There are some days when I can’t muscle enough energy to leave the house. There are weeks when it hurts to simply get out of bed. As the months go by, I don’t understand why my insides hate me.
And then I found CBD oil. That’s when everything changed.
I’m a recovering opiate addict and type one diabetic with severe anxiety and depression, so yes, I’m cautious as to what I’m putting inside my body. I used to think that popping a pill would solve all my problems.
And you know what? Maybe it did for a short while, but in hindsight, I was killing myself, one line at a time. Plus, in the long-run, I was making everything worse. The thing is, there’s something called CBD that can help. Most people don’t understand what it actually is. Some may assume it’s a drug like THC, when in fact, it’s medicine.
I mean, when my sugar goes high and everything hurts, I need something to bring me back to zero. Yeah, a painkiller could do just that but there’s something called addiction and I don’t ever want to go back there. These narcotic medications are literally smothering more people than we probably want to admit (just look at America).
We are the most medicated nation on earth, with roughly 70 percent of Americans taking prescription drugs —yet we have worse health outcomes than any other industrialized country. And part of the problem, I think is the drugs themselves.
I recently came across this enlightening article, The Poison We Pick, from NY Magazine, saying how as a nation, we’ve built this technological haze referred to as life —except now, we’re killing ourselves with opioids as a way to escape exactly what we created.
And when you think about it, it’s so fucking true. I mean look at this quote. “Those who consumed opium (the plant opioids are derived from), did not shed a tear all day long, even if their mother or father had died, even if a brother or beloved son was killed before their own eyes.” It removes pain, suspends grief, and seduces humans into this underworld of divine intervention.
When I took my first pill, I had never felt more euphoria in my life. It felt like every problem and ailment I ever had, instantly disappeared. Some say it’s better than sex and honestly, I have to agree. But that doesn’t eliminate the fact that the poppy plant, through its many by-products, is now responsible for the highest decline in life spans throughout America for two years in a row.
This decline isn’t happening in any other developed nation. According to that stellar article, opioids will kill another 52,000 Americans this year alone —and up to half a million in the next decade. So where the heck can a type one diabetic and recovering addict look to for some comfort?
Mother Nature. That’s Where.
And where do you think CBD comes from? The freaking earth, people. Going back to the decades of prohibition, cannabis breeders grew strains that had more and more THC (the high causer) and less and less of the sister cannabinoids (CBD) —because that’s what sold on the black market.
People want to buy something that’s pleasantly intoxicating. But recently there’s been a shift, a complete reversal, where people who are hurting (me) want serious symptom relief, they want the medical benefits, but don’t want to get high. And I don’t blame them. I’m one of them because of this damn epidemic.
I want to feel good without wondering if I’ll trigger the addict brain inside of me. I don’t want the lingering scent of withdrawal to ever enter my veins again. And I think I finally found my answer.
Significant medical benefits are attributed to the non-intoxicating sister molecule of THC called CBD, also known as cannabidiol. CBD has been shown to reduce the side effects caused by THC and enhance the benefits of THC.
In animal studies, CBD has been shown to decrease addictive behavior. Medical scientists found that the heroin-seeking behavior of self-administering rats decreased when the animals were given CBD. And I can attest that in humans, it’s no different.
Here’s How CBD Helps Me Everyday
1. It gives me a pep in my step.
I don’t know if it’s my diabetes or what but like I said in the beginning, some days it literally hurts to get out of bed or leave the house. And I’m not even exaggerating. It’s like I want to go for a run or join my friends at yoga but I can’t —at least most days. Though a B12 deficiency may also be to blame, CBD has been shown to reduce my depression symptoms by enhancing parts of my brain that I believe opioids depleted.
Basic physiological functions such as hormone secretion, emotional states, sleep-wake cycle, motor control, immune system functioning, food intake, as well as energy balance are regulated by the frontal cortex (a region in our brains).
When someone is depressed (or newly off opioids), those parts of your brain literally don’t work as they should —hence why I’m tired all of the time. By taking CBD, you’re essentially putting your brain back together again.
2. I can concentrate like a normal person.
One of my biggest challenges is focusing. I don’t know if it’s my OCD or undiagnosed ADHD but my mind can’t seem to slow the fuck down long enough to finish a task in a single session. I was doing some research online when I found out that CBD can enhance your ability to learn, pay attention, and remember. Hence why I take some when working on a lengthy project. And I’m not the only one.
Evan, 27, noticed other changes. “I was getting really anxious from the meds my psychiatrist had me on for ADHD,” he recalls. “I couldn’t sleep some nights, and I was eating junk food because I never felt hungry enough for a full meal. When I started taking CBD (the vape oils), it was for anxiety, at first. But I didn’t realize that taking care of my anxiety also seemed to be making me less distracted. I’m now able to focus.”
Like Evan and I, you can consume CBD in multiple ways:
- Swallow and ingest CBD in capsule form
- Hold CBD under your tongue in liquid form
- Vape CBD oil
- Chew CBD gum
I mean, Jenna, 21, told Discover CBD, “I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 8. I took all of the pills they prescribe for it at one time or another.” She was trying to cut back on her dose (with her doctor’s permission) because the pills were causing more harm than good at the time.
“I’d started taking CBD as part of an antioxidant regimen, one capsule of CBD twice a day. I noticed that I was concentrating better in class and work, even though my ADHD drug doses were extremely low,” Jenna admits. Today, she only takes her ADHD medication if she absolutely needs too. Why? Because she never stopped using CBD. “Now, it’s a part of my routine. I’ve been taking CBD for a year now, and I’ve really noticed a change for the better.”
3. My worries be gone.
Researchers think CBD may change the way your brain’s receptors respond to serotonin, a.k.a. a chemical linked to mental health. When someone is stressed or anxiety prone, much like me (who am I kidding, definitely me), you’re brain and body are simply overly stimulated. When I ingest CBD, I’m slowing everything down internally, therefore, calming me externally.
4. When my blood sugar is high, CBD lows it away.
And boy do my insides need to relax. One of the many life-changing characteristics of type one diabetes are the symptoms of high (and low) blood sugar. But what’s crazy is CBD (as well as THC) literally acts as a natural insulin while promoting pain relief. If my glucose (sugar) levels are out of whack, I can feel it. By taking CBD, I’m helping myself feel comfortable in my own skin (literally). How? Because CBD adds volume and mass to the cells in my the pancreas, allowing me to maintain more stable sugar levels in my blood. It’s a beautiful thing.
5. Appetite and acne.
I’m not done yet though. According to the National Cancer Institute, CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body that play an important role in regulating feeding behavior. Because CBD brings the body into homeostasis (or balance), it can work in two directions: cutting appetite in people who over-eat, and increasing appetite in those who need to eat more.
As long as I can remember, I’ve battled with eating disorders and body issues. Pair that with everything else, and it can make social engagements with friends something to dread. Today, I’ll take some CBD before a lunch date and like I said already, my worries be gone.
But wait —on my way out, I notice a few pimples that weren’t there before. Well, CBD can help that too. Not only is the oil an excellent lubricant for acne prone skin, it can also treat acne. It’s very moisturizing with anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness, irritation and promote healing.
6. It’s taken the less out of restless leg syndrome.
Affecting around one in ten adults, restless leg syndrome (RLS) is characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs that contribute to sleeping difficulties. Let me just say it’s freaking awful. Pair that with high blood sugar symptoms and the chances of me getting a good night’s sleep are few and far between —not anymore though. Because CBD modulates the release of dopamine, it’s beneficial for managing pain while improving sleep, which addresses two of the most common symptoms associated with RLS.
7. I hate milk so CBD helps my bones grow.
For some reason, I’m the type of gal who eats dry cereal. At first, it didn’t matter that I didn’t drink milk but now that I care about my body and what I’m putting in (or in this case not), I know I’m lacking calcium. The thing is, CBD can change the organic matrix of our bones that affect the flexibility and toughness in a positive way. Research shows that cannabinoids, including CBD, increases bone growth and bone density. Scientists say for optimum healing, it’s best to mix CBD with THC (which brings me to my next point).
8. I’m no longer nauseous all of the time.
I’m not sure when this started but recently, it seems as if I’m nauseated 24.7 —even if my sugars are in check. Classified as a defensive mechanism, the sole purpose of this response is to inhibit the digestion of toxic compounds (you’re nauseous and so throwing up removes those toxins). This is where CBD (and THC) come into play.
Since the discovery of the human endocannabinoid system (responsible for the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and responses to stress), researchers have found this complex network of cannabinoid receptor sites can actually reverse the negative side effects of both nausea and vomiting. Thank GOD!
9. I used to pass out from low blood sugar and have seizers.
This one time, I was visiting friends from college. It started off as a normal morning —meditiation and coffee. I remember setting up the Keurig and waiting for my cup of joe to brew. The next thing I know, I’m being woken up by EMTs as they place me on a stretcher. Little did I know, I had just passed out from low blood sugar and had a seizure on the freaking floor as my friends scream and call 911.
I suppose my sugar had dropped overnight and I didn’t have a chance to test before proceeding with my routine. Ever since then, I’m scared AF of this happening again. Luckily for me, there’s CBD. And if you battle epilepsy, I think you’ll want in too.
Just look at Carol McFarland. “I get grand mal seizures (a type of seizure that involves a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions) for years. I’ve had between 20 and 50 per day. I’ve been on every kind of medicine and even got implants in my head.”
McFarland is a drug task force investigator who has done her research and despite unpopular belief, CBD is 100 percent legal in all 50 states. “So, four weeks ago, I took my first CBD dose. Believe it or not, I have not had a seizure since. I’m truly impressed,” she finishes.
And for me, lately, I have more energy. I’m worrying less and socializing more. My illnesses no longer define me —despite the obstacles staring at me in the face. When it’s all said and done, CBD helps me every day.