Cortisol is commonly known as the “stress hormone”. It is released in response in response to a variety of physical and psychosocial stressors.
Cortisol is a major player in a biological feedback mechanism called the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. This axis controls the reaction to stress and regulates processes such as digestion, and the immune system.
Although Cortisol might give off the impression that it is a negative hormone, it is actually essential to assist the body to deal with stressors. Some of the other benefits of cortisol include reducing inflammation, strengthening the immune system, and management of blood pressure.
Cortisol can be influenced by THC, the active component of cannabis. THC mimics the body’s natural endocannabinoids, which suppress the HPA axis, and results in lower cortisol levels.