CBD & Quarantine: Victoria’s StoryLen K
“Have you thought about medication?”
Considering that our recent discussions had revolved around my growing anxieties during the lockdown, I was not surprised my new therapist broached the topic of medication.
“No, I want to learn to manage my anxiety in the most natural way possible,” I retorted.
By nature, I’ve always been an anxious person, but the beginning of quarantine was the perfect storm for my stress. I was just nearing six months of sobriety from alcohol when the lockdowns began, so my former coping mechanism was no longer a part of my reality. When I first got sober, I had an office job to distract me five days a week. I had regular plans with friends and workout classes as excuses to avoid evaluating the rest of my habits and life choices. But once we were quarantined, I began dealing with anxiety over career fulfillment, friendships, dating and my chosen city of residence, and it all culminated into a giant ball of stress. Worst of all, I couldn’t slow down my thoughts to manage it. And while most others I knew were frequently attending virtual happy hours with friends to distract them from accepting their new reality, all I had was my remote work, my dog and my anxious thoughts.
While I still wanted to avoid any prescriptions, my therapist’s question had me intrigued, so I began researching other tools that I could add to my arsenal to combat my sometimes crippling anxiety, especially during a global lockdown. It seemed almost every other expert was suggesting CBD. The facts seemed almost too good to be true – a natural, non-addictive substance that research has found on average helps nearly 80 percent of anxiety sufferers (I’m a trained journalist, so I evaluated the numbers with intensity).
After deciding to give CBD a-go, I then began comparing the copious amount of brands on the market today. The CBD industry is saturated, so I knew data and research were going to be the key decision-making factors for me. I settled on Tsunami CBD – it came at a reasonable price point and came in an easy-to-consume tincture form. Most importantly, the company shares their lab results on their site, and having worked in the organic industry for nearly two years, I know how important it is to prove the safety and validity of “all-natural” products.
I was impressed by how quickly CBD acted as a positive supplement to my talk therapy. Shortly after I started using the tincture regularly, I was able to approach the beginning of my workday more calmly and with less impending doom. When anxieties do emerge (I’m aware that neither therapy nor CBD will be a cure-all), the physical elements of my cognitive distortions diminish more quickly. It’s almost as if the CBD arms me with more time to sit and evaluate anxieties as they emerge since I’m now dealing with less physical dread. Most importantly, I truly believe it’s one of the reasons I haven’t turned to the bottle and broken my sobriety while in isolation. And as an added bonus, as a fitness-enthusiast, I’ve noticed my body more quickly recovering from intensive exercise routines, such as eight mile runs and HIIT workouts.
I don’t think a single one of us can claim we haven’t experienced anxiety in some form during this quarantine. But in a way, I almost consider myself lucky. I’ve had time on my hands to thoroughly research tools for my anxiety, and since then I’ve discovered a “supplement” I feel comfortable putting in my body and that I can quite honestly say has had a significant positive effect on my stress levels.