CBD is arguably the most popular wellness trend of the moment. But with little regulation in the industry and an overwhelming amount of new brands popping up to sell it in pills, oils, tinctures, vapes, and edibles, it can be overwhelming to navigate the mysterious world of CBD. Heck, it took me years to figure out what worked for me. But I’m here to share with you what I’ve learned and how CBD has helped me with my generalized anxiety disorder.
What is CBD, exactly?
Technically, CBD is one of about 140 cannabinoids found in industrial hemp strains of the Cannabis Sativa plant (aka marijuana). THC is another one. But unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive… meaning it doesn’t make you feel high. Learn more here.
My history with CBD
When the CBD craze first hit, everyone from my dad to my therapist to my IG followers told me that it would help my anxiety. So I tried it. And then I tried it again. Then again. I tried different brands and different doses and finally gave up. Each and every time it made me more anxious and gave me insomnia to the point where I would be up literally all night. I wrote it off as something that didn’t work for me.
Early last year a CBD brand offered me the most lucrative partnership of my entire career. As always, I asked to try the product first and found that it had the same results. So I had to say no to the partnership which just about killed me.
But then, another CBD brand, Equilibria, reached out and pitched me for a partnership. I agreed to talk to them on the phone after they insisted that they weren’t “just another CBD brand” but something more. After a long call in which I learned about their products, their testing, and the system they’ve put in place to encourage customers to talk to a dosage specialist before using their CBD, I agreed to give it one last shot.
Spoiler alert: It finally worked.
Once I figured out the correct products and dosages for me, it made a difference in my anxiety (and sleep!) and I agreed to an IG partnership last summer. Then we moved and I lost the Daily Drops I was taking in the move and ended up kind of forgetting about it in all the craziness. Last month I got more product because I wanted to give it another shot given the circumstances. And I scheduled another call with a dosage specialist to update her on my current situation and mindset.
This time, it made even more of a difference and I can finally say that CBD has been a gamechanger for my anxiety.
Before you read on, I should note that I am currently in an Instagram partnership with Equilibria. This blog post is not a part of that paid partnership but I used affiliate links from which I’ll earn a commission for each purchase.
How CBD has helped my anxiety
For any new readers here, you should know that I have suffered from anxiety for a while and currently take an SSRI for my generalized anxiety disorder. While the medication has truly changed my life in ways I never thought possible, I still have bad days. This is a lifelong struggle for me and I’m constantly learning and evolving every day.
When I feel anxious and none of my coping skills work, I often turn to a glass of wine. But my body is very sensitive to alcohol and even just one glass often makes me feel groggy and gross in the morning. While it calms my nerves in the moment, it makes me more anxious in the long run.
I’ve found that CBD, however, is very different. When I take it episodically (aka when I’m feeling anxious and need to calm down in the moment), it calms me down without making me feel tipsy like wine or high like THC. It literally tampers the anxiety and I still feel exactly like myself.
That said, if I take more than the dosage I was “prescribed” I feel groggy and tired and somehow more anxious. Not good. That is why I truly believe in this brand. They help you find that perfect dose for you.
Now that I’ve been on my specific plan (you can read it in detail below) for a while, I’ve noticed that I never have to take episodic doses anymore. And for over a week, I haven’t wanted a glass of wine at “witching hour,” a time that all you moms out there know too well. The time when your kids start to meltdown and you’re just done with the day.
Ever since I went on anxiety medication, I don’t have trouble falling asleep anymore but I often wake up in the night and can’t fall back down. Since I’ve been taking CBD regularly, that has not happened once. Not a single time. In the midst of a global pandemic. Anyone who suffers from insomnia knows that this is a big deal.
Overall, I’m far less anxious, I’m drinking less, and I’m sleeping better. If you want to read an actual study on CBD and anxiety and substance abuse disorders, here you go.
Now let’s get into some specifics about how it’s worked for me.
CBD oil vs pills
If you take an oil sublingually (under your tongue), it releases into your bloodstream as opposed to going through your digestive system if you swallow it. For that reason, it will hit your system faster. The Daily Drops I use take effect in about 10 minutes.
If you take anything in pill form, it has to go through your digestive system which means it takes longer to get into your bloodstream but also has a longer-lasting effect.
To review: the drops hit your bloodstream quicker and leave your system sooner while the softgels act as a slow, steady drip.
I take 1/2 a dropper (5mg) of the Daily Drops in the morning with breakfast then another 1/2 dropper at 4pm, aka the “witching hour” in my house.
I have been playing with taking the Daily Softgels at dinner for sleep, but have found that since I’m regularly taking the droppers 2x/day, I don’t need them. I also find that when I take both droppers and the softgels in one day, I end up feeling very tired which my dosage specialist told me was the main sign that you’re taking too much.
I also use the Relief Cream when I throw out my back (which I do often) or when I get menstrual cramps. It is like magic for pain or sore muscles, I swear.
When you place your first order with Equilibria, you set up a call with one of their dosage consultants. They also follow up with an email and are available for questions after that.
Use code lemonstripes for 15% off your first order at Equilibria
Last night on Instagram I asked you guys if you had any questions about CBD that you wanted me to answer. I pulled the most popular questions and answered them below. If you have others, feel free to type them in the comments below and I’ll answer as well as I can.
Does it make you groggy if you take it in the am? Only when I take too much, as mentioned above. My current plan is working perfectly for me and I don’t feel groggy at all. In fact, quite the opposite since I’m sleeping so much better!
Is it safe if you’re trying to conceive? I wasn’t sure about this so I asked my friend, Sarah Swanberg, M.S. L.Ac. Dipl.O.M. and founder of The Fruitful Program. This is what she said:
“The truth is, there’s not a ton of data available about CBD while TTC because it hasn’t been studied in clinical trials. (THC, however, should definitely be avoided.) While there is some evidence pointing to CBD actually improving fertility because of its effect on certain neurotransmitters, there’s also some fear that we just don’t know enough yet. Because CBD can be so helpful in dealing with inflammation, anxiety and insomnia, all which can negatively affect fertility, we don’t think it’s a problem to use sparingly while TTC, but once you find out you are pregnant, be sure to discuss CBD with your healthcare provider. If you’re nervous, skip it!”
Can it show up on a drug test? Theoretically no. My dosage specialist actually talked about it on our call. It can show up on a drug test but that is more likely if you’re taking marijuana-derived CBD. The kind I take is hemp-derived. By law, hemp-derived CBD must contain less than 0.3% THC but if you’re taking a high dose daily, it could accumulate enough to show up on a drug test. That said, with the amount we’re talking about here, that is highly unlikely. Read more about CBD and drug-testing here.
Can you take it while on an SSRI? Ask your doctor/psychiatrist about this one. Mine gave me the go-ahead but I can’t speak to anyone else’s dosages or personal situations. You can read more about SSRIs and CBD here. And you can check out Equilibria’s lab results here.
How did you decide what brand to go with? There are so many out there! I had tried at least half a dozen brands before I was introduced to Equilibria last summer. I cannot stress enough that they’re very different from any of the other brands I’ve tried. They also publish their lab results publicly which is a must when looking for a CBD brand because the industry is still so unregulated.
Does it help you fall asleep? For me, personally, yes. My insomnia is directly tied to my anxiety and the CBD calms that down. Not only does it help me fall asleep, but it helps me stay asleep too.
How long does it take to feel the results? I felt immediate results with the Daily Drops. But as I stuck with my dosage consistently, I noticed a big decrease in anxiety after a few weeks.
Is it addictive? From everything I’ve read and from conversations with both Equilibria and my psychiatrist, the answer is no. That said, I’m not a doctor so if you have a history of addiction issues, be sure to talk to yours.
“To make you feel even better, The World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) recently concluded that CBD is nonaddictive, has no withdrawal symptoms, and is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. In fact, they determined that it was time to remove CBD from international drug control and that it exhibits no potential for abuse or dependence.” (source)
Is it legal everywhere? It’s legal in all 50 states.
Is it hard on your stomach? I have the world’s weakest stomach and haven’t had a problem. I was told by the dosage specialist to take it with healthy fats like avocado or peanut butter so I’ve always done that.
Is CBD safe for breastfeeding? You will have to ask your pediatrician about that one!
Any side effects? The only one I’ve had is grogginess/sleepiness when I take too much.
If you want to try it for yourself, use code lemonstripes for 15% off your first order at Equilibria
I am currently in an Instagram partnership with Equilibria. This blog post is not a part of that paid partnership but I used affiliate links from which I’ll earn a commission for each purchase.