindful of your work tasks. If your job requires focus, attention to detail, or the operation of heavy machinery, it's essential to ensure that you maintain your ability to perform your tasks safely and effectively when using CBD.
- Check for THC content. While most CBD products derived from hemp contain only trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less), some products may have higher THC levels. THC can impair cognitive function and cause intoxication, so it is essential to choose CBD products with negligible THC content to stay alert and focused at work.
- Plan for possible side effects. While CBD is generally well tolerated, some individuals may experience side effects like drowsiness. If you plan to take CBD before work, be prepared for any potential side effects and have a contingency plan if you feel too drowsy or lethargic.
Benefits of CBD for dealing with work stress
Studies suggest that CBD is beneficial for stress and, therefore, may help relieve work-related stress. Many studies have found that CBD users report improved anxiety, stress, and sleep.
One study on the use of CBD for seizures and epilepsy found that CBD significantly reduced symptoms of stress and anxiety and was useful for most people in low doses. However, this same study found that using high doses of CBD was shown to cause drowsiness and decreased focus. This finding suggests that using CBD at work may not be ideal for those who need to concentrate on high-focus, work-related tasks.
How to take CBD
There are several different ways to take CBD, and the best method for you may depend on your preferences, lifestyle, and the specific effects you're seeking.
- Oils and tinctures. CBD oils and tinctures are liquid extracts that come with a dropper. Place the desired amount of oil or tincture under your tongue and hold it for 60 seconds before swallowing. This method allows for fast absorption through sublingual blood vessels.
- Edibles. CBD can be infused into various food products, such as gummies, chocolates, cookies, and beverages. Edibles offer a convenient and discreet way to consume CBD, but they may take longer to take effect because the compound must pass through the digestive system first.
- Vaping. CBD can be vaped using a vaporizer or vape pen. Vaping allows CBD to enter the bloodstream quickly through the lungs, offering rapid effects. However, it's essential to choose high-quality CBD vape products and avoid additives like propylene glycol, as they may be harmful when inhaled.
- Topicals. CBD-infused creams, lotions, and oils can be applied directly to the skin. They are commonly used for localized relief, such as sore muscles or joint pain. Very little CBD enters the bloodstream with topical products, so they shouldn't produce systemic effects.
Side effects and risks of CBD use
Little is known about the side effect profile of CBD. However, several studies suggest that CBD is non-toxic and does not cause increased heart rate, blood pressure, or body temperature, making it a safe alternative to other non-medical anxiety treatments.
The most commonly reported side effects are diarrhea, increased appetite, drowsiness, and loss of concentration. It’s important to start with small doses, work to a tolerable amount if consumed regularly, and always speak to a healthcare provider with concerns.
The bottom line: CBD to deal with work-related stress
Taking CBD for work-related stress is beneficial for those who do not need to concentrate deeply at work and for those who do not drive. CBD can cause drowsiness, which could put yourself or others at risk when driving or operating machinery.
Other ways to deal with work stress
Dealing with stress at work is essential for maintaining your well-being and productivity. There are several effective strategies to manage and reduce stress in the workplace without the use of CBD.
- Reach out for support. Talk to a manager, supportive coworker, friend, or family member about your feelings. Sometimes, sharing your stress with someone can make you feel better and provide new perspectives. It’s also important to communicate with your employer about unfair or uncomfortable workplace situations that are causing stress. They may be able to make changes that could help if they better understand their employees' needs in the workplace.
- Mental health apps. Mental health apps can be very useful tools to aid in stress and anxiety. A number of apps on the market are free to use or come with a very low cost. These apps can help with meditation and mindfulness and also help you get back on track to a more peaceful mind.
- Identify the source of stress. Understanding the specific aspects of your job that cause stress can help you find targeted solutions. Keep a stress journal to track stressful situations and your reactions to them.
- Prioritize time management. Organize your tasks and prioritize them based on importance and deadlines. Creating a to-do list and breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps can make your workload feel less overwhelming.
- Practice work-life balance. Set boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid checking work emails or taking calls during your off-hours, and make time for activities and hobbies you enjoy.
Although CBD has been shown to help with stress and anxiety and could help with work-related stress, it’s important to know that there are side effects. CBD can increase drowsiness; therefore, it’s important not to operate a vehicle while in CBD. Users have also reported decreased concentration when using CBD, so it’s always best to test the dose before or during work. There are several alternative ways to deal with work-related stress, like reaching out for support, identifying the source of the stress, working on time management, and practicing a healthy work-life balance.
If you believe your workplace is causing too much stress or anxiety, contacting a medical professional and seeking appropriate counselling is imperative.
- Journal of Cannabis Research. Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.
- British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations.