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!

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.

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  

Tips For Growing Raw Cannabis In The Vegetable Garden

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As cannabis legalization slowly spreads around the world, more people are taking advantage of being able to grow small amounts of medicinal or personal recreational marijuana in their private gardens.

Growing cannabis in your backyard garden is a special thing. For the past several years I have been growing my own small amounts of medical cannabis outside in the vegetable garden during summer season. Learning as I grow this unique plant has been fascinating and challenging as something that I do to take charge of my health needs.

I grow cannabis with the intention of eating leaves off of them all season and then harvesting a portion of the buds during the end of the plant’s life. Yes, I eat my plants.

While you can find thousands of hot tips about growing cannabis, I have created for you a simplified a short list of things I do to successfully grow and eat off my plants until harvest time.

  1. Plant herbs and low growing root vegetables along borders and throughout the garden that will detract pests and feed nutrients to the soil.
  2. Let the soil dry slightly between waterings. This promotes stronger root growth as they reach out seeking water when the soil gets dry enough. Stick a moisture reader in the dirt to monitor how much water is needed. Watch the leaves, when they droop they may need a drink and when they are reaching up for the sky they are likely full enough.
  3. Feed your garden once or twice a month with probiotic organic teas to feed nutrients to the soil and roots. I make teas with powdered kelp, bokashi, cannabis leaves, flowers, molasses, etc…natural ingredients. Because I am eating my plants, they are never grown with the use of pesticides or chemicals.
  4. Defoliate around the new moon when the plant’s growth is concentrated on the roots. Take leaves near the bottom to increase airflow and the big water leaves creating shade. Taking off about 25% of the leaves off increases nutrient flow to forming flower buds without stunting the plants growth. Note that the biggest reason that you are defoliating is so that you can eat the leaves! Get them processed and stored in the fridge right away for fresh consumption.

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Organic compost tea.

5. Look at your plants everyday. I’ve been told this by more than one cannabis grower and while it seems overly simplistic, I would say that it is one of the most important tips for maintaining a healthy garden. Talking to your plants while you are spotting for pests, broken limbs, and problems as early as possible really allows for quick action to keep the growing season fruitful. On the other hand, part of the beauty of growing outdoors is that mother nature will look after your plants if you ever really have to leave them for a day or two.

Before you go out there and start planting Kush in with the broccoli, make sure that you are up on the local marijuana laws in your area. If you find out that you are not able to grow cannabis plants in your garden, the next step is to contact your legislators and ask them to support cannabis legalization and homegrown in your area. www.norml.org

Before we know it, with a little more work, gardening cannabis with vegetables will be normal.

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com