Q&A: Managing Holiday Stress with CBD

Somehow, some way… we’ve almost made it to the end of this crazy year. The holidays are coming in red hot and so is holiday stress. I have been pretty transparent about the fact that I have struggled with anxiety my entire life and, like pretty much everyone else, this year it has *often* kicked it into a higher gear.

I can’t stress (for lack of a better word) enough that I am writing this post from a ‘live and let live’ perspective – I cannot and will not ever deem myself a medical expert and if you also deal with stress and anxiety of a regular basis, you should 100% figure out the best method(s) of management for YOU… including a consult with your healthcare professional. We’re all different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Aside from traditional therapy (which I began this year and LOVE), I tend to take more of a natural approach to managing my anxiety. I’ve shared my use of Ashwagandha, a root supplement that helps me maintain a healthier approach to stress (I use and love this brand). Within the last two years, I’ve also started realizing some pretty significant benefits from incorporating CBD into my daily routine.

I was recently introduced to the incredible women behind Third Eye High – a new, Nashville-based subscription service featuring seven full-sized and responsibly sourced CBD products, delivered to your door three times a year. I had an opportunity to connect with both Tara Joseph (founder of Third Eye High) and Mahja Sulemanjee Bortocek (a co-founder) to learn more about what they can offer, and how CBD products can help with everything from anxiety, to pain relief, better sleep and so much more.

The following information is from a recent, lovely call with Mahjah… more about her can be found at the end of this post!

Q: For those who aren’t very familiar with CBD… what is it?

A: CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a molecule found inside of cannabis plants. Cannabis includes everything from hemp to products that one can purchase at a dispensary. CBD takes quite a few forms – ingestible, topical, etc. – and offers an extensive variety of health benefits.

Q: How does CBD help with anxiety?

A: CBD interacts with receptors in the brain to help regulate and diminish the negative effects of anxiety… things like lack of focus, trouble sleeping, chronic pain and increased heart rate. Essentially, it helps your brain and body have a much healthier response to anxiety, allowing for better quality of life.

Q: There’s a lot of CBD noise out there… For someone interested in trying it, what are your recommendations for getting started? 

A: You should really do your research and find the product or products that work best for YOU. We’re all unique and we’re each experiencing different things in our day-to-day lives. You’ll want to make sure that the products you’re looking at are approved by the FDA, but also be sure to ask questions! Anyone selling CBD should be able to speak in detail about their products, where they come from, how they source them, etc.

Q: What are some other health benefits of CBD?

A: Aside from relaxation and management of stress and anxiety, CBD products offer a host of other health benefits. For athletes or anyone training for a race or event, muscle aches and pains are inevitable. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can help aid in your recovery. There are also medical studies backing its use for ailments like cancer, epilepsy, depression, heart disease and much more.

Q: Is CBD safe for pets?

A: Absolutely. You should aim to source only high-quality and FDA-approved CBD products for your pets… same as you would for yourself! CBD can hold a host of benefits for our furry friends – from anxiety management to soothing aches and pains in active or older pets.

Q: Any common misconceptions or myths that you’d like to debunk?

A: Yes! A major misconception about CBD is that it’s illegal, which is simply not true. CBD became legal two years ago when the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law – stating that legalized CBD is derived from hemp and contains no more than 0.3% THC. Many believe that using CBD products will induce a high and result in failed drug tests… also not true. CBD is not psychotropic and does not contain THC or enough THC to cause psychoactive feelings or experiences.

Some other myths… that CBD has to be smoked (nope, CBD comes in many forms); that it’s only for sick people (no prescription necessary and while there is science backing its benefits to many health ailments, it can also provide relaxation for all); and that it takes a long time to work. The effects and timeframe are dependent on the method of consumption, as well as the individual consuming it.

I hope this information is helpful if you’re wondering how best to deal with stress from everyday life, or impending stress from what is sure to be a unique holiday season and winter. Again, you must do what works best for YOU and your situation and lifestyle.

Stay safe, well and sane,


Mahja Sulemanjee is a co-founder of Third Eye High and brings more than 15 years of experience in healthcare business development to her role. She holds a Master’s in Public Health and another in Business Administration. Her mission is helping others and bringing awareness, accessibility and compassion to the new, emerging hemp and cannabis industries. This post was created in partnership with Third Eye High. All opinions are my own.

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