Concerns around finances and wellbeing are causing so-called ‘Covanxiety’ on a widespread scale, with dedicated anxiety helplines even extending their hours of operation to accommodate demand.

With no end yet in sight to lockdown and social distancing, people seem to be turning to CBD in ever-increasing numbers as a means of helping their wellbeing during the unprecedented situation.

One CBD brand, Trip, has reported sales have doubled since March 23 – when lockdown formally began – and has seen a 300 per cent increase in website traffic.

CBD is available in many forms – with product varieties including oils, cold brew coffees and gummies, alongside products including gym wear and bedding – and one of its widely-claimed properties is its ability to ease stress and anxiety. 

One advocate of the efficacy of CBD in the present climate is Louise, a 30-year-old bank worker who lives in London, and is currently on furlough leave. With long-standing anxiety issues, the current circumstances have seen her turn to CBD.  

“I have used CBD occasionally for probably a year or so and have found it a definite comfort when things are tough at work, or when I have a lot of my mind.

“During the times when my anxiety is at its worst, when it’s genuinely difficult to leave my flat, I’ve found it has helped me sleep and to remain calmer for longer. I’ve been on all kinds of anti-depressants since my early 20s, but CBD is the only thing that has actually helped,” she says.

“I turned to CBD on the day I was furloughed and have used it most days since. I’m not reliant on it, but it definitely helps me to cope. I do feel there is a stigma around CBD, even though there’s nothing at all wrong in using it, so I’m not too vocal about buying it, but it’s quite nice to hear how sales are rising and web traffic is increasing.

“Clearly there are other people like me who are struggling and can turn to something that actually works for them.”

Having been told she was on indefinite leave by phone call earlier this month, Louise locked the door to her apartment and set about making plans.

Some of the favourites in the Waitrose weekly shop had to go, but CBD was still very much in the budget.    

“At the minute, things are tough. What I’m being paid barely covers my outgoings so you need to prioritise the essentials, whatever the ‘essentials’ are for you. Money is tight and I don’t know what lies ahead. Will I even have a job to go back to?,” she says.

“Every time I watch the news, the situation seems even more bleak. There is no end in sight and with every day lockdown is in force and businesses are running at the bare bones, the economy is declining further.

“These are awful times for so many people – maybe they’re like me and worry how they’re going to pay the bills and whether they’ll have a job at the end of it all. Fortunately I’m on my own, but other people have families to support, mortgages to pay, maybe they have loved ones who are ill.

“People shouldn’t judge anyone for using CBD. To me, now seems a great time for us all to be kind, be tolerant, and if you’re struggling, admit it – to yourself if no-one else – and consider trying something that might just help you through these dark times.”