Like many other anxiety sufferers, I was intrigued by the recent CBD oil craze. Both marijuana and CBD are said to have many health benefits, including the reduction of anxiety and depression. Additionally, CBD comes in many different forms including gummies, oils, creams, and vapes. This can be convenient, as it allows one to choose the ingestion methods and CBD products that work best for them. Many praise marijuana as a natural and safe way to manage anxiety. According to Healthline, marijuana has been especially effective in reducing the symptoms of agoraphobia, social anxiety, PTSD, and panic disorder. I have heard testimony after testimony from individuals who experienced anxiety relief due to the use of marijuana or CBD products. Even my own father swears by the CBD gummies. However, my own experience was not so pleasant.
I want to start by saying that this post is in no way an attempt to discredit the supposed benefits of marijuana or CBD. I support the use of these substances and think that each person should do what works best for them regarding anxiety and depression relief. I simply seek to share my own experience and to draw attention to the potentially negative effects of these substances that are not as frequently discussed. Though thousands of people have found relieve by using these substances, I know that I can’t be the only person who has had a negative experience. I don’t regret trying marijuana or CBD. However, I do wish that I had been a bit more informed about the drawbacks of these substances in the treatment of anxiety before jumping in.
I smoked marijuana for the first time when I was 16 years old. I must admit that at this time, I was smoking to blend into my current social group, not to reduce anxiety. I didn’t like the way that it made me feel even then. It made me feel disconnected from everything else around which caused me to feel an urgent sense of panic. Additionally, it made me feel paranoid, assuming that everyone else in the room was staring at me. A seasoned pot head may tell you that these feelings go away the longer you continue to smoke. However, I really didn’t enjoy my experiences with it and decided to quit after 1 year of smoking.
Fast-forward to 2019. I’m now 30 years old and at the brink of a mental breakdown, desperate to find something that would reduce my anxiety symptoms. My husband recommended giving smoking another try, suggesting that I may have a better experience with it than I did when I was younger. I started by taking just a few hits at night after putting the kids to bed so I could get to sleep easier. After my first few weeks of smoking, I was happy to find that I was starting experience some relief. Smoking relaxed me without impairing me to the point where I couldn’t manage my obligations or respond during a crisis. This went on for about 2 weeks before I started to get the same anxious paranoid feeling that I had as a teen.
I did some research and learned that some CBD products do not contain THC, allowing you to reap the benefits of the substance without getting you “high.” This sounded more up my ally so I decided to switch from marijuana to a CBD oil and a CBD vape. Sadly, this didn’t work out for me either. CBD can be hard to get used to. There is no set amount that works for everyone. Though you can find suggested dosage information online, it is up to each person to decide what dosage works for them. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is through trial and error. I bought a small bottle of CBD oil with no THC. My first time taking it, I put 5 drops of it under my tongue. Maybe it was psychosomatic, but I personally felt a slight “high” from the CBD oil. It made me feel jittery and caused my heart to start racing. I felt itchy from the inside out. My thoughts were racing. I was overcome with anxiety and all I could manage to do was lay down and try to go to sleep.
Maybe I didn’t give CBD a fair shot. I tried it one other time, lowering my dosage to 3 drops under the tongue, but I experienced the same negative effects. The anxiety that I experienced freaked me out so bad, that I just couldn’t bring myself to try the CBD vape. Maybe it all takes time to work. The woman who sold me my CBD oil told me that, to truly experience the benefits of the oil, you have to take it over an extended period of time. However, in my case, the anxiety that I experienced after using these substances made any future benefit not worth the wait.
This brings us to the infamous pot brownie. In a final attempt to make these substances work for me, I decided to try ingesting a pot brownie. Oh Lord, how I wish that I would have researched the potential effects of ingesting marijuana in this way. Apparently, eating marijuana can heighten the effects and increase the “high.” My husband got 1 brownie for me from one of his friends. I decided to try half of it just to be safe. The brownie was disgusting. Even thinking about it now makes me want to vomit. It tasted like someone rolled a fist full of dirt in chocolate. It took about 30 minutes for the brownie to hit me, but boy did it hit me. I have never been that high in my entire life. My heart was racing. I was paranoid and scared became I didn’t fully in control of my mind. I told my husband that he would have to watch our kids because I was not in a state to do it myself. It was one of those highs were all you can do is lay there and pray for it to end.
I have not touched marijuana or CBD since. I know that many people swear by it, but I couldn’t get past the anxiety and paranoia. Additionally, as a mother, I can’t take any substance that puts me in a situation where I can’t respond in a crisis situation like the pot brownie did. I ultimately decided that it was best for me to turn to a doctor for help instead of trying to self-medicate.
No matter what you decide to try, it is important that you become informed about all of the potential side effects. You must prepare for every possible outcome. In the case of marijuana and CBD, we don’t often talk about the negative reactions one may have because these reactions can be less common. According to Healthline, marijuana can reduce anxiety in some while oppositely effecting others.
Have you ever tried marijuana or CBD products for anxiety or depression? What was your experience with these substances? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below. If you enjoyed this post, please shoot me a like, comment, or follow.
Love Always, AnxiouslyM