A customer by the name of Amy recently reached out to us to share her journey overcoming a daemon that had plagued her for many years. We felt inspired to share her story with you, thankfully she agreed to guest write this blog. This is Amy's story:
After my longest and most recent relationship ended in heartbreak, I fell in such a deep depressive lull that I had to drop out of uni for a term. I chose to seek therapy, and in my 6 months of seclusion, I decided I absolutely needed to get over social anxiety because I simply could not keep living the way I have been anymore.
If it’s left untreated, anxiety can lead to depression, early death and suicide, yet the medication that is prescribed to treat anxiety doesn’t often work in the long-term..
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 at University. For me, a person who's already predisposed to overthinking, cannabis, 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
A bit of online digging led me to realise that the active ingredient in hemp oil, the product I'd been recommended to try, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp 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, it sounded promising.
Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD
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.
It's also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the Mayo Clinic 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, to seek out a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for the product you're interested in. This is where sites that commit to providing a COA (a laboratory certificate proving the product contains what it says it does) for all their products, win my trust. CBD Giant provided this level of transparency at the time I was searching for a reputable site.
With that, I threw caution to the wind and purchased my first CBD product, from this very site. CBD Giant have quite a wide range of strengths and flavours, such as blueberry, pineapple and Lemon, but the lychee, lemon & kiwi flavour I chose is delicious and certainly the right choice for me! Here's what happened—including what it feels like—when I took two full droppers of CBDfx 1000mg CBD Oil every morning for a month.
My First Impression
It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a holiday to Dubai 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 two full droppers of the CBDfx 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 month. Here's what went down.
It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy
Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analysing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognise 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 analysing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognise 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 month, however, I've found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all 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 CBD Giant 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 three full droppers of the bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it's an all-natural, organic product that's responsibly grown and processed in licensed facilities. Something that's safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I'm definitely on board.