Something to sleep on

There’s been a lot of chatter lately over hemp and CBD oil. For y’all who aren’t familiar with hemp, it’s the plant that we use in manufacturing rope, textiles and several other materials. Hemp has been used in cooking and actually has some nutritional value, they say. But now, hemp is extremely popular for the oil extracted from its seed. Oh, did I forget to mention that hemp is a kissing cousin to marijuana?

Let me clarify that although hemp and its highly popular relative belong to the same plant family, hemp won’t give you a buzz or have you shopping for Cheetos at midnight. Marijuana has a higher level of THC, the stuff that makes you talk like Cheech and Chong, than hemp. So hemp oil is legal in most states, but to get marijuana, you’ll have to drive out to Colorado or hop aboard Willie Nelson’s tour bus.

I don’t know how the CBD oil craze got started, but it’s gaining momentum and press coverage. I saw some news stories about the health benefits of CBD oil and although I was a bit skeptical, I admit I was also a bit intrigued. CBD is reported to help with numerous maladies such as anxiety, arthritis and sleep disorders. I have also seen reports of it decreasing severity of epileptic seizures and mental illness.

As a dedicated investigative journalist, I began to research hemp and CBD oil more, and after determining that it’s safe, I decided to give it a try. The main reason I wanted to try hemp oil was its claim to improve sleep. For the past decade or more, I rarely sleep through the night, and often get seven hours or less of good slumber. Sometimes it’s due to aches and pains, but more often it’s due to one of my  brain cells waking up and stomping around my skull looking for a party. Most of my brain cells are sleeping off last night’s beer, but some are always in the mood to dance the night away.

I have thought of trying prescription sleep aids, but stories of drug-induced sleep walking is a bit scary, especially out here in the country. Nighttime is not a good time to stroll through woods infested with snakes, coyotes and feral pigs, not to mention a multitude of fresh cow patties.  So I decided to see how hemp would effect my sleep.

Believe it or not, I actually slept better after taking an evening dose of hemp oil. I didn’t get nine hours of sleep but I did sleep longer and better with the hemp. And after a few days of taking the oil, I noticed my arthritis had improved and I was more relaxed. I informed my doctors that I was taking hemp oil, and both said to keep taking it, so apparently it must have health benefits.

Okay, there are some negatives in taking hemp oil.  First of all, it tastes kinda funny. Sorta like a mixed green salad made with kelp, alfalfa and Johnson grass. Now, they do make gummy bears with hemp oil. I bought some for my sleep-deprived wife and she liked them. I just don’t like the texture of those chews. They are too much like a big chunk of gristle without the taste of beef.

If you are wondering what’s the difference between CBD and hemp oil, join the club.  I can’t find the  answer.  Maybe they’re the same thing with a different name. All I know is hemp oil is a lot cheaper and is available on Amazon.  As for side effects, besides playing the bongos naked with Cheeto-stained hands, I haven’t noticed anything.

Clint Younts is no Matthew McConaughey on the bongo drums, but he certainly takes his investigations seriously.

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