My Story on How CBD Changed My Life
Why am I always stressed?
It never appeared to me that I ran somewhat high stressed, but looking back at my old self, I now realize I did. My heart tended to race, and there were times I was searching to find my breath, but as a busy high school student, and then college student, those feelings didn’t stand out to me as a cause for concern. I was always on the go, moving on to the next goal, working, going to classes, and everything just seemed normal to me.
It wasn’t until I quit my job to become a stay at home mom, and after having my first daughter, that life finally started to slow down for me. I thought all my worries were behind me because the stressors that were caused by work were no longer there, but I continued to feel overwhelmed. And it got worse. Going to a restaurant or the airport with a baby now required so many steps, planning, and things that were out of my control. Having a baby was a lesson in losing control, and I was finding it harder and harder to cope. I constantly felt overwhelmed. In addition to constantly feeling overwhelmed, I also started to have trouble sleeping. Even as I finished breastfeeding, I would still wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep. After I had my second daughter, it got even worse. The stress and sleepless nights I was experiencing were at an all time high. I would begrudgingly get out of bed to a crying baby and rambunctious two year old after being up since 3am tossing and turning, and I would be miserable. I felt like a shell of myself. It affected my entire life. I wasn’t able to work out or move my body to take care of it because I was tired. I wasn’t cooking nourishing meals because that took too long, and my patience and presence that these two young, adoring girls constantly needed was at an ultimate low. I knew I needed help, but everything in my body was saying “no” to the idea of taking prescription medication. I feared being put on a heavy sleep medication that I could become addicted to, or not wake up when my baby was crying. I had heard horror stories of people driving their cars and crashing while driving on prescription sleep medicine. After many long conversation with my husband, we talked about getting my stress under control, and CBD was brought up numerous time. So I turned to CBD.
Where do I start with CBD?
When I began to use CBD to help with sleep and stress, it was a bit of a personal experiment. I began researching CBD in early 2018, and I had no idea where to start. I had so many questions. Where do I buy CBD oil near me? Can I buy CBD online legally? What is full spectrum CBD? What is broad spectrum CBD? Will CBD make me feel high? I had so many questions, but I didn’t know what and who to believe. I turned to people I trusted. I have always loved cooking Paleo and Whole 30 style food and followed tons of people who were influencers in this space. Luckily, most of them lived a holistic lifestyle, and some were recommending CBD for sleep and stress relief. I bought the CBD products they recommended and tried them out. It is funny to look back on how this journey began; I was truly influenced! And it worked!
I started to take CBD every night before bed. I experimented with CBD oils, gummies, and soft gels. I experimented with different forms of CBD such as isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum products. I didn’t know then what I know now, but it truly was a process of trial and error, an ongoing experimentation with lots of different products, and a constant pursuit of different types of CBD, until I found what works for me. And it worked!
What are the benefits of CBD?
After taking CBD before bed every night, I was sleeping deeply, first for 6 hours, and then for 8. The quality of my sleep changed dramatically. If I awoke at 3am, I could go back to sleep without a problem. If I had to wake in the middle of the night to tend to a child, I could still fall back asleep. If I couldn’t fall asleep, I would simply take some CBD oil to calm me down, and I would be able to fall asleep within 30 minutes. And because I was sleeping, I was eating better the next day. I was able to work out again because I had more energy. Most importantly, I had patience, presence, and could be more interactive and intentional with my babies because I had the energy to do so. My stress subsided during the day because I was sleeping better at night, and I was able to eat nourishing foods and exercise (all common factors that affect your stress levels). I couldn’t believe CBD helped in such a drastic way, but it did, and I am so grateful. The added benefit that CBD was a natural remedy, and that I didn’t need to use a prescription medicine, felt safe to me.
What does CBD do?
CBD interacts with our bodies in many different ways. According to Project CBD “One of the main ways is by mimicking and augmenting the effects of the compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids” – so named because of their similarity to compounds found in the cannabis plant. These “endocannabinoids” are part of what scientists refer to as the “endocannabinoid system.” Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps to regulate many physiological processes in our bodies. According to Dr. Caroline Hartridge “the ECS is your body’s master conductor controlling your sleep-wake cycle, digestion, perception of pain, libido, ability to forget traumatic events, and thermoregulation”.
What happens when your Endocannabinoid System isn’t balanced?
Essentially, when your ECS is not functioning properly, or is out of balance, one, or more than one, of these psychological processes that the ECS helps to control will not work optimally. This is where CBD comes in. Ingesting CBD interacts with the receptors in our ECS and brings areas of deficiency back into balance. When your ECS reaches homeostasis (a fancy word for stability or balance), it “sets the stage for self-healing on the cellular level.” For me, when my ECS is balanced and in alignment, I sleep better and experience less stress. When I am sleeping and less stressed, I eat better, exercise, and overall I’m a better mom and partner. I am able to focus clearly, and I can deal with most stressors with ease. For me, it was the missing puzzle piece that enabled my entire body to feel whole again.
Does CBD really do anything?
In my personal story, CBD helps me feel more calm and sleep better, and I know there are thousands of stories out there just like mine. Scientifically, we know that we have CB receptors in our bodies that react to CBD, and it helps to bring our ECS into balance. When our ECS is balanced, it is working at optimal function.
During the current pandemic and stay at home orders, when stress levels arose I was able to turn to CBD to help curb my stress during the day. By reducing stress, I was able to maintain good sleep, to be there for my kids, and to not lose my mind with the constant changes caused by the pandemic, not seeing friends and family, and navigating Zoom school.
To me, taking CBD feels a lot like taking a vitamin because I can add it to my daily routine to offset a deficiency in my body. Having an endocannabinoid deficiency feels similar to having a vitamin D deficiency, where I take vitamin D. Our ECS needs extra support, and I feel empowered knowing I can take CBD, a natural substance that my body actually needs to feel balanced.
Here is what I am currently taking:
Kingsley Soft Gels – I take one soft gel an hour before bed. Each softgel is 30mg which helps me stay asleep all night. Soft gels can last up to 12 hours, which I find works perfectly for getting 8 hours of sleep.
Kingsley CBD Mint Oil – I use this CBD oil as needed, when stress triggers arise during the day or night. I will take a half dropper (15mg) and it helps to calm my nervous system within 20 minutes. Are your kids driving you crazy today – this can help quickly!
Healthy Roots – I use this during the day as needed. If I wake up feeling overwhelmed, and need some extra support throughout the day, I will take one soft gel after breakfast. Each soft gel is a low dose of 10mg of CBD, which helps me be more grounded. I will also use this if I know I am traveling, or anticipate being affected by known stress triggers.
How to Start Using CBD
Once you decide to add CBD to your daily self care routine, you’ll need to find the right dosage. Expect to go through some experimentation to find what works best for you and your body. There is no “one-size fits all” recommended prescription dose, but there are some guidelines you can follow to set yourself up for success.
- Start “low and slow” – start with a 10mg CBD soft gel or gummy for longer relief. If you know you need a faster on-set (such as to help you fall asleep), start with a CBD oil. You can learn more about CBD on-set times here.
- Use a CBD journal to track your progress, symptoms, and the dose you are taking. Are you seeing the results you want? Track how you are feeling, or how you are not feeling. For example, I noticed i wasn’t overwhelmed today, or I felt more calm.
- Take 10mg of CBD for at least 3-5 days before making any changes to your dosage amount. CBD takes some time to build up in your body. If you are not seeing the desired results increase your dose.
- Take the same amount of CBD every day (at the same time) if you can, like a vitamin.
- If you can, use full spectrum products, you will get the most benefit from these. Learn more about CBD spectrums here.
Use our dosage specialist to help you find products, your unique dosage amount, or any other support you need! We are here to help you on your CBD journey. To talk to one of our dosage specialists go here.
Some final thoughts
You don’t have to suffer or go through life feeling like an imposter of yourself. You are not alone. I hope my story inspires you to take your health into your own hands, so you can heal naturally and feel better again.
About the Author:
Heather Young, MA has worked with hundreds of customers to find the right CBD products and dial in their dosage. Heather’s CBD experiment continues to this day, and she’s been through every common CBD experience. She’s seen CBD work well one day and stop working the next. Some products have worked well, where similar products from different brands haven’t worked at all. As a behavioral therapist, Heather applied her career training to developing simple dosage routines that are easy to follow. To learn more about Heather’s dosage guidance and connect with her, visit our CBD dosage page.