Is CBD Oil Worth The Hype?
My experience with this magical elixir
Is CBD oil a miracle compound, a snake-oil tincture or an effective treatment for a narrow set of issues? Articles on CBD pop up every day. Some tout its amazing benefits while others dispute its efficacy. There is one area of agreement amongst the proponents and detractors — CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed.
I spent $75 on a thirty day supply. I’ve been using it for twenty-five days. I have a decision to make. Should I continue with it or should I give it up?
What is CBD oil?
CANNABIDIOL oil is phytocannabinoids chemical compounds found in hemp plants. Unlike its psychoactive cousin, marijuana, it won’t get you high. CBD works by interacting with the CBD1 and CBD2 receptors in the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is critical for eating, sleeping, relaxing, and various other functions. There seems to be disagreement on how CBD works to provide its alleged benefits. I’m not going to delve into those details here. This story is about my experience.
I bought into the hype after hearing person after person rave about it. Fantastical success stories piqued my curiosity. My primary goal was to improve my sleep quality, but I’m also an experimenter at heart.
Why You Should Live An “Experimental” Life
I plopped down a tidy sum of money on high-quality CBD oil. I…
What does it do for you?
Proponents claim it cures a range of ailments: sleep issues, anxiety, muscle aches, pain, menstrual cramps, and digestive problems to name a few. Another segment of folks uses it for the alleged performance enhancement capabilities like mental acuity and focus. The only use with scientific basis behind it is the treatment of epilepsy. There hasn’t been enough research to support any other health claims, though plenty of anecdotal evidence exists.
You won’t find any specific claims on reputable sellers’ websites. The FDA does not allow it. They have sent warning letters to several companies about unsubstantiated health benefits.
The prohibition is laughable given the popularity. You can’t regulate word of mouth. When someone finds their way to a site that sells CBD oil, they know why they’re there and what they expect from it.
Purchasing CBD oil (buyer beware)
You can buy it from a multitude of retailers. Prices range from $13 to $150 for a thirty day supply. Raises an eyebrow, doesn’t it?
Here’s the deal on pricing.
Pricing depends on the quality of the oil and the CBD content of the oil. The bottle I purchased had 16.65mg of CBD per milliliter. A bottle with 50mg per ML will run you $150 for a thirty day supply on cwhemp.com.
There are no regulations concerning quality control. There is no way to know with certainty if you’re buying quality CBD oil. I chose to buy from Charlotte’s Web based on recommendations from people I trust. Their products were the most expensive in my research. That may not be the best way to judge quality, but if you’re buying a $12 bottle, you’re likely purchasing an inferior product.
What did I experience?
I tried CBD oil to improve my sleep. I also hoped for improvements in mental focus though I would not have shelled out this much money for that benefit alone.
I’ve suffered from off an on sleep issues my whole life. I’ve tried lots of gadgets and potions over the years. None of them have provided any permanent improvement, but I usually banked one to two weeks of benefit from the placebo effect.
To get the supposed benefits you need to use it consistently, at least that’s what the seller says. I noticed some unexpected results almost immediately.
I’ll try to spare you TMI in my description, but let’s just say it takes a few days for your digestive system to adjust. I spent more time in the bathroom than I was accustomed. It wasn’t severe or discomforting enough to stop usage. It took about four or five days before things returned to normal.
Let’s move on the exciting changes.
I rarely remember my dreams. Most of the time I wake up feeling like I hadn’t dreamed at all. The first night I took CBD oil I experienced a bizarre, vivid dream that I remembered long after I woke up. I continued to experience this as I used the product.
These weren’t ordinary dreams. They were the kind of dreams you wake up from and scratch your head.
“Wait. Did that really happen or was it a dream?”
There was a realistic feel to it upon awakening. I recalled not only the sights and sounds but also the emotion and sensations of touch, pain and pleasure. Here are some examples of my bizarre dreams.
I received an email notification about a purchase on Amazon for $14.99. I called to complain, saying it was unauthorized. It somehow led to a high-speed chase. I don’t know who pursued me, but one of the evil guys shot me in the head. I didn’t die after being shot. I was immobile and unconscious, but fully lucid.
I was on an airplane. We experienced horrible turbulence. People cried, screamed, threw up and flew across the cabin. All of a sudden, the airplane turned into a paper airplane and glided into a soft landing. The two-hundred people on the plane cheered.
If you thought a paper airplane was weird, wait until you hear about this paper caper. First, it’s important to note that in my dream I was single and unattached. I don’t recall what led to the seminal event, but I had sex with a woman. This mystery woman then crushed my dreams with an unexpected admission.
She told me she wasn’t a real woman. She was made out of paper. She crumpled her forearm to prove it to me. It must have been a common occurrence in this dream universe because I took the news in stride. I woke up before I could see how this played out.
I wouldn’t call these vivid dreams a benefit of CBD oil. It was more like a benign side effect. It’s quite common among other CBD users. Several Reddit threads share a similar experience.
Are there any benefits?
I didn’t spend all that money just to experience a few wacky dreams. I wanted to improve my sleep. Did it work?
I haven’t noticed any difference in my sleep quality or quantity — not even a temporary placebo effect. I averaged six hours of sleep before CBD and six hours after. I should also note that my issue has always been staying asleep, not falling asleep. You might experience better results if you struggle with falling asleep.
What about mental focus?
This question is much harder to answer. I wouldn’t even know how to measure before and after focus. I also wouldn’t trust a subjective evaluation. If there is an improvement in mental focus, it’s minor. I was no more productive the last month than I was the month before.
I can’t speak for its pain relief benefits because it is not something I struggled with before using CBD oil.
Continue or quit?
Is it possible that I need a higher concentration to reap the benefits? Sure. I won’t discount that possibility. But I’m not about to spend $150 to continue the experiment for another thirty days.
I know there are lots of enthusiasts who swear by CBD oil. It may work for whatever ails them. It didn’t do anything for me. It’s time to call it and move on.
What about those really cool dreams? Isn’t that reason enough to continue? I’m sad to report those intense dreams have subsided. Had they persisted, I might have stuck it out another month.