The first page of a new year’s calendar is a symbolic milestone that can inspire grand ambitions for the new year. Maybe you’re planning to get in shape or prioritize self-care. Or maybe this year’s resolution is about letting go of self-destructive habits.
No matter what kind of changes you’ve set in motion this January, experts agree on a few key strategies for achieving your goals. For example, the American Psychological Association suggests starting small and changing one thing at at time.
And a recent report from CBS News agrees, suggesting specific, measurable goals, as well as making changes in your environment to set yourself up for success.
But can CBD help meet the goals we set? Here are three ways that our favorite cannabinoid may support your most important resolutions for 2019.
1. CBD for Your Fitness Goals
January tends to be the busiest time of year for health clubs, as newly enthusiastic patrons sign up for new memberships and lapsed members renew their commitments to physical fitness. And while most of that business trickles off after a few weeks, that doesn’t mean that your fitness resolution can’t last all year long.
But whether you’re a couch potato or an elite athlete looking to reach a new personal best this year, a big increase in physical activity can bring sore muscles and inflammation. And that’s where CBD may be able to help.
The research on CBD for athletic performance is in the very, very early stages. But studies looking at other conditions have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (that is, pain-relieving) effects.
This means that, if exercise-induced soreness threatens the success of your new fitness regimen, CBD could be a good alternative to over-the-counter medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
2. Letting Go of Self-Destructive Habits
If you’ve resolved to quit smoking this year, you’re definitely not alone. Year after year, this is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions.
And it’s no wonder so many people want to quit. Lung cancer, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis are just a few of the diseases that eventually confront many smokers.
Oh, don’t forget the increased risk of heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, leukemia, cataracts, and pneumonia.
But the nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive, so quitting can trigger withdrawal symptoms like irritability, restlessness, moodiness, and anxiety. And even after those physical withdrawal symptoms have passed, you might find that certain situations or moods — known as smoking-related cues — trigger strong urges to smoke.
So, how might CBD help?
A study published in September 2018 found that, compared to placebo, CBD significantly reduced attentional bias and pleasure related to cigarette cues in smokers. In other words, the participants who were given CBD paid less attention to cigarette-related images. They also reported feeling less pleasure when looking at images depicting cigarettes or smoking.
Interestingly, CBD did not have an impact on the participants’ self-reported cravings or physical withdrawal symptoms. But on measures of how much unconscious space tobacco was occupying, CBD had a noticeable effect.
The implication is that CBD may be able to reduce the power of those smoking-related cues. And in turn, that could help reduce those lingering urges to light up a cigarette.
3. CBD for Stress Reduction and Better Sleep
Do you want to kick stress to the curb and get more done this year? Paying attention to your sleep patterns could be a great place to start.
If you’ve ever dealt with insomnia, you are probably familiar with the vicious cycle formed by stress and sleep deprivation. It goes a little something like this: From the moment your head hits the pillow, stress sends your mind spinning through all of your worries. You toss and turn for hours before finally getting a few hours of sleep.
The result? The next day, you wake up feeling irritable. You find it hard to focus on your responsibilities, making it even more difficult to cope with the stressors that you encounter during the day.
Fortunately, CBD may help combat stress by supporting healthy sleep cycles.
The jury is still out on exactly how CBD influences sleep, but the current research indicates that it increases levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and glutamate, which affect memory and sleep.
There you have it; our top three ways use CBD to keep your eyes on the prize in 2019.
So, what’s the next step? Check out our CBD oil reviews to get the details on some of the best brands around.