I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down
When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?
What Is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which comes from the Cannabid sativa plant (also known as marijuana). It’s a naturally occurring substance used in oils and edibles to help calm and relax.
What is CBD
A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.
For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration. In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.
While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy, Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.
Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD
The current CBD industry is like the internet’s early years. the Wild West. Legally, speaking, a Harvard Medical School blog post reads, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.” With heightened interest around CBD, it’s important to note that because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s difficult to know what you’re getting (whether that’s a tincture—commonly referred to as CBD oil, which is often combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil—topical products like creams and balms, sprays, or capsules), despite product labels and brand promises, the blog post further reads. It’s also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the National Institute of Medicine says that while most people can tolerate CBD, side effects do exist. They might include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite, among others.
That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.
With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.
My First Impression
It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a trip to California that inspired me to finally test out the CBD oil (I’ll admit that my weed-based reservations kept me from trying it for the first few months). Knowing that the oil had also helped people with sleep issues, I squeezed one full dropper of the Everyday Plus oil onto my tongue, per the instructions, and waited.
Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin’s, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn’t sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.
Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt “high” in any way—there was never a moment of It’s kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here’s what went down.
It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy
Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.
While normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I’ve still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I’d be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.
I’m More Focused At Work
I work well under pressure, but being extremely busy at work has almost made me less productive—I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions (especially social distractions), and focus on one task at a time. I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety—I feel more frazzled and off task when my anxiety is running high. It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.
I’m Falling Asleep Faster
I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.
Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte’s Web website, this is the typical first experience. “Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—’it depends.’ For many newcomers, they’re not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time.”
With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.
Explore the World of CBD
Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.
Charlotte’s Web inaugural CBD oil product comes in two flavors; Olive Oil and Mint Chocolate. It’s also its most potent. According to its website, its Original Formula Hemp Extract Oil comes with “the most hemp extract and cannabidiol (CBD) content per serving.”
Gretchen Lidicker puts a lifestyle spin on the world of CBD as the author draws on the “knowledge of leaders in the health and wellness world” to explain why CBD has become a top beauty and wellness trend for top athletes and celebrities. The book also includes recipes and recommendations for how to choose a top-quality CBD product.
This travel-friendly roll-on is packed with CBD and fragrant essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and chamomile, for an easy de-stress quick fix. The result? “That elusive feeling of wakeful calm,” reads the Sagely Naturals website.
With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.
Charlotte’s Web’s body cream combines aloe, coconut oil, and shea butter with 300 mg of CBD per ounce. It’s also available in an unscented version, and both are made with GMO-free and sustainably grown ingredients.
Sagely Naturals’s Relief and Recovery Capsules includes 10 mg of CBD per capsule, with the addition of turmeric and vitamin E.
Charlotte’s Web’s Extra Strength Capsules feature 18 mg of CBD per capsule. The website offers capsules as a convenient and precise way to take CBD—on the go, stash them in your gym bag, pocket, etc.
One editor explains how she took CBD oil every day for a week to help her anxiety, plus the difference between CBD and weed.
Can CBD Improve Energy Levels?
For many of us, the struggle to find a good energy boost can be all too real. With busy schedules and to-do lists, it can be difficult to feel energized when we need it the most. However, new research shows that CBD oil may be able to help reduce feelings of tiredness and promote alertness. But can you really benefit from taking CBD for energy? Keep reading to learn more about the science behind CBD, and how it works within your body to fight off fatigue.
Health Benefits of CBD for Energy
Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from hemp plants, and has become a popular supplemental dietary product due to its potential to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression, pain, and other ailments. But despite its notoriety, some of the wellness advantages of CBD, such as its impact on your energy levels, are less well known. It is a common misconception that CBD is a sedative and causes drowsiness. In reality, the cannabinoid THC (the psychoactive element in cannabis plants) is the primary culprit that makes cannabis users feel sleepy. Simply put, CBD is much different than THC and doesn’t have the same drowsy effects.
In some reports, full-spectrum hemp extracts that contain CBD and other cannabinoids (including trace levels of THC) may promote sleep when administered in larger doses. But the effects of CBD on its own will not cause you to feel tired. Instead, CBD may help regulate biological functions such as the sleep-wake cycle. This means that CBD may help you sleep more soundly and wake up feeling less groggy, but it won’t make you drowsy.
Best CBD Products to Boost Energy
With my job, I try a lot of CBD products from hundreds of different brands. After all of my many trial and error sessions, I’ve found three different CBD products that I always turn to when I need a boost of energy. All of these products have been thoroughly lab tested and come from high quality CBD brands.
FAB CBD Oil – Citrus
One of my favorite CBD tinctures to use on a daily basis is FAB CBD oil, which comes in a variety of strengths and flavor options to choose from. I particularly like the citrus or mint flavor to help wake my senses up. This full spectrum oil includes many additionally beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes to promote a sense of calm and focus to keep you energized throughout the day. When taking a CBD oil tincture, one serving size may have a different CBD concentration depending on what product you choose. We suggest starting with a 600mg or 1200mg tincture from FAB CBD to start off with, and then determine if you need something with more or less CBD.
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Medterra Stay Alert CBD Gummies
For a tastier way to take CBD for energy, these “stay alert” gummies from Medterra have a delicious citrus punch flavor and 25mg of pure CBD isolate per gummy. They are completely THC free, and with ingredients like green tea and gingko biloba to promote alertness in a natural way, these gummies are great for an energy boost at any time of day.
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Zohko CBD Energy Capsules
Their full spectrum hemp CBD + energy capsules are a great way to stay energized throughout the day. Unlike coffee and other caffeinated beverages, these capsules have extended effects that keep you feeling energized longer, without the sugar crash or the jitters. Zohko’s capsules pack a punch of energy-boosting ingredients like caffeine, vitamin B12, and ginseng in addition to CBD hemp oil extract.
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All in all, the hemp oil in these products keeps you calm and relaxed, while simultaneously promoting a sense of alertness. With the help of CBD, the negative effects that tend to accompany other energy boosting products, like increased anxiety and racing thoughts, are a thing of the past. For a faster acting product, CBD oil may be the way to go, but if you want a slow and steady approach, CBD capsules or gummies are a good option that may help you stay energized for longer periods of time.
How CBD Promotes Lasting Energy
Our bodies internally produce endocannabinoids, which are fatty acid derivatives that serve many bodily functions. Our endocannabinoid system, which contains cannabinoid receptors as well as endocannabinoids, plays a key role in energy expenditure, among other things.
This also means that when CBD is introduced, the compound interacts indirectly with our cannabinoid receptors to affect certain mechanisms in a subtle way. For instance, CBD has been shown to enhance protein synthesis in the hypothalamus, which has an important role in the management of alertness.
Another way in which CBD may help increase alertness is by acting indirectly upon serotonin receptors within the nervous system to improve mood, focus, and energy levels. The exact interaction of how CBD affects serotonin levels is not fully understood, but research has shown that cannabidiol may affect how your brain responds to serotonin.
The relationship between CBD and serotonin is one of the primary beneficial properties of CBD, which demonstrates its anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. This can be immensely beneficial to people that struggle with mood or anxiety disorders, and have symptoms that lead to a lack of motivation in everyday life.
Additionally, low serotonin levels are associated with fatigue and lethargy, so higher levels mean that you will naturally feel more energized. Studies also show that when taken in smaller doses, CBD may promote energy and focus by eliciting an internal synergistic effect that benefits your body and the maintenance of homeostasis.
Before You Try CBD for Energy
CBD may be the right option for some people, but it’s important to note that these products have not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you find that you seriously struggle to maintain normal energy levels, consult with a physician about other possible causes for your fatigue. Additionally, you may want to talk to your doctor before trying a new supplement if you take prescription medications or have a pre-existing medical condition.
If you are serious about trying CBD for energy, know that the CBD market is a rapidly growing industry with few regulations. This means that consumers need to shop smart in order to get the highest quality products that really work.
Research on the effects of CBD is limited, but studies show CBD has the potential to maintain energy levels and promote alertness. Learn more on Remedy Review.