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I Started Taking CBD Oil For Anxiety. Here’s What Happened.

It was a warm summer night, just a week before my friends and I were set to start our senior year of high school, and we were all gathering at a restaurant for someone’s birthday dinner. Just before we walked into the restaurant, I realized something strange—I couldn’t hear anything. I could see peoples’ mouths moving, but couldn’t decipher what they were saying.

And then I woke up on the concrete, a worried crowd gathered around me. “You had a seizure,” my friend said gently as I blinked my eyes, trying to process this new information.  I remember it was warm that night because I was wearing a sundress, and when I finally regained consciousness my first worry was that my dress flew up and everyone could see my underwear.

After months of visiting doctors and sitting through tests like a human lab rat, it was determined that there was a slight anomaly in the anatomy of my temporal lobe—the part of the brain that controls hearing, speech, and auditory comprehension—which explains why every time I have a seizure, I suddenly don’t understand the English language. Epilepsy can’t be cured, so the only course of action available for me was to take a medication every day for the rest of my life. My neurologist prescribed a few different anti-convulsant medications, but they all made me feel tired, depressed, slow, and unlike myself—until finally, I found one that was slightly better than the rest.

Eventually, I took my health into my own hands. A lot of research, education, and trial and error led me to where I am now—a person with epilepsy who uses food and holistic practices to manage my diagnosis.

Then a few months ago, my Facebook messages inbox exploded.

“Have you seen this?” 
“Do you take this?” 
“This is amazing!” 

Friends and family members were sending me articles about CBD—a hemp-based, non-psychoactive oil that contains canabidiol—that had been shown to stop seizures in their tracks.

What is CBD oil?

via iStockphoto
via iStockphoto

At first, I was wary. Although I live in Los Angeles, where it seems like there’s a medical marijuana depot on every corner, I’m not one for doing drugs (legal or otherwise). I mean, I don’t even take Advil when I get a headache!  But despite the fact that CBD oil is made from hemp, it doesn’t contain THC. THC is the compound responsible for the “high” that comes with ingesting marijuana. In fact, scientific reviews have proven that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions,” and is safe to ingest without any side effects. Let me repeat: YOU WILL NOT GET HIGH FROM CBD!

Here’s the thing, though—CBD oil isn’t just helpful for people with epilepsy. Turns out the oil is highly anti-inflammatory, and according to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology it’s also beneficial for treating anxiety, depression, neurodegenerative disorders like dementia, and even has anti-tumoral properties. Sounds like the ultimate superfood, right? I decided to give this magic oil a whirl and see if I noticed a difference in my mood, anxiety, and stress levels.

Day one

After consulting with Amanda Chantal Bacon of Moon Juice, I decided to invest in a bottle of Gone Green Hemp CBD Oil in the 500mg tincture. Gone Green is a really incredible company that only sources the best herbs, adaptogens, and superfoods, so I knew I would be getting a very high-quality product when I grabbed their bottle off of Moon Juice’s shelf. You can buy Gone Green’s Hemp CBD Oil online—it’s 100% legal in all 50 states. They have the best customer service ever, and they carry tons of other fantastic products that any health-conscious person would love!

I stopped by Moon Juice after work, feeling a little nervous and excited all at once. “You might notice that your body feels a bit heavy after you try it—sometimes when I take it I feel like I just want to sit down and chill,” said the women behind the Moon Juice counter who helped me. Prepped for potential side effects, I emptied one dropper’s worth of CBD oil into my chamomile tea as soon as I got home … And didn’t feel anything. A few hours later I got into bed and immediately fell asleep.

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