When I was in college, my anxiety — because of life circumstances — became a prevalent aspect of my life. At the time, I felt overwhelmed, scared and alone. It was the early 2000s and talking about mental health publicly or with friends didn’t exist. Neither did social media so I couldn’t find funny memes or offer a hashtag to show my struggle. It was just me, my anxiety and the once-in-a-while Xanax to try and keep my life going.
Fast forward to two kids and a divorce later, my anxiety knocked back on the door with a “Hi, how are ya?!” For someone who does not know how to not (over)think, I had a choice to make — take a medication that personally made me feel like I was floating through the day instead of experiencing it, or dive into what some may call the newest craze of Cannabidiol (aka CBD). Coming from a generation who used to possibly buy pot from the “stoner” groups in college (sorry, Mom) and has voted on it being legalized for medicinal purposes, I was intrigued. I wanted to find out if this was the best possible way to control my anxiety and safely, so I did the right thing — I Googled it.
She Blinded Me With Science
Let’s get to some scientific basics on what CBD is and is NOT. Cannabidiol is one of the two most common compounds found in Cannabis plants, and the other is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). I am basically telling you that IF you ever smoked pot and inhaled, you got high and probably had the munchies because of the THC in it. CBD does not have that compound in it, so there is no high. With that said, in some places where marijuana is legal, you can buy CBD with added THC. Full disclosure, I personally do not take this kind. Another great part of CBD is that you can’t overdose on it, and there are no munchies side effects. Where most of the medications given for anxiety can have addictive properties because of what ingredients are in them. The most common prescriptions being handed out are in the class of Benzodiazepines — think Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium. While I still personally believe we need these drugs at times and for different reasons, I was looking for something daily that didn’t have a long list of side effects or chance of addiction. Listen to me, Linda!! If you need whatever drug your doctor has prescribed, please take it. I’ve got a long list of reasons why I keep the Klonopin for when “-ish hits the fan,” and the CBD won’t work. I stand by having it in my medicine cabinet. It’s just that the CBD option has changed my life.
Mama’s New Gummy
The CBD world can be overwhelming to a newbie. There are different kinds — oils, edibles, creams/lotions, and capsules. Within those choices, you have dosage options that you need to weed through. My best advice is to ask around or message the company customer support. Once I decided on taking a CBD gummy for a trial run and figuring out where to order and how much to order, I was nervously excited. The day it arrived, still skeptical myself on how I would feel, I waited until bedtime to take a gummy. I took one, which was about a 7mg dose and felt nothing. Nothing abnormal, I just went to sleep. So, the next night I took a little more and was able to fall asleep without ALL the things running through my head that kept me up at night. Looking more into dosing and how I could benefit, I decided on splitting my dosage into mornings and evenings. I immediately felt different. I was calmer, less likely to get agitated at the kids, able to focus on tasks better and overall felt like myself again. I hadn’t felt this clear and able since I don’t know when. It wasn’t a placebo effect, it was real life. There have been a couple of mornings where I have forgotten to take my CBD, and it will be 10 a.m. and I’m feeling off or quick to anger, and I realize I haven’t taken it. When my kids sometimes see me taking the gummy bear, they ask what it is. Given the young ages they are, I have told them it’s my vitamin for the day. Because kids are super self-absorbed, they quickly move on and don’t care. The CBD has become part of my daily routine, and I make sure that I stay on track with it because I feel better. When I feel more capable, my kids, family, and friends are positively impacted by that.
Secret’s Out, Pass the CBD
Now, I have been super quiet since I started taking CBD because of the stigma still attached to it. I have had to tell multiple people that it does not have THC in it, that I don’t get high, and I’m not on drugs. It’s been a badly kept secret for me, and I only shared with those who I felt comfortable with. The funny thing about sharing my CBD usage is that I have found other moms who are using it as well! All of us have different “whys” and different types of CBD as well. Since word has gotten out even in my small group, I get at least two texts a week asking me about it and how I use it. I have found more openness in myself to talk about my CBD use and how amazing I feel. When my therapist (yes, I have one because who else can you pay to listen to you talk about you?) checks in with me, she even makes sure I am staying on track with it. I am at a point where if you don’t agree with the usage of Cannabidiol, judge your mother, and leave myself and millions of others alone. For me, as long as anxiety is a struggle, I will keep taking the CBD, and at times I can take a lot less, and there are other times I take more. It’s called balance. I deserve (as do others) to live without anxiety and the constant battle to determine when that worry is real or when anxiety is just a liar. Feeling clearer and a bigger sense of calm in my life is where I want to be.