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I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down

When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?

What is CBD?

A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.  

For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration.   In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.

While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy,   Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.

Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD

The current CBD industry is like the internet’s early years. the Wild West. Legally, speaking, a Harvard Medical School blog post reads, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.”   With heightened interest around CBD, it’s important to note that because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s difficult to know what you’re getting (whether that’s a tincture—commonly referred to as CBD oil, which is often combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil—topical products like creams and balms, sprays, or capsules), despite product labels and brand promises, the blog post further reads. It’s also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the National Institute of Medicine says that while most people can tolerate CBD, side effects do exist. They might include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite, among others.  

That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.

With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.

My First Impression

It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a trip to California that inspired me to finally test out the CBD oil (I’ll admit that my weed-based reservations kept me from trying it for the first few months). Knowing that the oil had also helped people with sleep issues, I squeezed one full dropper of the Everyday Plus oil onto my tongue, per the instructions, and waited.

Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin’s, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn’t sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.

Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt “high” in any way—there was never a moment of It’s kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here’s what went down.

It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy

Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.

While normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I’ve still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I’d be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.

I’m More Focused At Work

I work well under pressure, but being extremely busy at work has almost made me less productive—I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions (especially social distractions), and focus on one task at a time. I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety—I feel more frazzled and off task when my anxiety is running high. It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.

I’m Falling Asleep Faster

I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.

My Experience With CBD

Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte’s Web website, this is the typical first experience. “Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—’it depends.’ For many newcomers, they’re not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time.”

With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.

Explore the World of CBD

Looking to learn more about CBD? These are some of my favorite products to help get you started.

For those new to CBD, Charlotte’s Web recommends this hemp oil. Containing 17mg of CBD per 1mL serving, this CBD oil is also U.S. Hemp Authority Certified. Choose from four different flavors including Lemon Twist, Mint Chocolate, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.

Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.

Charlotte’s Web inaugural CBD oil product comes in two flavors; Olive Oil and Mint Chocolate. It’s also its most potent. According to its website, its Original Formula Hemp Extract Oil comes with 50mg CBD per mL.

Gretchen Lidicker puts a lifestyle spin on the world of CBD as the author draws on the “knowledge of leaders in the health and wellness world” to explain why CBD has become a top beauty and wellness trend for top athletes and celebrities. The book also includes recipes and recommendations for how to choose a top-quality CBD product.

This travel-friendly roll-on is packed with CBD and fragrant essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and chamomile, for an easy de-stress quick fix. The result? “That elusive feeling of wakeful calm,” reads the Sagely Naturals website.

With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.

Lord Jones’ High CBD Formula Body Oil combines CBD with organic avocado, jojoba and safflower oils for smooth, hydrated skin. Each bottle has 100mg of CBD.

Charlotte’s Web’s Extra Strength Capsules feature 25 mg of CBD per capsule. The website offers capsules as a convenient and precise way to take CBD—on the go, stash them in your gym bag, pocket, etc.

One editor explains how she took CBD oil every day for a week to help her anxiety, plus the difference between CBD and weed. Learn more here.

Will CBD Oil Make You Feel High?

CBD Oil

CBD Gummies

CBD Cream

CBD Capsules

With all of the recent hype about CBD (short for cannabidiol), you might be wondering what the big deal is. Many people assume CBD gets you high. And if it doesn’t get you high, then what does it do?

Ongoing research suggests that CBD offers many wellness benefits. But if you’re looking to CBD as a means to get high, you’re out of luck.

You may, however, find a path to better overall health and well-being. Let’s explore what CBD does and how it may make you feel.

Can you get high from CBD oil?

Many people assume CBD causes the same effects as marijuana, because both are derived from cannabis plants. However, CBD alone is non-intoxicating. It’s a cannabinoid that is non-psychoactive, so it won’t get you high. Under U.S. federal law, CBD oil can contain no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that makes you feel “high.”

Penguin’s CBD products have absolutely no THC, and therefore there is nothing in any of our products that would impact your cognitive abilities or keep you from functioning at your best.

It’s also important to note that not feeling high doesn’t mean that it’s not working. Some people describe the effects of CBD as being subtle, but giving them a feeling of wellness and calm.

CBD Oil

Our CBD oil is made with the best Oregon grown hemp. Comes in mint, citrus, natural, strawberry and cookies & cream flavors.

How will CBD make me feel?

Taking too little CBD may have little to no effect on you. Additionally, the way it’s administered — as a cream, oil, capsule or sublingually (under the tongue) — can change how your body absorbs it and how it makes you feel.

Many consumers report positive effects after taking CBD, including feeling relaxed and calm. Some people describe the sensation of taking CBD as being akin to having a burden lifted from their shoulders, as if they had been carrying around a weight for so long that they forgot how heavy it was.

However, while a few people may get a strong feeling or effect from using CBD products, not all people get a definite result. It’s more likely that you’ll experience a sense of calm or relaxation. It also tends to work slowly and subtly.

Because some people use CBD to help them relax better at night, maybe you were expecting a hazy, nodding-off feeling similar to taking melatonin. But many people report that CBD simply relaxes the body, allowing tension to float away. You may notice that your heart stops pounding and you feel more at ease.

If using it before bed, you may be able to rest more quietly, without tossing or turning. Your mind will stop racing and you’ll be able to let go of the issues you were grappling with during the day.

Other people may find that their worries cause them to be less productive during the day. They may find they are constantly distracted by the onslaught of demands and information, and this ultimately impedes them from getting their work done.

CBD may help you feel calmer, and thus more focused on the task at hand, rather than constantly trying to multitask. With your worries eased, you may feel less frazzled and gain a renewed sense of calm, clarity and purpose.

Each person will experience the effects of CBD a little differently. How CBD affects you will depend on the dose and frequency with which you take CBD, your diet and what you have eaten before you take CBD, as well as your metabolism, weight and any other medical conditions you have.

CBD Capsules

Convenient, discreet and travel-ready, our CBD capsules can be taken anywhere with ease. Each capsule contains 10mg of our broad-spectrum hemp extract suspended in MCT oil.

How does CBD differ from marijuana?

There’s a lot of confusion over the differences between marijuana and CBD. The main difference starts with the chemical compositions of these substances and the effects they have on the mind and body. Marijuana is rich in THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component that makes you feel high. THC can account for as much as 40 percent of the total cannabinoid content.

Hemp is more abundant in CBD, and generally contains only 0.3 percent THC or less. CBD oils, which are processed from the hemp plant, are legal to possess under federal law as long as they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. CBD is a nonintoxicating compound that is found in cannabis plants. Unlike marijuana, CBD doesn’t seem to have addictive qualities, according to the World Health Organization.

It’s important to note that there are different processes for producing CBD, which can further reduce the amount of THC found in some CBD products.

Penguin CBD uses broad-spectrum oils that completely remove all THC from our products while retaining the rest of the plant’s terpenes and natural compounds. This allows you to enjoy the “entourage effect,” or the full therapeutic benefit of the hemp plant, while avoiding the potential risks of THC.

People who use marijuana may experience a feeling of elation (a high) and giddiness, and the drug may also change how you perceive certain things. Colors and sounds may be altered, and emotions may be heightened. Some people report experiencing feelings of paranoia.

However, CBD is known to have the opposite effect. For example, one study found that while THC can increase anxiety, CBD seems to do the exact opposite and induce a state of calm.

Another issue is the legality of these compounds. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production and sale of hemp and its extracts, including CBD, as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC.

CBD Gummies

Made with the purest CBD isolate, our CBD gummy worms are a treat for your taste buds. Every container contains 30 individual worms, with each one packing 10mg of CBD.

If it doesn’t get you high, how does CBD work?

There is growing interest and excitement in CBD as an effective management tool to help many people deal with different conditions. That’s due in part to the way CBD works. Scientists believe that CBD sends signals to the endocannabinoid system and serotonin receptors throughout the body, providing relief to its various systems as a result.

There’s no shortage of anecdotal reports that CBD helps decrease people’s physical discomfort. However, it should be noted that many medical researchers say more high-quality, controlled human studies are needed in this area.

Where does CBD stand legally?

Yes, CBD is legal. But it’s also complicated. CBD has become readily obtainable in most parts of the United States after the 2018 Farm Bill removed legal restrictions on CBD, provided it is derived from hemp plants with a THC level of 0.3 percent or less.

The Farm Bill also created regulations for hemp farmers, which means that “any cannabinoid — a set of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant — that is derived from hemp will be legal, if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, associated federal regulations, association state regulations, and by a licensed grower,” according to the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization.

Because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s important to shop from reputable CBD brands that offer third-party laboratory results. Penguin works with one of the country’s leading independent third-party labs to make sure our products are free of harmful chemicals and have absolutely no THC in them. When you buy CBD oil from us, you can rest assured that it’s absolutely legal and safe to consume.

CBD Cream

Our CBD cream is a luxurious cream that’s silky smooth and cooling upon contact. Its terpene rich formula is designed to be absorbed quickly.

Is CBD safe to take?

Yes, CBD is considered safe. Individuals may experience CBD differently, but most people tolerate CBD very well and have few, if any, side effects. The side effects of CBD are rare and may include nausea, fatigue and irritability.

CBD may also interact with some types of medications, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start taking CBD. If you currently take a pharmaceutical drug that is processed by the cytochrome P450 enzyme (these medications often come with a warning that they should not be consumed with grapefruit), CBD may interfere with your body’s ability to process it.

It should be noted that much of the research on CBD is in the early stages, and scientists still don’t know a lot about it.

There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that CBD can treat a variety of different illnesses and chronic conditions, but scientific research has been somewhat slowed in the United States by federal restrictions. Regardless, many researchers say that CBD shows a lot of promise.

Ongoing research suggests that CBD offers many health benefits. But if you’re looking to CBD as a means to get high, you’re out of luck.