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Can Edibles Reduce Stress?

Understanding Stress

Stress is a common experience for most people. It could be due to work, family, relationships, finances, or any other life situation. Stress is a natural response of the body to real or perceived danger. Stress triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that prepare your body to fight or flee. This response is beneficial in short-term situations but can be harmful in the long run when it becomes chronic. Chronic stress can lead to physical and mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

The Science of Edibles

Edibles are cannabis-infused products such as gummies, chocolates, brownies, and drinks. They contain THC, CBD, or both, which are the active compounds in cannabis. THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, such as euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive but has potential therapeutic benefits such as pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety effects.

When you consume edibles, the THC and CBD are absorbed through your digestive system and metabolized by your liver. This process converts THC into a more potent chemical called 11-hydroxy-THC, which can cross the blood-brain barrier and produce more intense and longer-lasting effects than smoking or vaping cannabis. However, the onset of effects is delayed, and the duration is extended, which can make dosing tricky.

The Effects of Edibles on Stress

There is anecdotal and scientific evidence that suggests that edibles could reduce stress. However, the evidence is limited, and more research is needed to confirm these claims. Here are some ways that edibles could potentially reduce stress:


The relaxing effects of THC could help reduce stress by promoting relaxation, calmness, and tranquility. THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system, which are involved in regulating mood, emotions, and stress responses. THC also increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that are associated with pleasure and happiness.

Pain Relief

Chronic pain is a common cause of stress, and edibles could help alleviate pain and reduce stress. CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, which can reduce pain and inflammation. CBD also interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain, mood, and stress responses.

Sleep Support

Poor sleep is a common symptom of stress, and edibles could help improve sleep quality and reduce stress. THC has sedative and hypnotic effects that can help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer. THC also reduces the amount of REM sleep, which is the stage of sleep associated with vivid dreams and nightmares. CBD could also help improve sleep quality by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.


Mindfulness is the practice of being present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without judgment. Edibles could enhance mindfulness by altering your perception and increasing your sense of awareness. THC could also make mundane activities more enjoyable and meaningful, such as listening to music or watching a movie.

The Risks of Edibles

While edibles could potentially reduce stress, they also carry some risks, especially if you consume too much or underestimate the potency. Here are some risks of edibles:


Edibles can be deceivingly potent, and it’s easy to consume too much, especially if you’re a novice user or have a low tolerance. Overconsumption can lead to unpleasant side effects such as anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and nausea. It’s important to start with a low dose and wait at least 2 hours before taking more.

Delayed Onset

The delayed onset of edibles can lead to impatience and overconsumption. It can take up to 2 hours or more for the effects to kick in, and the peak effects can last up to 6 hours or more. It’s important to be patient and wait for the effects to take hold before taking more.

Inconsistent Potency

Edibles can have inconsistent potency, even within the same batch. This is because the THC and CBD can be unevenly distributed, and the manufacturing process can affect the final product. It’s important to buy edibles from reputable sources that provide lab testing and accurate labeling.

Interactions with Medications

Edibles could interact with medications, especially if they have similar effects or metabolized by the same enzymes. THC could increase the effects of sedatives, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, while CBD could inhibit the enzymes that metabolize some medications. It’s important to consult with your doctor before consuming edibles if you’re taking any medications.


Edibles could potentially reduce stress by promoting relaxation, pain relief, sleep support, and mindfulness. However, they also carry some risks, such as overconsumption, delayed onset, inconsistent potency, and interactions with medications. It’s important to approach edibles with caution, start with a low dose, wait for the effects to take hold, and buy from reputable sources that provide lab testing and accurate labeling. More research is needed to confirm the therapeutic benefits of edibles and their potential risks.

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