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If you are reading this, you have likely done a fair amount of research on CBD and its effects, but for the uninitiated, studies show that CBD may be an effective cure against anxiety. For me, CBD has had the following effects:
- I have drastically reduced my anxiety (after years of taking SSRIs and suffering all the side-effects)
- I have gone from consuming 8 prescriptions to 2 (and only as a buffer for controlling my epilepsy).
- I am more productive.
- I no longer have suicidal thoughts.
- I stopped taking ibuprofen for pain relief.
- I no longer want to sleep as much as I used to.
This little green plant has been an integral part of my journey. If it wasn’t for hemp, my kidneys and liver would still be working on overdrive to process all those pills. I found that CBD was the safe, all-natural medicine that I needed to break the cycle. That’s why I started this blog–it’s my own way of spreading the good word.
But it didn’t always work for me. It took some trial and error on my part, and if you have yet to add CBD into your daily routine, then you will likely go through a similar process. Maybe you have used CBD, but you are finding that it isn’t the cure-all you expected it to be. If you suffer from any sort of physical pain, anxiety, or depression, take a look at these three tips that will help make CBD more effective for you:
1. Change up how you are consuming CBD
Whether that means trying a new brand of oil, or trying an entire new method of consuming hemp — you need to get your body to respond to the CBD. I first started using CBD in the form of CBD hemp oil tinctures that I bought at my local organic grocery store. Since then, I have tried every form of CBD consumption possible (well, not rectally…), and I found that consuming both orally and sublingually is the least effective method for me. This comes as no surprise as there appears to be a drop-off of bioavailability in CBD when consumed orally — about 6% of what you consume by mouth will effectively enter the bloodstream. Compare this to a study that found that inhaling CBD garnered a mean bioavailability of 31%. That being said, CBD effects will change depending on how you consume it.
2. Build-up the amount of CBD in your bloodstream
When I first started on anti-anxiety medications, it took me months to feel any better. Multiple systems in my body had to adjust to the chemical change taking place (in this case, increased serotonin. Dosing CBD isn’t nearly as painstaking–and in my experience, the benefits come much faster–but there is going to be an incubation period, especially if you are treating anxiety or depression. If you are treating for body aches and pains, I would definitely suggest consuming CBD in its highest bioavailable form, which is through inhalation. I have yet to meet a person who feels zero effects after smoking/vaping CBD. That being said, CBD works best in conjunction with other cannabinoids (yes, including THC for some folks). The best way to get other cannabinoids is to smoke or vaporize real flower from the cannabis plant. You can ship this stuff straight to your door, thanks to Tweedle Farms (subscribe to email list for a limited time 10% discount), or find flower at your local headshop, even if you are in an illegal or semi-legal cannabis state (due to the 2014 Farmer’s Bill, industrial hemp is technically legal to sell).
To that, I say find your ratio. I try and consume CBD in a variety of ways. You know your body best. I like to start my day off with some CBD tea before work, or a quick dab of a CBD isolate or full-spectrum slab (these have less CBD, but are more complete with natural hemp terpenes).
Some people like to to use an ejuice vape. The ELF by Honey Stick is my go-to stealth vaporizer for now. Good battery life, great for the morning commute to work, and you can add whatever ejuice you want. It’s also nice for a little quick relief when you’re on the go and can’t make a batch of tea or load up your rig. I recently brought my ELF vaporizer to a two-day ultimate frisbee tournament, and we made it all the way to the finals game, and I did not take a single painkiller. I’ve been playing the sport for five years and I have never not taken at least one ibuprofen for my achilles tendinitis. For me, that’s huge. By the end of the weekend, a couple of my teammates were even asking for some stealth hits.
If you have some money, you could also pursue The Phantom Squeeze Box, which also does wax and concentrates. It’s a great option if you don’t want to fire up a rig with a torch, and if you prefer to not use ejuice, but still need to a dose of CBD on the go.
Mix it up. Find your ratio. For me, I keep an even ratio of 1:1 (1 part flower, 1 part isolate/concentrate).
3. Take care of your body
Probably more important than taking care of your endocannabinoid system is taking care of your body as a whole. Eat better. Eat less processed foods and eat more whole foods. Drink more water. I repeat: drink more water. Water keeps your body oiled up and ready to process vitamins, nutrients, and all those sweet cannabinoids.
That being said, CBD is only a part of the puzzle. If you want to fight anxiety, depression, and other ailments, exercise is key. Do something you physically love doing. I play ultimate, bike to work, rock climb, practice yoga, and I like to think I lift weights. There is no high like a post-workout high. Use your body–you can do it!
Self-care should be a part of everyone’s routine. Just like cooking, taking medicine, and doing chores, self-care should be practiced–even if you don’t feel like doing it.
Deep breathing and meditation. Try it. 5 minutes of quiet, self-reflection. Some CBD will help calm the nerves too!
(If you’ve never meditated before, /r/meditation is always a good place to start.)