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I Tried CBD Products To Cure My Anxiety & Depression

I Tried It

After I quit my job to pursue freelance writing, my life began to be in a constant state of uncertainty. With this, came lots of anxiety about my next move and bouts of depression.


I found myself either in bed for hours at a time or being overwhelmed by worrying about things that I could usually push out of my mind. I remember sitting at my computer trying to "get my life together" but instead I'd end up doing deep breathing exercises because I'd be overcome with with fear and panic. It was one of the darkest and scariest moments in my life thus far.

For many reasons, I never opted to seek professional help. I'm not opposed to speaking to a professional or being prescribed medication to help with anxiety and depression, but personally I decided that wasn't the route that I wanted to take. I felt in my heart that my mental health was something that I could tackle head on so, I made it my mission to make my mental health a priority, starting with anything that I could do at home. If all else failed, then professional help would be the route that I'd have to take.

Related: I Tried Whoopi Goldberg's Weed Products For Period Pain

On my road to self-help, I discovered cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a component of hemp that has very little to no THC, the substance that causes the "high" feeling that people experience when smoking marijuana. CBD has the medicinal advantages often associated with weed without the high, which may be good for those who experience more anxiety when smoking marijuana.

CBD is becoming a very popular ingredient in beauty because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It's also growing as an at-home remedy for various medical and mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, mood, and insomnia to name a few. CBD is produced and sold in many forms including edibles, body products, and crumbles. Unlike marijuana, which is only legal in 10 states and Washington D.C., CBD is more accessible (legally) in 50 states and can even be purchased online.

During my quest to learn more about CBD and its mental health benefits, I reached out to Extract Labs to educate me more on CBD and to try out some products that could easily be incorporated into my daily routine. As a first timer, I was recommended 3 different products to try out – tinctures, crumbles and muscle cream and used them for two months. Here's my experience:

Disclaimer: I was provided free product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions provided herein are my own.

Hemp Tinctures:

Extract Labs

Price: From $40

Thoughts: Hemp Tinctures (CBD Oil with a coconut oil base) was the first of the CBD products that I tried. It's a great starting point if you're looking to get into CBD. I like that it can be used sublingually (under the tongue then swallowed) and topically. It's also said to be safe for pets, though I haven't tested that out myself.

I prefer to use the hemp tinctures sublingually about an hour before bed. From my experience, it slowly relaxes me and helps me calmly fall asleep without having a million things on my mind. For months, I would have so much anxiety before bed, especially after quitting my job to freelance. This would result in me fighting to fall asleep for hours at a time. When I started using Hemp Tinctures before bed, I could almost fall straight asleep and get a good night's rest. At first, I was using the Hemp Tinctures every single night before bed but as my usual sleep anxiety has lessened I've only used it as needed.

CBD Crumbles:

Extract Labs

Price: $50

Thoughts: I was probably most interested in trying out the crumbles. Like most people, I was curious to see how differently it worked from marijuana. To use the CBD crumbles, I had to buy a vape pen that heats up the crumbles in order to inhale the CBD. I purchased one from Cloud Pens for $30 but these can be usually cost about $50 or more. Depending on what you have in mind for a budget, this might be the more expensive option of the CBD products that I've tried.

I reached for my vape pen and the CBD crumbles mainly during the daytime before I began working, and throughout the day as I knocked out freelance assignments. It makes me feel much more relaxed and focused throughout the day. I've noticed that when I do smoke the crumbles, my anxiety about things on my to-do is lessened. I'm way more productive because of it. Compared to the Hemp Tinctures, I think the calming effects of the crumbles don't last as long but it could be due to the dosage as well.

Muscle Cream:

Extract Labs

Price: $50

Thoughts: I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the muscle cream. The first time I used it was on a day I had been on my feet for over 15 hours and my whole body was aching. I rubbed some of this cream on the areas of my body that ached. A few minutes after applying the muscle cream, I felt a tingling sensation. By the time I got in my bed, my muscles were less sore and needless to say, I slept like a baby.

Do I still have those days when anxiety and depression tries to get the best of me? Absolutely – I'm human. A combination of handling life's tough situations better and making self-care a priority has positively affected my mental health – especially since I began incorporating CBD into my self-care routine. I've been in great moods more than anything and been able to be much more productive because of it.

If you are anything like me and are looking for some natural ways to improve your mental health, I would recommend looking into CBD. With so many ways that it can be used, I'm certain that you would find one that works for you.

Featured image by Getty Images.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

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