If the past few years have proven anything, it’s the importance of self-care. With the American Psychological Association (APA) recently warning of a national mental health crisis, looking to alternative self-care solutions such as cannabinoids has never been more relevant. 

Been feeling on edge lately? You’re not alone. According to The American Institute of Stress, a huge 77% of Americans experience stress that has a negative impact on their physical health, while 73% admit stress has an impact on their mental health. Furthermore, 48% of respondents report losing sleep due to stress, which can amplify symptoms and lead to serious health problems. 

So, where do cannabinoids come in? 


Understanding

the Endocannabinoid System

Found exclusively in the Cannabis sativa plant, cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds with incredible therapeutic properties. These properties are activated when cannabinoids interact with central and peripheral nervous system receptors in the human body. Basically, cannabinoids have the power to regulate cell communication and influence how your body sends, processes, and receives messages. 

For example, the cannabinoid THC binds with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system to create feelings of euphoria. In comparison, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD reacts with CB2 receptors in the peripheral nervous system and can actively reduce pain and inflammation. 

The incredible properties of cannabinoids were first discovered in the 1990s by a team of researchers studying THC. After observing how cannabinoids affected the body’s complex cell-signaling network, they named it the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 


Incorporating Cannabis Into your Self-Care Routine

With the power to tap into your body’s cell-signaling network and influence the way it sends, processes, and receives messages, cannabinoids are an incredibly powerful self-care tool. So, how can you incorporate them into your self-care routine? Here’s some ideas:


Managing Stress and Anxiety

If you’ve been feeling stressed out lately, cannabinoids could be the perfect pick-me-up. The benefits of cannabis for managing stress are well-documented, with a scientific article titled ‘The endocannabinoid system in guarding against fear, anxiety and stress’ exploring just how effective botanicals can be. The authors dive deep into how cannabinoids can be used to modulate fear, anxiety, and stress responses. 

To get the most out of cannabis for stress, it’s important to choose the right product. Different cannabinoids have different effects on the endocannabinoid system and you don’t want to choose something way too strong. 

Delta-8 THC is a good place to start, promising an uplifting yet relaxing high. You won’t experience any anxiety or paranoia, making Delta-8 THC a great option if you’re just starting to experiment with cannabis for stress.


Take a soak

Cannabis is not just for smoking, vaping, and eating. The cannabinoid CBD has incredible anti-inflammatory properties and is infused into in a huge range of topical products. If you want to experience a whole new side to cannabis self-care, add a few drops of CBD oil to a warm bath and feel your stress melt away. 


Medicated massages

Like spiking your bubble bath, CBD oil can be used to take your massages to the next level. The powerful cannabinoid not only reduces inflammation, but also helps to improve blood flow, relax the muscles, and ease out knots. 

If you spend hours in front of a computer every day, topical CBD oil can be used to treat inflammatory conditions like tendonitis and carpal tunnel. This type of everyday self-care can really make a difference to your overall health and wellbeing. 


Chocolate therapy 

Whether you like to splurge on artisan truffles or devour a packet of M&Ms, chocolate has got to be one of the world’s most popular self-care strategies. Now, you can enjoy the best of both worlds with hemp-derived Delta 8 distillates. Perfect for baking, high-quality Delta 8 distillate can be used to spike your favorite gooey chocolate brownie recipe. Unlike cannabis-infused butters and oils, you won’t be left with that earthy aftertaste or pungent aroma in your kitchen. Just clean, pure goodness ready to be baked into chocolatey treats. Seriously, self-care doesn’t get much better than this.


Get crafty with cannabis

Combining alternative cannabinoids with a creative outlet can be an extraordinary form of self-care. From painting and cross stitching to gardening and cooking, the mental health benefits of creative hobbies are profound. Combining your hobby with an uplifting dose of D8, D6a10a, or HHC can be a fun way to enhance your experience and unlock a whole new level of inspiration. 


Stack Z’s and enjoy better sleep

Sleep has a huge impact on your mental health and if you’re not getting enough, you’ll start to feel the effects fast. If you find it hard to get quality shut-eye, cannabinoids like CBD could transform your life. Pairing your chamomile tea with a few drops of a CBD tincture can help promote relaxation and regulate stress hormones such as cortisol, which can impact your sleep. 

If you prefer to smoke your botanicals, look for Indica-rich dry flower blends that promote both mind and body relaxation. There are plenty of studies to back up the benefits of cannabis for sleep, so why not take cues from the experts and use botanicals to enjoy the slumber you deserve. 


Stay discreet with HHC

HHC, short for hexahydrocannabinol, uses next-generation science to build on the talents of Mother Nature. This semi-synthetic cannabinoid made its debut in the 1960s, when scientists were on the hunt for a lab made compound to replicate the chemical structure and psychoactive effects of THC. 

While HHC does occur naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant, concentrations are extremely low. Scientists overcame this issue by saturating readily available THC molecules with hydrogen atoms to create HHC. With a longer shelf life, better heat and UV resistance, and the ability to evade standard drug tests, it’s no wonder HHC is such a popular self-care cannabinoid. 

Thanks to modern science, we understand so much more about the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cannabinoids. This has allowed us to decipher the amazing therapeutic properties of cannabis, which have been harnessed by humans for thousands of years and are just starting to win the recognition they deserve.