This month, our columnist explains how cannabis oil has given her the best night’s sleep in months. And it's all totally legit
CBD or cannabis oil has been around for donkey’s, but it’s only now hitting the mainstream. This ‘miracle cannabis compound that doesn’t get you high’ has been used to help with seizures, anxiety, depression, pain and acne. Once associated with crusties, it is now on shelves in many health stores, with high-profile advocates including Mandy Moore and Morgan Freeman waxing lyrical about its benefits. So what’s the deal?
Made from the flowers, leaves and stalks of hemp – not from its seeds like hemp oil (as it is often confused with) – CBD oil is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. Talk of cannabis may have you running for the hills, but this is not some flaky buzz beloved of uni students. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive component in cannabis (the one that makes you high), but unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive so you get all the good stuff without the munchies.
I had always associated CBD with chronic pain relief, so never thought to try it until a dear pal who is a desperate insomniac told me she used it to ‘hug her gently’ to sleep every night. Decent sleep is the ultimate luxury today so anything that promises to pimp my night-time routine is high on my priority list. Sleep has always been a little sporadic for me – once I’m gone, I’m gone, but often I lay down at night, knackered, only to spend hours coming up with elaborate life plans and genius business ventures instead of switching off and recharging. I wake the next morning feeling too tired to put on mascara, never mind build a Fortune 500 empire, and that’s not helpful when I have shit to do.
I opted for Kiki Health CBD Oil 5% (versions go up to 15 per cent) – £40 for a minuscule bottle seemed punchy but, if it’s magic, I’m in. Two or three drops under the tongue three times a day is all that’s needed. However, no one warned me it tasted like an ashtray. Yellowish-brown dirty oil, this stuff hasn’t been doctored to make it palatable for ‘millennials’. It’s pretty raw and, since you have to hold the drops under your tongue for a minute, there’s no way to avoid the rancid taste. But I promise you it’s worth it. I slept like a baby, and with a new baby that’s quite the feat. It did indeed lull me gently off to sleep, and I didn’t wake up feeling fuzzy. It felt like I went straight to deep, quality, restorative sleep, and fast.
An added bonus was a reduction in anxiety – a side-effect I didn’t even notice until I ran out of it (but don’t worry, it’s not addictive). Things were manageable even when my workload was mammoth. My mood was more stable and I generally felt a little more chilled. Plus, I lashed it on some spots and by morning my skin was chill AF too. Miracle compound indeed.
Working for me
Drink: Golden Milk
Looks like curry, might even taste like it, but anti-inflammatory turmeric lattes help kill colds and clear your skin. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to nut milk, a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of cinnamon. Heat in a pan and drink before bed for a good night’s sleep.
Use: FaceGym Pro, £429
Like a powerplate for your face. The tens of thousands of small muscle fibres that, over time, become weak and lose their elasticity are magically lifted and toned to unleash cheekbones you didn’t know were there.
Read: How Not To Kill Your Plants by Nik Southern
As an Irish woman living in London, I crave greenery more than caffeine, but if a garden isn’t an option, bring the outside in. When it comes to plants, I could kill the indestructible, so this is a life-saver.
How Not To Kill Your Plants by Nik Southern (£16.99, Hodder & Stoughton)