“CBD Oil is not drugs Mum” my son recently informed me. My eyebrows were still in my hairline as he had reeled off a thorough understanding of cannabis, its recreational uses, its medical uses, which part of the plant does what, which medical journals advocate its uses, where to buy it, how much it costs, the varying strengths and dosages etc. before finishing off with the only daft thing he could say to me, which was “Dad uses it” Well that did it then, the stuff must be shite! Case Closed! ( We divorced years ago and things are amicable, but I am still entitled to poo poo his intellect; its written in the separation agreement)
It felt very uncomfortable to be lectured on drugs by my 14 year old son. First off, I was quite happy being one of those mothers who believed that my son’shine is, and would remain, eternally oblivious of the ‘bad things’ in life, so encyclopaedic knowledge of drugs does not fit with my idealistic view of him as a wise, intelligent and non-sheeplike individual. Secondly, despite the fact that I spent several years working for a substance misuse charity, I actually know shag all about non-prescription drugs, and I am more than ok with that. I ended my lecture from my son dismissively.
A few weeks later and I was really struggling with the pains in my legs, my lower back, neck and fingers. I wasn’t sleeping well, my stomach was more bloated than ever and I felt tearful whenever I was alone. Again, my son brought up the benefits of CBD oil and demanded that I look into it with him. He took me to his computer and showed me all the research that he had been doing. He told me that he wants me to be better and that seeing me in pain all the time makes him feel sad, so when he saw the oil at his Dad’s house, he had done loads of research to see if it could help me out of pain and subsequent insomnia, and bless his heart, he also thoroughly researched as to whether it would trigger any of my severe allergies and put me in A&E again. He asked me to trust him.
What he didn’t tell me is that the stuff tastes like a combination of ashtray and sweaty arses!! Its Frickin Rank!! It mings with the ming of a thousand mingers!! OMG, it is bloody vile!!
So, from that I guess you can tell that I am giving it a trial. I bought my first bottle from Holland and Barret about a month ago. Its only a tiny bottle with a big price tag for the amount you get, but for my son’s sake, I decided to try it, although I didn’t put any faith in its abilities. My boy plopped five drops under my tongue for me and told me to hold it there for at least a minute. He then set a timer down next to my epi-pen and we stared at each other in anticipation. At around the 10 second point, I made the mistake of moving my tongue slightly and the liquid seeped around my mouth. “Holy Feck…. Arghhh….” I blurted whilst frantically looking for something to wash my mouth out with. “No Mum, you need to keep it there for a minute” my son demanded and held my wrists away from the bottle of juice. My face contorted into a twenty expressions of urghhh as I waited impatiently for the timer to beep, my son of course just laughed his backside off at me. As I downed orange juice straight from the bottle my son asked whether I could detect any difference, how did I feel? “Traumatised” I replied. He sat with me for a further 20 minutes then put the epi-pen back in the cupboard and disappeared back to his room.
Over the next few weeks my son asked me daily about how many drops I had taken, monitoring my dosage and whether the effects, if any, were beneficial. He noticed the difference in me fairly quickly, whereas I never really gave it much thought. When he asked me questions, I would shrug and say “yeah, I feel ok today thanks” but often that wasn’t a good enough response for him. Did I sleep all night he would ask, and then check my fitbit app, which can monitor your sleeping habits, to see if I had been in a deep sleep, what time I went to sleep, what time I woke and the quality of my sleep. Over the course of a week, we discovered that I was in fact sleeping much better but without any drowsy effects at all.
Next he would check my step count over the weeks to see if I had been more active, as this would indicate whether I had been in too much pain to move about much or not. He was also quietly noticing my mood, convinced I was improving each day. I do not have depression or anxiety but being in pain can cause me to be in a low mood often, but I try to act as jovial as I can around family and friends; nobody else should be bummed out by my self-pity days.
A few weeks before Christmas, I ran out of the CBD oil drops. I never bothered to get any more and my son gave up encouraging me to use it. New Years day, I was in a lot of pain in my legs, back and hips and I hadn’t slept a full night in the last ten. I felt poo! As I was dragging my arse past Holland and Barret the following day, I saw CBD oil advertised in the window and I wondered, could it actually be the oil which had given me relief throughout December? I went in and bought another bottle, only this time, in a higher strength.
That was eight days ago. I have slept right through every night since. My body feels well enough that I have started going for walks again, I am back doing my Spine Clinic exercise routine each morning and swimming in the evening. So, does CBD oil actually work in my opinion?
The answer is… I don’t know. I am considering the following options
- The placebo effect – but doubt this, as I had zero faith in the product and never expected any health benefits.
- I cut alcohol the day after New Years. Alcohol always makes me sleep badly, therefore no alcohol means more sleep resulting in better health – yep, its possible.
- CBD oil makes me sleep better, therefore I feel more rested, resulting in better moods and more energy – yes, this certainly could be the case.
- This stuff really is a wonder product that soothes my pains and hugs me to sleep without any naff side effects – yes, definitely a possibility too
All I can do is continue with this bottle and when it’s finished, I will see how I get on without it and whether there is a noticeable difference again. Some people may ask why I would bother going without since it is working for me, whether this is in fact or in placebo, the result is an improvement in my physical and mental wellbeing. The answer here is easier… its bloody expensive, so if it is doing naff all, I don’t want to be wasting my money.
I would advise anyone to speak with their doctor, not a 14 year old, before trying CBD Oil. The benefits and side effects are not yet fully understood according to the NHS and if you are taking other medications, then it would be very wise to check that there are no contraindications that may interfere with the effectiveness of your medication. In addition, I am curious that, when buying CBD Oil from Holland and Barret, the shop assistants, who in my experience have been incredibly knowledgeable about almost every other product in the store, are not allowed to give any advise or recommendations on CBD Oil at all.
Have you tried CBD Oil? What are your thoughts on this? Wonderful miracle cure or just hype?
Click the link here to find out what the NHS has to say about medical cannabis, including CBD Oil.
To shop the Holland & Barret CBD range, click here
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