Viscosity, Efficacy and Hesitancy – Which Oil Should I Use?

Like my info pages state, this is NOT medical advice.  These are just my testimonies – get with a health practitioner about any health concern you may have.

Oil.  The big word I often hear with motor oil performance is viscosity: “n.  the state of being thick, sticky, and semifluid in consistency, due to internal friction.”  We trust auto manufacturers to tell us what oils are the right viscosity for our cars.  Temperature influences the viscosity of oil, so oils are designed to handle a range of cold temperatures.  Having the sticker on my engine makes it easy for me to buy the right oil; hopefully the mechanic is reading the same sticker.

I knew a man who would tell people, “You are slicker than Pennzoil!” I’ve kept that one in my back pocket for special occasions.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

My car needs oil, even consumes it on slight occasions, and leaks it even more slightly.  This leak isn’t enough to worry about – about 1 quart every 3000 miles.  The mechanic and I have discussed it, and he contacted MINI corporation to get their advice on this deep, dark, tiny oil leak.  The summary of their advice:  “Don’t try to repair it. If you want to do anything, spot weld with a sealant, but don’t go removing major engine parts for such a small leak.”  We decided to monitor it over time, reshaping what I thought was a major situation into a very minor one.

What oil does my brain need?  It might be leaking…LOL…and there’s no sticker on me to tell me the best one for me!  I’ve shared in previous posts on the gut-brain connection, but I am far from figuring out the exact combination of supplements, or even oils, to add to my body’s components.  CBD oil is huge on the market right now, and to be honest, I was scared to try it for a long time. 

Follow my thinking for a moment.  My hesitancy was mostly fear about losing my job, along with some doubt about CBD’s efficacy.  (Sorry, another big noun – “effectiveness” is a decent synonym.)

Soon after my autism diagnosis a few years ago, I began considering trying some THC-free, non-psychotropic CBD oil to see if it might help with some of my sleep issues. For a long time, I was not comfortable trying any CBD products, even the THC-free variety.  My previous employer often gave us random drug tests, as our leaders were resolute on any positive drug test being a cause for termination.  Power equipment, knives, safety – I get it – no one wants to have co-workers who are high or “under the influence” of a drug – recreational or medicinal. 

I asked my HR director about our policy.  Like “asking for a friend,” I was vague, referring to our employee population in general.  I asked the questions, “Would a drug test come back positive for marijuana use, even if the substance in question was a legal, THC-free CBD product? If so, what if one of our people is using CBD to combat anxiety or some other issue?”  I was told that it was still illegal.   When I gave a questioning glance and stated that Virginia had just changed its laws – that CBD made from hemp was now legal – the HR director told me she would look into it.  Later that day, she sent me a website link from an HR society group.  The article discussed some technical legal issues that seemed to say, “Yes, companies could still terminate, and would be on solid legal standing to do so even if it was a legal product that caused the positive drug test result.” 

Though I didn’t like the answer I was given, and felt like an updated understanding of CBD use was in order, I could appreciate the no-compromise commitment for company safety.  Since I wasn’t ready to self-disclose personal medical information, I gave up.  I could not afford to lose my job over a therapy that I wasn’t sure would be effective.

Later, I looked into an essential oil that was in the CBD family named copaiba.  I talked to my essential oil distributor and asked if copaiba applied topically would register as marijuana on a drug test.  She could not find any information on that and could not promise me that it wouldn’t cause me to test positive.

Maybe I should have tried it anyway.  I was worried that I would lose my job.  What if I got promoted?  Anyone who received a promotion had to submit to a drug test.  What if I got a random drug test?  It didn’t happen very often, but it could.  I left it alone.  I moved on to other possible sleep aids. 

I now have a new job, and sleep quality and sleep deprivation still plague me.  I haven’t heard anything about drug testing at the new job.  And…I think they are in a different place than my former employer concerning newer therapies.  Don’t get me wrong; I always appreciated being at a company that didn’t want people who were drug users in manufacturing.  This made sense to me.  What didn’t make sense was when something derived from a plant that has no psychotropic effects and could be very helpful for people with lots of anxiety issues, emotional issues, maybe even sleep issues, would not be given a pass.  I’m not getting that sense from the new job.

My brother-in-law came to visit from Texas in January.  He has health issues of his own and we started talking about my sleep issues.  He showed me his bottle of a sleep-specific CBD formula.  And before he left to go back to Texas, he gave me the bottle.  Unique taste, almost too sweet, but I had no trouble tolerating it.

I noticed a slight difference the first few nights, but nothing to brag about.  I used the bottle over the next couple of weeks and thought it might be helping.  Evidence?  I have very little.  But something seemed better.  A few less “wake-ups” per night. 

With my “brand” of ASD, miscommunication is 90% of my problem.  I ran out of that first bottle of CBD oil, and thought I’d have to start looking for some at stores.  I had forgotten that my wife had offered me what she had already purchased!  Once she reminded me that we had it, I began taking it that very night.

This CBD oil is from what seems to be a more reputable manufacturer.  It doesn’t have artificial sweeteners like the first one did.  The passion fruit flavor makes it tolerable without all the junk.  I noticed a difference quickly.  I began sleeping through the night – almost until my alarm – every night since.  Am I better off?  Hard to say…yet.

I’ll keep adding oil to the Mini – and I’ll keep adding CBD oil to my night-time regimen.  After working my way through CPAP, various medicines, surgery, deep breathing, even exercise – two dropperfuls of this plant-based product seem to have a more noticeable effect.  I’ve got half a life of sleep deprivation to start paying back!  Happy to make this shift – without fear of losing my job on a false positive drug test.  We REALLY need to work on how companies deal with mental health issues, don’t we?!?  I’ll keep shiftin’; maybe they can too.

Published by Bart Shoaf

Blogging about victories and challenges as a middle-aged man with a late diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

2 thoughts on “Viscosity, Efficacy and Hesitancy – Which Oil Should I Use?

  1. 22 years of being in the army reserve (and being subject to drug testing) and being a non-smoker, non-drinker, and non drug user, and am loathe to consider using a product like this.

    But in the past few years I have experienced an increase in anxiety that I never had before. I also have difficulty sleeping well.

    I don’t want to take anti-anxiety meds either. Almost considering quitting my job since the anxiety is most often associated with it.

    Praying for nothing but the best for you, Bart (and your family).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a scientist who oversees drug testing I can tell you the psychoactive THC is delta-9, which gives a positive screen and confirmation result. The non-psychoactive THC contains delta-8, which gives a positive screen result but a negative confirmation result.

    Liked by 1 person

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