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Anxiety is like a weight dragging your mind into negative places and taxing your soul. CBD soothes the tension, turmoil and self-doubt

An Anxious Wakeup

It’s 9AM but it feels like 5:30AM. I’d spent the previous night awake until 2AM shoveling hot wings into my face trying to hit a writing deadline. I don’t have blinds and my room is about as bright as the surface of the sun. My horrid state of agitation is probably related to the toxic sludge of hydrogenated oil and unspeakable factory-farmed, roided-up chicken limbs churning in my stomach. 

I immediately start tapping my foot in agitation, tossing and turning. I’m too wound up and agitated to get up and do anything, but my wound-upness and agitation make sitting still sort of agonizing. 

The usual pit in my stomach, the usual anxiety, the usual restlessness. There goes the highlight reel of every problem and stress I’ve ever had, every petty offence I’ve taken, that time that attractive girl rolled her eyes at me being a dork in class in 7th grade, etc. etc. 

This was how every day used to start for me, until I found CBD. 

CBD and Me

I’ve long had an anxiety problem. Not an “I feel a little awkward and uncomfortable in social situations” problem. More like a “my stomach and brain are rotating faster than the earth orbits the sun, and the slightest external stimulus will send me reeling into a tornado of self-doubt and terror” kind of problem. 

I’ve mostly dealt with this by deluging my brain with THC. But as I get older and the reality of getting stoned midday on a Tuesday and watching professional poker on ESPN8 “The Ocho” gets more untenable, I look for other solutions.

CBD was a revelation for me when I first tried it. My anxiety often makes it more or less impossible to enjoy things; I’m too distracted by the roiling in my stomach, chest, and head. CBD is like a cool wave that calms down all the tension, vibration, and turmoil in my gut-brain axis. 

Here’s an example: I was recently visiting the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park with my girlfriend, but as I walked around I could barely stand still or look at something for more than a second because of the churning in my stomach. 

But I realized we were only a 10 minute walk or so from Gus’s on Haight Street, where they sell GT’s CBD-infused Sparkling Wellness Water (with 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD). I popped over there, grabbed one, and started chugging. Quickly, a cool wave traveled down my esophagus along with the water, down into my stomach, where it settled like an orb of tranquility that mellowed me out. Relaxed, I was able to regain my focus, return to the museum, and be in the moment. 

My feet and fingers stopped tapping nervously, my mind stopped running through negative things, and I was immersed in the art (it was an exhibition of legendary tattoo artist Ed Hardy, and it was dope). 

Less Anxiety=More Productivity

I’ve always been acutely aware of how anxiety hampers my daily happiness, but using CBD has also made me aware of how anxiety damages my ability to focus and even my productivity. I’m a writer, and I need a certain level of mental clarity to write clearly; anxiety deprives me of that. Now, if my mind’s spinning and I can’t focus on my writing, I just take ~25mg of CBD. That’s usually enough to calm my mind so I can get to work. 

I also found that CBD was an excellent counterbalance with coffee. I’m a coffee addict, unfortunately, and I depend on it for productivity and energy. But, while coffee arouses the “fight or flight’ autonomic system (including an increase in adrenaline and cortisol), CBD calms it and may even reduce heart rate and blood pressure in stressful conditions. So, with CBD coffee, I can get the best of both worlds: maximum energy, maximum focus, and maximum chill.

Using CBD as One Tool in Your Anxiety-fighting Toolkit

The only downside I’ve found to CBD (besides the cost: it can be pricey) is that it doesn’t last. The calmness in my gut-brain axis usually lasts a few hours, but it dissipates and eventually goes away, and I ain’t got the dough to stay CBD-lit all day long. 

CBD drinks with caffeine are especially bad in this regard. Once the CBD wears off they sometimes leave me feeling worse than before.

To me, this goes to show that you need multiple techniques for fighting anxiety. Weight lifting (sometimes w/ CBD as a preworkout) is my other favorite, along with eating healthy. CBD often keeps me calmed down and zoned in for the daytime hours, and then I get another big blast of anxiety relief from going to the gym in the evening.