First things first, I am not what you would probably call a chronic anxiety sufferer. I know there are people out there who suffer severely with anxiety on a daily basis, but my specific condition has never really been like that – I have gone through intermittent bouts of anxiety ranging from mild to severe over the past 10 or 15 years (I am 29 now and my first bouts started in high school), but it has never been what I would consider a chronic, day-to-day situation.
That being said, when seemingly random “flare ups” do occur (whether they last for a day, a week, or several months), everyone out there who has gone through anxiety knows that you will do anything – and I mean anything – to find relief.
However, I have always been extremely wary of using drugs to treat my condition – no matter how bad it is. I have seen therapists and medical doctors on several occasions for anxiety-related issues (including insomnia and panic attacks), and have been prescribed Xanax once, but I have never actually used a prescription medication to treat my condition. In fact, the one Xanax prescription that was prescribed for me, I never even got filled.
Looking back on it now, I can’t believe it’s never really occurred to me to try cannabis as a natural therapy – I have used marijuana kind of off and on a few times over the years, but never specifically to treat anxiety or any other condition. At most, I was what you might call a “social” pot user (and in fact, on several different occasions the weed that I smoked seemed to actually promote my anxiety and panic attacks – which I later learned was common with high THC strains).
In any regard, I very recently tried CBD oil for anxiety for the very first time, and I’m here to share with you my thoughts, feelings, and first impressions.
CBD for Anxiety: First thoughts
First of all, whether it’s relevant or not I will say that I haven’t smoked marijuana in years – I have nothing at all against it, but like most people I guess I kind of just got older and grew out of it. So it was never really an option for me to smoke weed as a means to ease my anxiety, though I know tons of people do that every single day.
However, I think that was actually one of the main draws that got me to seriously consider trying CBD oil for the first time; I have an aunt that has been using it for arthritis for going on a year now, and two people that I know of at work say that they use it on a daily basis and it causes absolutely no highs or negative side effects.
So when I was going through an out-of-nowhere anxiety/panic attack flare up and was talking to one of the guys at work about it, he made me promise that I’d meet up with him later in the afternoon and at least give some of his CBD oil a shot. I figured, “why not?”
He was using an oil from a brand called Pure Kana, and the only thing that I had known about the stuff before I tried it was that it wasn’t supposed to get you high. (In fact, I really think the main reason I willingly tried it was because I knew that my aunt – who works full time and supports three daughters – was using it. I figure if she was into it, then it must be halfway legit).
Anyway when I met up with my buddy from work, I actually didn’t try it right away. We met up at a local bar to grab a couple drinks and the anxiety wasn’t bad at all right then, so he just gave me the bottle and told me to hold onto it until I needed it.
Taste, Effectiveness, and Side-Effects: A first-time user’s thoughts on CBD oil for anxiety
I ended up trying it for the first time about three days later. I started getting that same old butterfly in the stomach type feeling that I always get when my anxiety creeps up, and I found that as the day went on at work, it was getting gradually worse (and for absolutely no reason at all, like always). So I decided as soon as I got home, I was going to try the oil.
One thing I did read about CBD oil was that, being that it came from hemp, it could have a nasty, bitter taste. The stuff that I used was Pure Kana’s Vanilla CBD Oil Drops, and it actually didn’t taste bad at all.
Here is a direct link to their product: https://purekana.com/products/vanilla-cbd-oil
In fact, the barely-noticeable taste that it did have actually tasted pretty damn good – like a really mild vanilla coffee creamer or something.
My friend had told me that all I do was use the dropper bottle and place 15 drops under my tongue, and then wait for about 90 seconds before swallowing (it also says this very clearly on the bottle as well). I actually went in front of a mirror to administer the drops, so I could count exactly how much I was putting in (you really don’t need to do this though because you can kind of feel the drops as they hit your mouth and count how many you’re putting in that way).
I will say that it was pretty awkward trying to not swallow for 90 seconds – it’s a totally unnatural feeling, and you feel like you’re going to start drooling all over yourself. You’ll have to fight the instinct to swallow just a little bit, but it’s really not that bad (also, it says on the bottle that you can hold for 60 seconds instead of the full 90 if you want to). I did take a nice big swig of cold water after I swallowed the oil, though, just to get the slightly bitter-ish vanilla flavor out of my mouth (but again, the flavor really is not bad).
In terms of effects, I’ll go ahead and put it very bluntly – the oil did help, without a doubt. It was kind of strange in a way, though, because you notice absolutely zero bodily or cerebral effects other than the anxiety just slowly melting away over time.
And actually, the effects were so subtle that it was really hard to tell at first when exactly the oil kicked in. My anxiety wasn’t as severe when I took the oil that evening as it was during the day at work, so it was tough to gauge exactly how long it took for the effects to settle in.
All I can say is that evening, I had a great dinner (pizza!) and sat on the couch watching TV in a state of genuine contentment. I actually remember thinking to myself while watching an episode of The Office, “holy crap, that CBD must’ve really actually worked.” I experienced no side effects whatsoever, and I went to bed that night and had a genuinely good sleep.
I didn’t use the oil again until maybe about a week later, and I tried the next time around to really gauge when the effects started settling in. I was using the 300 mg bottle (30 mL), which I think is their lowest potency oil (they also had a 600 mg oil and a 1000 mg oil the last time I checked). It seemed to me that I noticed an obvious anxiety relief in less than an hour – maybe about 45 minutes, if I had to take a guess.
One thing that I really really liked though, was that the effects seemed to last a long time. I have only taken the oil on four separate occasions now, and each time it’s seemed to last like 6-8 hours (or at least all evening). This makes sense too, because after doing a little reading up I found that the sublingual tinctures are much longer-lasting than CBD vape oils or e-juices.
I still have the same bottle that my friend gave me, and at the rate that I’m going I imagine it will be lasting me a really long time. If (when) I do run out, though, I’ll certainly be ordering another bottle of the same exact thing. I’m sure there are lots of other good brands out there, but my experience with the 300 mg Pure Kana was about as good as I could have hoped for, so I don’t see any reason to try anything different (I think the 600 mg and 1000 mg bottles are more suited for pain relief, i.e. arthritis, inflammation, etc). I also think that if you are looking to treat pain, you will have to take it more frequently that what I do.
Final Thoughts: CBD oil from a first-time user
So bottom line, would I recommend using CBD oil for anxiety? Absolutely — there’s no question about it (though keep in mind that my condition was (is) probably not nearly as severe as some other people’s out there).
My favorite thing about it is how incredibly mild it is – like I said, the effects just kind of slowly ooze their way in without you even really noticing. Also, I love how seemingly long-lasting the effects are. I’ve read that some people prefer vaping over taking the oil drops because they say vaping is more potent, but I also understand that the effects of vaping are much shorter lived.
Whatever the case, if you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or insomnia, I would absolutely recommend you give a quality CBD oil a shot. I was certainly not quick to buy into the whole hype machine (I know that the cannabis industry is pretty crazy right now), but I can say as a first time user that it legitimately did work, and it caused absolutely no high or side effects whatsoever.
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