Anosmia and My Anxiety
Throughout my entire life, I’ve had a ton of people tell me that living without a sense of smell (aka anosmia), “isn’t a big deal.” They like to say things like, “Yazz, you’re not missing out on much” or “Bad smells suck so you’re actually super lucky.” I understand people mean well, but the truth of the matter is that these types of responses don’t help me deal with any of the day to day concerns I face as an anosmic.
It may seem odd, but I’m constantly concerned. I worry mostly about the things people who can smell may take for granted. Everything from whether the left-over chicken from the previous night’s dinner is still safe enough to eat (I can’t smell if it’s expired), to the potential scare of nearby fires and gas leaks, but the worst is not being able to tell if I smell bad (among others).
Ugh, I know. I know.
So I worry. And although this is not something I like to openly admit, worrying in excess has turned into full blown anxiety for me…
Worrying is the worst! Anxiety has made me lose patience for myself and others to the point I overreact to situations that didn’t merit such a reaction. It’s also affected my inner peace and sleep.
But why do I feel anxious? Well, it’s all mostly because I’ve been so hard on myself. See, I’ve learned about the scent world through a lot of trial and error (aka mistakes). Mistakes ending with me embarrassed or scared with lasting consequences regardless if they were an actual threat to my survival.
Taking a Stand For Change
But, even with all my insecurities, I’m proud to say I’ve taken appropriate measures when it comes to managing my anxiety. I like journaling (a bonus has been writing about my anosmia experience on this blog) and going to therapy (both activities have helped me tremendously). But why stop there? Could there be additional options that can help reduce my anxiety? If so, I’d be open to investigating these more in depth.
Finding Interesting Options
Earlier this year, I came across several posts about cbd oil on Instagram. I was like cbd? I didn’t know much about it. Some of the posts discussed how cbd oil helps reduce inflammation and pain. Others discussed how it can help PTSD and anxiety (especially social anxiety). I noticed and became interested.
Now, it appears more and more people are expressing interest in cbd oil too and talks about it are making the rounds, not just on Instagram but everywhere else online (it’ been discussed frequently on the Joe Rogan show). Kim Kardashian apparently takes it…but what exactly is cbd oil?
What Exactly is Cbd Oil?
Well, according to this article on Psychology Today:
“Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a natural plant-based oil that contains phyto (plant) chemicals called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are “feel good” molecules naturally made by the body when we are feeling relaxed and secure or involved in something that makes us happy, like hugging someone we care about or sitting down to a meal we are looking forward to.”
Hmm okay… So cannabinoids make you feel good. I’m liking the sound of this. But wait a minute, how come almost every time I see posts about cbd oil theres a picture of a marijuana looking plant slapped onto it?
The same article explains:
“Supplemental CBD oil comes from the hemp plant. Hemp is a cannabis plant and a close cousin of marijuana. However, CBD from hemp has practically no tetra-hydro-cannabinoids (THC). THC is the substance in marijuana that has psychoactive effects and can give you a high.”
Ohhh…So basically if you are like me and wondered why the marijuana reference, this is why. Also, if you were concerned whether cbd oil will get you high, it will not.
So your next question might be…is cbd oil legal in the United States? I’ll quote what else the article has to say:
“CBD that comes from hemp is legal in all 50 states. As I mentioned in the last paragraph, CBD has no effective amount of THC. There is a tiny bit, but it is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects. As a result, there are none of the legal concerns associated with marijuana.”
Alright, that helps clear up those concerns, but let’s get to the nitty gritty… are there any studies indicating cbd oil helps with anxiety?
Actually, yes. More and more studies are being conducted on the effects of cbd oil on anxiety. I’ve included two specific ones and have listed them under the sources section of this post. I welcome you to read these but basically each separately suggests cbd oil has anxiolytic (reduction in anxiety) properties and discuss cbd oils’ efficacy in reducing anxious behaviors.
Trying CBD Oil For The First Time
Ok so now that I’ve presented some of the basic concerns about cbd oil, I’m going to talk about my experience trying out cbd oil for myself. I took the plunge and made the decision to see if cbd oil would help me and I did so after conducting my due research. Please note: because cbd oil is fast becoming a topic of interest and a booming industry, you have to be very careful with what cbd oil brands you buy (so be safe).
For my personal cbd oil journey I chose “Be You CBD.” They are a brand based out of Southern California, but their full spectrum Hemp CBD is grown on a farm in Central Oregon. I was inspired to try “Be You CBD” after connecting with one of the brand’s owners, Heidi Millar. Heidi was very understanding of the reasons why I wanted to try cbd oil for the first time and super helpful in addressing all of my questions and concerns (thank you once again Heidi!). After learning about her struggle with thyroid cancer and what prompted her to use cbd oil, I knew I just had to learn more.
Be You CBD offers different types of products. When I asked which one would help with anxiety, she recommended their Holy Grail Tincture (1000 MG Hemp CBD Oil and MCT Oil).
As described on their website, the Holy Grail Tincture is a:
“Daily CBD supplementation for feelings of overall peace and wellness. Our customers also use Holy Grail for inflammation, sleeplessness, PMS, and other frustrations that come with a sluggish endocannabinoid system.”
The Holy Grail Tincture is specifically/contains:
- 1000 mg of “Pure Plant Bliss”
- Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
- Natural Terpenes & Phytocannabinoids
- No Added Flavor & Maintains Potency of 100% hemp extract
- Pesticide Free
- 100% USA Made
Trying the Holy Grail Tincture
Let me point out that the two biggest reasons why I was so interested in the Holy Grail Tincture was because of its purpose in creating “feelings of overall peace and wellness” and for helping with sleep. I’d been putting in a ton of work on fixing and updating my website that after so much screen time on the computer, I couldn’t go to sleep even if I wanted to (it also didn’t help that I worried about the long list of fixes I had to do). I’d stay up, crash, then wake up throughout the night.
So you bet, the first night after receiving my package in the mail I just had to take some of the Holy Grail Tincture.
But… would taking it be complicated? Not at all. It comes in a standard glass bottle with an attached dropper you use to place ¼ of the contents under your tongue (optimal absorption). The product label recommends this dosage (but always be mindful). It also indicates you can then increase the dose as needed.
And the taste? Well…I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was not bitter at all. It tasted fresh and like “Be You” says, “earthy.”
I decided to take the tincture at around 9pm that night. I didn’t immediately feel any effects after taking it…but after 30 minutes or so I felt subtly relaxed. I didn’t feel any type of “sudden, in your face” feeling. No weird “I’m floating” effect either. I just laid in bed and my significant other said that by 9:45pm, I was already asleep and snoring. LOL! He also told me I fell asleep thoroughly because l didn’t wake him up by tossing and turning throughout the night. My S.O. was impressed.
But could it have been that I was just tired that night and I fell asleep naturally? Well, maybe but after continuously taking the tincture for a week ever since that first night (at least one hour before I wanted to fall asleep) I fell asleep. It took less time to fall asleep (before it would be more than an hour, with Holy Grail I was averaging 30 mins). I didn’t make any other changes to my lifestyle, and the only factor that was introduced was the cbd oil.
What about your anxiety? Did the Holy Grail Tincture do anything to help you with it?
Technically, I don’t think I’ll ever be “cured” of my anxiety. I’m always going to be worrying about smelling bad or my other anosmic concerns. But… after using the Holy Grail Tincture for a month now I can definitely see a difference in how an established sleep schedule (I’m waking up early now and get to watch the sunrise) has created more balance in my life. Because I can sleep, I’ve become more focused and can manage stress better. I can now see more opportunities when it comes to untangling my worries that I didn’t see before because I used to be so occupied being stressed out and on edge. Also interestingly, when I worry about something random, the level of worry isn’t as alarming as it used to be. It has toned down.
Correspondingly, because I’m not deprived of quality sleep, my mood has been great. I also fall asleep quicker which means the time I used to waste lying in bed overthinking about what I need to do the next day has been drastically reduced. The worries don’t get an opportunity to strut their stuff!
It’s been an interesting month.
One thing I will say is that the first couple of mornings after taking the tincture to sleep the night before, I felt a little groggy when waking up (I learned Be You CBD is a full spectrum cbd oil producer which means it includes the entire hemp plant making it more effective versus isolated cbd. Be You CBD is of superb, top notch quality) I think the dose might have been a little too potent for me as a first timer. Let me clarify, it wasn’t a bad, tired kind of groggy, it was more like I was deeply tranquil still sleepy kind of feeling. Like if my schedule permitted it, I would have no problem falling back asleep.
In conclusion, I am very grateful I had the opportunity to try out Be You CBD’s Holy Grail Tincture. Do I think their product helped me find balance primarily because it aids with helping me fall asleep? Uhm, yes!! Great sleep is key for managing life’s obstacles. Their tincture has been an absolute treasure to try and is one more weapon I will use in my arsenal to help manage my general anxiety.
Are you interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD? If so I highly recommend you do your research and if you are either pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication, please consult with your doctor.
The Girl Who Can’t Smell
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CBD Oil for Mental Health—Should You Take It Too? Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inner-source/201901/cbd-oil-mental-health-should-you-take-it-too
Effects of Ipsapirone and Cannabidiol on Human Experimental Anxiety
Zuardi, Antonio & Cosme, RA & Graeff, Frederico & Guimarães, Francisco. (1993). Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). 7. 82-8. 10.1177/026988119300700112.
Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
Blessing, E.M., Steenkamp, M.M., Manzanares, J. et al. Neurotherapeutics (2015) 12: 825. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
The information contained in my blog posts, stories, memes, webcomics, science articles, drawings and future content, is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only.
By accessing this site, you assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. My website, www.girlwhocantsmell.com’s purpose is to share my OWN personal experience growing up with congenital anosmia. Not as a guide as to how anosmics in general, live their own lives.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.