After Much Reluctance, I Tried CBD For AS And Anxiety
Last updated: May 2023
Over the past few months, my ankylosing spondylitis has been flaring up. I definitely think the global pandemic and being in quarantine has contributed to this, since I’m not able to access some of the things that used to keep me pain-free. I’m no longer able to get into the pool, for example, and that definitely means I’ve been turning into the Tin Man.
Movement helps, but I need more
Sure, I embrace stretching throughout the day, and I try to get in as much movement as possible. I like to do dance workouts and Pilates moves throughout the day, but sometimes the pain still takes over. Let's just be honest. AS is a monster. I would say I exist somewhere between a four and an eight on the pain scale at all times. And as anyone with ankylosing spondylitis knows, it can move from your hip to your chest with no rhyme or reason. It is totally unpredictable and unreasonable and uncool.
Learning about CBD for ankylosing spondylitis
I’ve been hearing a lot about the benefits of CBD oil, but admittedly I’ve been hesitant to try it. Now, I’ve been known to be a huge baby in my day, super frightened of trying new things, especially when they have any sort of mind-altering effect in any way. I love a glass of wine here and there but even I’ve even cut that out of my life considerably. I don’t use marijuana, and that’s because I don’t like the way that it makes me feel. I’m not a big fan of feeling out of control of my body or dissociated from it, so having an autoimmune disease means being very well aware of how I feel at all times. I realize how totally lame I sound, but my fun, wild, more open years are behind me (and they did indeed exist). I just know what I like and what I don't now.
It has good reviews
CBD's glowing reviews ("it's a miracle!" they cry) of CBD have kept me intrigued. Friends with rheumatoid arthritis or scoliosis would tell me that CBD would keep them either pain-free or at seriously diminished pain levels, so I was enticed. More than that, I definitely live with pretty intense anxiety, so I wanted to try something before jumping into pharmaceuticals.
So I decided to try CBD for ankylosing spondylitis
I ordered my first sample vial from Bluebird Botanicals. I got their "Complete" formulation, in addition to trying a CBD powder bath from Baked Beauty Co. On the first day of my bath, I noticed a dramatic effect. I was SUPER calm — almost lethargic (which is good because I took the bath at night).
My anxiety was noticeably diminished, and after about an hour or two I noticed something pretty remarkable: The intensity of stiffness and pain reduced. I knew that my back kind of hurt, but it just didn’t feel very obvious. Like it was behind a scrim. Obviously, I thought, this could be a coincidence.
So I then began using the CBD oil sublingually. I used the CBD in the morning and the night. I purposefully only used half the serving size (which was 15 drops), because I don’t like jumping all in without knowing where I stand. My body is very sensitive to any sort of medication, so I thought this was the wise way to go.
It helped my pain and anxiety
After use, nearly within the first 20 minutes, I can definitely say with total honesty that my pain and stiffness levels reduced and that my anxiety levels were almost completely gone. Or at least very manageable. I felt as if I was coasting, calm, present, and perfectly capable of working and doing my day-to-day stuff.
The one downside? I woke up one day after taking a little bit too much one night and felt extremely foggy. Almost like a hangover. I noticed that drinking water and eating food helped me feel better, but for anyone living with an autoimmune disease that already causes fatigue, this is not ideal.
Start small, if you want
For this reason, if CBD is something that you'd like to try, it may help to start with a smaller dose and work your way up. CBD is said to be highly individual, so if one brand doesn’t work for you or if one blend doesn’t work for you, another might. I did a lot of research about which brands worked for which sorts of people. I ended up choosing these brands because I saw that people with Musculoskeletal issues were singing their praises. You definitely want to be sure to find a CBD company that is completely transparent about its product and it batches and doesn’t report any health or wellness claims. Make sure they test for heavy metals and other pesticides.
I’d say go by the reviews and spend a lot of time researching the brand. The customer reviews are everything. I also happened to speak to a nurse and someone who works as an expert in the cannabinoid research area, and that’s why I chose the CBD I did.
I think CBD will be a part of managing my AS
I really believe that CBD can become part of the way that I manage my ankylosing spondylitis, and I don’t say that lightly. I am all for pharmaceuticals, and treatments prescribed by doctors. But I’m also interested in finding holistic ways that I can nurture and nourish my body.
I won’t go shouting from the rooftops that CBD a miracle cure, but I definitely think the things people say about CBD are accurate. I can't say it'll work for you, but I'm surprised and grateful it does for me. For the record, this post isn't sponsored, and I have no allegiance to the brands mentioned.
Has changing your diet helped manage your pain and flares?