I write a lot about wellbeing here on the Camping with Style blog, because for me, camping is all about supporting my wellbeing, but it’s not the only thing I do to help me stay on an even keel.
Lockdown has been tough for us all and personally, I’ve experienced a spike in anxiety which has exacerbated my insomnia. I’d been researching CBD and just before Christmas, I actually bought some oil to try but I hated the taste and never took it again.
When I was approached by Naturopathica to take part in a 3 0-day CBD wellbeing experiment then, of course I said yes!
I received a 60 day supply and recorded how I felt each day over the course of the first 30 days, so I could share my experience with you. So read on if you’re curious about CBD and wondering whether it might work for you.
Whilst CBD is now found in everything from (bafflingly) hair shampoo to body cream, there is still little hard evidence from clinical trials to go on. That’s because of course, large-scale clinical trials are expensive and largely only funded by big-pharma and their billion-pound businesses simply wouldn’t benefit, so there remains a gap in conclusive hard research.
Finding the right level for you can take some trial and error, whilst finding the right way to take it can be down to personal preference.
That said, there are plenty of smaller studies and heaps of anecdotal evidence that state numerous benefits of CBD. From calming anxiety and digestion through to better sleep, pain relief and improved mental clarity and the benefits felt by one person, might be totally different to the benefits felt by someone else.
One of the biggest challenges in understanding CBD is in recognising that not all CBD products are created equally and the efficacy of a tablet can be different to that of an oil or CBD that is applied topically.
Indeed the efficacy of CBD can also be heavily influenced by the amount of CBD in the product, for most that’s around 5% which can be enough for some people to feel benefits whilst in other products the percentage can be much higher and some people might not see benefits until they choose a higher percentage product.
Consider too that in general, the higher the percentage of CBD, the more expensive it will be. Finding the right level for you can take some trial and error, whilst finding the right way to take it can be down to personal preference.
Then there’s the perception of CBD to think about. Some still worry they might be taking drugs, but actually, the active component of the cannabis that you’re perhaps more familiar with is THC.
It’s the THC content that’s responsible for producing that stoned feeling and good quality therapeutic CBD will contain no measurable levels of THC, so it won’t get you high or leave you feeling impaired in the way smoking weed can.
After about a week of taking it consistently each day I noticed a difference. I felt energised, brighter and generally more positive. Sure, I’m a positive person anyway, but lockdown 3 was really taking its toll on me and after a few days of use, I felt a bit like a fog had lifted.
I realised I was feeling much bouncier, brighter and that I had more mental energy.
The last few months have felt quite dull and difficult and I’ve really not been myself, but I realised I was feeling much bouncier, brighter and that I had more mental energy.
After reading up, I decided to take mine at bed time and when It comes to sleep I’m perhaps the ideal person to gauge the impact of CBD. I am a notoriously bad sleeper even at the best of times and since entering peri menopause, my sleep has become even worse.
Despite having an impeccable and well-practised bedtime routine, If I’m not resorting to emergency prescription medication to knock me out, I’m taking something like Nytol or Phenergan to get me off, so for me, apart from my usual 5HTP supplement, deciding not to take anything additional at bedtime in order to see how CBD impacted my sleep was a really big deal.
There were a handful of nights when It didn’t help me drop off and at 3am I was still lying there wide awake, but, on many nights I fell asleep after taking just my usual 5HTP and a CBD capsule. I genuinely have not slept without some form of sleep ai on top of my 5HTP for the best part of 2 years.
For a normal sleeper that might not seem like a big deal, but for someone who often doesn’t fall asleep until the early hours, even after taking a double dose of Nytol (I really don’t recommend resorting to doing that by the way), sleeping without taking an OTC sleeping tablet is a really big breakthrough.
The sleep was very different to the sleep I’ve been getting for the past few years or so too. When my alarm went off in the morning I have found I’m usually in a very deep sleep and it weirdly has taken me longer than usual to get out of bed (usually, even with prescription sleeping pills I’m straight up in the morning!), so it feels like I’ve been getting proper, natural deep sleep for perhaps the first time in years.
To be honest, with the days gradually getting longer and the increased meditation I’ve been doing lately, these things could also have contributed to my improved mood, so I can’t, in all honesty, say it was definitely down to the CBD alone, but, I do think it likely that it has played and role and has had a positive impact.
As a psychology nerd I know a fair bit about the placebo effect which demonstrates just how astonishingly amazing and powerful our beliefs can be. Perhaps I wanted the CBD to work and am showing confirmation bias that has resulted in better, more natural sleep and an increase in positive mood? Frankly, I don’t care. Sleeping more naturally is priceless to me.
The real proof when testing out something that I’ve been gifted is always in whether I then go on to become a paying customer and I have since gone on to purchase Naturopathica CBD + myself (I went for the Unwind formula this time) as my experience with them has been overwhelmingly positive.
I don’t get any kind of kickback for recommending them, but if you’re considering CBD, I urge you to do your research and Naturopathica are well worth considering.
You can check out the full range of Naturopathica CBD supplements here.