Grief is something that we don’t like to talk about much or take time for until we are affected by it. Despite the discomfort, learning about grief and identifying how to deal with these emotions is important. Using CBD for grief is starting to gain some attention.
Grief is the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed. Grief is not a finite experience but an ever-changing and continuous journey. It is mourning and processing, analysis, and emotional digging. If you have ever experienced grief – whether it is the death of a loved one or a pet, the loss, or perceived loss of any kind – you know how devastating it can be to your brain, body, and spirit.
Grief is complex and different for every person, although some common effects of grief can include:
- The release of stress hormones
- High anxiety and panic attacks
- A rollercoaster of extreme emotions
- Compromised immune system
- Physical inflammation and pain
Stages of Grief: Understanding the Process
Grief is a process that unfolds over time. While everyone experiences it differently, there are some common stages of grief that many people go through. These include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
It’s important to understand that these stages are not necessarily linear, and you may move back and forth between them. However, knowing what to expect can help you feel more prepared for the journey ahead.
Grief and Depression: Recognizing the Signs
It’s not uncommon to experience feelings of depression while grieving. However, it’s important to recognize the signs of depression and seek help if needed.
Symptoms of depression may include feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating.
Grief and Exhaustion: Taking Care of Yourself
Grief can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time. This may include getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.
It’s also important to give yourself permission to take a break when needed.
Grief is the price we pay for love.– Queen Elizabeth II
Grief: What is the Best Treatment?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best treatment for grief is one that works for you and your individual needs. This may include traditional forms of support, such as therapy or support groups, as well as natural remedies like CBD.
It’s important to explore different options and find the ones that work best for you.
Grief Counseling: Reaching Out for Help
It’s important to know that you don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. There are many resources available, including grief counseling. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is a great place to start if you’re not sure where to turn. They can provide you with resources and support, including referrals to local grief counselors.
CBD for Grief: A Natural Tool for Managing Symptoms
You may not initially think about using CBD at any stage of the grieving period, but when you understand how it interacts with the human body and brain, you may reconsider. The cannabinoids and terpenes found in CBD interact with our bodies and brains in specific ways and have therapeutic effects.
So, how can you use CBD in your battle against grief-induced depression?
- Form: Considering the form is essential. CBD is available in oils, edibles, capsules, and topical creams.
- Dose: Finding the right dose may take some experimenting. It’s generally recommended to start low and go slow, adjusting as needed based on how your body reacts. Continue until you experience the desired effects.
- Consistency: Remember that consistency is key when it comes to CBD. Regular, daily doses could help maintain a steady level of CBD in your system and potentially enhance its effects.
CBD is widely known for calming nerves and easing anxiety, which can be very helpful when dealing with a loss. As educator Mickey Nulf notes, “CBD kept my anxiety down while the grief hit and encouraged me to actually deal with the grief instead of just burying it,” making it a helpful tool in the grieving process.
Reduce Physical Pain
The experience of grieving a death can induce genuine feelings of pain or discomfort in our bodies, such as headaches, heart pain, heaviness in the limbs, and overall aches. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects when used topically. How many times have you heard someone grieving say that their chest or heart physically hurts?
Providing a cream or balm to help relieve that pain as needed helps to reduce overall stress and anxiety during the mourning period.
CBD promotes sleep by acting as a sedative. During stressful times and when grieving, getting restful sleep can be one of the most powerful, healing things we can do.
A common side effect is a change in the sleeping pattern in the days, weeks, and months following the loss of a loved one. Either falling asleep or staying asleep are the two most common issues experienced. Some have difficulties staying awake which can lead to anxiety, depression, and exhaustion.
Reasons why a griever might have difficulty sleeping after a death include:
- Ruminating about intrusive thoughts
- Worries and anxieties about stressors that have occurred as a result of the death
- Bad dreams, or anxiety about having bad dreams
- Trouble sleeping in the bed alone that they shared with their partner
- Disorders such as depression, insomnia, and/or PTSD
For some grievers, lack of sleep is so pervasive that it’s impossible to ignore its impact. But for many, the loss of sleep seems marginal, and when you’re dealing with more obvious and painful stressors, it’s easy to overlook the impact fatigue might have on your emotional outlook.
Sleep often is overlooked as part of the entire grieving process.
Anti-Inflammatory Help for the Immune System
Studies have shown that people are more immune-compromised when grieving.
Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, research has found CBD to work as an immunosuppressant and immunomodulator, strengthening our immune systems.
One of our most vulnerable times for sickness can be the immediate period following a loss of a loved one. We are very susceptible to fluctuations in sleeping, eating, and physical activity, and this can lead to the body working harder, with little success in fighting off bacterial and viral infections.
Though grief will never be easy, CBD is shown to help ease the pain and help people get through the grieving process.
As a user once said, with CBD, “I am able to see some light through the darkness. It reminds me that the light is always there, even if we can’t see it.”
How To Take CBD For Grief
We have two recommendations. Add a drop of CBD to your coffee or tea from a tincture bottle or drop a CBD bath bomb into your bath and soak it in!