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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 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? 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?

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. 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. "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. Every year, the North Shore High School Key Club takes on a project which emphasizes community service and making the North Shore a better place to live. When they began discussing this year’s project, club president Gillian Neos, a senior, knew exactly what this year’s project should be after looking back on a substance abuse presentation the club had made in April. While the presentation covered tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse, the middle schoolers in the audience had more questions about vaping than anything else. Club members took notice, and decided that this year’s project should focus on vaping. After months of hard work, they created a video which features its members giving a presentation on the dangers of vaping to a full classroom. They go over 20 slides, each of which have a different message, such as why people use e-cigarettes and how it affects their bodies and different aspects of their social and developmental lives. The video, called “North Shore Key Club Lends a Hand to Those in Need,” was released in December and can be viewed on YouTube. Neos said vaping is a huge issue among teenagers today, including many in the North Shore School District, and the club wanted to make a difference in its community. The issue affects her particularly hard, she said, as a relative of a close friend of hers died at 17 from a vaping-related illness. “I know people in my community who participate in these activities,” she said, “so I wanted to see if our club could do something to fight it and try to stop it.” “There’s a problem in the news all the time and it hits home when it affects our middle school and kids who are vaping in the high school,” said Key Club advisor Julia Salat, “so we wanted to tackle that problem.” The club’s executive board divided its members into committees that researched different things, as well as working on difference aspects of video production.

Most of the information used by the club came from the tobacco control nonprofit Truth Initiative, as well as presentations made by past members of the club. Junior Frankie Corozzo was in charge of all the filming and editing and said that she is glad to see the club’s hard work pay off. “I know of a lot of people that vape and are my age,” she said, “and as much time and effort that we put in that was pretty hard sometimes, it all came out into good things because it goes toward a beneficial cause.” Neos, Corozzo and Salat all said that they hope the video reaches as wide an audience as possible. Corozzo said she especially hopes that people who already vape see their work and learn the truth of their dangerous habit. Alison Camardella, president of the North Shore Coalition Against Substance Abuse, has been to past Key Club presentations and said she was blown away by members’ knowledge of substance abuse and ability to communicate their message effectively. She said the two most influential parts of any child’s life are their parents and peers, and it greatly helps for them to hear such positive messages come from people closer to their own age. “It is an invaluable step toward reducing vaping in the youth community,” Carmardella said, “because the positive influence that peers can have on each other can be just as powerful as negative peer pressure.” Camardella said the video would be valuable even to children on the elementary level, as she has been told by fourth and fifth-graders that they know someone who vapes. Additionally, she said CASA intends to share the video online as well.

Peter Giarrizzo has been very proactive in enhancing vaping awareness in the district over the past two years, with district conducting anti-vaping workshops with students starting in fourth grade. He said the fact that these students are taking on this responsibility is incredible, especially considering the influence they can have on younger children. “[When] kids talk to other kids about important issues, the messages resonate,” Giarizzo said.

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