CBD for Anxiety
I have long sought holistic, organic, and herbal treatments for my anxiety. It wasn’t until adding CBD to my treatment regime that I truly felt that I had control over my mind and body.
I have dealt with anxiety my whole life. The dictionary defines anxiety as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Which typically is about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. This is quite accurate. But there’s a difference between simply being worried about a pressing issue vs. being cripplingly worried about something. Anxiety as a disorder is when you let things worry you to a point where it becomes unhealthy. It’s when you find you have less control over your emotions than you do which causes you to be worried in the first place.
I was diagnosed with chronic anxiety early in high school. My mind and body could randomly “lock up” at any time, even over the most routine of activities. From basketball games to social gatherings, to exams, it didn’t matter. Sometimes I’d be totally fine. Other times my brain would decide that it’s time to GTFO and put me into full fight or flight mode. I have been seeing a therapist and psychologist for years. Also, I should mention that above all other treatments, this has undoubtedly been the most effective.
I have also been prescribed Klonopin, Xanax, Prozac, Ativan, and even Concerta and Ritalin over the years. Sure, they help. They’re quite effective, actually. But they’re equally effective at turning you into a mindless, and particularly forgetful, zombie of a human being. As someone who has always valued both my physiological and psychological health, I knew I couldn’t stay on these particularly addictive substances forever.
CBD as a Xanax Alternative
It was at the start of my first year as a psychology graduate student (go figure, right?) at Colorado State University that, after a nearly year-long taper, I finally kicked my Xanax addiction. It was also right around this time that marijuana was legalized in Colorado. While I’ve never found enjoyment in smoking cannabis (it always just made my anxiety worse), it seemed the market was met with a flood of every imaginable cannabis product. Weed culture has always been a major part of Colorado, so there was really no hiding from it.
That being said, CBD was being advertised everywhere as a treatment for everything. Ranging from headaches, to chronic pain, to epilepsy, to, you guessed it, anxiety. A few friends of mine (who also were being treated for anxiety) had mentioned that they had supplemented their benzo habits with CBD to positive results. I figured I might as well give CBD a try and looked up the highest rated cannabis dispensary in Fort Collins. As I browsed their seemingly infinite selection of CBD goods, I settled on a drink, which the “bud-tender” told me tasted extremely good. It contained roughly 10 servings of what I was told was a very high quality product.
I should mention that at this point in my life, I feel that I have become a master of sorts at managing my anxiety. It’s still there and still springs up at unexpected and sometimes highly inconvenient times. However, I can manage it and it’s detriment is considerably less than during my former years. This is due to bi-monthly meetings with my therapist, the practice of mindfulness, eating and healthy diet, and daily regime of meditation and low-impact exercise. I have always found great joy in being healthy. Especially knowing that the better I take care of myself, the better I feel, and thus the less I am affected by my anxiety.
Admittedly, losing the Xanax was difficult. It is extremely addictive and quite simply, is highly effective at making you feel better. I hadn’t had Xanax in over a year. My health practices were better than they had ever been, but I still felt myself longing for this band aid that had long been ripped off. That was until I tried the first gulp of that CBD drink. Simply put, within an hour I felt like I had been mellowed out. Like the rough edges of reality had become smoothed out just a little bit. I can’t say it knocked me out to “IDGAF” land like 2mg of Xanax would. But I definitely felt better in a way that is tough to describe.
A Better Lifestyle
Being a Coloradoan, the health benefits of CBD had been explained to me a million times. Although honestly (and I know this comes off as a bit condescending) I passed off CBD as snake oil being sold by a billion dollar stoner industry. For me, though, it worked. It took the place of Xanax, which admittedly I held a deep, deep love for. Its difficult to even compare the two. It maybe not even fair to compare the two, as they’re entirely different. But CBD, when combined with a healthy lifestyle, has made my anxiety so much more manageable.
Not to mention, when you’re addicted to Xanax, you tend to eat unhealthy foods. You certainly don’t want to exercise. It just makes you want to turn off. CBD is quite the opposite. The simple boost in well being that gives me makes me even more inclined to make healthy decisions. I’ve been using the CBD throat spray lately and sometimes I’ll take it before I go for a run.
I could ramble all day about how much I love CBD. It’s been over a year since taking it for the first time and I have never felt better. All I can say is that if you are dealing with anxiety, know that you have the power to make healthy choices that will empower you to deal with anxiety in a healthy way. It takes work and dedication to one’s mind and body, but it is possible and it is most certainly worth it. CBD is part of my daily health regime and I implore you to give it a try.