I’m an addict in recovery and I use a marijuana extract to help with anxiety, PTSD and stress. And yes, I still consider myself clean and sober. Just celebrated 19 years on December 4th, 2016.
I did a podcast on this which you can find on iTunes where I expand on what you’ll find here. This blog can also be used to reference the material in the podcast.
When I mention that I use CBD, most people ask me what it is. This article and podcast are the first steps toward developing some resources for recovering addicts, PTSD sufferers, meditators and yogis. Please pass it on.
What is CBD?
“Cannibidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that possesses a wide range of therapeutic benefits. When present in high quantities, CBD enhances THC's positive effects while negating many of the negatives.” From http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-medical-marijuana/2013/11/cannabidiol-the-side-of-marijuana-you-dont-know
The interesting thing is that CBD has to have some THC in it to work, but the CBD blocks THC from being uploaded to the brain. That said, we don’t get high from using it. Maybe if we drank a whole bottle we might get a buzz. But there are cheaper ways to get high if that’s what you’re after.
“It is an established scientific fact that cannabinoids and other components of cannabis can modulate many physiological systems in the human brain and body. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that trigger cannabinoid (and other) receptors. More than 100 cannabinoids have been identified in the marijuana plant. Of these marijuana molecules, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been studied most extensively. In addition to cannabinoids produced by the plant, there are endogenous cannabinoids (such as anandamide and 2AG) that occur naturally in the mammalian brain and body, as well as synthetic cannabinoids created by pharmaceutical researchers.
Extensive preclinical research—much of it sponsored by the U.S. government—indicates that CBD has potent anti-tumoral, antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, anti-psychotic, anti-convulsive, and neuroprotective properties. CBD directly activates serotonin receptors, causing an anti-depressant effect, as well.”
Will I get high?
No. In my experience, there’s a little heart rate elevation, some drowsiness and sometimes a little dry mouth. There are videos online that tested both CBD and THC formulas on a patient. You can really see a difference. THC gets you high as hell, la-la land, laughing, crying. CBD does none of that, at least not in my experience. It just relaxes my mind.
Will I test positive if I do a drug-test?
Well I just took a drug test for a job yesterday and am confident that it will be negative. I’ll update this article when I get the results. Update: 12-12-16 I indeed passed my drug test for employment. Keep in mind, this is my personal experience. Yours may vary. From my research, you’d need to take 1-2000 mg daily and even then, it probably wouldn’t show up. If it did, CBD is legal in 50 states and you can explain why you use it if it comes up. I don’t personally have a medical marijuana card and don’t want one. Nor do I want to be part of that scene or involved in that industry. I’m clean and sober. And I have PTSD.
What kind to get
There are basically two sources of CBD. The two that are most common for medical marijuana are Charlotte’s Web and AC/DC. These can also be used to create high-CBD, low-THC products. They use the whole plant, so you do have to get used to a little bit of a weed flavor on some of it. It bugged me at first but I got over it.
The other version is hemp based. This one is made from the stalk and isn’t used for THC production. You get hemp based shampoo, protein powder and tons of other products from this industrial hemp. This one comes in olive oil or coconut oil as well.
I find them both to be about equally effective. Maybe the industrial hemp version has a little less effect, or more of a calming effect. But I used either, or both and feel they’re pretty close.
How much do I take?
I’ve heard that people can take up to 30 mg, 2-3x a day for anxiety. But for cancer pain and other really serious, acute suffering, you probably need the higher THC compound. If you are very ill and you need this, let me know and I’ll put you in touch. But with emotional pain social anxiety, depression and stress, I don’t use the THC version. The ratio that I use is 30 to 1. That’s 30 parts CBD, one part THC. The amount I take personally is about 5-7mg 2-3x per day. I don’t think I’ve taken more than 30mg in a day and I’ve been through some pretty serious distress.
I also very the amount that I take. If I don’t need it, I don’t take it. It does stay in your system for 10-12 hours so if you take it before bed, you’ll still experience some effects the next morning.
I’ve used Kava for years, in capsule format. It makes me groggy, as does Melatonin. GABA is OK, but not very strong. The CBD is the most effective compound that I’ve ever taken in my life.
It has literally saved my ass.
How to use CBD to enhance yoga and meditation, therapy, exercise.
I recommend that you experiment with different kinds, different amounts, times of day and prior to, during or after various activities. Don’t take too much or you’ll get sleepy. Since it effects our Central Nervous System, you may be short of breath at first if you do cardio. My experience is that after about 5-10 minutes of running on the treadmill or a Power Vinyasa yoga class, the shortness of breath goes away. Then the cardio workout happens with less stress/anxiety.
For example, I take a class called Hot Power Fusion. The room gets up to 110 degrees or hotter. I’m not a heat person, so I can get real anxiety when it gets that hot and the air is hard to breathe. But with CBD, I approach HPF classes with a meditative attitude. Yes, the class is still hard and I do still feel anxiety, especially during forehead to knee pose when you can barely sip a little air in over a closed airway. But the stress is less. I go deeper into my postures. My breath is deeper. Meditation is focused internally. After class, I am amazed at how excellent I feel.
And I will not get a DUI on the way home. There are no negative side effects whatsoever in my experience.
If you have questions feel free to email me darrenblittlejohn at gmail dot com.