You don’t have to be a health editor to know CBD is everywhere. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-psychoactive (meaning it won’t get you high) molecule found in cannabis, and it’s being added to everything from serums to oils to desserts. The ingredient and its uses are still pretty new, so it’s hard to know whether or not there’s any legitimacy to the products, which is why I decided to do some of my own investigating. For one month, I took a CBD gummy every day to see what happened.
Because I regularly feel stressed and overwhelmed (don’t we all?), I tried a very fitting brand called Sunday Scaries. While not a cure-all for anxiety, CBD can help with the small things that throw you off your game, Sunday Scaries’ co-founder Mike Sill says. “We’re tackling the daily stressors — getting stuck in traffic, being late for work, looking at an overwhelming inbox, a long list of to-dos — CBD allows you to zoom out and relax and then circle back and focus,” he says. Music to my ears! And probably yours too, considering last year 55% of Americans said they had experienced stress during a lot of the day and nearly 45% said they felt worried a lot, according to a Gallup World Poll.
So for 30 days, I took a Sunday Scaries gummy ($39 for a bottle of 20 on sundayscaries.com) every morning, as if it were a vitamin. Obviously, the second I popped that first bear in my mouth, I hoped I’d instantly feel super zen. Unfortunately, that was not the case. While Sill says some people may feel the effects after one, others (me, apparently) need two or three to feel immediate bliss. But what really convinced me of CBD’s super powers were the days that I didn’t take any. A few separate occasions, I’d get to the afternoon and realize I felt wayyy more stressed than usual for no apparent reason. Then it hit me—I’d forgotten to take a gummy that morning. At first, I wrote it off as placebo effect (and sure, there could have been a bit of that taking place), but as the month went on, I became more convinced of CBD’s effects. For me, there was a direct correlation between taking a gummy or two and feeling way more calm, despite the number of meetings or responsibilities I had that day. On top of calm, CBD is also supposed to make you feel more focused. Personally, my mind still wandered, but I didn’t feel sleepy at all. (I did try a different CBD product and felt as though I’d just taken melatonin—not good considering it was 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, but good to know for the future!). If you do want to take CBD for sleep issues, consider a tincture, which often have a higher dosage of CBD and tend to work more quickly.
Stress-relief and help with sleep are not CBD’s only benefit, Sill says. “CBD can help with anything from digestive issues to inflammation to work out recovery,” he says. The FDA hasn’t approved CBD products for all of these ailments just yet (so do your own research, talk to your doc before trying and start with a 10 mg dose), but it did recently give the go-ahead on a CBD-based drug for treating epilepsy.
While these infused gummies are obviously not the only way to find peace and calm, I will say I’ll be keeping a bottle or two in my desk drawer for when the Sunday (or Monday or Tuesday or…) scaries hit.