Caregiving is stressful. Even the most well-adjusted individual can find themselves struggling with the mix of emotions that a caregiver can experience. On top of stress, being a caregiver can be isolating, leading to depression.
I know I was totally stressed out when I was a caregiver for my parents. There was that “always on edge” feeling, waiting for that phone call that someone had fallen or someone was headed to the ER. As a long-distance caregiver, there was a sense of helplessness and lack of control. When I moved in with my mother to help in her recovery from a colostomy, I experienced a different kind of stress. My mother and I were complete opposites personality-wise, and we often butted heads.
As I look for ways to help caregivers deal with stress, I’ve explored many options. While yoga and meditation can be beneficial, it can be difficult for caregivers to find time for such activities. Pharmaceuticals work for some people, but come with a host of side effects. The key is to find something that could help relieve stress, anxiety and depression, but without making one loopy or sleepy. Caregivers have to remain alert in order to perform medical tasks.
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about Cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil, and its potential in naturally relieving anxiety and depression, without the psychoactive side effects of marijuana. My curiosity was piqued. There is a lot of misinformation about CBD and hemp oil, so I began to investigate its potential for caregivers. Hemp comes from the cannabis plant but it is not marijuana and contains very little THC, which is what causes marijuana’s “high.”
Recently I launched a website, CBDforCaregivers.com. It’s an informational site that includes reviews of CBD hemp oil products that I’ve personally tried. My focus is on how these products can help ease anxiety and depression, along with offering pain relief. (The physical labor involved in caregiving can cause chronic pain.)
I’m excited about the potential of CBD hemp oil products, but the products remain in a murky legal state for now. The hemp provisions in the Farm Bill of 2018, if it passes, could remove the cloud of uncertainty at the federal level, though some states are targeting stores that sell CBD products.
It’s important to check your local laws and consult your doctor before using any natural supplement.
If you’ve tried CBD hemp oil, I’d love to hear about your experience.
2 responses to “Exploring natural stress relief for caregivers with CBD hemp oil”
Just a report about an experience with CBD oil and the social significance of its use. I’m not sure that the story has a clear moral.
We are both in our mid-sixties. Socially we would be considered the beyond of beyond of conservatism, my wife even more than me. We live in a place where any quasi-pharmaceutical use of cannabis products without a prescription is illegal, and doctors tend to shy away from cannabis products. I don’t know if CBD oil is legal under any circumstances.
My wife tends to have those mysterious and often severe pains in her limbs which often plague older people. About a year ago she was having a bad night, even though she had taken her usual cocktail of NSAIDs and codeine, as prescribed by her doctor, and a mild sleeping pill, also prescribed. One of our children called me aside and asked me if he could give her CBD oil, which he ‘happened’ to have with him. (I was startled.) He was mainly worried about interactions with the medications she had already taken. After dire reminders that I’m neither a doctor nor a pharmacologist, or anything approaching those professions, I told him that I thought it was worth a try.
He gave her some CBD oil. I think he told her to spread it on her lips, but I’m not sure. After a while, she went to bed again. A little later, she rejoined all of us in the living room. She seemed to be pain-free and enjoying the company, but her conversation didn’t make too much sense, and she seemed to be in another world. She gave the impression of being technically awake, but I wasn’t sure that she was really conscious. After a while I escorted her back to bed. She slept uneventfully, and woke up clear-headed.
I later suggested to our son that he might not want to explain to her too many details about the ‘herbal remedy’ which he had given her. I was worried that the idea of using a cannabis product under circumstances which were technically illegal would bother her.
Just a few days ago the subject happened to come up in conversation. It turned out that she had been perfectly aware all along of what she had taken. She also confirmed that the results were very good.
Thank you for sharing! I’ve come across other families where adult children try to convince a parent in pain to try CBD, with mixed results, because of the reasons you stated. I hope that the legal standing will be settled soon, which may encourage more people to try it.