When my GP told me that I was suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) I couldn’t quite get my head around it to start with. Surely everyone feels the winter blues – especially on this damp little island, anyway? I have had bouts of depression and anxiety on and off for years, but never quite been able to place my finger on what sets them off. But they have undoubtedly been worse in winter. I’m much more irritable and grumpy compared to usual, in part because it messes up my sleep schedule too.
Anyway, my doctor suggested a light course of SSRI medication to try and kick-start my serotonin levels. I wasn’t keen on this course of action after having experienced terrible side effects in the past, so instead, we agreed on plan B – a lightbox. Rather amazingly, this did make a huge improvement – but they aren’t exactly very portable!
So feeling pretty dreadful I was willing to try anything that may help to stabilize my mood. As a regular vaper, I noticed that cannabis extracts had become increasingly available recently. I was concerned about the legality (I work in education) and was also wary about becoming dependent on a drug if they did offer any relief.
The more I researched, the more confident I was in giving CBD a try. At first, it was really quite confusing, as nobody seemed confident in saying for sure how much is a suitable dose for anxiety/depression, let alone whether capsules, oils or e-liquid were better.
Much of the information I found from current users tended to also be from an American perspective and discussed products that were not easily sourced over here. But what was clear pretty early on was that CBD can help with minor mental health conditions, and I was determined to try it out for myself.
I had nothing to lose!
Following a good deal of thought and discussion with my better half, I decided that I wanted a CBD product to supplement the success I had enjoyed with my lightbox. Other people had found that e-liquids worked fastest for providing relief from the winter misery, especially when taken to support a twice a day oil-based routine.
So I shopped around a bit and decided that my little experiment may as well be ‘all or nothing’! I found a top of the line company who were certifiably 100% eco-friendly (and seemed to know what they were talking about), picked out a 400mg full spectrum oil and a 200mg entourage effect e-liquid. These were waiting on the doormat the next day when I arrived home from work. Tempting as it was to dive straight in, my research had suggested that it was best to do so in an orderly routine. So after another night of broken sleep, it was time to get started!
The taste of the oil took me by surprise. Again, I was expecting it to be a little full-on but it was very earthy indeed. I took two drops first thing in the morning and gave it three quarters on an hour before eating breakfast (it supposedly helps to absorb on an empty tummy).
Around lunchtime, I took a few draws on my CBD e-liquid and while ‘naturally’ flavoured I found this much easier to actually enjoy. I didn’t really feel any better/different! I knew not to expect any sense of a high, even though my selections contained more THC than usual.
But I stuck it out and kept a very regimented routine for the next few days. I think probably around the end of Day Four I just sort of noticed that the darkness outside wasn’t bothering me so much. It was a very peculiar feeling and one that is even more tricky to fairly describe. That evening I enjoyed a full night of uninterrupted sleep – and what a novelty it was to actually be woken by my bedside alarm instead of groggily counting down the minutes before it went off.
To continue intothe future?
It has now been two weeks since I started this little adventure and I can say undoubtedly that CBD has delivered a very positive effect. I’m still a bit down, but it just doesn’t bother me very much anymore. There is definitely something in the vaping causing a more immediate and noticeable relief from symptoms. Whether or not it would work as well without that base twice a day tincture dose I am not so sure, but the two styles seem to complement each other well.
I’ll certainly be sticking to my CBD routine over the winter months, and maybe beyond that as well.
The next part of my journey will be upping my dose just a little to see if it makes any further improvements. From what I have read online it seems like I stumbled quite luckily into a sensible strength of dose and my hunch that quality really matters and makes a difference seems an accurate one.
Would I recommend it to anyone in a similar boat? Come on, I know there are millions of us out there! There’s absolutely no reason not to give it a spin, and it sure beats those SSRI’s – in my opinion anyway.