Introverted Tendencies: I Tried CBD to Help Ease My Social Anxiety
Having an introverted personality may mean that you prefer to recharge your social batteries alone, but it doesn’t mean your relationships, confidence, or ability to have fun in a group has to suffer because of it. In this column, our Managing Editor is on a mission to change how she sees herself and interacts with the world — from inward reflection to outward actions and breakthroughs both personal and through the lens of others, this is how she’s challenging self-imposed social limitations and pushing the boundaries of her own comfort zones. Welcome to Introverted Tendencies.
When most people think of introversion, they think of someone particularly quiet who would prefer to stick their nose in a book to socialize with a group of people. While that’s true for some, it’s not the case for everyone.
In fact, according to author and professor Jonathan Cheek, there’s not just one way to be an introvert, he suggests that there are four shades of introversion: social, thinking, anxious, and restrained, many introverts being a mix of all four types.
As for me, I’m a healthy mix of all four, but anxiety ranks top. It’s not that I don’t enjoy spending time around people, I do. But being socially anxious means that I easily tire and stress over social situations that most people would find insignificant.
When I first heard about cannabinoids being used as a way to quell social anxiety, it piqued my interest immediately. CBD is found in the hemp plant, has no THC — which is what gets you high — and helps calm the mind, fight inflammation and maintain a level of blissful mental clarity.
According to Natasha Victoria, CBD advocate and owner of Psychedelicacy Inc, “As someone who has struggled with anxiety, CBD has changed my life. It was for this reason mainly that I felt such a need to start up my business. If CBD could ease my thoughts this much and change the way I live my life, it would be selfish not to share it with others.”
Herb is the healing of the nation — Bob Marley
And so I gave it a try
With nothing to lose, I booked a virtual appointment with a doctor and received my CBD prescription shortly after. I was excited to try something so natural with so many added benefits but nervous to see how it would affect me.
I anxiously tried my vial of CBD oil in the comfort of my own home before testing it in a social setting. However, I took it right before bed and although I knew for sure that it offered a superb night’s sleep, I wasn’t sure how it worked on my conscious mind.
That morning before work, I took another drop of the oil and made my way into my office. While I was relatively calm on the subway ride in, I started feeling notably anxious as I got closer to my office, to where I would be joining my colleagues in a meeting, while technically high.
I had to remind myself that CBD is specifically made to increase your focus and mental clarity, so any sort of notion I had about ‘being high’ in public was totally incorrect.
It took a few days for the novelty to wear off, but after a week it had started feeling normal — and in turn, I started feeling less anxious overall. Taking a small dose of CBD in the morning meant I was able to start my day at work full of confidence — thus giving me the ability to present in front of my colleagues without letting anxiety get in the way.
An increase in sleep, decrease in stress
While I did experiment with frequency and time of dosage (my prescription was pretty vague and suggested I find what works for me), I preferred to stick to once- or twice per day, before I head to work, and when I’m about to tuck into bed.
According to Natasha, “I always tell my clients that taking CBD before bed will have you waking up before your alarm rings comparatively to smoking THC, which makes you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus first thing in the morning.”
Along with having anxious, introverted tendencies, I also struggle to sleep a lot of the time, which has been proven to play a huge role in how my anxiety manifests itself during waking hours.
Thanks to my daily dose of CBD, I was sleeping better than ever, waking up with a clear mind and a better attitude to face the day.
I like the sensation and the ease of making my social anxiety lessen — it has made it significantly easier for me to get to sleep at night, it helps me work through my existing introverted tendencies and in general has given me a certain freedom that I didn’t know was there.
Of course, this isn’t the end all, be all, to my introverted tendencies, or to my social anxiety, there are days when I would prefer not to talk to anyone, days where I feel too awkward to speak up or share my opinion, but for the most part, it really does help significant.
Do you have introverted tendencies, too? I want to hear from you! Share your breakthroughs, experiences, and social challenges with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.