CBD has the potential to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, bring a sense of calm, and boost energy.

By Melanie Mannarino
June 03, 2019
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Better sleep, energy for workouts, and a compliment from my husband make it all worthwhile.

I’m not well-schooled in the ways of cannabis—figuring out what is CBD took some time. I don’t know my hemp from my weed; THC, CBD ... IDK. For me, it’s like trying to get the square root of a number: If I concentrate for a minute, I can figure it all out, but mostly, I just don’t care to.

But then my friend started selling CBD oil. She’s a SAHM-turned-yoga instructor and a total straight-laced health nut. I thought that if she was into it, maybe I should learn more. So I learned that CBD oil is made up of cannabidiol, a natural extract from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, CBD does not get you high (that’s where THC comes in—it’s another naturally occurring chemical that does bring the high).

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What CBD does do, as far as science knows (and there are still plenty more studies to be done), is act like neurotransmitters in your body called endocannabinoids (think of them as cousins, of a sort). In doing so, CBD has the potential to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, bring a sense of calm, boost energy, help those coping with anxiety, and more. (Scientists are still figuring out exactly how much of an impact CBD can have.)

I wanted all of those things. Inflammation can cause everything from acne to aches and pains, and I’m happy to get rid of both. Since my husband and son have nicknamed me Yelly Melly, I figured I could do with a better sense of calm, too. And hey, I’m a busy working mom, so sure, I’ll take more energy!

There are a lot of CBD oils on the market right now, but I gravitated toward Beam for a few reasons: It’s organic, it’s 100 percent CBD (I’ve learned that some other companies don’t filter out traces of THC—and I’m not here to get high, people), and it’s full-spectrum, which means that other beneficial natural plant compounds are left in the extract (I’m all for more bennies).

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After all my research, I started taking a dropperful of the CBD oil morning and night. I held it under my tongue for a minute or so, in order for the cannabidiol to seep straight into my bloodstream instead of being digested (which is also a good delivery system—just not as direct). It tasted fine—sort of neutral, with a hint of plant life.

A few days later, I took my first barre class. I haven’t worked out in a year, thanks to a shoulder injury, and I was definitely nervous that I’d be in serious pain after (especially in my shoulder). But it wasn’t too bad. So then the next day I took a yoga class (all hail Groupon), and that didn’t leave me extra sore or strained either—and I like to think my inflammation was kept in check by my new CBD oil regimen.

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I also stopped having nightmares. Weirdly, I get them a lot—bizarre ones, like I’m driving down the road and suddenly I’m in the ocean. But since I’ve started taking CBD oil, the nightmares are gone—and since my daily stressors remain the same but my stress symptoms have lessened, I’m totally giving Beam the credit.

Inspired by my lack of chronic pain and newly stress-free slumber, I also started getting up at 5:50 a.m. for a brisk 2-mile walk with my neighbor every morning. And yeah, I’m still taking barre class and yoga. I’ve got energy for everything!

The most concrete proof that the CBD oil is doing good things for me came the other night, though. I hadn’t mentioned my new CBD routine to my husband, in part because I wanted to assess for myself whether it had an impact. But out of the blue one night, while watching TV, he turned to me and said, “Hey, I’d like to thank you for not getting so frustrated lately with me and the boy. I appreciate it.” Thanks to CBD oil, Yelly Melly has left the building.

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