Hey so this week we’re going to talk more about CBD. There is so much buzz about CBD and there is a huge knowledge gap, so here’s a little bit of information to help you navigate that.
CBD is a cannabinoid, like THC. It’s found in the Cannabis Sativa plant, which is called hemp when the levels of THC are negligible (usually less than .03%). Hemp and cannabis are genetically the same plant. Cannabis strains are different types of cannabis that have been selectively bred, and they look and smell different from each other and have different effects.
Industrial hemp is cannabis that is bred not to contain THC, but they can still contain CBD and other cannabinoids. These plants tend to be low-resin, meaning you need a lot of plant material to extract any quantity of medicine. Using industrial hemp for medicine can be problematic because the cannabis plant is a bio-accumulator, it sucks up heavy metals and other toxic shit from the soil. (Fun fact: Hemp was planted near the site of the Chernobyl disaster to help remove radiation from the soil.) So when you couple the fact that you need a lot of plant material to extract a small amount of CBD with the fact that hemp is a bio-accumulator, there’s potential for products with really high concentrations of some very poisonous stuff.
So, tip #1: Buy CBD from organic hemp grown in the US. It should say this on the label or website. If the label just says “hemp oil”, don’t go for it, it could be anything. There are a growing number of strains that are high CBD and high resin, which is awesome. More resin = more medicine per plant and less chance for toxic levels of contaminants.
Tip #2: Ask for lab test results. Reputable dealers will have their lab test results available to confirm the levels of CBD and other cannabinoids in their product and it may also show whether its free of contaminants and mold, which is great.
Cannabinoids work best together. THC works better with CBD and other cannabinoids in the mix, and CBD works the same way.
Tip #3: Look for something that says “full spectrum” or “whole plant”. This means that it contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant. Some products contain CBD isolate, which still has medicinal value but is difficult to dose. CBD has what’s called a bell-shaped dose response, meaning a small amount might be effective, but a larger dose will have no effect, and eventually a much high dose will have an effect again. This makes it harder to find the dose that will work for you. Taking several cannabinoids together helps lessen this response, which allows the user to have a much broader dose and still be effective. Plus, those terpenes and minor cannabinoids have medicinal value too, so, bonus!
Tip #4: Look for CO2 extraction. There are several ways to extract cannabinoids from cannabis. They all involve using a solvent, and cheaper extraction methods use ethanol or butane. These aren’t so great because they can degrade the medicine and leave behind harmful residue. CO2 extraction can only be done using laboratory equipment, so it costs more. But it extracts more medicine, leaves nothing behind, and provides a better tasting, higher quality product.
I use and recommend NuLeaf Naturals (and I’m an affiliate), but there are lots of high-quality products to choose from.
If you’re in the Twin Cities and want to learn more, I’m hosting a meeting about CBD with Ellementa on June 27th at Nina’s Coffee Cafe in Saint Paul. Tickets are $10; click here to get yours. I hope to see you there!
Questions? Leave them in the comments or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Brain Science, guys.
Hey Guys! This month I’m we’ll be diving into brain science. Specifically, we’ll be learning about neurotransmitters and how they affect our moods and behavior. I had the whole month planned out but I gotta say, I got in a little over my head. This stuff is complex. But I am obsessed with brain hacking and I am so excited to have a better understanding of how this all works so I can share it with you!
I've been reading a lot about what happens in the brain when we use cannabis, but research is limited and there is so much conflicting information out there that I’m having a hard time nailing down exactly what is going on. I've got an idea of how cannabinoids affect neurotransmitters, but I need more information. So, I did what I do, and I got some books.
Im telling y'all this because I like to publish every Monday, but I'm not satisfied with my understanding so far, so I'm postponing till next week.
I’ll be reading up all week, so if you’ve got questions, ask away!
And if you know about cannabis and neurotransmitters, or can recommend a book on the subject, I’d love to pick your brain!
Taking the Time to Heal
So many feels today.
I’ve been having these really rough periods before my period for the past few months where I’m just so emotional I feel unhinged. This month has been particularly difficult. I’m reminded this blog post by Lady Nowe about the dark night of the soul. I’ve been feeling so much rage this month. The stuff I focus on for work; helping mothers reclaim their lives and identities outside of motherhood, learning to love themselves first; are swirling together with the Kavanaugh thing and my thoughts on feminism and sexual assault and I’ve been in a really dark place for a few weeks.
I want to promote modeling strong women now for our families. I want to change American womanhood now, so our sons and daughters don't have to navigate this world, where women are expected to be primary caregivers no matter what. Where we have to fear walking alone at night. Where we have to publicly detail our pain and shame in our fight for justice and be blamed for the situations that have hurt us.
My own family life has been rocky as well, as I’m putting my all into my business, my kids are learning to navigate school, and my husband toils away on his PhD. It’s been challenging around casa DaCosta. It’s all a fiery, nebulous mess in my hormone-addled mind, ladies. And I’m struggling.
My biggest takeaway is learning to stop. I am a very high-energy, do-ALL-the-things lady. And my pattern is to go on and on until I’m utterly drained.
But luckily, I have cannabis to help. Cannabis shows you to yourself in such a graceful way. Its honest with you, but in a kind and gentle way. There is no denying the femininity of cannabis. `
I’m building an awareness of when I am feeling drained, who or what is making me feel that way, and what I need to do to hold on to my energy. It’s a really deeply ingrained pattern for me to give and give. In my family you show your love by sacrificing yourself. It’s probably a Jesus thing, my people are Catholic.
So I’ve been digging deep into WHY I feel this way. What part of me wants to do this and why. That part of me was way down there. It’s been a long couple of weeks of really challenging, dark, WORK. But we have to examine and resolve the shit that leads us to behave in a way that doesn't serve us, so we can break the patterns.
And during these dark times, the dark night of the soul, its MOST important to be kind to yourself. Give yourself a pass. Take a nap.
Self-care is more than retaining your energy, it's also giving yourself the time and space to heal. And more here about cannabis; I have spent my entire life clutching my feelings close, not really being open or vulnerable with anyone. When uncomfortable feelings come up for me I coped by drinking and stuffing those feelings down. Since I began mindfully using cannabis I have opened up and healed in so many ways. I mean, I have felt my heart healing. I have connected with my grief.
Today is my mothers birthday. She would be 72. I miss her so much. Her death was the catalyst for huge change in my life. She is the reason I studied cannabis coaching. This morning I spoke to her, and told her today I’m breaking a pattern that she and I both know well. Today I no longer try to support people who do not want to support themselves.
It feels huge. I think it’s a good birthday present.
I love you guys, and wish you all well.
Cannabis for Moms? Emphatically yes!
Cannabis naturally makes you a little nicer. It softens the edges of your feelings, and gives more space to feel them. This is why it’s such a great tool for transformation. Last week I wrote about why cannabis pairs so well with meditation. It makes it easier to settle your mind, and it helps you feel more self-love and compassion.
Cannabis began to heal my heart and body without me even trying. But once I started going through my coaching program at the Functional Cannabis Coaching Institute, the level of transformation in my own life was staggering. I entered the program with a wish to help other depressed moms with cannabis. And that wish has strengthened into a life-altering purpose. Cannabis is medicine, and the help it can offer moms is just tremendous. Here’s why:
I’d love to talk more about this with you! My one-hour breakthrough calls are free and fun. We’ll talk about what’s going on for you, and what you’d like your life to look like. I’ll answer your questions, and we can feel each other out and see if we’re a good fit.
There is nothing to lose, lady.
It’s my life’s work to support YOU on your journey back to wellness.
This came up for us pretty recently. My kids are little (2 and 4), and since I don't consume around them they haven't had questions. But I've started spending a lot of time learning about cannabis, and there has been some inevitable overlap. This initially caused some panic.
"ACK! How do I protect my kids from this terrible thing I really enjoy? How do I keep them safe from it?"
I live in a prohibition state, and it can be easy to feel afraid. Especially when your children are concerned. But then I ask myself, Do I believe this?
Do I believe that cannabis is terrible and dangerous? No, I do not.
I believe it's medicine. I believe it's safer and healthier than alcohol. And I've already talked to my kids about alcohol. I tell them, alcohol is something that adults enjoy but it's NOT healthy for children. Your brains and bodies are still developing, and it's important to avoid alcohol until you're done growing. In our family we're into facts, and we try to avoid getting emotional about stuff. I think it creates more curiosity when you get all dramatic and reefer madness-y about it. So I approached cannabis the same way. It is medicine that adults enjoy, but it's not for children. Like aspirin. And my kids accept this.
And I'm not writing this post to tell you how I worded it. It's the shame and stigma like I'd like to address. That's the tough part for the mommies.
This is a turbulent time in our country. I think everyone is realizing that we're going to have to stand up and fight for what we believe in. Having kids teaches us this, too. To become our best selves. It wasn't until my son was born that I really took a good look at myself. Is this the person I want to be?
The woman I want to be follows her own truth. She doesn't let Jeff Sessions tell her about any damn thing. She wears pro-cannabis T-shirts to her kids' preschool because it's NORMAL and OKAY. It's cool to like beer, why not weed?
The pioneers have to take a lot more shit than the folks who quietly wait for society to catch up.`I can live with that. I want my kids to feel brave enough to be themselves in a world that may not accept them. So I've got to model this for them.
I believe that legalization across all states in on the horizon. I really do. We've got to keep up the momentum.
So I guess what I'm saying is, it's not really about the weed. It's about doing what's best for you and your family and not giving in to the disapproval of others. Cause motherfuckers are gonna disapprove no matter what you do, anyway.
I am Jessica DaCosta, I'm a proud cannabis enthusiast, advocate, and mom of two.