I tried CBD oil; here’s how it affected me

Graphic by Maria Nevada

Kelsie Newman

I have struggled with anxiety my entire life. As a child, I remember being terrified of clogging the toilet. So, I would never flush toilet paper. I would just throw it into a waste basket in the bathroom.

I cannot recall why I was so afraid of clogging the toilet. It was not something I had gotten in trouble for. Alas, I struggled with it for a few years until my family stopped keeping a waste basket in the bathroom. I had no choice but to face my fear and flush the soiled toilet paper. To my anxious surprise, the toilet did not immediately clog every time I flushed.

This is just one of many stories I have from my childhood. Now, as a 26-year-old, I look back on this and say “hey, this is a sign of anxiety!” Thankfully, I’m no longer anxious about flushing toilet paper, but I am anxious about many things.

Will I be able to graduate? Does my boss secretly hate me? Am I forgetting homework? I tried prescription medication—but found myself taking more than the prescribed dosage. I eventually decided to stop taking the medication. Which was great for my physical health, but my anxiety was still there, always lurking over my shoulder, waiting for the perfect time to strike me down.

I began researching other ways to treat my anxiety. One day I stumbled upon an article that recommended CBD oil for anxiety. The articles I read gave promising results stating most people with anxiety felt their symptoms wane or vanish while taking CBD oil. One of my favorite podcasts even had a discount code for a website where you could buy CBD oil gummies designed to help with anxiety.

I decided to do some research. I was not sure what CBD oil was exactly. I knew it was similar to marijuana, but was it the same thing? Was it something that was going to get me high? Did I have to enlist the help of a drug dealer in order to obtain CBD oil?

Here is what I learned. The website CBD Origin states that cannabis, hemp and marijuana are not the same thing. Cannabis is actually the name of a family of plants that has two distinct classifications: Indica and Sativa. While marijuana can fall into either of those two classifications, hemp is classified as Cannabis Sativa.

All forms of cannabis contain Cannabinoids. The two most dominant forms are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). The high that comes from ingesting marijuana comes from the THC found in the plant. Hemp usually contains about 0.3 percent THC, whereas marijuana usually contains about 15 to 20 percent THC. This means, you would have to consume copious amounts of hemp in order to achieve the same high you would by smoking marijuana.

Hemp is traditionally used for industrial purposes like making rope, clothes and even bio-fuel. It is also used to create a wide variety of THC-free CBD products for consumption, including CBD oil.

I finally mustered up the courage to visit a shop that advertises the sale of CBD oil. The only employee pulled out a few pamphlets about CBD oil and asked me what I was looking for—something I could put into a vape or something that I could put into water and drink. I opted for the latter.

I was offered a sample and advised to add about .5 mg into about 8 or so ounces of water and then drink it twice daily.

I bought the CBD oil on a Tuesday after class. On Wednesdays, I do not have class, so I work a full eight-hour shift at my job. My job can be stressful at times. I am currently working as an in-bound travel insurance sales representative. I sit at a desk for most of my job, but it can get pretty busy. When you’re explaining the legalities of travel insurance to customers, it can get stressful.

I drank my .5 mg of my cherry limeade CBD oil mixed with 8 ounces of water before my shift. At first, I did not notice much of a difference in my mood. It was a somewhat relaxed day at work and I did not feel the usual pressure of watching the queue rise higher and higher. Before bed that evening, I drank another .5 mg with a glass of water.

That night I slept soundly through the night. Along with my anxiety and depression, I often struggle with insomnia. Either I struggle to fall asleep, lying in bed for hours wishing for sleep, or I wake up every hour or so throughout the night.

I was chatting with a co-worker about how I have been taking CBD oil to help with my anxiety, and I realized something. I had not had a headache since I started taking the CBD oil. I usually have at least one headache every day—if not a full-blown migraine. I do not remember the last time I had a day of class and work where I did not have to take a Tylenol to alleviate my headaches.

I decided the real test of the CBD oil would be to venture to the store alone and see how my anxiety acts up. Usually, even going to the grocery store alone makes me anxious. As I was walking around the store looking for a particular section I could not find, I felt myself beginning to panic. I quickly found what I needed, checked out, and rushed out of the store.

Once I returned home, I came to the conclusion that the CBD oil is not going to help with my extreme anxious episodes. According to the American Shaman website, CBD oil helps to promote emotional balance.

If you suffer from severe anxiety, I do not think that CBD oil will provide any serious relief. If you’re struggling from occasional anxiety, then CBD may be able to help with those episodes. Overall, I am still seeing benefits from the CBD oil. I am still sleeping better than I have in months, and I am not getting as many headaches as I was. I do plan to continue taking the CBD oil for those reasons.