Readers may wonder where writers get their ideas. I assure you the ideas do not come from a ticker tape which spews out one good idea after another.
Nor do they come from a magic lamp that the writer rubs as he or she whispers a magical incantation. As for unimaginative types like myself, I will often be prompted to write a piece when I receive a call from a leading sportswriter or TV commentator who has a query about the psychological side of a national sports story.
I’ve been lucky enough to have solid relationships with Bruce Beck, Brian Kilmeade, C.J. Papa and the inimitable Ann Liguori of WFAN fame.
This week I got a call from Ann who asked me about CBD oil and its impact on golfers. CBD stands for cannabidiol which is a compound found in the cannabis plant.
I have noticed the presence of ads for CBD oil in magazines and even on Main Street in little old Williston Park where I work. I have heard rumors that the new gum-chewing trend on the PGA tour golfers of such stature as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson was because they were chewing gum treated with CBD.
In fact, the presence of this substance is everywhere. I opened up the latest edition of The Met Golfer and right there on page one and two was a full-sized ad about NEW GOLF CB5 which is CBD oil for golfers.
It is said to do what all CBD does which is to reduce pain and inflammation, alleviate stress and anxiety and promote sleep hygiene.
All I can say is that if this substance does half of what it claims to do I may be out of business.
But how could I find out more about this new formula drug so that I would have something worthwhile to say to Ann Liguori?
Well, I did mention already that there is a store in town called Hope Floats, which provides floatation therapy for the anxious and the stressed. They were selling CBD so I moseyed on down Main Street, walked into the place and asked the owner Kimberly Boone to explain the uses of CBD oil.
She referenced exactly what the ad had promoted. She said, “CBD helps with pain, inflammation, sleep and anxiety.”
She emphasized that the products she sold were made by Noetic Nutraceuticals which guaranteed that all traces of THC or euphoric aspects of CBD were removed.
Too bad CBD is approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency which states that it has no performing enhancement effects and thus has permitted its use in the Olympics.
In the back of my mind, I thought that this drug is having an impact because of its placebo effects. If a patient believes a drug will work, it will work.
I mentioned this to Kimberly who quickly said: “Why not try some for yourself and see?”
I was seized with a quick panic thinking that this oil will do one of two things. I will either be hooked forever which is bad enough or it will be put into slumberland, which will prevent me from writing the piece and that is equally bad.
But bravely I decided to give it a try. I suspect I was prompted because, just like you, I can never resist getting something for free. Now came the decision to pick my poison. Should I take a CBD gummy bear with the interesting name “Nanoburst.” Or how about as nasal spray with the not so interesting name “Nasospray.”
I decided on something called “Freeze Ease” which athletes use to ease muscle pain and induce relaxation.
Kimberly sprayed it on the right side of my neck and said: “This may feel a little cold at first.”
Anytime I hear a health care professional say “this may feel a little …” it’s a sure sign it will feel a lot more than a little. And I was right. It felt a lot like heat , not cold but no wanting to appear like a wimp I bravely smiled at her and said nothing. I just grimaced a little.
We finished up our chat and I marched back to my office attempting to assess any changes in mood or stress or pain levels. I can honestly say I could not measure any particular differences in mood. That is until I got into my office and attempted to begin writing.
Readers may not know this but in order to write a 1,000-word column you need keen attention, clarity of thought, energy and to be in touch with your affect. And the only affect I was in touch with when I sat down to write was the sweet desire to lay on my couch and sleep.
Which is exactly what I did for 30 minutes. Upon awakening, I immediately recognized two things.
Firstly I could see that CBD was not a placebo. It does induce sleep, calmness and a feeling of being stress-free. Kind of like after you are awakened from an endoscopic procedure and have been filled with some Propofol which was Michael Jackson’s drug of choice.
The second thing I realized was that CBD does not enhance a writer’s performance.
Writers need coffee and donuts to write well. They do not need a tranquilizing agent.
I cannot attest to what CBD will do for a golfer or for a boxer. But I can say that it can make you calm and relaxed and that may just be the right thing to feel the next time you have one hole to play in a tournament and there is $1,800,000 on the line.
In fact, if I ever had to play for that kind of money I may just go the Propofol route instead. That way if I happened to make a double bogey on 18 I would not recall ever having done so.