If you’re lucky, you grow old.
I’ve been extremely lucky. When I was a young man, old was fiction. I was never going to reach the age where my joints hurt and my hips ached like all the old people talked about. That stuff was so far away it wasn’t real. I’d be dead first.
But here we are. I’m in my mid-50s and let me tell you, all that stuff old people talk about? It’s real. Ligaments, muscles, joints, hell even bones start to ache for no apparent reason. Just wear.
For the past five years I’ve played softball at the most competitive level I can find for guys my age—a game or two a week from March through November. And because my brain is still youthful, it tells my body that I can run through walls. As an outfielder, I run hard—oftentimes going full speed to get to line drives and fly balls that I have to dive or slide to catch. Until May 2019, it would take 2-3 days to recover from just one game. My back, hamstrings, and especially my quads were the parts that took the longest to heal.
Last May my friend Matt sent me a bottle of CBD oil. He knows I’m a skeptic about such things, but insisted that I try it after tweeting how sore I was from games. Matt’s in California, and had just launched a new CBD line—so I took his gift and didn’t expect much. The first time I used it was after a game one night when I slammed full speed into a 6’ 4” 250 dude while making a turn around first.
The next morning I woke with no soreness. Not even the kind I was used to waking with by just being in my 50s. Surely, it wasn’t because of the CBD. No way it actually works. No way.
Over the next few weeks I experimented by going off of it for a few days to see if it had any effect. I suspected it wouldn’t and that my body from my 30s was somehow just making a comeback and that’s why I wasn’t sore anymore.
On days I didn’t take the oil, the soreness reappeared.
No. Freaking. Way.
I sought out research and couldn’t believe what I found. Of course the US Government was slow to endorse anything that wasn’t profitable by big pharma, but nearly every study I read concluded that CBD had a real effect on a range of conditions from epilepsy to insomnia to chronic pain and other things.
Now what I’m about to tell you is my own understanding of how this thing works. I’ll likely butcher the technical stuff—I’m not a scientist. I encourage you to do your own research.
CBD is for short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a chemical found in hemp plants. CBD is important because of how it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate homeostasis—which, as you know, is pretty important. Anyway, the endocannabinoid system has receptors throughout the body that communicate the condition of cells to other parts of the body. Only, these receptors get clogged up with dirt. Ok, so not dirt, but junk. Sorta like how EarPods get clogged with wax if you don’t keep them clean. Anyway, clogged receptors inhibit efficient communications resulting in bad things. CBD helps clean out endocannabinoid receptors so that they process information more efficiently.
Got all that?
Did you know that every living creature in the animal kingdom has an endocannabinoid system? Neither did I. That’s because they only just discovered it in 1980.
While it’s true that CBD oil is derived from hemp and contains no THC (or rather, extremely trace amounts that provide no “high”), the second time I took it I noticed that my body felt different. Unusual. And I almost wanted to call it a “high.” But it wasn’t. After researching, I now realize that my body was just rejoicing that the lines of communication were open and flowing freely.
The endocannabinoid system is thought to help regulate a wide range of bodily functions, particularly in the central nervous and immune systems.
Someone once described the effect of CBD to me like this—think of your receptors as a highway during rush hour. CBD clears out all that traffic so you can get to where you’re going faster.
I’ve been using CBD oil since May 2019, and couldn’t be happier. Honestly, I’m still shocked this works so well and can’t believe it’s not more widely understood, studied, or accepted.
Here are a few personal case studies:
1. Last Saturday I played in a triple header softball game. I knew I’d be sore Sunday, but also knew that this soreness would be NOTHING like it used to be, thanks to CBD. I got out of bed on Sunday like I do every day—with no debilitating pain. Was I sore? Sure. A little. But it was a good sore—the kind of sore that is remedied by a good stretch. And if I can survive playing a triple header at my age and not have any pain the next day, that’s miraculous.
2. I have had dogs for 25 years. I’ve seen what age does to their joints and range of motion once they reach a certain age. Last summer I started giving my aging pack CBD oil and so far none of them have shown the kind of limited range of motion in their joints or hips that my previous dogs did. No, CBD oil won’t keep them (or me) from aging, but it’s definitely helping keep them (and me) from aging with pain.
3. My 19-yo daughter is the picture of health. Strong. Resilient. Works out every day. About a month ago she told me she had some kind of attack—her throat constricted, her heart raced, and she began feeling tingling in her outer extremities. I’ll admit that when she told me, I blew it off. I mean, she’s perfectly healthy. “Oh. Well, it’ll pass,” I said not thinking any more of it.
The next day she had another attack in the morning and my wife and I both stopped to pay attention. She was freaking out. But it passed. We told her to hydrate and to keep an eye on it. Later that afternoon as she was driving she had to pull over and call 911. She had no feeling in her hands and could barely breathe. We rushed her to the ER where they kept her for a few hours running a battery of tests. Their best guess was a thyroid issue, only that test came back negative. “Idiopathic,” they ultimately said.
She had another attack that night. We took her to our doctor the next morning. More tests. Still no idea what was going on. It was suggested she might be having panic attacks. And why not, it is 2020. But she insisted she had less stress now than any time she can recall since high school. Life was great.
As a last resort, I insisted she take a dropper of my CBD oil. She did. She had one minor attack an hour later, but that was the last one. She’s been using CBD ever since. Could it be coincidence? Sure. But why take chances.
Honestly, I can’t believe I’m even writing a post like this. But the results have been pretty remarkable in my life and I feel like I owe it to everyone to share the experience.
If you do decide to try it for yourself, I recommend using Matt’s company, Hello Blue CBD. It doesn’t matter where you buy it, as long as you trust how it’s sourced and processed. I trust Matt. You might have friends who can recommend another solid product. But if you do use Hello Blue, you can apply the code MITCHEM15 for a 15% discount at checkout.
Please note, CBD oil does not get you high. It’s actually sourced from hemp not marijuana. Also, Matt DOES NOT pay me to endorse his company. I only wrote this post so that you know how CBD works for me. Because I was once a bigger skeptic than you.
If you’re lucky you grow old. But if you’re really lucky, you keep your mind open as you do.
A good overview of how CBD oil works from the NY Times https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/14/magazine/cbd-cannabis-cure.html
Here’s a Wikipedia article on the endocannabinoid system which you will see is a fairly new field of study: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocannabinoid_system#:~:text=The%20endocannabinoid%20system%20(ECS)%20is,system%20(including%20the%20brain)%20and
A post from Harvard Medical School about how cannabidiol is different from marijuana along with health benefits: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
An informative article about the endocannabinoid system. Yes, it’s “Leafy,” but it’s a great read. https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-the-endocannabinoid-system
A good breakdown on the difference between hemp and marijuana https://medium.com/cbd-origin/hemp-vs-marijuana-the-difference-explained-a837c51aa8f7