A little off the Pocketables tech train, but as we occasionally cover medical issues and devices we’ve run across, I thought I’d give a little shot in case you’re thinking of trying CBD (which is legal in all of the US.)
Should point out for those not in the know, CBD is not marijuana, it’s been legal for a few years now, doesn’t get you high in any dose, and if you want to call it the devil’s weed, evidently the devil likes a good night’s sleep.
I’m not monetizing any link or promoting any specific brand. This is just what I experienced during the past six months as I’ve been trying various things, and what you might expect.
What we were dealing with
First off, I feel I should set the medical stage from six months ago – 45 year old male, 3 toes broken left foot (because a kid decided to put a potty stool in the middle of the dining room, other kid needed help in the middle of the night hitting the bathroom, crack,) using a dopamine agonist to control RLS (twitching leg,) and a CPAP because I simply stop breathing at night for about an hour over the course of 8 hours.
I developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot because I was hopping on it the entire time my left foot was broken. I was kind of miserable, not moving much, packing on weight, and I required about 1200mg ibuprofen at a shot just to stop the foot pain for four hours.
Anti-inflammatories, painkillers, and me don’t work very well together. I’ve got an absurd tolerance and honestly thought most people were experiencing the placebo effect from taking them for most of my life until my doctor prescribed a couple of horse pills (600 or 800mg each,) a few years back and those worked for me.
So, my stomach was pretty much shot, I was eating to stop the upset stomach of the ibuprofen, not walking or moving much, and I decided I was going to have to switch it up or I was going to keep packing on weight to try and anti-inflame my feet.
Round 1: Fight!
I started with a 500mg solution and a vape pen I got at a local vape shop. I moved to 1000mg rather quickly (a couple of days) as I could tell it was doing something, but I could not tell what. 1000mg vape did not have double the effect of the 500mg vape. No idea.
I believe had I been taking this for anxiety I probably would have been un-anxious, however I exist in a state in which this wasn’t the case. I did notice that I didn’t drink anything or have the desire to drink anything alcoholic the days while smoking this, however I rarely do so this may be unrelated.
So, vaping it, think it may have relieved a bit of anxiety, but it was not really working for pain for me. I also didn’t give it a long run as I did not particularly want to dally with popcorn lung and did not trust my pen, nor my research to guide me right.
Round 2: Drink!
The above stuff could be vaped, and it could be dropped under the tongue. I gave up vaping at about two weeks and decided to take approximately 4x the recommended dosage sublingually.
I was doing this because 1) it’s not psychoactive, 2) my absurdly high ibuprofen requirements, 3) an FDA study I read that listed the amount I was going to take.
BAM. Nothing. OK, for a bit my scalp tingled and I thought something was about to happen, but no real effects other than to notice the taste of the flavored vape oil was what I imagine unwashed ass and cherry tanning butter taste like.
I kept taking it while I searched for other options.
Round 3: Eat!
A little CBD shop opened up on the way home at about one month in. I hadn’t really noticed any awesome effects at this point, however I’d enjoyed a run of pretty good sleep and even if my feet were still killing me I thought that perhaps that was helping.
I also wanted something to write about, and was wondering if perhaps one had to build a set level of CBD in the system before it worked (much like with marijuana some people simply don’t get psychoactive effects until it reaches a certain intensity.)
I purchased some gummies, a couple of lollipops, and decided to take roughly the same amount as I’d taken of the sublingual drops above.
This did nothing for about 3 hours, then it hit. Won’t say it did a lot but I was sitting around and realized I was not in pain, then I realized I was not particularly anxious about a project I was stuck on. Then I realized I was a little organism on a rock floating in space, so very very small. I’m kidding, I just noticed the lack of a lot of feeling.
This was the first real relaxation moment I’d had with it and if I did the math right it cost about $11 for the amount I took that day and kicked in three hours later.
Cheaper than drinking at a bar, but not particularly quickly effective.
Round 4: No, don’t buy that
I got a text from my wife asking about how the CBD project was going. It was a project now as I’d actually written down notes and was trying to metric pain levels (which is hard because I don’t know the recovery curves associated with plantar fasciitis,) and as they mainly were when I was walking up and down hills and this sort of sucked to put myself into that situation.
Wife asks me to look at a few things labeled CBD on Thrive Market (not promoting them I swear, she had an account.) she ended up ordering me a 60 pill 15 mg CBD bottle for like $25 or so.
In terms of what I’ve spent at this point, that’s $25 for 900 mg, for the liquid it was about $40 for each of the 500 and 1000mg bottles ($0.04 mg,) for the edibles it was about $0.10 a mg so, and the cheap CBD there was about $0.027 per mg.
I took 30mg of the pill form at 9pm one night, felt like a cool blanket was pressing me down 30 minutes later, went to bed at 10:30 and fought to get my body to move 8 hours later.
This was the only time I had effects like this. The rest of the run of the pills were 41 days of waking up feeling pretty rested and refreshed, 2 days of absurd insomnia (low number for me,) and the foot pain went along a fairly standard increasing pain level throughout the day as the CBD worked its way out, or I walked on it.
OK, that’s a long one. Here are the takeaways for my six months of it.
- The least expensive CBD was the most effective for me
- Pain was reduced, not eliminated
- Desire for things (booze, food, etc) diminished while vaping it
- Swelling, man the pill form worked on swelling like nobody’s business
- Total of two “this doesn’t feel quite normal” moments lasting three to five minutes at higher doses
- I think if I was anxious that the vape 500/1000mg might have had a quick effect
I’m not going to attempt to monetize this, promote it, whatever. You can make of it what you will. Your body and your experience will most likely vary from mine.
I have reordered the cheap stuff because I believe it improves my sleep. I’m pretty sure the foot is mostly healed at this point. I will be taking a couple of weeks off of it in May to see how stopping CBD works.
Here’s a bunch of subjective “I feel” statements on this that I can’t quite metric, or at least haven’t come up with a way to yet. This is generally what I’m seeing as claims.
I believe the CBD relieves anxiety and some pain by taking away whatever’s triggering the “pay attention to this NOW!!!” portion of your brain. That little voice that talks to you at night and asks those burning questions like whether “the song that never ends” can make that claim if the universe is going to eventually die a heat death.
I don’t quite feel the same mentally. I know there are no psychoactive substances in CBD, but not over analyzing everything and thinking extensively about random things, people, ideas, has sort of been something I’m accustomed to my life. Maybe it’s just me getting older and being a parent, maybe it’s the CBD, maybe it’s Maybelline.
Maybe it’s anxiety and I just thought it was me.
I don’t feel really off, just sort of like “Oh, the last scary journey’s complete, no need to be ready for dragons right now. We’ll let you know when dragons are coming later.”
Either my pain threshold has shot up, my back has repaired itself, or I’m lucky because I moved an 800 pound piano the other day, mowed the lawn, got up at 5am to make breakfast for everyone, moved a futon, basically redid three rooms in a house and no pains (although I was weak the next day).
So yeah, helped the foot, helping sleep, maybe it’s helping pain and some anxiety, or maybe the sleep is.
Worth a try. Start cheap.
I’m not the “miracle cure” testimonial, but that may just be my body.