Hemp oil and medical marijuana in Illinois

Oil containing CBD from agricultural hemp is displayed at the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo in Chicago.

“Laughter is the best medicine; unless you have diarrhea.”

—  Obayed Khan

Is it just me or is it starting to seem like the 1960's all over again? No, I'm not talking about the Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock or summer of love 1960s. Instead, I'm speaking of the 1860s because in many retailers there are signs touting the benefits of CBD oil and how the product is ready for purchase. The talk of a cure-all makes me think of old-time medicine shows where barkers would travel from town to town rounding up crowds to sell elixirs, notions and tonics that were said to improve the health of those gathered to watch.

Now before I get rambling, let me state that I'm not a doctor. Yes, I played doctor once when I was little but I had to give up my practice. So, if you're hoping you'll gleam some medical knowledge worth keeping or even considering, then I suggest that no matter what your diet says about sodium, everything I spout off about should be taken with a large grain of salt.

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Moving on. Like it or not the trend of CBD has taken hold in Auburn. But its benefits sound more like snake oil pitches than salvation. Supposedly it helps with anxiety, inflammation, digestion, movement disorders and pain. Now these are all things that need to be addressed if you are so afflicted but, and here's the thing, should one be digesting medical knowledge from someone who doesn't have the letters M and D after their name? Like Nancy Reagan, I'd have to just say no.

As I wouldn't go to an Amish market to have my computer fixed, I'm not inclined to take therapeutic tips from someone serving me my scone. So what is CBD? According to research (yes, I sometimes do research), cannabidiol is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Now before you start fearing “reefer madness,” realize that it doesn't contain the psychoactive compound THC so it won't expand your mind as much as it might help to calm it.

To put this into perspective, the chemical properties are more Mike and Molly than Cheech and Chong. So there's no high but there is a potential for a higher quality of life, which I think we can all agree would be a good thing but again, I don't think you should be purchasing a potential game changer at the same counter you rent DVDs. Me personally, I'm not ashamed to admit that I suffer from a severe bi-polar disorder and the thought of a product that might balance the scales is beyond tempting, but temptation doesn't equal treatment. In my view your well being shouldn't be a trending topic but a planned pursuit. But what do I know? I'm not a doctor and hey, neither is the person making me my coffee.

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Auburn native Bradley Molloy’s column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at lovonian@hotmail.com