Op-Ed: My Experience Using CBD Oil as Replacement for Traditional Psych Medications

So this article is going to be a little out of place, but it’s my website and I’m the only one on staff – so deal with it. I want to write about my brief experience on CBD oil and why I am now somewhat of a believer.

For those of you who do not know a lot about me, I have admittedly been abusing marijuana for quite a long time now. I once told a group of people at a narcotics anonymous meeting that by the age of 32 I had probably smoked more marijuana than any 32 year old in history, and I wasn’t bragging. Despite this however, I never believed in CBD oil/benefits, so I never even tried. However, that all changed last week in New York City.

I’ve been hospitalized twice for mental conditions, first time for Schizophrenia and the second for Psychotic Depression. I had been on medication up until September 2020 when both my medication and Medicaid ran out. Admittedly, I have been struggling with the slow return of my symptoms ever since. This prompted me to reach out for medical help here in New York City, out of pocket. The first people I talked to was Union Square Practice, whom told me it would cost $375 for the first hour, then $300 for every half hour after – not including the cost of prescriptions. Only when I interviewed with them my mental conditions scared them off. They said they wouldn’t be qualified to work with me, and referred me other practices.

Upon following up with these referrals I learned it would cost $900 for the first 45 min and $375 for every half hour follow up after – not including the cost of prescriptions. I wrote a very lengthy and email about this, which I will provide below.

I just want you to think about what you told me today. $900 for first hour, $375 every visit after. $1,300 just to get back on prescription, for 1 1/2 hours of the doctors time? There is no justifying that figure. Doctors know there is a scarcity in their field and they are just greedy. I get you’re an Ivy Leaguer, I get that you studied at Oxford, you are a world class talent. But what I see in that $900 figure is the luxury offices downtown, the doctors luxury homes, cars – etc. It would never cost $900 just to have a conversation with a human being about a medical problem, the figures are just grossly inflated to pay for other peoples lifestyles. I know it is the most overused word in modern times, but this is the corruption of modern medical practices and subsequently enough, why there are so many people without health insurance, without access to doctors or mental health help – especially here in NYC. The value is just not there to go see a doctor, so people don’t go. All I want is to get back on 5 medications; prozac, risperdal, Klonopin, Buspar and Lithium. I know I need help, but paying $1,350 perhaps just to get them is not worth it. That is 1 months ren for one month supply of prescriptions. I am unemployed with only $7,000 in the bank. There is just no way. These are the predicaments doctors put people in.

So there I was, just before thanksgiving. Jobless, depressed, alone in the biggest city on Earth hemorrhaging money on a daily basis. Doctors either refuse to work with me or think I am some sort of millionaire for having a mental illness. I refused to pay 1 month rent for 1 month supply of prescriptions and gave up. This is when I saw a shelf for CBD oil at my local Vitamin Shoppe and decided to give it a try.

What I’ve found out is that CBD really does a lot to calm me down and it really does alleviate almost all my anxiety or feelings of self doubt, in ways almost impossible to quantify through writing actually. It makes me feel more comfortable about myself and surroundings. I wouldn’t say it calms me down more than Klonopin – a narcotic – but it’s certainly more effective than something like Buspar. But it is different, because you do not feel tired or sleepy on it like you would Klonopin, and you don’t feel zoned out like you would on Buspar or marijuana for that matter. It has been several days now and every time I am starting to feel worried or restless I take it and I can begin focusing again, and start being productive. I hardly think it is a cure for my mental illnesses, but off all medications I am thankful to have tried it.

The only real problem is expense, and dosage levels. For example, the product at Vitamin Shoppe offers 20mg of CBD per serving, with 30 servings. This costs $37. When I read about studies of CBD they had patients taking upwards of 300-600 mg of CBD oil at a time, with the placebo group taking 150mg. When I did a CBD calculator for my body weight, medical problems and desired solution, I was told I should be on about 114mg per dose. Now, the highest you can really find online is about 80mg a serving x 30 servings. This costs about $269. This would mean it would cost roughly $300 a month to use CBD as a replacement for traditional medication, which is still actually less than the current healthcare marketplace and what prescriptions cost here in New York City. However, this is made a little more complicated by the fact that CBD only tends to stay in the system for 6 hours, meaning you might need two doses a day – twice the cost.

It hasn’t yet been a week and I am still experimenting. I am not trying to write this article to “hype” CBD oil usage, I didn’t even know I would like it, I am writing to say that I struggle with mental illness and I genuinely feel a benefit with CBD oil. My initial dose of 20mg seemed to help day 1 before I went outside. 4 days later I’ve taken up to 60mg daily. I am considering trying the recommended dosage level of +100mg daily over the coming weeks. This is opposed to paying the $1,300 ransom demanded by NYC doctors for traditional pharmaceutical “prescriptions.” In other words, I’ve already seen enough results that, for my own health and money, I am willing to invest more in CBD than I am in a doctor at this point – knowing full well I need help.

Lastly, I want people to be aware of a misleading scam I am already seeing. While CBD oil can come from hemp, and most CBD oils are mixed with Hemp seed oil for processing, people need to be aware that Hemp seed oil on its own is NOT CBD oil. There are a lot of people trying to sell Hemp seed oil on the market as CBD oil with misleading advertisements, at much lower prices. CBD oil costs much more than Hemp seed oil because it is entirely different, and actually contains CBD. So do your own research and don’t let these people take advantage of you.

Also, you have to be a fool to take it through the stomach. Always put oil under your tongue and let it be dissolved – or else your liver will destroy probably up to 80% of it. If not under the tongue you can smoke hemp actually – which delivers more CBD than oil extract servings believe it or not.