I first came across CBD when a friend, a nurse with experience in complementary therapies, recommended it. At the time, the extent of my knowledge was that it was a natural product and it was related to cannabis. With not much to go off other than that, I became curious. It was firmly on my radar, and I began to dig deeper into what CBD is, its benefits, and how it is most definitely not like marijuana. That turned into a one-track mission to experience it for myself.

How I Started Taking CBD

As a habitual overthinker that’s prone to insomnia and anxiety, I’m no stranger to natural remedies. That kind of stuff has been a feature in my life for an age. But–there was a trigger point here.

I got to the point where unnervingly, my anxiety had started to impact me in other ways. After experiencing a few impromptu nosebleeds and “funny turns”–kind of like a panic attack–I was advised to check out my blood pressure. Sure enough, it was high, and it seemed to be spiking when I was getting overwhelmed.

I’ve tried ashwagandha in the past, St John’s Wort, and natural sleeping tablets with ingredients like valerian, all with varying results. And why did I reach for these things rather than something on prescription? Namely, because they all share one big benefit for me: they’re natural. The drawback though was that all of these things are only recommended for short-term use. So I had to ask myself: but what if I have regular periods of disturbed sleep or increased anxiety? Where do I turn to then?

Yes, having good lifestyle habits is one major step in the right direction. Eating healthily, exercising regularly, dipping into things like aromatherapy or practicing meditation, but when the overwhelming feeling strikes, it can leave you feeling powerless.

Although my anxiety was an obvious underlying cause, it was the high blood pressure that prompted me to try CBD. Delving into the properties of CBD oil gave me the impetus to give it a go because sure enough, one promising benefit from studies and the research I was looking into was the potential to lower stress-induced high blood pressure.

I started with CBD capsules, trying just 10mg a day for a month. If you read up on this kind of thing, you’ll find that this is the advised way to start. Partly because there are potential risks and side effects to CBD (like anything in the world of supplements and medicine), and also because you’re encouraged to find your dosage level. Everyone is different after all. So I took it easy and explored how it made me feel for a while first.

From there, I increased my dose to 20mg, and if I’m having a particularly stressful day, I would increase my dose to 30mg. I thought I’d need to wait for some kind of sign that it was working. As they say: herbs like St John’s Wort can take a while to have an effect. In actuality: from day one in the CBD world, I haven’t had any other instance of that scary, panic attack-
like feeling which comes with my blood pressure spiking. I also did
the sensible thing and got checked out by a doctor this time. After taking CBD, they confirmed on two separate occasions that my blood pressure was in the healthy range.

Like most responsible grown-ups–and especially those with kids–let’s just say that the prospect of feeling “high” while doing my daily routine was not a great one. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that an important difference between CBD and marijuana is the key to why you don’t get “stoned”.

If you want to get scientific, CBD isolate doesn’t have the THC compound found in marijuana. This is the thing that gets you high and would most definitely make me feel paranoid if I was trying to go along with my day as normal. I don’t even want to imagine the school run in that version of reality.

Did I feel any mind altering effects during even those first few days or beyond? None whatsoever. I felt “normal”–or as normal as I ever am–and in total cognitive functioning order.

Here’s the truth. I haven’t come across anything in life that’s a cure-all for every condition or affliction. Modern life is busy. Like everyone I know, I have a full plate each day with multiple responsibilities, so finding a magic bullet to eliminate anxiety never felt real.

Just like dosage level, when you schedule your CBD intake can make a difference. I prefer to take mine in the evenings, but some research shows that it may reduce anxiety if you take it in the morning with breakfast. So, that might be something to try down the line.

For now, there are still stressful days, anxious moments, and bad nights. Often, if I feel that mounting, I increase the dose that day to 30mg in the evening to help relax my mind and it often improves my sleep, which unsurprisingly links up with studies undertaken. When all’s said and done, self-care and holistic activities like meditation, CBD is another tool I can reach for if I need it.

Remember me saying that other natural remedies for mood disorders should only be taken for a certain length of time? This is where CBD stood out for me because research points toward this being a natural supplement you can safely take long term, even at high doses.

If you get into the science behind it, it makes sense. Because CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system, it seems to boost the natural processes that govern things like sleep and stress responses within the body. If you want to geek out over this, take a look at some of the scientific studies going on around all this right now. And if not, just know that research is ongoing, but the newsflash is good.

The Future of CBD for Me

Lifting the lid on CBD capsules started a bit of a journey of discovery for me. Once I’d experienced the benefits first-hand, I started looking into the other therapeutic properties CBD may have across the body.

Put it this way: tight shoulders are an issue that will not go away, especially as we all age. So I’m all for trying CBD balms and oils. And after working out, a bath with CBD bath salts already seems to have a wondrous effect on relieving my muscle kinks, which is a major bonus.

When all is said and done, I’d say that CBD is a safe, legal, all-natural way to manage the issues that were bugging me. It’s not synthetic, it’s not on prescription, and on the whole, it’s made me feel a whole less scattered and overwhelmed. What’s not to love about that?

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