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How Cortisol Works - And How CBD Decreases It

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone. Hormones are chemicals that carry messages through your blood to different parts of your body. These messages tell your body what and when to carry out its daily functioning.  Cortisol is often referred to as the ‘fight-or-flight’ hormone.

And glucocorticoid hormones are steroid hormones. They control inflammation, your metabolism, and sleep-wake cycles. They’re important for maintaining homeostasis in your body.  Cortisol is tightly regulated on a normal basis and is controlled by the circadian clocks found in the body.

Cortisol specifically is referred to as the “stress hormone”. In response to stress, it contributes to a lot of bodily functions – regulating stress response, metabolism (how your body uses fats, proteins and carbs), controlling inflammation, regulating blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as responding to your circadian rhythm.

High Levels of Cortisol Can Bring Negative Side Effects

Your brain sends signals from your hypothalamus and pituitary gland to help regulate the cortisol levels produced by your adrenal glands.  This is an oversimplification of course.  The body has a very tightly regulated and controlled hormonal system of feedback loops and timed releases of hormones.  The brain must receive certain inputs to then produce an output that triggers more cortisol.  This can range from changes in breathing to light. 

Having levels of cortisol that are considered too high or too low for extended periods of time can be harmful for your body. 

Being stressed for too long can lead to higher levels of cortisol in your body for prolonged periods of time.  This includes mental and physical stressors.  

Some symptoms of high cortisol levels include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, muscle weakness, weight gain, acne, thinning skin, fatigue, irritability, headaches and more. 

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you can have your cortisol levels checked at your doctor’s office.  Some physicians are not sure how to order such testing.  Make sure you find a physician knowledgeable in this area.  There are many natural ways to decrease your stress-related cortisol levels, including CBD.

CBD Decreases Cortisol Levels

CBD is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids interact with receptors located throughout your central nervous system and body. They can help regulate those messages carried by hormones like cortisol throughout the rest of your body.  The endocannabinoid system is actually considered to be a regulatory system.

Because cortisol regulation can be assisted by CBD, this phytochemical can help lower cortisol levels and the side effects associated with it.  CBD will not treat a cortisol deficiency or disorder, but it has natural properties that can assist the overall regulatory system involved.

Dr. Warner offers several CBD products that can help with the regulation of cortisol levels, including her CBD Multivitamin.

It helps boost your immune system while providing relief from inflammation, stress and pain.

If you’d prefer to take only CBD, look no further than our CBD Softgels and CBD Oil Tincture – both promote pain relief, sleep support, while lowering inflammation and stress.

You don’t need to feel stressed all the time. It’ll only hurt you in the long run. Look no further than Dr. Warner’s CBD products to find the relief you deserve. 


Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation