I'm not one for medicine and like to keep my healthcare on the more natural side, but I've been plagued for years by crippling anxiety and panic attacks. I find it extremely hard to regulate my stress levels and when I'm not sleeping well my anxiety is through the roof... But I don't want to take medicine to fix it. Enter CBD.
I first tried CBD oil during South by Southwest this spring right after I had a panic attack in the middle of a stressful morning. I was extremely on edge and couldn't do anything but fixate on the incident that had set me off, but two minutes after taking CBD oil I took a deeper breath than I'd inhaled in days, felt completely relaxed, and vowed to invest in the stuff for the future.
Since then I've been taking it when I feel like I'm about to have a panic attack and it has truly worked wonders for me (my dad was at my apartment one day as I started having a panic attack and was astonished at how quickly the CBD oil calmed me down.) If you're interested in trying some, read more below to educate yourself on the product, when to use it, how to use it, and more!
What is CBD?
Long story short, it's like weed but without the THC (and therefore has no psychoactive effects.) Cannabidiol is extracted from flowers and buds of marijuana hemp plants, so make sure you're using hemp-based CBD to avoid THC.
Is it legal?
Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states, while marijuana-derived CBD is not. Laws vary from state to state, but CBD is currently legal in Texas if THC levels are under .3%, although there is lots and back and forth as to which way rules and regulations of CBD could swing in the next year. It's pretty popular in Austin -- The SXSW Wellness Expo had it readily available for purchase and coffee shops like Cuvee Coffee offer it in their coffee drinks, so you have no reason to stress when buying some. If you are stressed about it, though, go to one of the Austin stores listed below and just take it at home! Read more here.
What does it treat?
Anxiety, depression, epilepsy, inflammation, joint pain, and muscle pain are the main things CBD is used for. Other research suggests CBD could benefit heart health, acne, cancer symptoms, and those suffering from neurological disorders. Read more here.
Is it regulated?
It's not regulated by the FDA, so get to know your provider before purchasing. Some stores like People's RX in Austin carry CBD in-store, but the dosage is much less strong than most CBD products.
How do I take it?
CBD comes in a variety of forms including topical creams, pills, oils/tinctures, and vapes. While vaping is the fastest way to get CBD into your bloodstream, I've found that the effects wear off quickly and it also makes me break out. Topical creams and gels are great for muscle and joint pain, while taking a CBD pill daily can offer an easy way to manage chronic pain and anxiety. CBD oil gets into your bloodstream much faster, but lasts longer than vaping. This is my favorite method! When I feel a panic attack coming on, I take .5 mL of my 600 mg CBD tincture by squirting it under my tongue and holding it there for two minutes. It kicks in within 10-15 minutes.
What can I expect after taking it?
Feeling nice and relaxed, but not feeling like you're high (as long as you get hemp-based CBD with <.3% THC.) It makes some people tired, so if you're worried that may be the case for you then try taking it when you're home and don't have plans! While it relaxes me like crazy, I can still function at normal capacity.
Where can I buy in Austin?
I can't recommend using CBD oil enough. when I have a panic attack, it normally puts me into a terrible emotional state for the entire next day and it takes me forever to calm down. With CBD oil I feel better in 10-15 minutes and don't have a care in the world... And it's great when added into smoothies, juice, or coffee as well.