You wake to the smell of roasting turkey and the sound of children laughing. The early morning sun pleasantly lights the gentle colors of the guest room you are staying in. It’s cozy and warm while frost lines the outside of the window above your head.
Emerging from your room, you see your nieces and nephews playing video games in the living room. Your dad is talking about football with your uncles in his study. Everyone waves at you and says good morning. It’s Thanksgiving and good feelings permeate the atmosphere everywhere you turn.
You see your mom, aunt and some cousins chatting around the kitchen table while sipping freshly brewed coffee. A cup of coffee sounds great! You can’t help but smile. There is nothing like the smells of Thanksgiving filling a home, family getting together or the excitement over parades and football games. And, of course, the anticipation over a great meal is on everyone’s mind.
You pour a cup of coffee for yourself. The aroma of the coffee makes you grin again as you join the group at the kitchen table. Your aunt is telling everyone a work story with some real gusto. She’s an accountant. Everyone at the table looks a little relieved by your arrival.
As you listen to the end of your aunt’s story and try to catch up on the details, you pull your bottle of hazelnut CBD oil from your pocket and add a 1ml dropperful of it to your coffee. You notice others at the table seeing you add it to the coffee. The tincture adds a wonderful flavor to the coffee.
“I have to ask,” says your cousin from across the table once your aunt’s story comes to a conclusion. “What is that you added to your coffee?”
“It’s CBD oil,” you tell her.
“Really? Can I see it?” she asks.
You pull the CBD 3000mg bottle out of your pocket and slide it across the table for her to inspect. As she reads the label and looks over the brand name, your mother chimes in. “I’ve heard about CBD oil. They talk about it on TV all the time.”
Your brother who has been typing vigorously into his phone from the kitchen jumps into the conversation from over your shoulder. “Yeah, now that hemp oil is legal for the first time in like the last 80 years, everyone is crazy about CBD.”
“What’s hemp oil?” your aunt asks.
“It’s cannabis, but not like marijuana,” your brother answers without looking away from his phone. “They use it to make all sorts of stuff like clothes and even fuel. But, they can also extract CBD from it which is supposed to have all these medicinal properties. Feeling a little stressed lately sis?”
You shoot him a dirty look but before you can say anything your aunt follows up with another question. “It gets you high?”
“No!” you reply quickly.
“Is something wrong honey?” your mom asks. Your brother is audibly laughing behind you.
“No, there is nothing wrong,” you reply with a roll of your eyes. “There is nothing wrong with me except for what is wrong with everybody else. We all get a little stressed about all sorts of things. I’m excited to be here and I have added CBD into my daily routine just like you take your vitamins.”
“Does this brand, Sugar and Kush, come with a lab test?” your cousin asks after analyzing the bottle. “I’ve heard a lot of these CBD brands aren’t being truthful about how much CBD is in their products.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that too,” you say. “This brand links out to their CBD lab reports on their product pages. Some of the brands have THC in them, but I don’t want that. Sugar and Kush uses a pure CBD isolate so there is only CBD and a little CBDV too. What I really like about them is that their products have no sugar or calories. They are all keto-friendly CBD products which is great cuz I follow the keto diet. The flavors are delicious too. They have vanilla CBD, strawberry CBD, cotton candy CBD. That one there you are holding is hazelnut, I put it in my coffee every morning.”
“Huh,” your cousin says before passing the bottle back over to you. Your aunt asks to see it as well. Everyone at the table gives it a thorough inspection before you get it back. Your mom puts a tender hand on your arm and says, “Honey, I hope you aren’t dieting too much. You don’t need to, you look wonderful.”
“Thanks mom,” you say back with a warm smile.
Later that day after the smells of cooking casseroles, sweet potatoes and simmering gravy surround everyone, you pop a couple CBD gummy bears into your mouth. You’re leaning against the kitchen counter listening to the bustling in the kitchen and your dad, uncles and brother yell at the football game on TV in the living room. Your brother sees you eat the CBD gummies though and wanders over.
“It’s good to see you. How is everything?” he asks.
“It’s good, I guess,” you respond between chewing. “You?”
“I’m great. The wife and kids are healthy and happy. Work is work… you know. Are you still seeing that guy? I can’t remember his name.” Your older brother has always been protective of you. He had your back when you were younger and now in his mid-30’s with a family to take care of, apparently he still does.
“Dave?” you reply. “No, we broke up a few months ago actually. That online dating stuff hasn’t worked out much for me. But, you know, it’s work more than anything that weighs on me. I’m exhausted all the time and the ER is a tough place to be. I spend all my time anticipating when my next break will come, but even that falls through sometimes. I wasn’t even sure I was going to make it here for Thanksgiving. I am way down on the hierarchy and so they treat me like I am some on-demand service. I’m on-call all the time.”
“That sounds tough, real tough,” he sympathizes. “Was that more CBD I just saw you take?”
“Yeah,” you say as you pull the bottle out of your bag. You shake them and hand them over for him to inspect. “Little CBD gummy bears,” you finish explaining.
He looks at the bottle as your dad and his brother uproariously yell at the TV at a missed end zone pass. “Does this stuff really work?” your brother asks. Between the cooks in the kitchen, the kids playing in the backyard and all the people distracted by the game, the conversation between you and your brother feels very private despite being in the middle of all the action.
“Yeah, I think so,” you say. “It’s kind of tough to tell because there is no euphoric feeling. In fact, there is no discernible way to tell at all, except that I don’t think I feel as anxious during the day as I did a few months ago before I started taking them. It feels like I sleep better too. I don’t wake up as much and I don’t get as sleepy during the day. But, maybe it’s all in my head. I don’t know.”
“The placebo effect?” he asks.
“Yeah, maybe. But, I have done some research on it. There are not tons of doctors chiming in on the benefits of CBD yet, but it is supposed to work with our endocannabinoid system which, as I understand it, is supposed to regulate all sorts of internal systems in our bodies. I just don’t know, but so far I like it..”
“Do you mind if I have one?” he asks.
“Have 2. They each have 25mgs of CBD.”
He opens the CBD 750mg bottle of gummies and pops 2 in his mouth. “I’ll tell you what I think later today,” he says.
You and your brother talk a little more and finish catching up. Eventually everyone sits down at the table to enjoy an amazing meal. You can see how proud your mom looks having everyone together to eat her amazing Thanksgiving Day feast. You let your cousin pour you a glass of wine and really appreciate the warmth of the moment. You remember last year that it all felt hectic and demanding. The press of questions and irritating habits of some of your aunts, uncles and cousins had really annoyed you. It had even crossed your mind to skip this year. But, right now you don’t feel any of that.
You glance across the table at your brother who is smiling at his wife while she speaks animatedly about politics. Your 5-year old nephew suddenly spills his apple juice next to your brother and instead of barking in frustration at his little boy, your brother rolls his eyes and soundlessly mops up the spill with his napkin. There is definitely something happening here.
You do a mental check. Do you feel high at all? No. Do you feel slow at all as if you had too much to drink or taken some potent pharmaceutical mood relaxer? No. You feel just like you, except this family gathering feels wonderful. You aren’t anxious for it to be over. It feels like the Thanksgiving you have always imagined.
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