What CBD is and how it helps with my anxiety

What CBD is and how it helps with my anxiety

It’s no secret that I’m an anxious person. I talk about it…just about in every blog post here. Whoops! Oh well!

It’s taken a few years, and a small boatload of therapy, to really work on why I react the way I do to some situations, or why I create things to worry about out of nowhere. (I promise, I’m also a fun person — we all have our shadow selves to deal with, though. Being fun and being anxious are not mutually exclusive.)

I never really had to deal with much anxiety until I graduated college; quite frankly, I was plenty anxious before, but I think my issues were few and farther between back then. Once I left home and moved to New York, all kinds of problems fell into my lap — a long-distance relationship started to unravel; my parents began a painful divorce process; I was living and working in a city full of 8 million other people; and the stress of all that, plus a feeling of a lack of control over my everything, led directly to an eating disorder.

Now, because I started using Talkspace, I wasn’t seeing a psychiatrist which meant I wasn’t going to be prescribed medication to treat my anxiety any time soon. In 2018, I realized that I had never received similar kinds of help for anxiety that a majority of my peers had received. What comes next is extremely not something that will work for everyone, nor is it something that I’d recommend on a professional level — but I got high for the first time. (You can read all about it in my essay for the New York Times.)

Self-medicating? Not a great plan for anything! But it opened my eyes to legitimate ways I could add into my life to help balance my stress and anxiety.

Since I don’t live in a state where cannabis is recreationally legal, and have not yet taken the plunge to apply for a medicinal marijuana card, I use CBD on a regular basis these days. I find it to be a great way to unclench some of my unconsciously clenched mental muscles and just feel more relaxed in my day-to-day life. (It’s also great to take before bed as a way to help you fall asleep more easily.)

I use CBD tinctures and edibles most of the time, but you can also find it available in topical creams, capsules and even cartridges that will fit most vape pens.

CBD has become my go-to any time I need to relax and let go of whatever anxiety is floating above me like a dark cloud. We all deserve to be able to get on with our days, and find ways that help us overall get more out of life.

Did you know: A lot of cafes offer CBD lattes these days.

Did you know: A lot of cafes offer CBD lattes these days.

That’s great, but what is CBD?

CBD (aka: cannabidiol) is found in cannabis and is a phytocannabinoid — it’s very closely related to a more famous phytocannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (aka: THC; aka: cannabis itself).

CBD is not a substance that will get you “high” or cause any of the other side effects of marijuana usage. It connects to completely different receptors than THC.

As of now, CBD still needs more research to determine how medically useful it is. A few studies have taken place, which is great but not enough to start using it in more medical trials. This means most of the uses you’ve heard about are anecdotal (meaning people are talking about how it has helped them).

Here’s a brief list of what CBD has been found to help with:

  • chronic pain

  • anxiety

  • inflammation

  • depression

For more information about what CBD is and how it might benefit you, here are some resources I’ve found to be helpful:

What are you go-to ways of relaxing? Do you tend to do them before you know you’re going to be stressed, or are they typically ways of undoing stress you’re already feeling? Let me know in the comments below!

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