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Saying Goodbye to Synthetic Fashion and Hello to Hemp

I once went to a birthday party where the theme was to wear something plastic. Me, getting literal, showed up to a downtown club wearing a blue garbage bag, Saran Wrap, clear plastic high heels, and a Ziplock bag purse. Other people were warmly dressed and casually sporting a plastic belt or shoes.

If I knew then what I know now, I could have went to that party straight from work in my Lycra spandex day uniform of a jogging suit and been a lot warmer.

Turns out most of the clothes I have been wearing for most of my life are made partially or entirely with synthetic fibers and I have been oblivious as to what that means or how that impacts the environment.

I quit shopping fast fashion at malls a long time ago and shifted to vintage and thrift shopping for clothes and accessories with the exception to knickers and footwear. I managed to create a whole cycle where I would clean out the clothes in my closet that I no longer wear or want to keep and donate them to good will. Then I would take a trip to my favorite thrift shops and go on a mini shopping spree for unique clothes I couldn’t find at the mall.

If I’m being honest, my shopping patterns made it easy to bring some things into my closet that I never wore because it was a good deal and was appealing on the rack. I wasn’t really thinking about the life that piece might have after I was done with it.

Then I heard the statistic that the average person throws away the equivalent of 44 tshirts a year. I don’t think I was going through that many clothes but I also wasn’t cognisent to where they went after I donated them.

50% of donated clothes end up in a landfill.

I dislike the thought that half of my old clothes are just sitting in a landfill not breaking down until long after my body has died and broken down.

So, I have become much more textile conscious. I’m now reading the label of everything and attempting to only bring in clothes that are long term keepers and made with hemp.

I initially set out with a vision to create a head to toe hemp outfit and then eventually an all hemp wardrobe. I can’t say that my closet is all hemp but I can say that I wear some kind of hemp everyday.

Finding hemp clothes that I find fashionable has been a task. I’ve managed to score some things from Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, or directly from the designers but many of the things I want don’t exist and I will have to custom make.

That being said, I was excited to recently discover some European fashion designers who have never stopped using hemp, they just didn’t advertise it after prohibition happened during the 1930s in America. I’ll be posting more about that very soon.

Stay tuned! Choose Hemp!

The Little Hemp Cookie That Could

I’m going into my ninth year living gluten free and dairy free. In that time I have also had phases of going egg free, corn free, night shade free, etc…I regularly practice how to be free.

One thing I still experience is the ‘loneliness’ of being one of the people at the party with dietary restrictions. Imagine being a foodie surrounded by mountains of food that you can really just look at and watch other people eat while they may or may not comment on how and what you are eating compared to everybody else. Then, every gracious host will try to make something that will suit your diet, getting it right 7/10 times.

I’ve had more than one occasion where somebody I adore will specifically make for me a gluten free dessert but that still has dairy in it. Should I eat it even though it will make me feel slightly cruddy in the short term and very cruddy in the long term? Saying no to food kindness is extremely hard and socially awkward for me still after all this time.

When the holiday cookie season rolls around I would like to be treated, like everybody else, to a hot, chewy, crispy, sweet cookie too. I just request that cookie to not be rough on my digestive system and body.

Meet the Little Hemp Cookie that you can likely eat if you don’t eat gluten, dairy, or eggs.

Like a great little black dress, the little hemp cookie can be ready to go within minutes and can also be dressed up for special occasions. For its unveiling, I give you the chocolate chunk version.

The Little Hemp Cookie

Chocolate Chunk Version

Yield: 12 cookies

  • 1C almond flour
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 3T coconut sugar
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1/4C hempseed hearts
  • 2T water
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1/4C chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/4C chopped pecans

Mix all dry ingredients. Sprinkle wet ingredients onto mixture and stir until halfway blended. Sprinkle in nuts and chocolate and finish stirring completely. Spoon onto a silicone or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten or shape as desired. Bake at 350F for 10-14 minutes until lightly browned and somewhat firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool slightly before enjoying with tea and hemp milk.

By the way, this cookie dough is safe to eat from the bowl and the cookies will freeze great if they make it that far.

Let me know how they turned out for you!

Change Your Clothes, Change The Climate?

My muse, dressed head to toe in hemp fabrics.

Do you know what the clothes you wear are made of or why it matters?

The reason I bring this topic here is because I feel there is a lack of urgency and education by the general population around the unsustainable fashion industry. This somewhat alarms me. It doesn’t matter if you go to the high end designer brands, the fast fashion knockoffs, or the second hand clothing stores, our fashion choices have been generally reduced to synthetic options. Most of those clothes inevitably end up in a landfill and will outlive their owners.

The average American throws away 70 lbs of clothing each year.

  • Clothes made with synthetic fabrics are literally made of petroleum. Once thrown away, those clothes do not break down for hundreds of years.
  • Synthetic textiles have microfibers that break off in the wash and get sent into our water systems.
  • Pollution is created from pesticides used on fiber crop production and the chemical processing of fabrics.
  • The industry chain of factory workers, fabric producers, fashion designers, fashion buyers, the retailers, consumers, and disposal workers who are all exposed to chemicals.

Not all people think to look at what kind of fabric their clothes are made of as part of their purchasing decisions or what the life of that garment will have in their closet.

Where do your old clothes end up?

I have to be honest, when I tuned in to the atrocity of synthetic clothes I was shocked to discover that most of my own closet was filled with them. Cycling through them was no longer an option for me.

While it is amazing that technology figured out how to turn oil into cheap clothing this invention comes with its own set of interesting statistics that are worth investigating.

  1. The average American buys 68 new articles of clothing per year.
  2. The average piece of clothing is only worn 3 times or less.
  3. About half of the clothes that are donated to thrift stores are thrown away.

Personally, I have responded by updating my fashion habits. I have generally stopped buying new clothes. I shop vintage, thrift, consignment, and craft in an effort to find original, quality clothes I can’t find anywhere else.

I try not to go too crazy at the thrift shop because things are cheap and I no longer think of it as the first choice for my clothes to get donated to.

I read all the labels. I used to only really pay attention to size, care instructions, and where they were made but now I also scrutinize what they are made of.

As a long term project, I am slowly bringing new pieces into my wardrobe as needed that are made of hemp fabrics. I have been inspired to start sewing again to make my own hemp fashions that I literally can’t buy.

Stay tuned.

In 2020 I will be posting a series of blog posts and videos that highlight hemp fashion you might want to wear, hemp food recipes you might want to make. If you can think of hemp fashions and designers that I should know about and be highlighting, please let me know!

For those of you still following from the start, I had to take 2019 off from my blog and creating to recalibrate. In 2020 I will be posting weekly again. You can expect posts about hemp fashion, hemp food recipes, medical cannabis, scoliosis, and ideas to keep yourself healthy. Peace.

Cannabis Use For The Healthy Conscious

Up until recently cannabis has had but two types of stereotypical users, sick people and stoners. Both of those uses are very appropriate for the cannabis plant but please let me shed more light on a giant sector of people who are about to step into the circle now that it is becoming legal more places…the health conscious.

Here is what, cannabis is a natural, non-toxic supplement for your endocannabinoid system, the same system that you boost every time you exercise, get good sleep, and stop to smell the roses (terpenes).

What does it look like to use cannabis for your health if you are not trying to get classically stoned or treat a serious illness?

Let me give you a few suggestions on how to use it. I have been using cannabis daily for about 8 years and while some of that time has been managing chronic health conditions and certainly involved feeling its effects at higher doses, a large portion of my cannabis use is about getting the most from the plant with the smallest serving necessary.

5 Ways To Use Cannabis In Your Healthy Lifestyle:
  1. Use Cannabis Infused Topicals. Your skin is your largest organ and a wonderful way to get cannabinoids to your CB2 receptors which will not be intoxicating but can help to regulate your body’s functions. Try a cannabis infused bath before bed, an all over infused lotion after the shower, or take your favorite infused massage oil to your masseuse and enjoy the next level of relaxation. Choose a topical with the terpenes you want to affect you as well.
  2. Drink your cannabis greens. If you are able to grow your own or some how have access to fresh cannabis leaves or small buds, put them in your smoothies. While the research has yet to tell us that this is the most superior way to use cannabis for your health, I can tell you from personal experience that I have felt my healthiest when I add this type of fresh cannabis in my diet. Eating raw cannabis aids in healthy digestion and helps to support the liver.
  3. Use cannabis infused edibles. When is a good time to use edibles? I suggest in the evening to wind down and help with sleep, after a tough workout to ease tired muscles, and to help relieve physical stress. Look for a larger ratio of CBD to THC but try for as full of a cannabinoid spectrum as possible in your edibles. Know that everybody feels a little different with edible cannabis so you will need to experiment and find your right dose and times to use them.
  4. Use terpenes and cannabinoids as athletic training tools. I know a lot of athletes and exercisers who will vape or smoke a motivating cannabis strain or low dose edibles before a marathon, hike, or yoga class to help them slip into the mind body connection and improve their performance and experience.
  5. Using cannabis for meditation. One of the biggest ways to boost your health is to start meditating. Same as above with using it for exercise, cannabis can be used as a focusing tool to help you connect with your breath and bring you deeper.

There you have it, healthy people are benefiting from legalization. Now get out there and start learning more about your body!

What It Feels Like To Reverse Your Scoliosis

Untwisting Your Scoliosis Is Now As Easy As Going For A Walk.

You read that right, my scoliosis is reversing. Since childhood I have been told and read that my twisted spine was going to get worse every year and while it has slowly progressed in a bad way and I do experience chronic pain, it hasn’t been as bad as they all said it would without surgery. That being said, there is very little hope or positivity in the journey of my scoliosis. 

A few years ago I started having a regular premonition that my spine was magically going to get better in 2018. While that magic has been me wearing a specialized exercise suit to make that a reality, my scoliosis has been getting better!  Instead of my spine getting 1-2 degrees worse per year as the statistics say my spine should get, my spine reversed 6 degrees during six months last year. 

Earlier this year I started using one of the latest innovations in scoliosis treatment, a Scoliosis Activity Suit.  I had been researching this suit for a while and finally decided to try it out based on the testimonials of other people with scoliosis who were wearing it.

This stand alone treatment checked all my boxes; it wasn’t spinal fusion surgery or drugs but a simple device that one wears when walking or doing anything active. What does it feel like to train your spine to untwist? It feels like a lot of things.

Number one, it feels good and it feels like hope. When I first walked in it, I could tell that it was working parts of my core that would not normally get activated from any other activity that I do. Walking felt easier albeit awkward at first. 

Next, it feels like a little bit of work. While walking may be easy enough, you have to ease in to how much time you spend active in the suit because it literally is like wearing an exercise machine for your spine. I quickly learned that if I wore it too long my deep spinal and ribcage muscles would be very uncomfortable or sore for a few days after. If I wore it just enough I would experience an overall decrease in pain, improved range of motion in my spine, and better sleep. 

The Scoliosis Activity Suit has been monumental this year in changing my spinal health. Although the suit has given me the most dramatic results, I would put my experience with the suit in a similar category as learning pilates and yoga; it has lifted and empowered me to move and take control of my health.  Plus, I can also take it anywhere with me. 

The very idea that all I have to do is put it on and go for a walk to not only experience relief in the moment but also for hours and days afterward is very positive for my mental health as well. I don’t have to wear it all day but the more I progress with it, the more my spine is being trained to unscrew from its very rotated position. 

Other challenges that have come up are similar to maintaining any exercise routine. Sometimes I find myself making excuses or skipping days so I don’t have to wear it. I’ve gone through phases this year where my use was very irregular (1-3 times per week) and I still experienced some benefits. 

Another honest challenge is that the suit makes me feel vulnerable in public. Like I am walking around with my disabilities showing. Then I remember that I am walking with ease, I get a little taller, and I don’t care so much what people see. Walking slow, in pain, or with a limp is much worse. 

I will say that the suit does sometimes make me feel athletic. I have come to  find it a most useful tool during hiking, walking, household chores, and extended activities that have you moving on your legs. It is definitely not a sitting suit.  

I have experimented by doing all sorts of activity in it such as yoga, pilates, strength training, walking, hiking, core/balance work. I don’t find it effective to wear the suit during my floor work but I usually do find it effective during cardio. I have felt the need to keep up with additional stretching and core/balance exercises, with or without the suit, to stay in tune with my body and keep a balanced movement routine.

 I’m not sure how far the suit will be able to straighten or de-rotate my spine. My double curved spine has been dwelling in the 60-degrees range for so long that going to a 40, 30, or even less of a degree still feels a bit like a pipe dream. I know there is potential for much more improvement but how many years will such a thing take if that is possible? Only time and my personal effort will tell. 

If you, or someone you know is looking for a treatment for scoliosis I highly recommend researching.

My Summer Working On A Cannabis Farm

Over the summer I took a part-time job at Sticky Mantis, a Tier 3 cannabis farm in eastern Washington as a trimmer and harvester. This family owned and operated farm near Cheney has been going since the beginning of recreational cannabis in 2013 and in their fifth year are still growing strong despite having to deal with the ridiculously low prices of cannabis in eastern Washington.

My job started out one day a week trimming with my friend’s mom which was absolutely wonderful for me. Trimming itself for hours and hours is tedious and I would come home covered in cannabis crumbs and smelling of flowers but still satisfied with a full day of work.

Once they started harvesting I was pulled outside and started working 7 days a week, as needed, cutting down plants. Being outside in the plants was very different work. Much more physical, much stickier, much dirtier, and much smellier.  Rather than go home smelling like cannabis flowers I would go home smelling like a skunk on defense.

If anybody ever tells you that working on a cannabis farm is glamorous, you can bet they have never worked on a farm.

Despite the odor, the impossible to get out stickiness, the minimum wage, the long commute into the country, and occasional nasty weather, I found a lot of reasons to really like this job.

IMG_6486

Here are 5 Benefits I gained from working on a cannabis farm:

1- The Terpenes. It is wonderful to be surrounded by cannabis terpenes when they agree with you. Most cannabis terpenes appear to agree with me but working with so many different strains I was able to observe that different cultivars gave me different feelings. The Bubba Kush gave me the yawns, Futureman made me feel positive and motivated, and Monsterberry was one I personally didn’t enjoy smelling or working with. Everybody on the crew had different reactions to each plant, it was interesting.

2- The Fresh Air- This benefit is only exclusive to outdoor farms, but working outside was a treat for me. Since Sticky Mantis is a pesticide free farm with healthy plants, I was able to enjoy my own healthy experience on the farm. Watching huge cannabis plants dance in the wind around me was somewhat magical.

3- The People- The group at Sticky Mantis was mostly family and their dynamic made being on the farm a little more fun. Take a healthy mix of personality quirks, ambition, love, and jokes, with more hard work and you get a team that keeps dialing in their craft with each season.

4- The Sunshine. After living in the Seattle area for 12 years, having a job in daily sunshine getting regular Vitamin D for months was a really nice change.

5- The Water. This is again exclusive to the farm I was working on, but they had a water spigot that pumped out fresh, untouched, mineral rich well water. I would take my own water bottles and hydrate as often as possible. What a treat!

In the end I have to say that getting on a good harvest crew is a rather exciting, challenging, grueling, and rewarding thing to do. Working with plants or dried flowers is not overly stressful and if you are the low lady on the totem pole the responsibility is also not yours. The challenging part of the work is making it through harvest when you are putting in long physical hours for weeks until it is done.

Now, with this small addition to my resume, I have a little better idea what it is like to grow weed on a commercial level and a much larger appreciation for how important the farmers are in the cannabis industry.

Seven Years of Weed Over Pills

Would you believe it has now been over 7 years that I have been using medical cannabis over pharmaceuticals?  It’s kind of a big deal and here are seven reasons why it has been so significant for me.

1. No Negative Side Effects

For the past 7 years I have missed out on the groggy, uncomfortable feelings of side effects that I was experiencing with prescribed medications for pain and inflammation.  I’ve heard enough first hand stories of people who have been using the very drugs that I was being prescribed seven years ago to know that I made the right choice to stop them and find something else. Each year that I am able to avoid pharmaceuticals and their compounding negative side effects on my body is another year that I am able to enjoy a better quality of life and focus on health.

2. Adventures in Cannabis

Over the past seven years my choice to create a long term pain management plan using pot over painkillers brought me an unusual education about the plant and entry into a thriving unregulated medical cannabis scene that led into this current regulated adult use industry. I am blessed to have also gained professional experience in the cannabis industry doing everything from content creation, blogging, social media, speaking, networking, events, sales, trimming, garden work, lobbying, and protesting.

3- Multiple Symptoms Helped With One Plant

7 years of using one single plant, cannabis, to regulate my body’s homeostasis.  I do use it multiple ways for multiple symptoms (pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, migraines) but whether I apply it topically or put fresh leaves in my smoothies it is all coming from various strains of the same non-toxic plant.

4- Cannabis Helps Me Focus On My Health As A Lifestyle

7 years of working on my health with a focus on prevention, nutrition, and happiness. I have always been a health centric person but having an alternative method to manage my chronic health conditions has opened me up to different options and allowed me to find helpful treatments like acupuncture, Bowen, and the Scoliosis Activity Suit. Cannabis has definitely helped me to positively manage my chronic condition and significantly slow progression.

5- Seven Years Of Paying For A Medical Cannabis Authorization

You didn’t think this list would all be flowers did you? I bring this up to shed light on the current system for patients in Washington State. For the past 7 years I have annually been going to a doctor and paying for them to write and process a medical cannabis authorization.  My initial regular doctor wouldn’t even talk to me about it. The state of Washington has been so backward that when they implemented adult legal use they failed to upgrade and include a functional system for supplying medical cannabis to patients. Having to maintain my authorization and also register with he state so that I can have some arrest protections, grow my own, or get a weak discount at some pot shops for non-medical grade products has not been helpful or adequate for filling my medicine needs. I look forward to sharing and supporting fixer bills to medical cannabis in Washington State with you as they come along.

6. Growing My Own

For the past 7 summers I have been utilizing the rights provided to me by my medical cannabis authorization and grown my own. I have to say that experiencing the plant from a gardener’s perspective has given me much insight into how I can use it. Growing my own cannabis has allowed to experience the health benefits of gardening, consume it raw in my diet, learn how to harvest/dry/cure, and experience how to turn this plant into therapeutic tinctures, topicals, and edibles, etc. Knowing how to do all of that has been incredibly helpful in dealing with the lack of products in stores and my MMJ budget. However, having such a small plant limit is inadequate for filling my needs. WA-wa.

7. Learning To Be NORML

It was brought to my attention at this week’s Norml Women of Washington meeting in Seattle that even after 5+ years into us having ‘legalization’ in this state, there are still 600,000 people per year being arrested for marijuana possession in this country. When I hear stats like that I am motivated to get more involved in educating lawmakers and others in my community to end the social injustice that is wrapped up with cannabis.

7 things I would say to myself 7 years ago…

1. Take it slow.  At first I thought I had to feel high for it to be therapeutic. The higher the better. LOL.

2. Unless directed by your doctor to use high doses, consume as little as you need rather than consuming a lot to see how much you can tolerate.

3. Get a good flower vaporizer and use it more than smoking it when possible. I say this because I have often found vaping over smoking flowers to be the most beneficial for immediate relief of ending or at least muting a migraine headache.

4. Try not to lick the spoon too much when you are making edibles. You might get too high and that might be uncomfortable for a few hours.

5. If you ever take too much cannabis and feel too high, you are still going to be ok. Sip on some lemon water while doing something that helps you feel calm.

6. Stay low key about your cannabis medicine use but share your knowledge as often as appropriate. Don’t be shy about sharing your story if it might help somebody else have a different option that may benefit their health too.

7. Grow your own and expand your gardening knowledge from those who can not only grow impressive cannabis but also their own organic fruit and vegetables.

Here is to seven more, as needed.

Six Month Results From Using The Scoliosis Activity Suit

I’ve now been wearing a Scoliosis Acivity Suit for six months and it is time to go in for my followup X-ray and checkup. I was super curious to see if I was getting any measurable result from my efforts in this suit. Has wearing this thing really been worth it or am I walking around like a silly fool in a neoprene and velcro suit?

I went back to Dr. Tim Joy in Tacoma, WA, the same chiropractor that I went to for my original SAS fitting 6 months ago. He was again very positive and enthusiastic about the results he had been seeing from people in the suit. I soaked up his motivation.

Before I get to the results, I should tell you how apreshensive I was about going in for this appointment. For one thing, I don’t love getting my X-rays taken and I also hadn’t been using the suit as directed, every single day, all summer like the champ that I was when I first got it.  I admit that using it every single day this summer was tough. The weather was super hot, my regular walking schedule was interrupted, and there were brutal forest fires creating horribly unhealthy air and making exercise inadvisable. I would still try to wear my suit during household chores but my use was only daily regular for about 4 of the 6 months. For the other two months I was probably only wearing it for about 30-60 minutes about 3 or 4 times a week.

Now for the results. During my first appointment Dr. Joy took one measurement on only one location of my spine, where the S changes direction. He measured the same spot at my six month appointment and got a 6 degree improvement from 70 degrees to 64 degrees. Significant.

I have also been taking my height through this and although it changes from day to day, I have measured myself at half an inch taller. Also, significant.

To be honest I try to somewhat numb myself to these numbers. I don’t really know what my body is going to do or how far this suit will be able to correct my spinal curvatures. I do know that if I wear it regularly my back feels better when I sleep, get up in the morning, walk, and do pretty much anything.

While at my check up I was also fitted for and purchased the new version of the suit as the Scolismart team just updated the design this summer. After a week or so of trying it out, I like the new design alright. I only have 4 pieces to deal with instead of 6 and it fits me a little better than the first one. I’ve been using my original Scoliosis Activity Suit at my day job as a farm hand, I’m still planning on wearing it out.

So, thus far, the suit is doing its job and my spine is slowly de-rotating and showing improvement. I couldn’t be more pleased and am curious to see what one year in it will do for me.

If you suffer with scoliosis, consider looking into this suit as part of your tool kit of things to look after and help your very special, crooked spine.

Four Month Results From Wearing A Scoliosis Activity Suit

Four months in the suit and what has happened to my spine is nothing short of amazing. The results so far are what I was hoping for but truly not expecting to be possible, this is scoliosis after all.

To be very honest, I’ve been having a tough couple of weeks with my scoliosis activity suit. I really haven’t wanted to wear it, I have not been walking as much as usual, and I was even questioning if there is much benefit to using it during pilates and yoga which is all I have felt like doing.

I know that the suit is working for me but I also know that the most beneficial way to see results is to walk in it or use it during exercise that is weight bearing and standing on the legs. That being said, this week I learned that it can be worn different ways for how you are using it. For example, you can remove the tension bands during longer periods of sitting or standing and put them on for moving activity like walking, cleaning the house, gardening, dancing, etc. Learn more about the suit.

The most exciting result, besides decreased pain, is that I’ve grown taller! Today my height was measured at 5’0″ which I haven’t been since, well, maybe ever. Usually I measure around 4’11.5″ (the .5 is important!!) Now, on top of feeling more open and generally in less pain, I’ve grown taller! What this really means is that my spine has untwisted enough to significantly measure the difference. I’m so jazzed about such a positive result!

On another awesome note, I recently learned that one of my friends also got a Scoliosis Activity Suit. She is unique in that she has also had multiple spinal fusion surgeries in her teens. Her results so far are that she feels the benefits from it such as her back feels more open. How about that?! She also mentioned having a lot of fatigue when she wears it.

I totally relate to the fatigue. Working the deep spinal muscles that haven’t seen that kind of action in a long time, if ever, is exhausting. So, I guess the lesson we have learned thus far is to take it slow. Ease into wearing it at first and listen to your body when it needs rest. Know that every time you put it on it can help, even if it may seem insignificant at the time.

To date, the Scoliosis Activity Suit Experience has been a very positive one. I am so grateful to have found something that works so well!

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who helps people with scoliosis and chronic illness to utilize natural food and lifestyle to reduce pain and create a healthier quality of life.  To request a conversation please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

What Kind Of CBD Oil Should I Buy?

Have you been shopping for CBD lately? There is definitely a growing supply of CBD products popping up on store shelves and the internet daily, proving to be confusing and overwhelming for many when figuring out what to purchase. There is lot of misinformation out there and with the cannabis and hemp industries literally developing as the laws are being written, it can also be challenging to keep up with current regulations.

The conversation around CBD concerns me because of all this misinformation and the fact that people shopping for CBD are generally only doing so because they are trying to improve their health. I have been prompted to write this post because of the regular conversations I see online about CBD oil and because I keep having people reach out to me asking what kind of products they should look for.

Earlier this week I read in the news that 52 people in Utah had become sick from a particular CBD oil, brand name ‘YOLO,’ that was not actually CBD but rather toxic synthetic cannabinoids. I find this extremely alarming that so many people were sickened from unscrupulous, greedy assholes trying to cash in on the CBD cash train. It was one thing to learn that all of those people had gotten sick from taking this product and it was another thing to learn that those same people purchased and took a product that apparently did not even have an ingredient list on it. While I know that a large portion of people never look at the ingredients of the things that they take into their bodies, I still find it mildly shocking.

Also this week, a scoliosis facebook group (Scoliosis Warriors) that I follow had somebody in it asking if it matters what kind of CBD oil they buy for their pain. Somebody else in the group literally answered that it did not matter, they were all the same. That is what we call a stupid fucking answer. Pardon my cuss.

Here is a short list of things to consider when shopping for CBD products.

  1. Read the ingredient list on the label. You should be able to identify everything on the ingredient list and if there is no such list, put that shit back on the shelf.
  2. Where did the CBD come from? CBD is an extracted compound from the cannabis sativa plant, from both marijuana and hemp cultivars. Currently a large portion of the CBD being sold in the US is extracted from industrial hemp, medical marijuana, or is imported CBD from the unregulated hemp markets of Asia and Europe. One concern about imported CBD is the potential for heavy metals and pesticides. You will hopefully be able to find this information from the product company’s website if they have product education and testing information available. Every good CBD product has been tested for potency, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals, and microbial mycotoxins.
  3. How was the CBD extracted and why does it matter? Is it a full plant extract (often called ‘full spectrum’) Co2 extract, ethanol extract, or hydrocarbon extract?  The most ideal for consumption are CO2 and ethanol because they are generally regarded as safe and leave minimal residue behind. If it has been taken all the way to an isolate, it is possible that it was also extracted with chemicals that you may prefer to avoid on a daily basis. Look for full plant extract over an isolate to get a greater benefit from the whole plant. By the way, you may have to really dig to find this info. Check out the website of the brands you are shopping for to see what kind of education they can provide you about their products. Also note that CBD companies will sometimes call it ‘hemp oil’ to avoid throwing up red flags from authorities.
  4. What forms is it available? Oral tincture? Topical? Bath Bomb? Vape? How you take it depends on what you need it to do. I personally prefer an oral tincture taken in the day time because it is longer lasting when digested, more ideal for my symptoms, and I find it to be a little energizing and uplifting. I like to use an infused topical for after shower time, massage, and before bed. Then there is the CBD bath, when taken before bed provides the ultimate relaxation and sleepy time remedy. Vaping- Although the vape pens are great for immediate effects and easy dosing, I don’t vape so much because I’m not a fan of the majority of vape pens. A lot of them are cheaply made or use cartridges filled with a blend of CBD mixed with propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, MCT, etc . My gripe with all of these is that they are not proven to be guaranteed safe but have studies showing the protential for lipid pneumonia (popcorn lung). Plus I don’t feel much benefit from vaping CBD- but everybody is different so try what will work for you.
  5. Is it really legal in all 50 states? No, but this is where it gets confusing. As of the writing of this blog post, the USA federal government still declares CBD to be a Schedule 1 substance. That being said, it is up to the individual state that you live in to make local rules if CBD can be grown, processed, and sold to medical patients and/or the public. It is not legal for every state to ship or receive it interstate, although it is common to see ads from companies saying it’s legal to ship in all 50 states. Be wary of these claims! The laws are ever evolving so I suggest talking to a lawyer versed in cannabis legislation and really doing your local homework so you understand the laws around the products you buy and consume. Also, let your politicians know that you will support them if they support progressive cannabis legislation. This was released the very next day after I posted this. See? Hard to keep up with!
  6. What if the CBD products have a small amount of THC? Bonus. Some states will allow for products that have less than 0.3% THC in them to be sold in mainstream stores or with a medical cannabis authorization, such as the CHABA law in Washington State. These products, even though they have a very low level of THC and are non-intoxicating, are more desirable for pain and inflammation, and utilize more of the cannabis plant. Whole is better than one part. Look for terms like ‘whole plant extract’ or ‘full spectrum’ used on the label, this indicates the potential for a small amount of THC or other beneficial cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, CBC, +30 others. Personally, I would seek this type of product out over one that is more highly processed to only have CBD.
  7. What is an appropriate serving size and how many mg of CBD are you getting?How much you take totally depends on your body, your health issues, and why you are taking it in the first place. I’ve seen super small servings per mL and I’ve seen 4000mg servings designed for horses. While there is no such thing as a reported case of somebody overdosing on CBD, it is worthy to note that when taking  medicines or supplements of any kind you want to take only as little as necessary but also have access to as much as needed. It is your job to figure out what is the best serving size for you. You will need to experiment because some people do well with a small amount while others may need a lot more. Start slow and keep a journal to guide you along this journey.

Please share in the comments your CBD shopping experiences, good or bad! What have you found that works and what have you found that is total garbage and hasn’t worked at all? Thanks for sharing!

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who helps people with scoliosis and chronic illness how to utilize healthy food and lifestyle to reduce pain while improving their sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function.  To request a consult please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com