“…recalled an extempore prayer of a well-meaning but incoherent curate, heard once and never forgotten: “Lord, teach us to take our hearts and look them in the face, however difficult it may be.” Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery by Dorothy L. Sayers

How ironic. Ironic, I am writing this column on Mercy Wellness dispensary. After decades of never smoking or imbibing a single recreational drug, here I go. Due to asthma, I avoid all smoke, even from a campfire or incense. Raised a Baptist by my grandmother, Alice Baker, I escaped peer pressure until I married. By then, my independent thinking had formed, I owned my values, and my freedom to say, no. While others dropped out and turned on, I married a Navy man. Got a job to pay our rent, baked bread, and cooked vegetarian meals. We lived on less than a hundred fifty dollars a month. As newlyweds, we did without television, haircuts, doctors, etc. Rarely did we regard ourselves as poor, when 90% of our friends were shipped out to Vietnam. Letters and photos sent to us showed the increased use drugs for escape from the intolerable. So, neither of us had objections to others use of cannabis.

Mercy is alive in us.

In Sonoma County compassion walks our streets, shows up at local government meetings, and advocates for women, children, people of color, and our veterans. That’s way I love where I live. Note: This column is in no way an endorsement for medical or recreational cannabis use. This column is a chronical of personal experience addressing ongoing issues.

After following a Western medical route, I read about CBD and cannabinoid products. BTW industrial hemp products have been termed legal under the federal farm bill. Cannabis sativa L. of the hemp plant family came to be called marijuana. So, depending on the source of the CBD extract, the product can be termed legal or illegal, thus regulated under medical patient cannabis prescription. Please correct me if I am wrong on these points.

Mercy Wellness of Cotati a beacon of hope in the North Bay

This medical dispensary is now a recreational cannabis store due to changes in California law. Due to health challenges, I choose to apply for a medical marijuana card. Oddly simple to obtain in my opinion. Before I took that step, I asked the advice of an acupuncturist. He thought worth a trial due to my ongoing issues. A historic disagreement on medical cannabis is that public access would best be through trained Chinese herbalists, not cannabis shops. Acupuncturists as herbal practitioners study for years. Also, this Asian wellness system derives from a two-thousand-year-old tradition, which treats a wide range of conditions in a validated knowledgeable system.

When I, finally, ventured to Mercy Wellness to solve chronic pain and migraines and spoke with Zack. Privately, I wondered why a youthful weightlifter worked there. (Another stereotype hit the dust.) Zack provided a private interview to discussed my concerns and medical challenges. I learned many visitors don’t want to lose their clear-headedness. An option came in an orange oil base, delivered in a sublingual spray. Pure CBD. Eventually, I switched to other formula after needing stronger pain management. To control pain a ratio of 20:1 CBC to THC active ingredients helped relieve my allover aches. Tried at bedtime the recommended minimum dose and felt well after eight hours sleep. As reported by users of THC containing cannabis, THC creates hallucinations and “being stoned.” When a low percentage of THC is added to CBD oil, pain receptors quiet down. During trial and error, too strong a dose hit me hard. I complained to a former marijuana smoker, “How did you ever drive a motorcycle on this stuff?” Of course, back then imported from Mexico, weed did not have a high level of THC. For hours, I hated feeling dizzy. Also, I lost a half day’s writing work. On each Mercy visit, I questioned and learned more. In a rapidly changing field of medical discoveries and new products, one Bud Tender said, “…a challenge to keep up.”

One afternoon, a friend drove me to Mercy as I suffered a raging migraine. When I described my inability to see and tolerate light plus an acute level of pain, tall Chris mentioned his mother received relief from migraines. “Had to put the drops of pure CBD oil in juice.” I, too, felt a great relief from my own after a dose of pure CBD oil.