Not too long ago, I wrote an article about cannabis.

I received a lot of email and requests for information about the cannabidiol (CBD) portion of the marijuana plant, which helps with chronic pain without the side affects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the part that makes you high. There are a lot of products out there. Some are very helpful, while some pretty much do nothing at all except take your money and promise results.

I have arthritis, osteoporosis and two degenerative discs in my lower back. For years, I have tried everything from soup to nuts as they say, but nothing really helped me get through the day or sleep through the night.

In the 60s, most of the people I knew smoked pot only to get stoned. We never thought that the day would come when we would look to some of the marijuana byproducts for pain relief, and that it would be sold in stores. Here’s to getting older!

CBD will not make you high even with the tiniest amount of THC that it all has, but it can deliver the many health benefits of the cannabis plant.

Nearly half of the senior population in the U.S. suffers from arthritis, and 75 to 85 percent of seniors suffer from some form of chronic pain. I am one of them, and CBD has helped me quite a bit.

After trying different products, I personally found CBD oil to be the most effective and easy to use. Everyone is different, so I can only share my experiences with the ones that I tried. CBD products also include gummies, cookies, topical creams and lotions, to name just a few. They make bath bombs (minimum 30 mg for best results) as well, and it did help me relax and took the edge off the pain. The good ones cost about $9 to $12 and come in a variety of fragrances, and you use the entire ball for each bath.

CBD can reduce inflammation, alleviate or reduce joint pain and the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS). Research has shown that CBD can actually help strengthen the bones and even promote the healing process if a fracture does occur.

With my osteoporosis, this is a big deal in my opinion. Seniors suffering from a wide range of health conditions have been prescribed all kinds of medications. As we continue to rely on pharmaceuticals to alleviate pain, we can ultimately develop a dependency. Studies have shown that CBD may not only minimize or even alleviate conditions that often involve harmful medication, it can also help combat the dependency from that medication.

I was prescribed pain pills and relied on them for my back. Since I started using my oil, I have not had to take any of those pills at all.

Several places will sell hemp oil. The reason they can sell it anywhere over the counter is that the THC level is so low it is insignificant (less than 0.3 percent). The CBD level is also on the lower side and the results are not as good.

The most beneficial oil comes in three levels of potency – 300 mg, 600 mg and 1000 mg per bottle, which contains approximately 40 dosages. I began with the 300 mg and it helped, but the 600 mg worked perfectly for my level of discomfort and pain. I place half of the dropper beneath my tongue and hold it for a minute to 90 seconds before swallowing.

It is recommended to be taken one hour before or after a meal for the best results. To avoid the taste of the CBD, which is not awful but not great either, I get the citrus flavored one. There are several options on flavors.

The suggested half dropper is a standard serving, but ultimately, how much CBD oil you take will depend on an array of different factors including age, sex, weight, other medications you may be using and the condition you’re looking to treat. They recommend you start out with the low strength CBD and work your way up from there, until you find the smallest dose that works against the symptoms of your ailment.

It can be pricey, but most dispensaries have a point system and introductory coupons for 10 to 40 percent discounts. I get mine at legally designated dispensaries and find their products to be excellent.

If you decide to investigate using CBD, please talk to your doctor before trying it. My doctor was very supportive, since it is a natural product and does not go through your organs like medication, but make sure your doctor is on the same page.

Once you begin, use a log or journal to keep track your dosage. Note how much CBD you took, what time you took it, how long the effects last and whether you noticed any side effects. CBD can help you like it helped me and several of my friends and colleagues. Not everyone is the same, and just like other medications, some work better than others.

For me, CBD will last about 4 to 5 hours, so I can take it twice daily and remain 80 to 90 percent pain free. It does not correct my ailments, but I can function and enjoy those grandkids and my time with Grandpa so much more.

Marla Luckhardt is a Brentwood resident who works with senior care and advocacy groups. Email her at marla2054@aol.com.

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