“Don’t be a wuss” “boys don’t cry” “man up!”
The effects of toxic masculinity can have a detrimental impact on society at large including acts of violence and aggression but also depression and anxiety as some men try to adhere to exaggerated masculine behaviour. In the UK, 12.5% of men suffer from a mental health disorder, and if you’re one of them, you are not alone. The pandemic, economic difficulties and high unemployment rates contribute to a sense of unease and the fact is that women are more likely to seek help than men.
Suppressing emotions or masking vulnerability leaves men at a disproportionate risk for mental health disparities as they feel pressured into behaving in a certain way. Add to that the external pressures during these unprecedented times this can lead to a complete breakdown unless professional help is sought. Earlier on in the year, in an interview with Forbes, Prince Harry spoke candidly about his 20 year battle with mental health and disclosing the fact that he has needed therapy to come to terms with his struggle. Notable figures such as the Duke of Sussex help to advance the conversation and break down the stigma associated with men seeking help for mental health.
Society now is shifting in its attitude and the archaic gender roles are slowly being erased, as practising self-care is no longer dismissed as a non-masculine trait. The music producer will.i.am recently discussed defining a ‘new normal’ where self-care is increasingly being seen as a valuable technique to help create more focus and balance in a hectic lifestyle. Having thrown his support behind the German CBD wellness brand VAAY, will.i.am is a big fan of plant based products to aid in wellness. Discussing his love for CBD, Will added that he would urge people to do ‘proper research’ into it before dismissing it for coming from the same plant as medicinal cannabis.
"Just learn about, you know, all the things that can come out of that wonderful plant." The Voice judge said on the hemp plant.
When discussing his love for CBD, Will added that he would urge people to do 'proper research' before dismissing it as a recreational drug.
"I don’t smoke marijuana, but that particular plant has so many different strains that have wonderful, magical components to it that that is helpful like I am is pretty strong fabric." he continued.
"To say that the plant is only for one thing - that that’s pretty ignorant. (…) CBD is one of those things that is a magical ingredient which comes from that plant that calms you and gives you a lot by helping you recover better."
Will.i.am was first introduced to the products through his masseuse, “when she massaged me I saw the difference between that and traditional oil.” He also uses the CBD Active Gel primarily to aid his recovery in between home workouts. He was attracted to the brand as it can “bring ease to people’s lives” at a time when we could all do with ‘some zen vibes’ I saw how it transformed my recovery from working out. And from that point, I get it, I get a chance, I have a chance to invest in a product that I like.’
HOW CAN CBD SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH?
CBD oil or Cannabidiol is a plant oil discovered in the 1940s and along with tetrahydrocannabinol accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract. There’s a lot of research out there that tests for the alleviation of mental health symptoms like anxiety. Approximately 6 million adults have used CBD in the UK, and 11% of the population had consumed a CBD product in the last year. That’s why it’s no surprise that the CBD market is currently one of the fastest-growing wellbeing product categories in the UK.
Across the world, 3.8%-4% of people suffer from anxiety, and 1-10 people are diagnosed with mental health conditions. With so many being given anti-anxiety medication, many have opted to try natural remedies such as CBD oil in small doses in hopes of not having to rely on medication for relief. Around 11% of the population had consumed a CBD product in the last year, that’s approximately 6 million adults that have used CBD in the UK.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Good mental health is just as important as breathing. You need it to survive. Men are less likely to speak up about mental health problems like anxiety and depression due to societal expectations and “traditional” gender roles. Men are often expected to be strong, dominant and in control, so this makes it difficult to open up about struggles with mental health. It’s important to understand that men can be damaged by gender stereotypes and expectations too. There’s also research that suggests that men who can’t speak about their emotions openly may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves, and therefore less likely to reach out for support.
Given the stigma that surrounds mental health issues for men, CBD may offer a discreet solution to help overcome internal challenges. CBD is known to work with the body and the internal endocannabinoid system to ensure optimal health by sending signals to the body to calm the stress response. Interest in cannabidiol (“CBD”) has risen rapidly in recent years and is growing fast in the UK. There are several reasons why the current hype around CBD is not just another trend. Although CBD’s popularity in the UK has been hard to gauge, new data shows that it is still popular across age groups and classes, not just trendsetting millennials and with an industry set to be worth £1 billion by 2025, equivalent to the entire UK herbal supplement market, this ingredient is one to watch!