It’s crazy to think that just a couple of years ago I’d never even heard of it, but CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in Cannabis plants, crept into my social media feeds and conversations until I couldn’t ignore it…so I decided to try it.

In some ways, I’m an unlikely person to be jumping on the CBD bandwagon. I don’t even drink alcohol anymore. But (like a lot of moms) I do deal with anxiety and have a lot of difficulty falling and staying asleep.

For me, a glass of wine at the end of a stressful day is not an option but I’m also not looking to get “high” on marijuana. But the idea of getting the relaxing benefits of cannabis (and getting a good night’s sleep) without feeling stoned really appealed to me.

I’m hardly alone in this. A recent survey of more than 800 women who have tried CBD found the top five reasons for taking CBD are reducing anxiety, pain relief, relaxation, improved sleep and mood stability. The women surveyed rated CBD as 54.7% effective in treating anxiety and 47.4% effective in increasing relaxation.

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Personally, I would rate CBD as being more effective than that. After taking it in capsules and as an oral spray, I feel like it’s at least a solid 75% effective in lowering my anxiety levels and helping me relax. That could just be a placebo effect, but whether it’s the CBD that’s making me chill or just the idea of CBD, I’ll take it.

Literally the first time I popped a soft gel capsule I felt relief from my pretty much constant state of overwhelm and anxiety. I felt like I could focus on a task without worrying about all the other ones that I wasn’t getting done at that moment, without worrying about my son’s future and my future and the world’s future and everything else that’s constantly swirling around in my brain.

This aligns with others’ experiences of CBD: A recent study published by the Kaiser-Permanente health insurance company found that even when people take CBD for sleep, not anxiety, their anxiety levels decreased measurably.

I feel like the reduction in my anxiety makes me a more patient parent. My anxiety is pretty severe, so sometimes it’s really hard to just shut off my brain and get down on the floor to play superheroes with my son when I know that I have a million deadlines looming and an ever-growing to-do list. But CBD helps me take back my time from the demands of the world and focus on the very important person who is right in front of me.