How CBD changed my life

Sophie Noyes, Guest Writer

Every morning before I put in my contacts I take five drops of CBD oil under my tongue. It’s become a part of remedying anxiety symptoms and as a bonus, it tastes like vanilla. But what is CBD? CBD stands for cannabidiol and is the second active ingredient in marijuana after tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. While this may sound daunting, CBD alone doesn’t cause a high. It’s derived from hemp, marijuana’s cousin. CBD is legal in all 50 states (with some restrictions) and can be obtained online or in CBD stores (I get mine at CBD Kratom on Clark.) It’s legal for me to use because I’m 18. Studies on the effects of CBD are limited, but it’s been suggested that CBD helps with better sleep and treating anxiety, chronic pain, and has proven to help certain forms of epilepsy.

I found CBD because of my struggle with anxiety. I’ve always had anxiety attacks, which I used to call “Sophie stress-outs,” but things took a turn during my freshman year. I was lucky enough to get great advice from my friend and start seeing the school psychologist, who helped learn coping strategies and work through my anxious thoughts. I was still, though, having frequent anxiety attacks and going through some dark periods. Something needed to change. I had discussed going on medication with my parents, but none of us seemed very keen on the idea. I’m not sure why I was so afraid of medication. I had seen it do wonders for my friends but I didn’t like the idea of altering my brain chemistry that much. Eventually, my mom brought up the idea of trying CBD oil. She had friends who used it every day to calm down their anxieties and they said it worked wonders. I was desperate to feel better, so with some trepidation, I decided to try it out.

I didn’t think much about the effect the CBD was having; I tried not to overanalyze it that much. A few months later I realized that I’d only had about two anxiety attacks since I’d started taking CBD every day. I had gone from one or two anxiety attacks every two weeks to one or two every couple of months. I can’t confirm cause and effect, but my only significant lifestyle change was my use of CBD. This was huge for me. Not only was I functioning better, but I hadn’t had to try to navigate insurance to get medication or do anything really drastic.

I will say, though, that the CBD oil doesn’t help me much when I’m already having an anxiety attack. By that time I’ve gone too far. It just lowers my baseline anxiety and helps me get to sleep sometimes when my intrusive thoughts keep me up. Now I recommend CBD to anyone who wants to try something different to help soothe their anxiety. It’s not right for everyone, but it’s easy to try. My little bottle costs $40 and lasts me a couple of months.

I wanted to tell my story in the spirit of Mental Health Awareness month so that more people would know about this treatment option. It’s been such a huge help for me and made me feel safe enough to get out of my comfort zone with coping strategies and to challenge my anxious thoughts.

Unfortunately, there is very little real information circling around about CBD and its benefits. I imagine it’s the connection with marijuana that makes CBD such a controversial topic for wellness classes and mental health presentations. This same controversial connotation is what has stopped the government from legalizing hemp federally, and explains the lack of causality studies to prove CBD’s effects. These studies are what we need to prove the legitimacy of CBD as a treatment option for anxiety and other disorders, which would bring CBD into the limelight and change the lives of so many others like me. But, at least I’ve been lucky enough to get this platform to offer my recommendation. If you suffer from anxiety disorders, insomnia, epilepsy or chronic pain and think CBD oil might help you, the first step is to contact a professional who can help you get started. CBD may not work for everyone. You need to be over 18 and/or have a medical license to get it. I hope it helps some of you like it’s helped me.