I've struggled with anxiety since I was a kid. I remember driving in the car when it was raining and being terrified our windshield wipers would stop working and we would get in a crash. I never learned how to do a cartwheel because I was convinced I would fall and break my neck. As an adult, my anxiety can sometimes be crippling; it feels like I'm a prisoner trapped inside my own brain.
And while I take a cocktail of medication for my bipolar II (bipolar disorder exists on a spectrum and anxiety can be a symptom), sometimes my anxiety is particularly rough. Since my psychiatrist's office doesn't prescribe benzodiazepines (think: Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan) — and I personally don't want to take them — I have needed another quick fix to curb my anxiety and calm me down ASAP.
Enter cannabidiol, or CBD oil. I had read about how effective CBD oil can be to treat anxiety. Even though I'm lucky enough that I don't get panic attacks, I was hoping CBD could treat the anxiety symptoms I do have: dizziness, racing, catastrophic thoughts. increased heart rate. nausea, etc. So when Charlotte's Web sent me a variety of hemp oils, I was eager to try them.
Since I was new to CBD oil, I started with the regular Hemp Extract Oil ($40-$100 at cwhemp.com), which has about 10 milligrams of hemp extract per one milliliter serving (about two full droplets' worth). After using that dosage a few times, I didn't see much difference in my anxiety symptoms. It wasn't until I started using Charlotte's Web Hemp Extract Oil Plus ($75-$189 at charlottesweb.com), which has 25 milligrams of hemp extract per one milliliter serving (about two droplets' worth), that I started noticing a difference.
When I'm starting to feel anxious, I take two droplets of the Hemp Extract Oil Plus under my tongue: I start with one droplet, let it set under my tongue, and wait about a minute for it to absorb. Then I repeat with the second droplet. After a few minutes, I can notice my anxiety symptoms slowly start to go away. It's not instantaneous, and it doesn't completely cure my anxiety, but I can certainly feel a difference.
Now, I keep a bottle of Charlotte's Web Hemp Extract Oil Plus with me at all times: in my going-out purse, in my gym bag, and in my work bag. I like the mint chocolate flavor the best, but also take the olive oil flavor, too. As neuroscientist and cannabis expert Josh Kaplan, PhD, told POPSUGAR, you don't necessarily feel CBD working for anxiety like you would feel the sensation of getting high with THC; it's more like a relief of symptoms.
That's exactly how I feel when I take it, and it's my new secret weapon. Not that taking hemp oil is a replacement for psychotropic drugs — this is a conversation you should have with your doctors before making any changes — but if you are looking for an all-natural anxiety relief remedy, try Charlotte's Web Hemp Extract Oil Plus. And if you're looking for an even more potent option, check out Charlotte's Web Hemp Extract Oil Advanced ($150-$275 at cwhemp.com), which has about 43 milligrams of hemp extract per one-half milliliter serving.