My last post described my experience of anxiety, and a few months ago I found my worst days were becoming my every day, and the good days were a distant memory. I told my GP that my medicine was no longer working and that I needed a swap. To do this, I had to discontinue my old medicine first. Then the games really began. Have you heard of discontinuation syndrome? Nope, neither had I until I asked Dr Google why my anxiety nightmare had levelled up. Add to this a complete inability to focus on anything, remember anything and my sense of the passage of time was making the world a really dreadful place to be in.
Years ago, GPs would provide benzodiazapenes to relieve anxiety and these had a swift and effective action on me, even if the next day was not all that nice. I’d experience a little panic and wooziness when I stopped taking them, but they seemed to press the reset button on my brain and in the context of extreme chronic panic, the side effects were absolutely worth it. This time, when I was going stir crazy in my own body, I was prescribed beta blockers. They knocked the edge off the fear but just made me feel like a really thick dry wedge of cardboard. I really can’t think of any other way of describing it!
Then, I came someone on twitter who goes by the name of Dope Buds . They sell CBD products. Now – I had already researched CBD for anxiety and had decided not to try it because a) marijuana has a very negative effect on me, making me hallucinate and have panic attacks and b) it’s not been medically tested, so nobody knows if it’s truly safe, good quality and has no long term side effects.
However – faced with another two weeks of worsening mental distress and the only medicine I could access to help me through the discontinuation was guaranteed to make me feel like a thick dry wedge of cardboard – I was really, really desperate. So I ordered some Mia Liljana oil, with next day delivery.
I was apprehensive, but I really wasn’t functioning. I was glued to the sofa, too frightened to go outside. Discontinuation Syndrome really is a living hell. I took half of a dropper full.
Within half an hour, the majority of my panic just vanished. I didn’t feel woozy, or sick, or any of the other side effects of every other sedative that is out there. In fact, I was not sedated, i was energised! I felt myself smile, for the first time in weeks. The massive, loud, intrusive fear and internal noise just quietened. It was as though I had stepped out from that awful, noisy, painful, storm, into a peaceful, gentle, colourful new day. I was up, dressed and cleaning the living room.
While some people will no doubt argue that this is the placebo effect, I can only respond that I have never in my life been lucky enough to experience a placebo effect, even when I did believe in homeopathy and acupuncture and the like.
It’s incredible stuff. When I took more, I had no greater effect. There is definitely a personal plateau level. There’s some more information about this on Hempura’s webpage.
So I’ve experimented with a couple of different oils since then. The one I bought was a multi-spectrum CBD. There are also broad spectrum CBD oils, but the broad spectrum didn’t have the same calming and focusing effect of the multi spectrum. It didn’t seem to do much at all.
CBD gummies have the same-ish effect as the oil with the advantage that they are easier consume and the dosing is presumably more accurate. Some people prefer the gummies, like Yumi’s recover & de-stress ones (link for 20% off here), some the oil. I actually really like the earthy smell of the oil.
Since my new medication kicked in again, I still get panicky moments and I find the CBD helpful for this, though the effects are less dramatic because I have a higher starting point, I suppose.
If I could afford a constant supply, I would consider weaning myself off medication and just using CBD oil, but I can’t afford to take it in the quantities that I’d need it.
There are only a few disadvantages that I can see:
- The cost. It’s not cheap. I’m not saying that it’s not worth it, but if you don’t have the money, you just don’t have it.
- it’s hard to get an accurate dose with a dropper. I’ve considered using a pet micro dosing syringe but I don’t want to waste any because of 1.
- There have been no studies of the long term effects.
Have you ever used CBD for anxiety?
I’d like to compare different methods of taking it, and brands. Which brands and types do you prefer?
I’d love to hear, either in the comments here, or on social media.
*not a sponsored post, just sharing my discovery.