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I am not one of those people who finds the flaws of their significant other “charming,” so while Austin is a wonderful person, I will never forgive him for his ability to fall asleep within minutes of getting in bed. As someone who has often battled insomnia, and who pretty much always has to court sleep like an unrequited love interest, watching this happen night after night feels like the ultimate betrayal–by him (for abandoning me, of course), but also by my own body for struggling to do something that should conceivably come naturally.
I have to maintain a rigorous sleep hygiene protocol if I don’t want to stay awake into the wee hours, chewing on urgent thoughts: what I should have for dinner the next day, whether someone is mad at me, how many followup emails is too many followup emails, and oh, did I remember to order more dental floss? My protocol for falling asleep as expediently as possible involves taking a bath, cutting out screen time an hour before bed, and reading for at least 30 minutes. But sometimes life gets in the way and I can’t do all of that, or sometimes I do all of that and I still feel wide awake–hence why I keep a supply of CBD supplements in my nightstand drawer.
I first tried CBD a little over two years ago when the acronym (short for “cannabidoil”) was just starting to enter mainstream vocabulary. I found it helpful for combatting my sleep issues right off the bat, but I ultimately found it even more helpful after continuing to experiment with which specific products work best for me. I’ve sampled dozens of CBD products since then, with a wide range of results. The more I’ve tried, the pickier I’ve become, which is why I’m eager to share the two that have proven to be most effective in my experience: Gossamer Dusk, and Not Pot Vegan CBD Gummies.
I opt for one or the other depending on the situation at hand. Gossamer Dusk is what I use most frequently–whenever I sense that I’m going to have trouble falling asleep, I’ll place a dropper’s worth under my tongue for 30 seconds before brushing my teeth (the oil doesn’t taste amazing, so it’s nice to follow it with something minty fresh). The effects are gentle enough to almost be imperceptible, but I definitely notice myself falling asleep more easily after taking it, and I wake up feeling totally refreshed with zero grogginess. If you’re interested in learning more about the active ingredients in this particular CBD blend, or about what CBD is in general, Gossamer’s website has an excellent primer.
Not Pot Vegan CBD Gummies are more akin to the idiom, “bring out the big guns”–in other words, they’re what I turn to when I need a more powerful sleep induction. In addition to 10 mg of CBD, each gummy is also infused with 100 mg of L-theanine, an amino acid derived from green tea that studies have shown can help alleviate anxiety, and this combination seems to be incredibly effective when it comes to calming my mind and getting me into sleepy-time mode. I take them sparingly because I do find that I am a bit drowsier than usual when I wake up in the morning after having one, but it’s barely noticeable compared to what I’ve experienced with Ambien or NyQuil P.M.
Though neither Gossamer nor Not Pot manufacture products with THC–the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes you feel “high”–they share a commitment to acknowledging the complicated sociopolitical dynamics of weed and pushing for criminal justice reform alongside legalization. Not Pot uses a portion of their profits to pay for someone’s bail every month, and Gossamer has dedicated free ad space in their magazine for non-profits that do work related to criminal justice reform and drug policy issues, in addition to making donations to organizations like the Women’s Prison Association. (For an informative analysis of these issues as they relate to the mainstreaming of cannabis, I highly recommend this piece by Otegha Uwagba).
After many, many years of battling sleep issues–not to mention irrational jealousy of people who don’t, I’m so grateful these CBD products exist. I’ve been especially appreciative of them over the last couple of months, as the impact of quarantine on my mental health has made things even more difficult sleep-wise. If you’re in the same boat, I’m curious what has been helpful for you. Have you tried taking CBD? If so, from what brands? Does it fill you with petty rage when you witness someone else falling asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow? Please tell me I’m not alone.