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This CBD Water Isn’t A Magic Cure-all For Anxiety But It's Close

Recess proves why CBD-infused anything is the move.

I Tried It

On any given day I suffer from mild to spicy anxiety but with my disability, Attention Deficit Disorder, it can be further agitated by simply taking my Adderall. If you've ever taken Adderall medicinally (not recreationally), then you know that it has a long list of symptoms including but not limited to inducing anxiety making it an overall uncomfortable, lose-lose situation. For every complaint that I have about said effect while on Adderall, I'm next to nothing without it. This proved most concerning in 2018, on the heels of turning 26 and kindly being dismissed from my family's insurance and switching to Medicaid. In addition to Medicaid having stringent rules on who and how one must go about receiving medicine for ADD/ADHD diagnosis, I was faced with prejudice from my doctor's office as soon as I made the switch. The staff over-complicated the approval process, delaying my Adderall prescriptions for six months of my semester.

To say this stifled my ability to work would do what I experienced no justice -- I spent six months paralyzed with anxiety.

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Assignments would be weeks and then months late. Yet, somehow my anxiety would grow more intense at the self-imagined thoughts of disappointment and disdain. I eventually received access to my Adderall, but still: anxiety. A different kind, sure, but still very real and present. By the end of my school year, I was exhausted and I wasn't caring for myself properly -- not in ways that were meditative and healing. Taking stock of what I needed moving forward, I decided I needed to take my summer vacation to figure out better coping strategies for my anxiety. Naturally, some of the remedies on the table were obvious: working out and meditation. But, also marijuana and CBD remedies. One of those included "Recess" -- seltzer water infused with "hemp extracts".

At the top of the summer, I committed to finding natural self-soothing ways to care for myself and maintain an academic career. Recess was recommended by a classmate whose anxiety makes my anxiety attacks look like a cakewalk, but I digress. Because I only sampled the drink, I can't say for sure if it would be a lasting solution but here's what I can say:

The product was provided by Recess in exchange for my honest review.

The Flavors

Courtesy of the brand

If you already enjoy seltzer, this is definitely another brand to consider adding to your arsenal. As a seltzer drinker, I'm always looking for new flavors and these not only taste good but they're also refreshing...like actually refreshing and not like when high fructose drinks claim to be. Each can of Recess is only packed with 25 calories and 6 grams of sugar, delivering a mild but tasty kick with the following taste: Blackberry Chai (my fave), Peach Ginger, and Pomegranate. Arguably, an assortment of flava reserved for a boujee palette (It's me. The boujee palette is me).

The Marketing

The drink's creators boast about its ability to replace that afternoon cup of coffee those of us who are caffeine fiends seem to always be looking for, but beyond giving a burst of energy Recess intends to leave you more focused and reduce stress. The effect is produced by the natural ingredients, not limited to hemp extract (calming effect) but including American ginseng (energy), L-theanine (reduces stress), and Schisandra ("boosts immunity").

The Effect

Courtesy of the brand

Personally, I have never been much of a coffee drinker and I do take Adderall as it stands, so I can't say without a doubt that Recess has been the energy boost for me. However, what I can say is that it has helped with the edge of anxiety I experience in my day-to-day life. One of the major symptoms that occur when taking Adderall is teeth grinding which I believe is a result of the induced anxiety that is attached to the medicine (not entirely sure). Nonetheless, while sipping Recess I noticed I was able to control it a bit more than normal and my anxiety slowly dissipated. It provided a gentle yet calming effect, allowing me to be far more productive during the workday rather than spending half of it inefficiently self-soothing anxiety over mundane tasks. So maybe it's sparkling, but maybe it's magic. Dunno. To my satisfaction, it also provided me with an assortment of new tastes that my soda stream or even brands like LaCroix (even in all of their flavor diversity) don't offer.

However magic the sparkles in this drink are, it goes without saying that this is a very niche product, made for those living in a certain tax bracket. The $39.99 (eight pack) and $54.99 when purchased via Amazon (providing four additional cans) price point of the product is a reflection of society at large's unwillingness to make healthy and helpful things accessible to poor Black and Brown people. Because while it absolutely does make me feel better without making me lethargic or crazy-amped-up (you know the espresso vibe), I can't say that this drink is in my every day budget. So even while sampling the water I felt the need to ration it out, picking and choosing when I would douse myself in the holistic effects of this pricey water. However, in a moment of grace, I do understand how supply and demand work and can't say that them not being accessible is solely on them, as opposed to living in a capitalistic America.

Being a relatively new company is hard as is, but being new and working to bring social change (through multiple facets) can be costly when you're working against capitalism. I'm optimistic that as the company grows they will further expand their product making it available on Amazon Fresh (not to be confused with regular Amazon), where they take EBT/SNAP benefits.

But until then, try it for yourself and sip slowly.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

I Tried Acupuncture For The First Time & This Happened

True Life: Dating The Wrong Men Triggered My Anxiety & Depression

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