I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down
When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?
What Is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which comes from the Cannabid sativa plant (also known as marijuana). It’s a naturally occurring substance used in oils and edibles to help calm and relax.
What is CBD
A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.
For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration. In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.
While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy, Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.
Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD
The current CBD industry is like the internet’s early years. the Wild West. Legally, speaking, a Harvard Medical School blog post reads, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.” With heightened interest around CBD, it’s important to note that because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s difficult to know what you’re getting (whether that’s a tincture—commonly referred to as CBD oil, which is often combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil—topical products like creams and balms, sprays, or capsules), despite product labels and brand promises, the blog post further reads. It’s also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the National Institute of Medicine says that while most people can tolerate CBD, side effects do exist. They might include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite, among others.
That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.
With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.
My First Impression
It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a trip to California that inspired me to finally test out the CBD oil (I’ll admit that my weed-based reservations kept me from trying it for the first few months). Knowing that the oil had also helped people with sleep issues, I squeezed one full dropper of the Everyday Plus oil onto my tongue, per the instructions, and waited.
Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin’s, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn’t sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.
Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt “high” in any way—there was never a moment of It’s kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here’s what went down.
It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy
Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.
While normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I’ve still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I’d be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.
I’m More Focused At Work
I work well under pressure, but being extremely busy at work has almost made me less productive—I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions (especially social distractions), and focus on one task at a time. I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety—I feel more frazzled and off task when my anxiety is running high. It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.
I’m Falling Asleep Faster
I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.
Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte’s Web website, this is the typical first experience. “Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—’it depends.’ For many newcomers, they’re not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time.”
With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.
Explore the World of CBD
Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.
Charlotte’s Web inaugural CBD oil product comes in two flavors; Olive Oil and Mint Chocolate. It’s also its most potent. According to its website, its Original Formula Hemp Extract Oil comes with “the most hemp extract and cannabidiol (CBD) content per serving.”
Gretchen Lidicker puts a lifestyle spin on the world of CBD as the author draws on the “knowledge of leaders in the health and wellness world” to explain why CBD has become a top beauty and wellness trend for top athletes and celebrities. The book also includes recipes and recommendations for how to choose a top-quality CBD product.
This travel-friendly roll-on is packed with CBD and fragrant essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and chamomile, for an easy de-stress quick fix. The result? “That elusive feeling of wakeful calm,” reads the Sagely Naturals website.
With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.
Charlotte’s Web’s body cream combines aloe, coconut oil, and shea butter with 300 mg of CBD per ounce. It’s also available in an unscented version, and both are made with GMO-free and sustainably grown ingredients.
Sagely Naturals’s Relief and Recovery Capsules includes 10 mg of CBD per capsule, with the addition of turmeric and vitamin E.
Charlotte’s Web’s Extra Strength Capsules feature 18 mg of CBD per capsule. The website offers capsules as a convenient and precise way to take CBD—on the go, stash them in your gym bag, pocket, etc.
One editor explains how she took CBD oil every day for a week to help her anxiety, plus the difference between CBD and weed.
Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
Posted on July 28th, 2020
It’s only been a few years since CBD, or cannabidiol, made its debut on the mainstream market, but already, countless CBD shops are cropping up across the country. Since the federal US government legalized CBD in 2018, many people, including scientists, have explored CBD for its ability to transform your body’s health. In fact, CBD has almost eclipsed its psychoactive chemical companion – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – thanks to the numerous benefits it appears to offer, all without the fear of getting “high“. Thanks to the variety of CBD growers and industry tinkerers, we’re learning there’s still a lot to discover about this cannabis compound. Now, if you’re new to the CBD world, the last thing you want is to get lost in confusion, wondering which product form best suits your needs. That’s why we strive to offer you helpful, informative CBD content on our Tanasi platform. And it’s why, today, we’ll explore the ways in which CBD affects your body, specifically your sleep cycle, and address whether or not CBD can make you sleepy.
What Is CBD?
What exactly is CBD? Cannabidiol can be defined as a naturally occurring compound found in the stem, flowers, and leaves of cannabis plants. Most legal CBD oil is extracted from industrial hemp (a cousin of the marijuana plant), which has less than 0.3% THC concentrations and is therefore not a plant capable of producing psychoactive effects.
What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?
It would be impossible to talk about CBD oil without mentioning the elephant in the room – THC. While both CBD and THC are prominent cannabinoids in cannabis plants, the two compounds are quite different. The best way to differentiate CBD from THC is by looking at how both compounds affect you, the user. CBD works by attaching itself to the CB-2 receptors that are found in your cells and throughout your body, outside of your central nervous system. Conversely, THC is more likely to attach itself to CB-1 receptors, found in your brain. While we’re still working to understand exactly how these cannabinoids affect your body, this difference may help explain why THC is a psychoactive compound, but CBD isn’t.
Does CBD Affect Sleep?
Are you worried that using CBD oil could keep you up at night? Or, are you worried that CBD might make you sleepy? Well, you don’t need to be! In fact, some studies suggest CBD could help manage insomnia. If you’ve considered using CBD oil to help with your sleep problems, you’re in luck!
In many cases, sleep cycle issues are a result of stress-related disorders. While no definitive studies link CBD use and sleep, CBD has been associated with helping patients with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other stress disorders. Pain can also contribute to sleeplessness, and CBD may help reduce inflammation to deliver pain relief, which could help users sleep better.
CBD and Sleep Explained
It would be fair to assume that CBD delivers a sedative effect similar to what you experience with THC use. However, CBD does not make you sleepy, even though it may help you battle sleep disorders. That’s because of the unique way in which CBD seems to alleviate symptoms of insomnia.
CBD may help you sleep in two different ways. First, CBD appears to directly interact with the receptors in your brain that dictate your body’s wake and sleep cycle. And second, CBD may help alleviate pain and stress, two factors that can keep you up at night.
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a system responsible for receiving cannabinoids. Its receptors are present throughout your brain, tissues, and even your skin. This system controls stress, anxiety levels, and pain perception, working to maintain balance (homeostasis) in your body. The ECS can synthesize phytocannabinoids, which are plant-based cannabinoids. CBD triggers your ECS by activating its receptors to regulate stress, pain, and anxiety. It does this by:
CBD appears to attach itself to receptors and connectors that influence the release of melatonin and serotonin both of which are biochemicals that help you maintain a normal sleep cycle.
May Help Loosen Muscles
Muscle conditions like hypermotility, as well as sore, tense muscles, can interfere with sleep. When CBD works with your muscles’ receptors, they might cause a relaxing sensation, leading to better sleep.
Your body also releases cortisol, a hormone that causes anxiety that can, in turn, interfere with sleep. CBD may help regulate the production of cortisol, which in turn might help the user to fall asleep faster and enjoy better quality sleep.
If nightmares give you interrupted nights, you’ll appreciate this study that suggests using CBD may help stop nightmares so you can enjoy better quality slumber.
May Help to Control the Wake/Sleep Cycle
Ever heard of the term somnolence? It refers to being drowsy or having a strong desire to sleep during the day. And somnolence during the day can interfere with your sleep at night. So, if you’re nodding off at the wrong times of the day, taking CBD may help your body’s internal clock get back on track.
Pain, no matter where you feel it, can be a great hindrance to sleep. CBD might help mitigate this issue by connecting to your cannabinoid receptors. When CBD interacts with your receptors, it can reduce the intensity of pain signals transmitted to your brain. And, once the pain is reduced, you may be able to sleep better.
Does CBD Affect Sleep Disorders?
Sleep problems come in many different forms, including:
Snoring, when severe, can significantly reduce your quality (not to mention the sleep quality of those around you). Sleep is affected when your snoring impacts your breathing by reducing the amount of oxygen in your brain. According to research, CBD shields the brain from the effects of snoring and improves the quality of sleep .
If taken properly, CBD may help combat insomnia for many of the reasons we’ve already reviewed.
What the Research Says About CBD and Sleep
In the last decade, growing interest in the health benefits of CBD has encouraged many researchers and scientists to study its effects. Several studies indicate that high doses of CBD may help support sleep. Here are examples of research studies related to CBD and sleep:
Scott Shannon conducted a study involving 72 subjects. Twenty-five subjects experienced difficulties with sleep, while the remaining 47 patients had anxiety. The study results revealed that in the first month, a 25mg CBD pill ingestion resulted in two changes:
- 79.2% of the subjects said that CBD helped alleviate anxiety
- 66.7% of the subjects said that CBD helped them fall sleep and even gave them a better sleep experience
In another study, compared with a placebo, a 160mg CBD dosage helped increase sleep duration. The research also showed that the placebo, 5mg of nitrazepam (insomnia drug), and 40, 80, 160mg of CBD improved participant’s sleep experience.
In another study of CBD and sleep, researchers recruited 103 subjects who had poor sleep and anxiety . The study aimed to investigate the effects of CBD combined with prescribed medications. The CBD dosage ranged from 25 to 175mg, and it was found that 25mg was the best dosage for anxiety. Troubled sleep, on the other hand, needed a higher dosage. This study concluded that while CBD may help people sleep in the short term, its effects may not be sustained.
Another study published in the journal, Medicines , involved 409 participants with insomnia. They were studied from June 2016 to May 2018. During this period, participants reported their symptoms and rated them on a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the worst cases of insomnia. Starting symptoms had an average rating of 6.6. The subjects were treated using cannabis flowers with different intake methods, including pipe, joint, and vape. CBD potency, on average, was 5.7% and limited to 30%. THC potency was, on average, 20% and also limited to 30%. After using the cannabis flower, subjects rated insomnia symptoms, and the average rating was 2.2, which was 4.5 points lower than the starting rating . The results of these findings indicate that cannabinoids may help decrease symptoms of insomnia. But since the study was conducted using cannabis flowers, it’s difficult to determine if the insomnia relief was due to CBD, THC, or other cannabinoids.
What Are the Different Types of CBD and Which Is Best for Sleep?
Full Spectrum CBD
Refers to CBD products that contain all compounds found in hemp plants. That means the product will contain other cannabinoids such as CBN and trace amounts of THC. Full-spectrum CBD oils and other products are popular since the benefits of each component are multiplied when combined (referred to as the entourage effect). Because full-spectrum CBD oils contain THC, they could be spotted during a drug test.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Refers to CBD products with zero THC. Broad-spectrum CBD oil is basically full-spectrum CBD without the THC.
Often labeled as “pure CBD” because CBD has been isolated from all other components of the hemp plant.
While the choice is personal, if you’re using CBD for troubled sleep, consider starting with full-spectrum CBD products to maximize the impact of your supplementation.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD?
Typically, CBD oil is not linked to many side effects. Most people can enjoy different CBD products without experiencing any side effects. However, a few people do experience the following side effects, typically when taking higher than average doses:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite and weight
Other than the mentioned side effects, most research has identified CBD as safe and without side effects.
This guide will answer most of your questions regarding CBD oil and sleep, including if CBD will make you sleepy. Be sure to look at some of our other posts for more information on the effects of CBD oils in your body.
Today, we’ll explore the ways in which CBD affects your body, specifically your sleep cycle, and address whether or not CBD can make you sleepy.