Chances are you’ve heard about CBD; it’s hard not to. It seems like you can’t walk into any health food store or even spa without seeing CBD for sale. It’s so sought-after these days that its move passed the people-only market and is popular among the pet community too.
I couldn’t stop hearing about CBD, and how it was so amazing for everything, like anxiety, pain stress, even asthma, so I had to try it. And so, I did, every day for 30 days.
If you’re wondering what CBD is and how it can make your life a little brighter, read on.
What is CBD?
Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way first.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, THC’s non-psychoactive cousin. I’m going to repeat that – non-psychoactive, as in – will not get you high.
CBD is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis and can be derived from the marijuana or hemp plant.
CBD performs multiple functions in the human body, and the research is still growing, but one significant way that CBD works is by supplementing the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The human ECS runs through our entire body, and it plays a critical part in our survival by maintaining homeostasis.
Bear with me; we’re almost there.
The ECS works with three components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
The endocannabinoids help bodily functions operate smoothly by binding to specific receptors. The enzymes break down endocannabinoids after they’ve finished doing their job.
Research shows that CBD inhibits the enzymes that break down naturally produced endocannabinoids, allowing them to stay in our bodies longer, and extending their calming and balancing effects.
One of the endocannabinoids that CBD reduces the breakdown of is anandamide, which gets its name from the Sanskrit Ananda, meaning bliss. Anandamide manages the production and uptake of serotonin and also regulates pain.
So with CBD, more of this bliss producing and pain-alleviating compound stays in our bodies for longer.
In addition to stress, mood, and pain relief, by supplementing the ECS, CBD can also help other vital body processes like immune response, sleep, appetite and metabolism, digestive function, inflammatory response, memory, pleasure and reward systems, fertility, and more stay regulated and perform optimally.
More Benefits of CBD
Clinical research on CBD is still limited, but the research that exists has found that CBD can:
- Mimic serotonin, producing anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce pain
- Support in substance abuse prevention
- Prevent the progression and spread of tumors
- Improve sleep
- Treat epilepsy
- Aid in the treatment of psychosis
- Help alleviate symptoms of PTSD
- Reduce blood pressure
- And more!
What Did CBD Do For Me?
Now that you have an idea of what CBD is supposed to do, here’s what it actually did for me after 30 days.
Easy Breezy Me (Well As Close As It Gets)
The main reason I wanted to try CBD was that I’m always anxious.
Everything from driving to booking flights gives me anxiety.
And let’s not forget the racing thoughts when my brain maps out every possible “what if” scenario for any action: queue racing heart and trouble breathing.
From the first time I took high-quality CBD, I almost instantly felt more mellow and way less anxious.
Over 30 days, I planned my daily CBD dose with my most anxious moments.
While CBD didn’t make my problems disappear, it made everything easier to deal with.
Even in those verge of panic attack moments where it’s hard to breathe or move, it filled me with a sense of calm, grounding, and presentness.
The anxiety that may have otherwise made me want to avoid things and head back to the comfort of my bed was put on the back burner. I was able to tackle whatever had to be done.
Fewer Aches and Pains
I don’t suffer from much physical pain in my life, something for which I have immense gratitude.
But, after arriving back in the states from traveling for five months and adjusting to the routine of things, I became a lot less active.
I went from walking miles and miles a day, going on hikes, climbing up and down cliffs, and more, to driving everywhere and not finding much time to exercise.
During the month when I was first trying CBD, I decided to work out again.
The next day my lower back was killing me. After a full dropper of CBD tincture, it completely went away.
CBD also made my menstrual cramps and body aches that come with them so much more bearable.
And CBD brought me some sweet relief from an awful migraine – the kind where every time you move, your whole head feels like it weighs a ton. After taking CBD, I stopped noticing any symptoms and was able to get on with my day.
Throughout the month, CBD also helped relieve stomach pains from indigestion when I overindulged in some not so healthy foods. It even helped keep me “regular,” if you know what I mean.
Alcohol Hangover Relief
I used to be the girl at the bar drinking straight tequila, not even shots, just straight glasses of tequila. Okay well, I took the shots too.
But I don’t drink much these days, other than some wine here or there or on special occasions.
The 30 days when I tested out CBD happened to coincide with a couple of weddings. The first wedding involved taking multiple shots for the first time in almost two years.
The second wedding was a more casual celebration with no vegan food options, which led me to foolishly drinking lots of prosecco on an empty stomach.
Rookie mistake, I know.
Both nights, I was ready for an unforgiving hangover in the morning, but CBD saved the day.
I took CBD both of the mornings after and was able to get on with my day, as usual. I wasn’t feeling 100% but close enough; no headaches, no nausea, no need to lay in bed all day.
I’d say that’s pretty impressive. Especially since the night of too many Proseccos hit me so hard that I had to leave the venue to go for a walk and keep from puking on the ride home.
Weed Hangover Relief
I’m not a big fan of the term weed hangover because I don’t think weed and alcohol hangovers are on the same page.
But, I have always experienced some symptoms after smoking weed, a “weed fog” if you will.
I don’t smoke much anymore because it usually makes me anxious. But other times with the right strain and setting, I feel on top of the world right after chilling with Mary Jane.
Either way, I usually don’t feel as great afterwards. Instead, brain fog, sleepiness, lethargy, crankiness, or the occasional slight headache settle in.
If I smoke at night, that means waking up with these symptoms the next morning.
But when I take CBD a few hours after smoking or right before bed, it feels as if I never smoked at all.
My boyfriend, who indulges in the medicinal magic of marijuana a lot more than I do also experienced these results.
CBD can counteract the effects of THC because it’s a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptors.
In simpler terms, CBD and THC both bind to CB1 receptors, but in different areas.
When CBD binds, it changes the shape of the CB1 receptors. This makes THC less binding and reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.
With this reasoning, you should also be able to use CBD to reduce the effects of a too intense high, but I haven’t had to try this yet. But knowing I have the option, does relieve some of the anxiety that comes with THC.
A Reverse Tolerance
Studies show that unlike THC, CBD doesn’t build up a tolerance. Meaning if you keep taking CBD, you don’t have to take more and more each time to feel the effects.
Some people find that CBD has a reverse tolerance effect, meaning the more they take it, the less of it they need.
I mentioned before that I took my daily CBD dose when I was the most anxious. During the first week of taking CBD, there was no shortage of times that I wanted to take it. The second week was similar, but I was overall, less anxious.
During the third and fourth weeks, I felt so much less anxious than usual. I would forget to take my CBD until the late afternoon or evening or sometimes close to going to bed.
Anything that works well enough on my anxiety that I forget to take it because I’m not feeling as anxious is gold as far as I’m concerned.
A Bit of Bliss
I try to be a happy and optimistic person, and most of the time, I succeed, but I’ve also dealt with depressive thoughts and episodes since my early teens.
Sometimes these heavy, dark moments are fueled by literally nothing – my mind’s unfortunate version of a joke, and somehow, I’ve always missed the punchline.
Other times, it’s family issues. These hit me especially hard because as an empath, I feel people’s problems as my own, and feel like it’s my responsibility to fix them.
With CBD, even in these dark moments, there’s a bit of bliss that settles in for me. This little bit of bliss is enough to motivate me to get on with what I have to do with a greater sense of appreciation.
Or if I have nothing to do, it motivates me to go for a walk or paint or do something else I enjoy, which in turn boosts my mood even more.
Better Sleep and More Wakefulness
One of the noted benefits of CBD is helping relieve insomnia, so you might be wondering if it’s going to make you tired all the time.
The few times I took CBD close to bedtime, it did lead to a great night’s sleep. But when I took it during the day, it often inspired a greater feeling of wakefulness or awareness.
To better grasp how this works, it’s important to remember that CBD doesn’t work as a sedative when used as a sleep aid. Instead, it helps improve sleep by reducing anxiety and pain and bringing balance to the wake and sleep cycles.
If it helps, you can think of CBD as an adaptogen that works with your body’s natural rhythms to improve their function.
So, when taken during the day, CBD can help trigger wakefulness through its anti-anxiety and serotonin-boosting properties. At night it can help you get to sleep by relieving ailments that would otherwise keep you up.
If you’re worried about CBD making you too relaxed or not relaxed enough, many brands make specific blends designed to help you chill out or amp up.
Are There Any Downsides to CBD Oil?
I’ve been taking CBD for over 30 days now, and I haven’t noticed any downsides myself. But I’ve heard people mention that it can be rough on the liver.
The only studies that have proven a chance of liver toxicity caused by CBD have been animal studies. In these animal studies, any adverse effects are associated only with extremely high concentrations of CBD – way more than what you need.
Also, in cases related to CBD as a treatment for epilepsy, some participants reported symptoms like diarrhea, weight and appetite changes, and fatigue. These symptoms are a lot better than the side effects of pharmaceuticals for epilepsy.
Overall, research shows that CBD has a favorable safety profile in humans.
So, the cliché “even too much of a good thing can be bad” applies to CBD too. It’s all about using it in a way that helps you, not abusing it.
Getting the Most Out of CBD
To get the most out of CBD, you need to choose a reputable brand that’s using quality full or broad-spectrum hemp extract. This really matters.
You also need to play around with your dosage. I have a moderately sensitive system, so taking the recommended bottle dosage works just fine, but you might need a bit more or even less.
For the fastest and fullest effect, I like to keep the CBD tincture drops under my tongue for longer than the recommended 1-2 minutes, and I try to take it on an empty stomach.
Should You Try CBD?
Okay, CBD isn’t a cure-all, but I don’t think there is one.
But CBD does help, and it helped me a lot. Enough so that before the bottle I had for my 30 day trial period was even close to being finished, I ordered more CBD.
It might seem ridiculous for me to say that CBD has changed my life – but it has.
It’s like I have this little bottle of superpowers that gives me comfort in knowing that when I’m faced with overwhelming anxiety, I’m not feeling well because I have my period, or drank too much, or ate poorly, if I’ve strained my body, need a social boost, or need to elevate my mood, I can.
And I can do it in a natural way. That I think is something worth trying. So, if you ask me if you should try CBD, I 10/10 recommend.