Your palms are sweating. Through clenched fists, you feel your heart racing, pounding out of your quivering chest. Adrenaline and cortisol flood your brain. Are you scared or excited? Waiting on your lab results or a blind date? Physiologically, there is no difference. Regardless of positive or negative perceptions, your body is experiencing stress.

In the modern world of more deadlines and bills and fewer wild animal attacks, stress is becoming less a defense against monsters and more a monster of its own. Thankfully, though, there happens to be one marvelously complex plant perfectly positioned to combat stress.

Can’t stress this enough

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Stress is evolutionarily essential. It empowers us to fight, flee, or at least focus when our survival is at stake. But we all know, too, the havoc that stress itself can wreak on the body.

Sadly, however, stress is far from a simple, acute problem. Like “love” and “jealousy”, “stress” is an umbrella term. It manifests itself in complex, intricate, and subtle ways, causes many chronic ailments, and so must be fought as comprehensively and holistically as possible. Enter cannabis: a complex plant used for thousands of years to combat stress with relaxation.

Ask anyone (proponent or opponent of cannabis freedom) what cannabis is best known for, and they’ll tell you: mellowing you out. With its hundreds of cannabinoids and other phytonutrients fitting perfectly into the body’s own endocannabinoid system and targeting areas in need, cannabis as a whole—as opposed to extracts, or one or two particular compounds—is a magnificent stress reducer and equalizer of the body’s natural functions. Some may find the whole “chill out, man” aspect of cannabis quaint or funny. In reality, anxiety, depression, and stress can overwhelm and push people into places far from amusing. Some might even say the simple desire to “chill” or “mellow out” in the traditional, recreational sense, is itself the most basic form of medicinal use: to relieve stress.

Relief is at hand

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Feeling good is stress relief. Having fun and smiling are medicinal practices. So anything that turns a frown into a smile is a sort of therapy in its own right. And cannabis is not only backed by endless testimony of its ability to relax the body and mind, but it is also known to help with everything from migraines to skin issues to cancer, all of which can themselves trigger stress.

Of course, nothing works all the time, or for everyone. Some people do experience negative effects like mild paranoia with certain strains of cannabis, but much of that derives from the plant’s legal status. Since being found with cannabis by authorities can be much more detrimental to one’s health than the cannabis itself, it’s no secret that the most stressful thing about cannabis is the fact that it’s still illegal!

Thankfully, cannabis laws are changing. And as changes in law enable tens of millions of overworked citizens to access stress-relieving cannabis for the first time, technology is offering new options for consumers to simplify and streamline the experience into a measurable, controlled process. The world’s first countertop botanical extractor for making smokeless herbal edibles, from MagicalButter.com, is a prime example. This amazingly convenient machine infuses herb into butters, oils, and tinctures with the push of a button. You can then make any recipe you like into a peace-inducing one, and watch your excess stress go up in smoke.

RELATED: For dozens of awesome cannabis recipes, how-to videos, and how to get your own botanical extractor, check out MagicalButter.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Born in Arizona and raised in Maryland and Guinea, West Africa, Zach Brown claims the D.C. metro area as his home turf. He is currently back in Africa writing, teaching English as a second language, and making music in Bamako, Mali. Zach is an Eagle Scout who earned a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland. He was also president of the UMD chapters of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and SSDP (Students for Sensible Drug Policy).