In recent years, CBD has been gathering a lot of attention for what seems like it’s near endless health benefits. Through various podcasts, I’ve heard countless stories of how this little chemical has improved the lives of people from all walks of life.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD as it’s commonly referred to is one of at least 113 compounds (cannabinoids) found in a cannabis plant. CBD accounts for up to 40% of the plants extract and it has none of the psychoactive effects caused by THC which is another compound found in the plant and accounts for a lot of the bad press you hear about cannabis.
It cannot get you high and many people have reported that it produces a calming and relaxing effect. There are now countless studies available online showing the different benefits of this compound, including anti-inflammatory, anti-pain and anxiety calming properties.
Why did I decide to take CBD?
I chose to experiment with CBD for a number of reasons. The first was for a general health perspective as it’s been shown to provide anti-inflammatory effects and support with improved sleep.
The second reason was linked to mental health and if you’ve read any of my work before, you’ll know I’m a big advocate for supporting a healthy mind. In the past few years and after a number of unfortunate incidents, I came to the acceptance that I’ve been struggling with a lifelong anxiety condition and I needed to do more to address it.
I already partake in a number of activities to support my mind and battle my constant anxiety demons including meditation, therapy, floatation tanks, a consistent workout regime and eating wholesome nutritional food. These have all been invaluable in their own ways to me and form what I call my life toolkit, they support me in being healthy and living life in the best way I can.
After hearing the word CBD several times over the last 3 years and in particular the stories of how it supports those with similar battles with anxiety as me, I decided to see what it was all about. As a natural worrier and over thinker, I of course went on a in depth analysis spree of the potential drawbacks/negative effects of taking CBD and once I was happy with the results, I proceeded to purchase my first sample.
As of right now, I’ve been using a 30ml bottle with 1000mg of CBD which is roughly a strength of 10% – you can purchase any strength from 4% up to 40% from what I’ve seen.
The first two weeks
With anything new I decide to pursue, I allow at least 2–3 weeks to measure any effects and in some cases you may need to allow more time. One thing I’ll highlight is that you won’t feel an immediate difference or a lightbulb moment when the effects of CBD kick-in, it’s a gradual process from my experience and any effects you feel will all depend on the dose you take (for reference I’m taking approx 5–10 drops a day).
In week one I didn’t feel like anything had changed and honestly I didn’t expect it too. At the end of week 2 I still thought that nothing had changed, but then I reflected over the last 2 weeks and how I felt, it was then I noticed that actually I’d been a bit more calmer than usual, more productive and the mind talk was still very much there (as it always will be) but it had a bit more of a positive beat than usual. Now yes, this could be purely coincidental and I decided to continue on for another 6 weeks to test this.
Today – 2 months later
Fast forward to now and I’ve been taking CBD for coming up to 2 months, I’ve missed a few days here and there but for the majority of the time, it has been in my system.
Here’s what I’ve found over this time:
- It tastes like crap in it’s natural flavour (sorry but true, you can buy flavoured versions like mint from some suppliers)
- The effect you want is all about the volume of CBD in your bottle and the daily dose you take. As an example, I find 5–10 drops supports me well with overall health but to support my over the top anxious mind talk I need somewhere in the region of 20–30 drops a day which can prove expensive dependent on your budget.
- My sleep improved when I took a few drops before bed. I’ve tested this several times through my Fitbit analytics centre and compared against the nights I didn’t consume CBD and have identified an obvious improvement with CBD consumption before bed.
- I felt more confident in dealing with the mind talk. I’ll tell you now that CBD nor any other activity will ‘cure your anxiety or depression’ as there is no cure, you just learn to deal with these demons better and I felt CBD supported with this. Even though I still experienced some troubling thoughts and situations, I felt like the days I took CBD helped me navigate some of those events in a calmer fashion then if i had not consumed it. Again this could well be a placebo effect and a combination of good collaboration with the other tools I use too but this is what I felt.
- It’s another good tool to add to the kit and support the mind and body
Overall, I’d say that consuming CBD has been a positive move for me. I’ve seen some improvements, not anything overwhelming or miracle like but obvious improvements that make me want to continue experimenting and see how I feel in 6 months from now.
My advice to those reading this would be give it a try. At the end of day you have nothing to lose, maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t but until you give it a try you won’t know. There’s plenty of research available now, so you can review and make your own decision whether it could be something for you.
(You can read the follow-up to this article, with my thoughts after 12 months of use here).
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