What’s become your lockdown coping mechanism? A fast and furious exercise regime? A daily dose of meditation? Or perhaps you’ve turned to CBD? One of the wellness industry’s newest wonder ingredients, CBD tends to provoke mixed opinions. For some, it’s the holy grail of anxiety solutions. Others question whether it does anything at all; and some mistakenly think it might get them high. Divisive it may be, but CBD brands have recorded huge spikes in sales during the lockdown period. Premium brand Trip is a case in point, having witnessed a 420 per cent increase in sales since strict social distancing was introduced – a figure that continues to rise daily.
What can one ingredient actually do to help ease the pressure on the collective mental health of a nation? “CBD works on a lot of levels in the body,” says scientific advisor to The Drug Store Julie Moltke, whose book A Quick Guide To CBD is out in June. “It interacts with – and balances out – the endocannabinoid system, as well as the serotonin system, which are involved in anxiety and depression.” Studies have shown that CBD can help to reduce anxiety, as well as aid those with disorders like PTSD, OCD and SAD. A study conducted by Moltke herself found that, of those who take CBD, at least a third use it for stress and anxiety, and 75 per cent of those report that it reduces stress, she says. “The majority of people use it for anxiety relief,” says Olivia Ferdi, co-founder of Trip. “But it can also be used for inflammation, pain relief, endometriosis… and it’s even been medically proven to help the symptoms of epilepsy.”