Stay feeling tip-top while preparing for parties, gift buying and maybe some overindulgence this Christmas, with advice from our CBD expert Ruby Deevoy.

Even the most social of butterflies can feel overwhelmed by the number of outings and visitors over the Christmas period – perhaps more so after you’ve had such limited contact for so long. For those who struggle with anxiety, depression, sensory overload or any other number of mental health conditions, this time can be as challenging as it is joyful.

Making CBD a part of your daily routine can not only help soothe feelings of stress when they arise, but also, when taken consistently over time, actually prevent the unwarranted cascade of stress hormones and the fight or flight response in the first place.

How can CBD help with Christmas anxiety?

This largely comes down to a neurotransmitter (or endocannabinoid) called anandamide. This chemical, named after the Sanskrit word for ‘bliss’, is created and released on demand by the body to work with your endocannabinoid system – perhaps the most important physiological system in the body, which keeps all processes in balance.

When there’s enough anandamide in the brain, stress is better controlled. Without healthy levels, there’s nothing there to stop the fight or flight response kicking into gear at the drop of a hat. There are many reasons why your endocannabinoids may be depleted, from lack of sleep to chronic stress, but it’s vital that you do your best to support your endocannabinoid system and keep those neuro transmitters flowing!

Taking CBD oil every day is one way of doing that, as the CBD molecule inhibits the enzyme responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids, therefore encouraging higher levels of anandamide in the brain and body.

Related: Best CBD oils for sleep 2021 – according to an expert

How can CBD aid digestion during the Christmas period?

It’s probably fair to say that most are guilty of overdoing it on the food and drink side of things over Christmas. While fun at the time, this can end up feeling pretty unpleasant later on! Obviously, CBD oil won’t undo the aftermath of gluttonous gobbling, but if you suffer from gastrointestinal problems that you know are likely to flare up, a high-quality CBD product might help ease that discomfort.

Good gut health is without a doubt one of the most important things to focus on to achieve overall health. There are many factors at play here, but a key reason for this is that a gut microbiome imbalance often results in food particles and toxins getting into the bloodstream, potentially triggering a huge inflammatory response within the immune system (most of which is housed in the gut) that can result in skin conditions, hormonal imbalance, bloating, colitis, IBS, thyroid problems and lots more.

Fortunately, studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil help modulate acute and systemic inflammation. This is excellent news for those with digestive issues! Of course, the best way to keep your gut happy and healthy is by eating a diet that suits your needs, taking probiotics and managing stress (as cortisol wreaks havoc on the GI tract), but everyone has slip-ups, and taking CBD regularly can make the resulting inflammation far less troublesome.

Related: CBD oils for weight loss: boost metabolism and curb cravings

Top tips for buying CBD Christmas gifts

As it’s the season of giving, you might want to extend the wonders of CBD to your loved ones. But how can you choose a CBD product for someone else? Here’s my advice…

  • Check the lab reports. Whether it’s for yourself or someone else, taking a look at the lab reports, which should be available on the product page or brand website, will show that a product contains the cannabinoids it claims to and is free from any contaminants.
  • If you know a bit about why the recipient wants CBD, you could do a bit of research into other cannabinoids, such as CBDA and CBG, and check the reports for the ones you think might work well for them.
  • If you love CBD, but want to get something a little luxurious for someone else, why not consider some CBD bath bombs, face oils, chocolates or coffee? They’re Christmas classics with a wellbeing twist!
  • Is the person a professional athlete or in a job where they maybe subject to drug testing? If so, stick to THC-free products to be on the safe side. CBD oils in the UK that contain THC won’t get you high, but they might show up on test results.

5 of the best CBD Christmas gifts

Ardoa Night-Time Routine Set (£134.99)

This contains the best CBD for sleep I’ve tested. It may seem expensive, but the oil comes in a 100ml bottle rather than the usual 10 or 30ml and the cream is miraculous for sore, dry skin.

Pothead Coffee CBD coffee + mug gift set (£29.50)

This coffee is absolutely delicious and energising, but without the jitters. Even without the CBD, this coffee is up there with the very best!

Lady A After Dusk Gift Set (£130)

This CBD gift set is perfect for a partner who deserves an extra special treat. Complete with massage oil, intimate lubricant and silk eye mask, this set allows you to indulge your (and their) senses and heighten pleasure.

The Body Shop Skincare & Chill CBD Skincare Gift (£40)

This CBD skincare set is perfect for those who want to give their skin some TLC. Made with natural-origin CBD and hemp seed oil, the Restoring Facial Oil soothes and relieves the discomfort of dehydrated skin, while the Replenishing Moisturiser leaves skin looking more luminous.

The KLORIS CBD Starter Kit

Kloris CBD Starter Kit (£78)

This kit contains everything needed to bring CBD into all areas of a loved one’s life! The kit includes my favourite CBD balm, a ‘superboost’ CBD face oil and five per cent CBD oral drops.

NATURECAN CBD Tranquility Box (£100)

This CBD gift box covers all the bases. The collection of CBD-infused moisturisers, mask and other self-care essentials, such as lip balm, hand cream, clay mask and a 5% CBD oil tincture, is specially formulated using only plant extracts, active ingredients and broad-spectrum CBD oil to help nourish, repair and protect.

CBD Bath Bombs

Mindful Extracts Bath Bomb Set (£24.99)

This CBD gift set, as well as the Bath Bombs, Lip Balm and Oil Set (from £59.99), are sure to impress. The oil from this brand is exceptional, the bath bombs are fragrant but not overpowering in terms of scent, and the lip balms are lush.

Click here to discover how CBD could support your immune system this cold and flu season!